Statistically, the number of burglaries in company buildings, workshops and warehouses is decreasing in Germany. Nevertheless, around 4,500 burglaries are reported in commercial premises every month. The damage to businesses is high – for companies it can quickly threaten their existence. It is not only the material assets, such as technical equipment, that need to be protected. It is much more risky for companies if sensitive data or documents fall into the wrong hands.
Targeted burglary protection should be a top priority for every company. How can companies best protect themselves? What measures work best besides secured doors and windows? And what role does the security concept play in burglary protection for companies?
The security concept – the basis for all measures
Regardless of whether it is a small business or a large corporation: every company should think about burglary protection. In Germany, there is no legal obligation to implement appropriate security measures. But in view of the consequential damage caused by burglary or vandalism, companies should put this topic at the top of their agenda in their own interest. Moreover, many insurers now insist on certain protective measures. When drawing up a company security concept, it is worth taking a look at the insurance policies. The measures listed therein can be recorded in the concept as the first steps. It serves as a basis and a guideline for implementation at the same time. In addition to the contract documents of the respective insurance company, police advice can be helpful. In many regions in Germany, the police offer expert advice on site at the company. A weak point analysis looks at both mechanical and electronic as well as organisational aspects in the company. VdS Schadenverhütung (a German institution for corporate security and safety) offers further guidance for the creation of an individual security concept. It evaluates types of operation according to their risk of burglary and assigns a security class to each type of operation. VdS recommends appropriate protective measures for the respective security class.
Alarm systems and video surveillance - prevention through deterrence
Professional video surveillance systems with alarm systems are considered one of the most effective security measures. Combined with motion detectors, they act as a deterrent for burglars at the latest when the outside lights go on or the alarm sounds. If a crime is still committed, the camera recordings help to identify the perpetrators. Another advantage of video surveillance: if the systems are integrated into a complete security management system, companies benefit from automated workflows. In the event of an emergency, the stored software activates the defined processes, such as alerting the police or security service. In addition to the motion detectors for the outside area, a timer for the interior lighting provides more security. Fake activity inside office buildings or warehouses often makes a company unattractive to criminals in advance. As a general rule, companies should make sure that security technology such as video surveillance and alarm systems are installed by reputable, VdS-certified installation companies.
High-quality locking mechanisms for doors and windows – retrofit them securely
It should go without saying: doors and windows must be closed at the latest when leaving the premises. What many people don't know is that it is not enough just to close the doors. They must be locked, otherwise the locking mechanism will not work. Certified and tested burglar-resistant doors offer reliable burglary protection. If existing doors cannot or should not be replaced, they can be secured retroactively. With mechanical security solutions, doors can, for example, be subsequently integrated into access control concepts in an online/offline system.
Just like doors, windows must also be completely closed. Tilted windows in particular are inviting to burglars. Ideally, windows can also be locked. In business premises, windows should always be installed that meet at least resistance classes four to six. If this is not the case, windows can be secured retroactively, for example by replacing the normal window fittings with tested, burglar-resistant fittings. Roller shutters or roller grilles - especially for windows on the ground floor or for large-area window fronts such as shop windows - offer additional security.
Involve the employees: Sensitise and train
In addition to mechanical and electronic security measures, employees are a decisive factor for security in the company. After all, the most effective technology only helps if staff know how to use it and what to look out for. Therefore, company security measures should be clearly communicated. While large companies often have their own guard or security service, appealing to the personal responsibility of employees is especially important in small companies. Clearly defined and written responsibilities as well as regular training courses make an important contribution to this.
Insure against burglary and theft - compensate for material damage
In the event of an emergency, business contents insurance can be useful. It covers the entire business inventory, from office equipment to tools and materials. Depending on the policy, such insurance also covers possible loss of earnings due to stolen work equipment.
Burglary insurance is also useful in order to at least compensate for material damage in the event of a crime. It protects against damage caused by attempted or completed burglary, including theft and vandalism. In addition, depending on the policy, the insurance covers also the existing goods and supplies.
Conclusion: Despite declining numbers, burglaries in companies cause millions of euros in damage every year. Especially damages caused by data theft or industrial espionage can hardly be compensated financially. Therefore, every company should invest in professional burglary protection. And this seems to pay off: in 2020, almost 40 percent of the reported burglary attempts reported in Germany failed, which, according to the police, is mainly due to the improved security measures.