What to Do After a Break-In at Your Business or Organization
published on September 07, 2017 by Jon Ecker
A successful break-in is a powerful call-to-action
When you think about it, a business or organization is a beautiful target for criminals. In one location, thieves can find a cache of valuable items: merchandise, funds, and often lots of electronic equipment – more than can be found in a residential property.
Yet, people are often stunned when they arrive to work and discover their business or organization has been burglarized. While it’s always best to be proactive prior to an incident, securing your establishment afterward becomes a necessity.
Here are some essential steps to follow if you’ve been victimized:
Call the police
Before getting into what to do to secure your business, it’s important to remember some common-sense rules. If the burglary is discovered when approaching the building – perhaps a broken window or pried-open door – do not enter the premises. If the burglary is detected after entering the building, leave immediately. The intruder may still be inside.
In each case, the person who makes the discovery should get to a safe location, notify law enforcement, and prevent other employees from entering the building. It’s important to not disturb the scene of the crime. The authorities are better able to do their job without any disruption of evidence. If any items were moved or touched prior to their arrival, inform the police.
Additionally, if you have security cameras (and you should), have the authorities review any footage that may have captured the burglar in action.
Once given the all clear to enter the building, do a thorough inventory of damage and/or missing items. It’s also a good idea to take photos of any damage. Remember to also investigate any tampering with digital material and electronic files. It may also be beneficial to have key employees who have a deep understanding of the workings of your business to assist with compiling this data.
Notify your insurance company
Just as with a home burglary, it’s important to make your insurance aware of the incident at your business as soon as possible. You’ll need to provide the date and time, as well as a preliminary account of injuries (if any), damage to the property, and missing items. A claims adjuster will likely schedule a visit for a more thorough review.
Review security protocols
As stressful and worrisome as a burglary can be, it’s also an opportunity to grow and learn. A successful break-in is an indication that your security system may not be as secure as you thought.
Once the chaos after the break-in has eased, it’s time to review the why and how of its occurrence, as well as your current security protocols and security system. To help with a review of what worked, what didn’t, and what areas need to be improved, it’s a good idea to work with a security professional.
The security specialists at POM Technologies are available to partner with you or your in-house technical team to develop and implement a security solution that incorporates common-sense measures and the latest technology. For examples:
- Were there areas of your property that were vulnerable? Unsecured rooftop entrances, poorly lit doorways or windows, and easily defeated locks are merely some of the potential weak spots that should be candidly assessed.
- What access control measures were in place on the property? Was it a crime that involved prying open doors or breaking windows, or did someone have a key? Preventative measures like electronic access control can mitigate the risk or keys being stolen and used, as well as track the source of unauthorized entry. Break glass and motion detectors could immediately sound an alarm or focus the attention to surveillance professionals as the crime was underway.
- Did your business have sufficient surveillance cameras and were they actively monitored? With sufficient cameras and managed services – a team of surveillance professionals watching your property 24/7 – the crime may have been stopped in its tracks. Watchful personnel could have reported the break-in to law enforcement or onsite security (if available), or potentially warned off intruders with remotely activated speakers, stopping the crime in its tracks.
The Peace of Mind Team is skilled at assessing security risks in a variety of venues – from luxury hotels to hospitals, corporate offices to commercial buildings, industrial facilities to multi-unit residential complexes. And as your needs change or technologies improve, our team is with you to ensure that you, your staff, and your premises are safe and secure.
For a free consultation, call POM Technologies at 212.688.2767 or complete our online form.