UNDER LOCK AND KEY
Some safety measures that high cash turnover businesses may consider in order to reduce or prevent crime include the following:
• Security is priority: Business owners should make sure that security measures, such as security lights, CCTV monitoring and alarms are in place, and that they are clearly visible and activated on the premises. Ensure that there is signage on the property informing potential criminals of the fact that security systems have been installed. Also test these systems and equipment regularly to ensure that they are in working order.
• Additional security measures: Business owners can install burglar bars, erect a security fence or wall around the premises, hire a reputable security company or start a community night watch programme with other local businesses. “Businesses should note that these measures alone won’t be sufficient for insurance purposes as other factors need to be taken into account, such as the location of the business,” says Somers.
• Alarm systems: Insurance cover for theft requires that there is an alarm at the business premises. To ensure insurance cover for theft, a business alarm must be switched on and be in good working condition after business hours. It is always advisable to check regularly that the system and its battery are in perfect condition. Ideally, alarm systems should include panic buttons, tamper- proof switches and passives, end- of- line resistance, contacts and possibly vibration switches on safes. Armed response by a registered security company is often a requirement of insurance policies. • Cash on the premises: If your business has a cash register, remove all the money at night and leave the register open to deter break- ins. Always ensure that you bank as much of your cash as possible. If a staff member leaves the company and has access to the safe, it is advisable to change the combination when they leave. They must also return keys or access cards when they leave. Money is to be kept in an SABS- approved safe. Insurance companies provide different levels of cover for loss of money stolen from safes, depending on the SABS grading of the safe e. g. a SABS category five would provide more security than an SABS category one safe.
• No routine: Vary the times of deliveries or times of banking. Sticking to the same schedule can make businesses easy targets for robbery.
• Insurance: Businesses need insurance for loss of, or damage to, money on their business premises or while in transit to and from the bank. Businesses must remember to review and update their insurance policies on a regular basis. Santam advises that high cash turnover businesses ensure that safes and strong rooms are SABS approved and that they have the appropriate security level for the amount of cover required; and use only reputable money transit agencies. “Contracts with these agencies should clearly state where responsibilities lie,” Somers concludes.