10 More Official Robbery Prevention Tips for Businesses

No business has the money to lose or the time to spend on court cases that a robbery will also take. More importantly, no business wants their employees or ordinary customers to be put in harm’s way. We recently looked at 10 important robbery prevention tips for businesses (from CCTV and back to base alarm monitoring to simple cleaning!), but found that we couldn’t include all the important tips in just one article. Here we continue our guide to robbery prevention for businesses, with 10 tips that the police force consider most valuable.

Even 24 hour businesses should have back to base alarm monitoring

  1. Even if your doors are always open, back to base alarm monitoring can be zoned so that certain parts of your business (cash room, offices etc) can be alarmed while the service area is not. Also, you can have special duress alarm codes programmed for your cash storage areas – these alert the monitoring company that an employee has been forced to open the safe.
  2. Watch for people watching your business …
    Robberies are rarely carried out without checking out a premises first. Teach your staff to watch for people loitering outside and checking out the business, or spending a great deal of time inside on a purchase that shouldn’t require much thought. Any suspicious actions can be reported to police – if they are unable to attend, write down a thorough description of the person and follow them outside to get their numberplate. This will assist in identifying them if a robbery occurs.
  3. Tell employees about your alarm system
    Some businesses resist telling employees about a back to base alarm system. However, for their safety, all employees should know how, when and when not to activate a back to base alarm.
  4. Look for ‘safe’ technology for your safe
    Dual key, time-delay and drop mechanisms for your cash safe make it hard to access cash. Make sure that you have prominent signage relating that staff cannot easily access the cash, to actually help deter them as well as protect your money.
  5. Customer service for robbery prevention!
    Teach your staff to always greet new customers walking in with a smile and a direct look in the eyes. If a robber feels they could be identified, they will think twice about carrying out their plans. This is most effective when backed up by things like CCTV camera systems through your back to base alarm company, height stickers next to the door, etc.
  6. Consider physical barriers
    If you run a high risk business like a bank or service station, consider installing pass-through barriers between the customer area and the service staff area.
  7. ‘Sweep’ the business before closing
    One closing procedure should be a check of all business areas to ensure nobody is hiding inside. This should be immediately followed by activation of your back to base alarm system.
  8. Train employees in safe cash handling
    Your local police station may be able to run a training session on safe cash handling procedures, such as regularly clearing the till, counting money in a non-visible area, using two people to transport money within the store, moving money in daylight hours (but varying the precise time of day) and disguising the cash bag as something else.
  9. Encourage card payment
    Remove fees on EFTPOS and credit card transactions to discourage cash payments.
  10. Teach employees to protect themselves first
    Some employees feel it is part of their duty to protect the business from thieves, and can put themselves in harm’s way because of this. Teach them to activate the panic button of the back to base alarm first, then get themselves as far away as possible. Let them know their health is worth far more than a bit of cash!

A back to base alarm system and CCTV camera systems are at the heart of good robbery prevention as well as bringing a robber to justice. Without them, your cash and employees are in serious danger.

10 Official Robbery Prevention Tips for Businesses

We know that robbery prevention makes sense from a financial point of view – why would any business team work as hard as it does to make money, only to make it easy for somebody to come along and take all the profits by force? However, many businesses don’t realise that their robbery prevention efforts are also mandated by law. Occupational Health and Safety legislation tells us that every business must provide a safe workplace for their employees. These 10 robbery prevention tips involving technology like CCTV camera systems and back to base alarms, functional design tips and a legal perspective will help you ensure that your workplace is safe AND profitable!

Ensure you have digitised, high quality, real CCTV camera systems equipment! 

  1. CCTV camera systems is one of the single biggest factors in robbery prevention. However, it must be:
    High quality – so that you can clearly identify an offender
    Digitised – Because a large number of businesses do not change their analog tapes quickly enough
    Real – Because robbers soon learn to spot fake cameras and signage, and they will actually make you a target rather than deterring them!
  2. Install a panic button
    Your back to base alarm monitoring company can install a panic button in the service area, which can be discreetly pushed with a knee or hip if the staff member is in danger.
  3. Don’t ditch your convex mirrors
    Let people know that your staff can see them everywhere in the store, immediately.
  4. Maintain good street view
    Ensure that posters and signage doesn’t block the view of the street for service staff. Install sensor lighting to provide a clear outside view at night time.
  5. Staff your night shift cleverly
    Females shouldn’t do night shift alone in businesses prone to robbery.
  6. Clean customer contact areas regularly
    Wiping your bench, your door handles (if applicable) and fridge doors every 2 hours with a detergent-based cleaner increases the chance of getting a readable fingerprint in case of a robbery. A fingerprint can work with your CCTV camera systems to positively identify a robber.
  7. Bolt your register down
    Even if the staff member refuses to open the cash register or leaves the area, you’ll attract thieves if it is not bolted down.
  8. Install a wide, elevated and clearly visible counter
    This helps put a barrier between robbers and your staff, and increases the chance of a robber being seen (by passers by as well as your CCTV camera systems)… which they obviously dislike!
  9. Keep your side and back entrances locked
    Especially delivery bays.
  10. Use a height chart and witness description forms
    Height estimation stickers are placed near a door, and make it easier for staff to describe a robber’s height. When displayed they can act as a deterrent. Witness description forms simply help catch any brazen robbers who’ve made it past this many defences!

 

Some tips are easy, some (such as CCTV camera systems) take more work … but with more effort comes a greater reward of more effective robbery prevention. This equipment and these tactics are an investment in safety and profitability.

Home Security Considerations for Rural/Acreage Dwellers

There’s absolutely nothing like living on acreage! Whether you farm your land or not, there is just something about the fresh air, the privacy and being in tune with natural cycles that helps give us a sense of peace and calm. However, it is important that you don’t become so peaceful in your home that you get complacent about security! Rural properties are generally considered ‘safer’ from burglary than standard suburban home, but their isolation is a major weak point. Today we look at how you can overcome this with technology, for a safer rural home.

Monitoring and CCTV Considerations

Home security monitoring via perimeter and internal alarms is the gold standard in security for ALL homes, not just rural ones … but nowhere is it more necessary than in a rural area. You can’t be at your home all the time, and there are no neighbours around to help you keep an eye out for wrongdoers.

Some people choose not to have their property monitored because they believe the response time would be too long. If you are more than 30 minutes from a monitoring station, CCTV camera systems will allow you to both deter intruders, and to catch them after the deed … getting them off the streets!

Build Your Own Fort Knox

Rural dwellers tend to spend quite a lot of time at their properties. Why wouldn’t you, when paradise is right at your doorstep?! When you go out, though, it’s likely that your trip will be a reasonably long one, given the distance to other facilities – and burglars know that they have some time to figure out how to get into your property.

They also know that the chance of being spotted by neighbours is slim to none, so they are more likely to do things like trying to get in through the roof, kicking in windows or doors, etc.

You’ll need to pay close attention to all the entry points of your house, with home security monitoring measures like:

  • Ensure all doors have Australian Standard double cylinder deadlocks
  • Install keyed window locks and window grates
  • Maintaining sensor lights outdoors – if anybody tries to get into your shedding at night, you’ll know about it.
  • Never hide your keys outside
  • Alarm your roof cavity as well as the house with a back to base alarm

Should I Buy a Dog to Protect My Property?

It is usually more feasible to keep dogs on a rural property than in a suburban or inner city home. Keep in mind that in rural areas, there is more potential for your dog to wander, harass the neighbour’s livestock or get himself into trouble! If you choose a dog as part of your home security monitoring system, make sure you fence your yard.

Guns and Rural Home Security

A higher percentage of rural dwellers than city dwellers own guns. Don’t let your gun lull you into a false sense of home security and cause you to go without a home security monitoring system, though. Your gun can only deter somebody if you are there holding it – and when guns enter the picture there is just as much potential for you to be hurt as the intruder. There is also potential for you to be arrested if you fire in a non self-defence situation.  Keep them locked up!

CCTV and back to base home security monitoring are your best bets for allowing you to protect the lifestyle you love on your rural property!

Home Security Monitoring and 14 Other Tips to Secure Your Home to Police Standards

Everyone has their own idea of what constitutes a ‘necessary’ standard of safety. Do you really need to install floodlights, biometric locks, window films, deadbolts, security screens AND have home security monitoring done? Perhaps all this would be overkill for the average homeowner, but it is better to get expert advice on which to base your decision.

Home Security

Today we check out the top 14 tips for securing your home to the standards of those in the know – the police.

1.    Make sure the street number is clearly visible from the street and can be seen at night time
This allows both your home security monitoring company and the police to find your house fast in an emergency situation.

2.   If you live in a housing complex, is there a clear map at the entrance?
The streets in estates and complexes are often not available on GPSs.

3.    Is there signage in the estate that provides a hiding place?
Crims will notice it…

4.   Is the area surrounding your home clear and open?
The more privacy and cover there is in your home, the more privacy a burglar can work in. This also makes it more difficult for home security monitoring companies to determine whether there has been a perimeter breach, if your alarm is activated.

5.   Are your floor, walls and ceiling solidly constructed?
Weatherboard and fibro walls provide a possible entry point.

6.    Is the roof tiled?
It is simple for burglars to lift tiles and drop into your house through the manhole cover. Your home security monitoring alarm should be set up to monitor the roof cavity also.

7.    Is your house designed with points that allow it to be climbed from the outside?
Attached garages are common culprits, as are mezzanines and some architectural features.
Home-Security-Gate

8.    For businesses and estates, are garbage bays locked?
These provide a common entry point.

9.   How many entry and exit points are present?
For higher levels of home security, there should be either very few entry and exit points, or a range of points for people to come in that are very open, clear and well-lit.
10.    Are fences constructed with an easy-climb design?
Many standard residential fences are constructed with three beams on one side that allow very easy climbing.

11.    Are gates fitted?
Perimeter fencing is of little use if somebody can just slip in through a gate. To add to the safety provided by your home security monitoring, take steps to make sure your gate is easy-close. Automatic closers remove the temptation to just duck inside from the garage without going back out the front to close the gate.

12.   Is your landscaping well-maintained?
Choose or modify the shrubs and greenery in your yard to be easy-care varieties that require minimal trimming, to help reduce coverage for burglars. Again, this also helps home security monitoring firms determine if a perimeter breach has occurred, as the burglar has fewer places to hide.

13.    Are motion-detector lights installed?
To properly complement your home security monitoring system, you should have full coverage of your property (backyard included) with motion sensor lights.

14.    If you have CCTV monitoring, do the lights provide sufficient light to get images from the footage?
There are quite a few low-lux CCTV camera systems available, but it is often more cost effective to simply install motion detector lights and use a system requiring higher light levels, to support your home security monitoring system.

Stay tuned … the police have plenty more expert tips for ensuring your property is secure, and we’ll update this set in the future!

Home Security Monitoring with biometric locks

Though that fingerprint locks, retina scanners and voice-activated locks only existed in Mission: Impossible? Actually, they’ve been a staple in high-end homes for at least 10 years, and the technology has now advanced to a state where it is dependable, well-featured and affordable enough for the average homeowner. However, home security monitoring with biometric locks is still relatively new to most homeowners- we go over 8 quick facts you should know about it here.
Biometric locks are easy to install and use
Some people assume that biometric locks are difficult to install or use. Actually, they work in exactly the same way as a conventional lock, and are installed in exactly the same way. You may want professional help with the software setup and usage; however this is generally very user-friendly and kept deliberately simply.
You can also do home security monitoring with biometric locks
Some software programs associated with biometric locks have the capability to not only manage different users, but log entries. Given that a small but significant percentage of robberies are committed by somebody known to the homeowner, this home security monitoring feature could be very useful.
Grease, dirt and sweat can affect the reading
Of course, if you have  anything on your fingers that changes the appearance of your fingerprints, it might interfere with the reading. You would simply clean your finger and try again.
Buy local, or ask plenty of questions
Many of the manuals for biometric locks are written overseas, and broken English is obviously not ideal for helping you understand an unfamiliar home security monitoring system. You can get around this by asking your sales consultant for an Australian-based brand, or simply by asking plenty of questions of the consultant to ensure you understand how to operate the lock.
False readings are highly unlikely
The chances that someone has enough points of similarity in their fingerprint to actually activate the lock without authorisation is extremely low; the chance that someone has those points AND wants to enter your house illegally is even lower!
Biometric locks need backup
Given the fact that biometric locks need electricity to work, they should have both battery backup and emergency key access available. Like your home security monitored alarm, you should get a model with inbuilt battery backup. In the case of an extended power outage, you can also get models with key backup. The keyed lock would only open the door if there were no power to the unit, however.

Though that fingerprint locks, retina scanners and voice-activated locks only existed in Mission: Impossible? Actually, they’ve been a staple in high-end homes for at least 10 years, and the technology has now advanced to a state where it is dependable, well-featured and affordable enough for the average homeowner. However, home security monitoring with biometric locks is still relatively new to most homeowners- we go over 8 quick facts you should know about it here.
Biometric locks are easy to install and use

Some people assume that biometric locks are difficult to install or use. Actually, they work in exactly the same way as a conventional lock, and are installed in exactly the same way. You may want professional help with the software setup and usage; however this is generally very user-friendly and kept deliberately simply.
You can also do home security alarm monitoring with biometric locks

Some software programs associated with biometric locks have the capability to not only manage different users, but log entries. Given that a small but significant percentage of robberies are committed by somebody known to the homeowner, this home security monitoring feature could be very useful.
Grease, dirt and sweat can affect the reading

Of course, if you have  anything on your fingers that changes the appearance of your fingerprints, it might interfere with the reading. You would simply clean your finger and try again.

Buy local, or ask plenty of questions

Many of the manuals for biometric locks are written overseas, and broken English is obviously not ideal for helping you understand an unfamiliar home alarm security monitoring system. You can get around this by asking your sales consultant for an Australian-based brand, or simply by asking plenty of questions of the consultant to ensure you understand how to operate the lock.

False readings are highly unlikely

The chances that someone has enough points of similarity in their fingerprint to actually activate the lock without authorisation is extremely low; the chance that someone has those points AND wants to enter your house illegally is even lower!

Biometric locks need backup

Given the fact that biometric locks need electricity to work, they should have both battery backup and emergency key access available. Like your home security monitored alarm, you should get a model with inbuilt battery backup. In the case of an extended power outage, you can also get models with key backup. The keyed lock would only open the door if there were no power to the unit, however.

Don’t Fake It Til You Make It – Reducing False Alarms on Your Security Alarm Monitoring

Faking it can be handy sometimes! Fake tanning, false names … even the false impression that somebody is home while you’re on holidays can all be exceptionally useful. However, false alarms on your security alarm monitoring are definitely not ideal – they take staff away from situations that may be potentially life- or property-threatening, and some monitoring companies will actually charge you for false alarms that exceed a certain number per year. Besides that, it’s just embarrassing to have a security guard turn up and question why you want to get into your house! So today we are looking at both the common and unexpected things that can create false alarms on your security alarm monitoring, and how to avoid them.

Lock your doors and windows before arming the system
It sounds basic – but many people seem to get the idea in their heads that when they have security alarm monitoring, all they need to do is arm the system. Often this leads to false alarms when kids’ friends or door-to-door collectors open up the door and yell to check if they’re home,  when a bird flies I through an open window, or when you forget that you armed the system because you didn’t have to unlock the door!

Don’t a pet to move around the house in a non pet-safe system
There are plenty of inexpensive, pet-safe security alarm monitoring systems available nowadays. However, you can’t assume that your new alarm is pet-safe. Ask your security alarm monitoring company about the alarm specs when they’re discussing the product options with you.

Turn your fans off
If you’ve chosen a motion-sensor security alarm monitoring system, rather than an infra-red triggered system, you’ll need to keep windows shut and turn your fans off when you arm the system. Balloons, loose papers and the waving leaves of houseplants are common causes of false alarms.

Leave your washing until you’re home
If you have glass-break detection facilities on your security alarm monitoring contract, the vibrations from a washing machine on spin cycle, or even a clothes dryer, can set the glass-break detectors off.

Leave your number
If you change any of your phone numbers, make sure Pacific Security Technology is on the list of people to notify of the change. If we don’t have a current phone number to check with you if a security alarm monitoring activation was accidental, we have no choice but to show up at the house.

Let us know about changing phone features
Sometimes changes in your phone line, such as adding a number, activating a broadband service, or activating a call waiting feature can cause your system to malfunction, either failing to alert the security alarm monitoring company, or creating false alarms.

If you want to test, let us know!
If you want to test out your security alarm monitoring system, show a friend or family member how it works, you are welcome to. All you need to do is inform Pacific Security Technology in advance, so that we don’t turn up with the sirens blazing!

                                             
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