Theft has the potential to impact every part of the operations at your Post, so it’s important to be aware of some of the key areas of risk. Follow these facility theft prevention tips to deter and prevent crime in these six areas at risk for theft at your facility.
The money sitting in vending machines, bill changers and coin laundries is an attractive target for thieves. Worse yet, this theft often involves vandalism to get to the money, which may leave your machine inoperable. Follow these facility theft prevention tips to prevent coin theft:
- Shut windows and lock doors at night.
- Add security plates to discourage tampering.
- Install a surveillance camera in the room.
- Consider a system that offers cashless payment options.
Building Component Theft
Theft of copper, aluminum, nickel, stainless steel and even iron is on the rise. Copper tubing from exterior HVAC components, plus pipes, wires and other materials are also at risk. These thefts are costly, so follow these tips to avoid them:
- Protect fixtures such as A/C units with locked metal cages.
- Remove access to building roofs, such as overhanging tree limbs or unsecured ladders.
- Trim back or remove shrubbery that provides cover for thieves near components.
- Consider installing motion-activated exterior lighting and/or a security camera.
Tool and Equipment Theft
Unsecured tools are attractive to thieves because they can be resold online at a profit. Even small tools can have a high value, and if they’re unsecured they could easily disappear. To make sure these tools and equipment are there when you need them, follow these tips:
- Use an engraving tool to add ownership and contact information to tools.
- Spray paint or mark tools to diminish their potential fencing value.
- Store power tools without the batteries and chargers.
- Invest in a heavy-duty storage cabinet that’s difficult to pry open and too heavy to remove.
- Add stickers and warning signs about surveillance and alarms to deter thieves.
A/V System Theft
Some equipment can be safely locked away after an event, but this usually isn’t the case with audio-visual equipment. Even when not in use, costly speakers, sound mixing boards and video projectors often sit out in the open, secured only by a few screws. Follow these tips:
- Ensure an outer secure perimeter of locked doors and closed windows.
- Have multiple layers of security to discourage theft.
- Install asset-specific protection, like bolt-down ties and equipment cages.
- Consider adding security cameras and/or an alarm system.
Cash Box Theft
Cash box theft risk is particularly high, from both inside and outside your organization. It can be difficult to catch someone skimming off the top, and cash boxes are also small and portable, making them attractive for thieves before, during and after your event. These tips can help prevent cash box theft:
- Start events with just enough cash to make change and run the till.
- Ensure someone always attends to the cash box during the event.
- Assign shifts to help identify unusual transaction patterns.
- Limit how much you keep in the box while doing business.
- Consider adding an under-the-counter drop box or smart safe bill accepter.
According to the National Restaurant Association, the toll from alcohol theft amounts to billions of dollars annually. Theft risk exists both inside and outside your organization, so it’s important to have procedures in place to spot and deter theft.
- Store alcohol supplies in locked cabinets or lockable storage rooms.
- Check gin, vodka and other bottles for any dilution of the contents.
- Supervise and spot-check to ensure procedures are being followed.
- Verify inventory at least monthly, being on the lookout for any anomalies.
While it’s impossible to prevent all instances of theft, raising awareness and following facility theft prevention tips can greatly reduce the risk at your Post.