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What to Do When Your Building Has Been Broken Into

Broken buildingSecurity is not an absolute but a matter of degrees. Any security measure deters but cannot guarantee that intruders never enter. The best security makes breaking in hard enough that thieves give up, or bypass your place to seek an easier target.

If your business is the victim of a burglary, try to keep a cool head while you deal with the damage, document the scene and review security procedures.

If You Are First at the Scene

If you discover a break-in, leave the building immediately if you have already entered. It is possible that the intruder or intruders are still about. Call police and await their arrival. If the intruders are gone, make certain any damage does not create an unsafe situation. Naturally, if you find staff or visitors inside, help them out of the building.

After the Police Arrive

Resist the urge to clean up or re-arrange things while awaiting the police. Do not touch or disturb anything. Make notes on anything you may have touched. A pristine crime scene helps the police with their investigation.

Documenting the Incident

Take pictures and make notes at the scene. Photos and notes will assist recollection of the facts later. Your insurance claims adjuster will want photos too. If you were prepared for a break-in, you should have a central file that contains serial numbers, purchase receipts and labor costs for all equipment in the building.

Review Your Security Plans

Security PlansOnce cleanup and the insurance claim process are underway, review your current security procedures and equipment. Take notes on the security features of locks, doors, windows, sensors and cameras that were in place at the time of the break-in even if they were undisturbed. Only reinforcing the point of entry is probably an inadequate solution. Think hard about ways to upgrade the total security for the premises.

Upgrading Doors and Windows

If the intruders gained access through a door, you can replace broken components, which is less expensive than replacing the entire door and frame. It may pay to install a reinforced steel door and frame if you do not already have one. If the door was undamaged, the burglar probably picked the lock. Upgrade to high quality locks that have features such as anti-saw pins, anti-drill chips and high security keys that cannot be duplicated at a local hardware store.

If entry was accomplished by prying a window, re-evaluate the locking mechanisms. Keyed pin locks are often the best option for hinged windows. If glass was broken, consider installing heat tempered laminated panes and installing impact-resistant film on at least one side.

Should Policies And Procedures Be Changed?

Review any security policies and procedures at your business to see if changes could be made to prevent or deter another break-in. Discuss these with your staff and gather their ideas as well. They may know some of the business’ security weaknesses better than you do.

Prepare for the Worst

Finally, even though you hope another break-in never happens again, be prepared anyway by fully documenting valuable equipment, furniture and stock. Make sure employees know what to do if another break-in should occur. If the worst should happen, at least you are ready for a smoother recovery process.

Consult Security Experts

Consult Security ExpertsShould you have any concerns or need more information on the best methods to secure your place of business, do not hesitate to contact the experts at Aim Lock and Safe, Ltd. in Milton. We are eager to answer all your questions.

Caught in the act courtesy of Sax
Toronto Police courtesy of Elsa Blaine

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