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One of the scariest days for any business owner is after a break-in or robbery. Companies will spend thousands of dollars every year on security systems and insurance, but there’s never a 100% guarantee they will work.
If an unfortunate incident occurs, don’t panic. There are several steps you can take to recoup the costs of the damages and ways to mitigate these events in the future. Let’s review.
If you ever discover signs of a break-in or crime at your business, your first call should be to the police. The most important reason is for your safety. Break-ins can happen at any time of day, and there could be the chance that the perpetrator is still in the building. The best thing to do is avoid entering the building or exploring the surrounding area more until the authorities have deemed it safe.
Secondly, by letting the police be the first on the scene, you can avoid any liability in disturbing the crime scene. The police are the experts, and they will likely want to scan the property for any evidence to help in any investigation. This includes cleaning up any debris, touching any security systems, and entering your property altogether.
Before opening your business again, consult with the police about what steps you should take and how long you should wait.
While the police will likely take plenty of photos, you should take you own photos and videos of the crime scene for your records. Try not to tamper or move anything in the crime scene as this may disrupt any ongoing investigation efforts.
These pictures and videos should be shared with police as they may help with their investigation and help you recover any stolen belongings. Make sure to take lots of detailed photos and videos of everything, you’ll never know what may be useful.
After you have called the authorities and collected evidence through pictures and videos, it’s time to determine what is missing or damaged. For this activity, you will likely need to open up your inventory books to get a full and accurate assessment of all the damaged or missing property.
As you go through your store, include your employees in the process. Employees may notice items that went missing you wouldn’t have realized.
Once you have compiled your list, review your inventory books, and collect proof of ownership, including receipts, pictures of items, serial numbers, and more. This list can be shared with police and insurance investigators to help you with the compensation process.
After the police and insurance investigators have collected the evidence they need, and the police have given you the go-ahead to re-open, it’s time to get your business back in order. Most break-ins happen within minutes, with criminals leaving a huge mess behind for business owners. It’s common to see desks and files ransacked, broken equipment, and damaged furniture.
As you clean up, take note of any additional items you find missing or damaged. This will be useful for the insurance company during the compensation process.
The last a final step is to prepare for a better and safer tomorrow. While it may take your business time to financially recover and reopen, it’s important to put some money aside to invest in a better security system.
While no security system is perfect, it’s likely that the business break-in was possible due to a flaw or malfunction in your current security system. During the investigation, you will likely discover what security failure made the burglary possible. When found, make sure to mitigate against this specific problem in the future.
Regardless of the reason for the break-in, businesses owners should always change their locks and security passwords following an incident.
The best investment a company can make following a break-in is to work with a security company and get your security system professionally reviewed. Security professionals will be able to recommend the right tools and technologies to upgrade your systems within your budget.
Advanced security systems can help business owners prevent future break-ins and make the recovery process easier following an incident.
Most modern security systems include video cameras that can help identify any burglars and what items were damaged or stolen. Security cameras inside and outside your business can also help deter would-be criminals.
Another common feature is to include access control logs. This process involves giving all employees proximity cards or proximity badges. These proximity access cards can help you control who can enter the building at given times and will also create a time log of when someone enters or exits your place of business, including forced entries.
Finally, you should consult with security professionals to upgrade any cyber security measures. While physical security tools deter most break-ins, digital security weaknesses can leave your business exposed. By investing in stronger password security, login features, and other cyber security measures, you will be better protected during any future incidents.
Break-ins can be incredibly harmful to businesses. Sometimes businesses can close for months or go bankrupt from the damage caused during a burglary.
When these incidents occur, the best thing to do is to stay calm and keep a level head. It’s important to follow the proper steps with law enforcement and insurance investigators in order to improve your chances of being fairly compensated for lost or damaged items.
Whether you’re recovering from a break-in or merely trying to prevent one, the best thing to do is to upgrade your security systems. By incorporating video cameras, employee proximity access cards, and cyber security measures, you can help deter would-be criminals or help police and insurance companies in their investigations.Don’t leave yourself exposed, reach out to a security professional today!