More than 87% of independently owned retail stores in Canada have experienced theft, according to figures from Federated Insurance. Authorities say this amounts to more than $4.6 billion in stolen goods a year.

Unfortunately, the risk of theft is something that every retail business faces, no matter what types of items they sell. However, there are steps that businesses can take to dramatically reduce that risk.

In this post, we look at the most effective ways to prevent theft at your business.

5 effective tips for stronger business security

1) Install security cameras

Security cameras provide several unique layers of protection to retail businesses. Their presence alone is a powerful deterrent that helps to significantly curb the risk of theft. When potential thieves (and your own personnel) know that they are being recorded, they are much less likely to commit a crime.

The other vital benefit of business security cameras is that they capture crimes when they occur. This provides valuable evidence for police and can be essential for insurance claims, too.  

2) Update your alarm system

Installing a security system is critical for retail businesses. But if you’re using a system that’s several years old, then you’re probably overdue for an update.

Business alarm systems are especially important for preventing theft when the shop is closed. If someone attempts to enter the business while the system is armed, it triggers the alarm and notifies the monitoring center. The alarm itself is often enough to scare off criminals, while the monitoring ensures that authorities will be rapidly dispatched.

Today’s alarm systems provide more security than ever, while also offering advanced features like remote control from your smartphone, alarm partitions, built-in cameras & microphones, and more.

3) Secure entry points daily

Criminals don’t want to break through your shop windows. They’d much rather find an unsecured entry point, like a rear basement door or window that has been accidentally left unlocked.

Checking and securing your entry points must be part of your daily routine, every time you close the business. Additionally, during business hours, rear doors and other secondary entry points should remain locked on the outside.

4) Screen your job applicants

Statistics show that roughly 30% of retail theft happens internally by businesses’ own employees. And if someone has a record of crime, chances are much higher that they will steal again. This is why it’s so important to screen your job applicants with criminal background checks before you hire.

5) Rethink your key management

Small businesses often make the mistake of giving out too many keys to employees and never changing the locks. The reality for most businesses is that employees constantly come and go. And if you’re not careful about managing their keys, then you’re leaving your business at risk.

Limit the number of employees who have a key to the business, and be sure to collect those keys back when the employees resign. For greater security, consider updating your locks to a keyless entry / access control system. This will eliminate the risk of keys being copied and also remove the need to change the locks.

Is your business at risk? Request a free audit


Find out if your business is at risk of theft and how to strengthen your security. Get a free, no-obligation audit of your business security from PROTECTION PLUS.

Share us On:-
Rod Mackie
Rod graduated from Western University with an honours degree in Psychology. He started in the security industry with Chubb Security in 1986 as a sales Rep. After 8 years in sales, he joined Protection Plus as the Customer service manager in 1997. In 2002 he became Vice President Operations. Taking full advantage of the company benefit plan, Rod met and married his wife of 15 years while working at Protection Plus. She was his right hand “person” at Protection Plus for many years and remains his biggest supporter to this day.