Home Security Tips For New Homeowners

Few things in life are as exciting as owning your first home, and the experience should remain one you remember with fondness for the rest of your life. Crime, however, can tarnish that experience. While new homeowners are wrapped up in the fun of settling in to their new home and getting familiar with the new neighborhood, criminals are very likely getting familiar with them, too! The fact is, crime does not take a break and the very nature of a bust move may make your home a target for crime.

If you are buying a new home, here are some important home security tips you should consider right now:

  1. Take steps to remove anything that obstructs your view of the property. Overgrown shrubs and trees provide the perfect cover a burglar wanting to gain access to you home.
  2. Make gaining access to your property difficult. If the property does not already have one, install a fence or wall, and a locked gate.
  3. Install outdoor lighting. Use motion sensor lighting around the property so that there are no dark or secluded areas where a burglar can hide.
  4. Change the locks immediately. It is impossible to know if a previous homeowner had and shared extra keys to your new home. Play it safe and have the locks changed even before your first night.
  5. Have a home alarm systems installed. Burglars count on it taking time for a new homeowner to settle in to a new property. They also know that they likely have made a few purchases to go with that new home, like new furniture or electronics.  Be proactive and have a home security system installed as soon as possible.
  6. Install a video surveillance system. CCTV can provide just the right amount of visibility, and the right amount of visible deterrence.
  7. Install a peephole in your front door. If your home is a new structure the front door is likely stock, which means it may not yet have a peephole installed. If it does not yet have one, have one, get one installed at a height that is most comfortable to all of the people in your household.
  8. Find out about area crime trends. While any crime can happen in any area, it helps to know what crimes are common so you can make a purposeful effort to thwart that particular crime.
  9. Get familiar with neighborhood service providers and schedules.  It is difficult to pick out suspicious activity if you do not know legitimate activity. Be able to identity local utility and delivery services so suspicious activity stands out.
  10. Join a neighborhood watch program. Get to know your neighbors and join forces to keep your neighborhood safe. If you do not have a neighborhood watch program, call the local police department and ask for information about starting one.

Owning a home is the American dream. Make sure you take all the necessary precautions against crime that can make the experience a nightmare. If you have questions about how to make your new home a safe haven, the best home security and home alarm products, or video surveillance systems, give us a call today.

A Fast Guide to Reducing Retail Loss and Developing a Loss Prevention Strategy

A loss prevention plan is the establishment of specific policies and procedures and the implementation of tools that will reduce the incident of internal theft, external theft, and errors that lead to losses. Retail loss accounts for represents 1.47% of retail revenue.

Of that amount,

  • 48% is due to employee theft
  • 32% to shoplifting
  • 15% administrative errors
  • 5% vendor fraud

Internal (Employee) Theft

Internal theft is the biggest contributor to loss of most retail establishments. It occurs through many methods including merchandise theft, helping/allowing others to steal, and “conversion fraud” which include void, discount, and refund theft.

External Theft

External Theft is caused by robberies, shoplifting or other outside sources. Though External theft does not account for as much as internal theft, it is still a significant source of loss.

Errors

Errors, such as mistakes in paperwork, inaccurate counting of products or mistakes in money exchange can account for between 5-20% of a retailer’s annual loss. That’s pretty significant.

Vendor Fraud

Vendor fraud is fraud committed by vendors either acting alone or with the help of employees receiving kickbacks. This might include things like price rigging, overbilling, padding the bill, shorting the delivery, and similar schemes.

Smart Strategies for Reducing Retail Loss

Even small losses add up over time and effect bottom line profitability that hurts the entire business, causing lost profits. Those profits could be used for more inventory, expansion, hiring additional employees, or increased employee wages or benefits. Ultimately, everyone loses. Loss prevention strategies take, time, commitment, and a modest investment but pay off in the end.

Here are some important tips in preventing retail loss:

  • Do pre-employment background checks
  • Implement employee recognition/morale programs
  • Develop a loss prevention protocol
  • Train employees in theft reduction strategies
  • Have a dedicated theft reduction team
  • Stop by the business without warning
  • Spot check inventory and cash drawers frequently
  • Check physical inventory against inventory spreadsheets
  • Hire security guards
  • Stress Integrity as part of the company culture
  • Install access control systems
  • Install video surveillance systems and CCTV
  • Manage traffic patterns and choke points
  • Be aware of dwell times
  • Train employees to engage customers
  • Train employees to spot suspicious activities
  • Train employees on receiving inventory
  • Cover receiving areas with cameras
  • Use inventory tracking systems, POS systems and other tools to manage and track inventory

Retail loss is a big problem, and for businesses working within tight margins, it can be devastating. Business security and access control systems can be controlled and monitored remotely, making them a vital part of your loss prevention strategy.

If you have questions about how to leverage business security systems in the reduction of retail loss, give us a call today. We are pleased to assist you.