This article is part three of EPS Security’s Commercial Threat Series:
Whether theft, robbery, or an after-hours break-in, no one wants to believe it will happen to their business. The truth is, however, business crime can happen to anyone. Considering commercial threats in all stages is essential in mitigating risk and creating effective emergency plans. This three part series outlines the before, during, and after of commercial crime. So if an incident strikes, you are prepared.
- Commercial threat series part one: Preparing for criminal activity
- Commercial threat series part two: Active alarms
The aftermath of a crime can be devastating to a business. Knowing what to do in the event of shoplifting, robbery, or break-in can help you recover your losses and return to normal operations as quickly as possible.
Step one: File a police report
Whether you rely on an alarm system for emergency response, or simply dial 911, it is important to contact the police if a crime has occurred—or even attempted on your site. This may seem like common knowledge, but it is not always a step completed in a timely manner. Often, businesses are in shock, or, if they do not see the threat as ongoing, believe this task does not need to be completed right away. Being timely and orderly with police contact, however, can help ensure the culprit gets caught. If you have video surveillance, allow the police to view any requested footage.
Step two: Review inventory and changes
If the crime included theft of property, completing inventory can assist in reviewing damages. Taking photos of damage or of missing items can be helpful to refer back to later when talking with authorities or insurance companies.
Step three: Call your insurance company
All businesses should have an insurance company that covers theft and vandalism. Contact your insurance provider to determine coverage in terms of your losses. They may need additional information from you, so be prepared to offer documentation or other specifics regarding the crime. Insurance companies may ask for:
- Date and time of incident
- Photos of damages
- Value of damages or items stolen
- Full police report
Once again, being timely is critical.
Step four: Get back on track
A robbery, break-in, or other crime can put a major hold on business operations. It is normal to spend time coping with the anxiety, vulnerability, and frustration as a result of any incident. While recovering, try to maintain a regular schedule, and rely on additional staff to get things in order. Clean up damages, replace windows, doors, or locks that were tampered with, and review any blind spots in your emergency planning. Providing information to your employees about updated security procedures can help assure them of their safety on site.
This is the perfect opportunity for an extensive safety and security evaluation.
- During the crime, was your emergency plan applied? If so, what were its successes and weaknesses?
- Did employees feel as prepared as possible to handle the threat?
- If you have an alarm system, what layers of protection did it provide? Did you discover any blind spots?
- If you do not have an alarm system, how would things have been different with a security system in your building?
The more prepared a business is to face commercial threats, the more likely they are to come out unscathed. If you have made it through each part in this series—congratulations. Your willingness to consider and prepare for criminal activity, in each stage, may have boosted your business safety. If you are an owner, manager, or administrator on a business site, we know protecting your people, places, and things can be overwhelming.
Whether reading to prevent a crime, or after one occurs, it is never too late to reach out to your local security expert for a consultation. And in the state of Michigan, EPS Security is the expert.
The EPS advantage
At EPS Security, we know how stressful it can be for a business to fall victim to crime. Our company has been providing personalized security solutions to Michigan businesses for over 65 years. If you are ready to get started with business security, our on-site engineers, full-service technicians, and dedicated customer service team is here to assist. A sales representative will come out to your business and help you identify at-risk areas, offering customized solutions to best fit your business’ needs. Contact EPS Security today to get your free quote and site evaluation.