UNITED STATES—Shoplifting, theft, or breaking and entering are still some of the most pressing issues on the mind of business owners in California. Plus, even though these criminal actions affect brands regardless of size, small businesses suffer the most because they don’t have the same level of influence as big companies.
Besides losing inventory and suffering damages of thousands of dollars each month, most small business owners can’t recover their losses. And, even if they have a reliable insurance provider, some avoid submitting every claim out of fear of being dropped.
As a result, many California businesses find ways to cope with the recent wave of crime targeting brick-and-mortar businesses by charging a fee on all transactions and stepping up their security systems.
How Businesses Improve Their Security Systems
The best security system is designed on multiple layers and doesn’t focus on just keeping unwanted people out. It should also monitor the activity indoors and limit employees’ access to sensitive areas such as the storage, server room, or filing cabinets.
Below are a few basic measures both small and large brick-and-mortar Californian stores implement to keep ill-intended actors at bay and avoid falling victim to the rising levels of crime in the state.
1. Use Appropriate Access Control Methods
You don’t want to allow anyone access to your business area, so make sure to install various access control systems, starting with the parking lot or the outside area of your store. For this, install automatic gate operators that open with a key card (for employees) or with motion sensors (for customers).
One of the most common theft methods in Californian stores is the smash-and-grab, where the robber enters the premises by force, grabs anything they can, and jumps it into a vehicle waiting nearby. This type of theft can be prevented by installing access control methods around the store or warehouse, so the robbers won’t have a getaway vehicle waiting by the door.
2. Proper Lighting Systems
A well-designed lighting system is one of the best ways you can protect your business from burglars and even in-shop theft. Crime usually happens in the shadows since criminals don’t like to be seen while operating.
So work on installing motion-activated lights (to avoid racking up the electric bill) outside the stores, at the points of entry such as windows and doors.
Also, it helps to work on the interior arrangement of the store so there are no dead spots where your employees or the cameras can’t see (both at night and during the day).
Also, keep in mind that the local authorities work hard on maintaining safety for both the civil and the business sectors. That’s why a well-lit area is less likely to get hit.
3. Surveillance Cameras and Motion Sensors
While it’s true that a well-designed surveillance system is a bit of a hefty investment, if you want to protect your business and your customers, you need one. Also, it’s best to install motion sensors that can trigger an alarm when activated. This way, you and the security company will be on guard if something doesn’t look right.
This level of security will also give you a bit of insight into what’s going on inside the store, how employees behave, and how everyone uses the available areas.
The pandemic and current social and economic unrest are some of the reasons behind the new wave of crime that hit big cities like LA or San Francisco, but this doesn’t mean businesses can’t protect themselves. Also, even if the current situation doesn’t seem overly positive, California continues to be a safe state for anyone interested to set down roots and invest.