Protect your business by making it uninviting and hard to gain entry for a burglar. You should take measures to increase the possibilities that the burglar will get caught if they do try to enter your business. If the burglar is able to gain entry, you can limit the amount of loss by making it hard to remove valuable items.
Lighting — Intruders like to work in the cover of darkness. Good interior and exterior lighting is one of the most effective deterrents against crime. Pay special attention to areas that are not in plain view — where intruders often try to make entry. Protect exterior lighting fixtures against breakage and replace damaged or burned-out bulbs. Keep valuable merchandise illuminated, but away from display windows where they could be a target of a quick “smash and grab.”
Exterior — Overgrown shrubbery, vehicles and trash dumpsters near the building provide excellent cover for burglars. Keeping trees and shrubs trimmed away from windows and doors can help minimize hiding places around buildings.
The system batteries are rechargeable and kept charged automatically. When replacing batteries you MUST USE equal size or larger. Call Metro Dade to have a technician stop by and replace them.
Windows — Exterior windows can be covered with burglar-resistant glazing. This provides the appearance of glass and increases security. Many window locks are simply latches that can be pried open. Ask a locksmith or security supplier how you can select more secure window locks.
Doors — Consider installing exterior doors constructed from solid-core wood or metal that fit tightly into the doorframe. A heavy-duty deadbolt lock with a heavy-duty strike plate can be installed using three-inch screws that penetrate the wall stud. This will provide extra strength if a criminal tries to kick open the door. Side and rear doors should be of solid wood or steel construction and installed in reinforced steel frames. Avoid using doors with hinge pins on the outside where they can be easily removed. Equip outward swinging doors with hinges that have non-removable pins. Secure overhead garage-type doors with padlocks on the roller channel.
Barriers — Fencing provides a barrier that may help deter would be intruders.
An alarm system is one way you can help protect your property and residents against burglary. There is a variety of different alarms available ranging from very basic local alarms to highly sophisticated systems. If you have an alarm system, be sure to prominently display decals and signs indicating it is present.
Maintenance and Service — Regular testing and maintenance will help ensure the alarm system is functioning properly.
Even if your business does not stock valuable items, consider the money or checks you routinely handle. Deposit large amounts of money in the bank as soon as possible, but if you must keep substantial amounts, keep these in a safe for protection from burglars and fires.
As a business owner, it is important to identify and control the chance for fire damage. If unprepared, many businesses cannot reopen after a major loss. The following areas of fire protection should be evaluated.
Your building may be equipped with an automatic sprinkler system. When properly installed and maintained, this system provides 24-hour fire protection. When a fire starts the system activates and releases a water spray in the area of the fire, suppressing it until the fire department arrives. Often, a sprinkler system totally extinguishes a fire. It is important that the system be professionally inspected on a regular basis.
It is important that your building has the right type, size and number of fire extinguishers. Extinguishers are classified by the types of fires they extinguish. Fire extinguishers lose their charge over time and may become ineffective. A professional fire equipment supplier should periodically inspect the extinguishers to verify they are still operational.
Although smoke detectors don’t put out fires, they do provide early warning that may allow escape from the building. For battery-operated units, test and replace the batteries on a regular basis. Some detectors may be powered by the building’s electrical system and may also have a back-up battery. These units should also be tested regularly.
Businesses today often use a variety of flammable or combustible liquids, such as cleaners, solvents, adhesives, etc. Flammable liquids give off vapors that may travel with the natural airflow. These vapors may explode when ignited by a spark, such as a faulty electrical switch or a flame from a water heater pilot light. Store flammable liquids in their original container. Allow plenty of ventilation when using flammable liquids to reduce the risk of fire and injury or illness from breathing the vapors. Limit the amount of flammable liquids stored on the property.
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