Practical security for businesses

 With burglary and theft an ongoing problem in the Cayman Islands, businesses should review their security systems on a regular basis and update them as needed. This is especially true during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season when a significant amount of merchandise is being sold or extra cash is on hand.

While security system is no guarantee, it is still very effective in preventing burglary or other intruders from coming on the premises according to industry experts.

Security signs are a good start and deter many opportunistic criminals, says PSM managing director Andy Scott.

“Add a security system with panic buttons linked to an on-island monitoring service,” says Scott. “These can be purchased at prices under $1,000 inclusive of installation and monitoring. Drop box safes, secured out of the way and dead bolted to a concrete floor. “

Any cash over a certain amount should be deposited regularly with a manager or the owner with access codes.

Consider installing an electronic access system for outside entrances and inside security doors and closely monitor photo badges or other ID cards. This is much easier and more effective than issuing keys, which can be lost and duplicated to staff,” says Shaune Devine of The Security Centre.

“Electronically control the outside entrance doors with an access control system and monitor these doors with a security alarm system, never allow them to be propped open if no one is present or nearby.”

Closed circuit TV is always a huge deterrent, especially when combined with an electronic access system, says Scott. This prevents would-be assailants entering the premises with their faces covered as access won’t be allowed unless the staff member can see who it is and the person is also being recorded onto a DVR for evidence purposes.

Using guard or K-9 services is also a great deterrent for businesses.

In case of burglary
In the unfortunate event that your business is burglarised, contact the police immediately, says Kirk Rampersad of Island Electronics.

Moreover, do not enter the business if there is a possibility that someone is still inside. Do not touch anything, especially areas where the burglar may have touched such as doors or windows or other areas the intruder may have come in. Cash registers or places where valuables are kept should also not be touched.

In case of a hold up
Do not try to be the hero and fight off a burglar and never put your life or that of someone else above property, which can always be replaced.

“Comply with what is being asked such as ‘Give me the cash,’ “says Scott.

However, if the employee being held up is a female and by herself on the premises, Scott recommends that she do everything to prevent being moved to a secluded dark area where no one will see what is happening. In this situation, scream and make as much commotion as possible.

If panic buttons are available, this is the time to use them, says Scott. They should be discreetly positioned around the business premises and easily accessible to staff members. When activated, a panic button will send a silent signal to the monitoring services which will then inform the police and dispatch their own security personnel.

Where possible, try to remember as much detailed information about the assailant as possible, especially identifying marks such as scars or birthmarks. This can be invaluable for the investigating officers. Watch to see if they touch anything without wearing gloves.  If they do, preserve the area for the crimes officers to investigate.

Low cost tips on business security
* Provide training for all employees- including cleaning staff- so they are familiar with security procedures and know your expectations.

* Suggest a “buddy” system within the parking area.

* Keep facilities well-lit, inside and out, even during non-business hours.

* Register all guests and accompany them during their visits.

* Never leave your reception area unattended.

* Don’t allow unknown service personnel free access to your office space.

* Report broken doors, windows, and locks to building security personnel.

* Monitor and report suspicious activity in or near your facility.

* Keep an inventory of your most critical equipment, hardware and software.

* Form a safety team to help keep safety and security issues a focus.

* Encourage employees to secure valuables, including documents that might contain personal information, in their work areas at all times and especially during company gatherings or breaks.