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Police: Protect your business


By Officer Charles Patty
Crime Prevention Specialist, La Vernia Police

In the past few weeks there has been a rise in small-business burglaries. Crimes against businesses are usually crimes of opportunity. Failure to take good security precautions invites crime into a business.

The La Vernia Police Department asks that small-business owners take a hard look at their businesses from a crime-prevention perspective and see if they can harden their business against burglaries.

What can small business owner do? Here are some basic prevention practices that may help:

Training: Train employees to keep an eye out for shoplifting, to secure doors and windows, and keep the safe closed when not in use. Create a security checklist for the last employee to ensure he or she secures the store.

Lighting: Security lighting is a good way to prevent crime. Light the inside and outside of your business, especially around doors, windows, skylights, or other entry points. Consider installing covers over exterior lights and power sources to deter tampering. Consider leaving interior lights on so any activity can be seen by passers-by.

Windows: Windows should have quality locks and be alarmed. If windows have to be left opened, there are other devices that can be used to prevent access. Remove posters, plants, flyers, and furniture from blocking the windows.

Doors: All outside or security doors should be metal-lined and secured with metal security crossbars. An automatic closing device is another good way to prevent unauthorized entry. Secure all exposed hinge pins to prevent removal.

Locks: Make sure all outside entrances and inside security doors have deadbolt locks. If you use padlocks, they should be made of steel and kept locked at all times. Use only high-quality padlocks and deadbolt door locks with at least a 1-inch throw.

Safes: A good-quality safe will keep your operating funds safe during business hours. Change safe combinations annually or when an employee leaves or when you believe it has been compromised. Never write the combination down or share it.

Alarm systems: Install and maintain a quality alarm system. Test alarms monthly with your alarm company. Submit a list of keyholders with phone numbers to the police department, so they know who to contact in the event of an emergency.

CCTV: Install CCTV cameras and a quality recorder. Keep the recorder in a secure location. Cameras should be placed where they can view the entrance and exits clearly. Perform monthly maintenance on lenses and ensure that they stay aimed at the intended target. A CCTV that views the ceiling does no good for investigations.

Remember there are no guarantees you will not become a victim of crime, but using these crime-prevention measures will reduce your chances.

For more information on crime prevention or to arrange for a free crime-prevention survey for your business, contact the La Vernia Police Department, 830-779-4541.

For all emergencies, dial 911.

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