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How to protect your retail property against theft

10 November 2015

Dealing with the aftermath of a robbery can be costly. Not only will you have to rectify any damage to your business premises, but you're also likely to face downtime while you get your operations back up and running.

Although business theft cover can be invaluable when it comes to giving peace of mind, you should always take preventative steps to deter thieves. Even just the simplest of precautions could stand in the way of a would-be intruder.

It's important to assess how well protected your retail premises are on a regular basis

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reveals that retail premises are some of the most vulnerable types of commercial property. In 2012, a total of 3,809 incidents of robbery were recorded.

Counting the cost

The Australian Institute of Criminology estimates the average loss per burglary incident stands at $250, and that only accounts for employee wages. An attempted burglary will set back an average business $145, while successful break-ins could lead to wage expenses of around $364.

This is only one of the costs you will have to face. There's also the added expense of lost custom while you get your premises back in order, as well as any physical repairs you will have to make.

Ensuring high levels of protection

It's important to assess how well protected your retail premises are on a regular basis. This will help you take stock of any existing measures you have, while deciding whether they can be enhanced in any way.

The NSW Business Chamber recommends putting together a business audit checklist which could include the following:

  • ensure staff know what to do when they detect suspicious activity;
  • determine whether it would be worthwhile joining a local Business Watch scheme;
  • seek advice from local locksmiths, police and the security industry; and
  • have the necessary funds in place to put any new security measures into place.
Businesses should regularly assess their security measures.Businesses should regularly assess their security measures.

The specifics of your audit will depend on a number of factors, including the location of your business, its size and how many staff members you have. However, being realistic about what measures you need to take - and having sufficient funds to implement them - is the all-important first step.

Including business theft cover in your strategy is also a wise move. This way, you can rest assured that you can replace any stock and contents that are stolen, while also being able to fix any damaged doors, locks or any other aspect of your business.

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