According to police reports, burglaries are continuing at a high rate of occurrence. Continued high unemployment is one of the situations attributed to this statistic. But no matter what the economic environment, we’ll (unfortunately) always face the chance of being burglarized. So, what can a business owner do to prepare – and possibly prevent – this from happening?

I’ve collected information about theft prevention over the years from many sources, including conversations with police officers and victims of burglaries. Here are some simple things that are easy to implement and are not costly. They can, however, be very effective.

Install Lights

- Make sure there are enough lights to illuminate the entire exterior.
- If you own adjacent property, be sure to include that area as well.
- To save on electricity, use a timer to turn the lights on at dusk and off at dawn.
- Install motion-sensor lighting.
- Keep lights on inside so activity can been seen at night from outside.

Install a Security System

- Security cameras inside and out can deter as well as help catch the intruder.
- If you’re a target of shoplifters, cameras stop or reduce these incidents.
- If you suspect employee theft, cameras are a deterrent.
- Install an alarm on your safe or valuable equipment.
- Consider a monitoring service that will contact the police.

Be proactive

- Lock doors and windows when you leave.
- Install solid exterior doors that are equipped with heavy-duty deadbolt locks.
- Use secondary blocking devices on sliding glass doors.
- Secure overhead garage-type doors with padlocks on the roller channel.
- Move trash dumpsters away from the building to eliminate hiding places.
- If you have vehicles on property over night, park them away from the building.
- Trim shrubs and trees to increase visibility of your building.
- Ensure that your ventilation system can not be used to gain access.

In addition to these steps, complete a contents inventory. Having this information will be extremely helpful if you need to file an insurance claim and complete a police report. You’ll be able to provide the necessary information (manufacturer, model number and serial numbers) about the items stolen. The photos will be extremely helpful also. The time, stress, emotional turmoil and potential financial loss can be lessened or eliminated with this document.

Author's Bio: 

Cindy Hartman is President of Hartman Inventory, a woman-owned business that provides business and home inventory services. She and her husband Mike also own Hartman Inventory Systems, a complete turnkey home inventory business package for those who want to establish their own inventory company. She is also an owner of Business Continuity Planning Specialists, which was created with the small business owners' needs and budgets in mind. Cindy writes a blog and is also a freelance writer on topics of disaster preparedness and recovery, small business, product reviews, marketing and networking.