Safety measures and tips to help keep your business safe and secure

security camera in office

 General business safety tips
  • Keep up-to-date and organized with your company’s inventory records.
  • If you accept online payments or use the Internet to gather customer information, consider online authentication to decrease the threat of credit card fraud, advertising fraud, and more.
  • Install security cameras: to prevent crime and help identify suspects if a crime happens.
  • Train employees to properly close the store.
  • Make sure that all outside entrances (including windows) and inside security doors are able to be secured, preferably with deadbolt locks and/or metal cages with locks
  • Make sure the outside of your business is well lit and visible to pedestrians.
  • Consider installing covers over exterior lights and power sources to deter tampering.
  • Make sure that your entire sales floor can be easily viewed. Eliminate any blind spots that may hide a robbery in progress. Keep displays neat, and place small and valuable objects in cabinets. Ensure that your staff is familiar with all of the merchandise in the store.
  • Change locks if the keys are lost or not returned by a former employee.
  • Install an enunciator on entrances to alert you that someone has entered your store or office.
  • Make bank deposits often and during business hours but do not establish a regular pattern that a potential thief is able to follow.
  • Think before talking about the details of your job or working on sensitive projects in public places with strangers around.
  • Invest in a paper shredder or consider what is on a piece of paper before you toss it into the trash.
  • Get to know the people who operate other businesses in your area. Watch for suspicious activity and report it to the police immediately.
  • After hours, do not work late alone. Create a buddy system for walking to parking lots or public transportation or ask security to escort you.
  • Protecting your premises physically is a challenge in itself—but your online property is just as valuable. Given the growth of identity theft, it pays to invest in antivirus, anti-phishing, anti-spyware and a firewall protection to ensure that your network and your employee's personal information are secure.

Robbery prevention measures

  • Greet or assist each customer as they come into the store.
  • If a person appears to be loitering in the store, ask them if they need any assistance.
  • Watch for suspicious loiterers outside, in cars, or on foot.
  • Be suspicious of persons asking about your security or cash handling system.
  • If you become concerned about a person or vehicle, note the description and contact police immediately.
  • Never count cash or open the safe in public view.
  • When possible, make bank deposits during banking hours and use an unmarked package to transport the money.
  • Keep sight lines in and out of the store clear by removing signs and displays from window areas.
  • Remove displays or stock that provide hiding spots in the store or around the exterior of the building.
  • Adequate lighting should be maintained both in and outside the business.
  • If your business is equipped with an alarm system, make certain that it is properly serviced and that all staff members are aware of how and when to use it.
  • Make sure employees are familiar with the use of the "panic" button of your alarm system, and with locking of doors.
  • Have all side or service doors locked at all times.
 During a robbery
  • You should stay calm.
  • Keep any note that the robber passes to you and handle it by the edges only; to help with fingerprinting.
  • Make careful observation of the robber so you can describe him to police when they arrive (tattoos, hair colour, build, clothing description, etc.)
  • You do not know what type of concealed weapon the robber may have so do not argue or fight.
  • Always keep in mind the safety of you, your staff and your clients are the main priority.
 After a robbery
  • Promptly lock all doors to prevent the robber from getting back into the store.
  • Do not touch anything; to preserve evidence for the police.
  • Keep an eye on the suspect’s direction of travel once they leave, while maintaining your own safety.
  • Try to get the license plate number if the suspect flees in a vehicle.
  • Call the police immediately and follow all their directions.
  • Do not hang up on dispatch until the police officer arrives.
  • Ask any witnesses if they would be willing to talk to the police about the robbery.
  • Write down your observations of the suspect while fresh in your mind.
  • When talking to the police, do not exaggerate the story.


 Security Tips - Businesses Closed for COIVD-19 Pandemic

Kingston Police offer the following tips for business owners shutting down for extended periods:

  • Remove all valuables from storefront displays.
  • Remove all cash from tills and leave open with the cash tray out and visibly empty.
  • Keep some lighting on inside the building to help with video surveillance quality and consider placing lights on timers if possible to simulate activity.
  • Clean all windows and floors before leaving and note when you’ve done so (maintain a log) as this will help investigators should there be a break-in.
  • Post on doors/windows the premises are monitored by an alarm company and no money is kept on the premises. Include the (613) 549-4660 number to call Kingston Police should anyone notice a break-in or damage.
  • Consider putting a protective film/laminate on all windows/glass to discourage and help prevent easy entry via “smash-and-grab.”
  • Ensure all doors and windows are properly locked and secure.
  • Ensure security alarm systems work properly and contact lists are current.
  • Consider a CCTV surveillance system which can both be monitored remotely by phone/online and record images to review for an investigation.
  • Ensure all exterior lighting is functioning and on. Consider motion sensor lights as another option to detect and deter unlawful activity.
  • Remove anything on the exterior which could be used to gain entry to your premises (bricks, ladders, poles, construction materials, etc.).
  • Regularly check the building and keep track of when you check (maintain a log), but go at different times so as not to be predictable to criminals.

NOTE: Kingston Police remind property owners that like residential theft, if a business looks neglected it can become a target. “If it looks cared for and looks like someone is home or around regularly, thieves will move on to other locations.”