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.

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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.