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Top Panel
Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Business Security: Burglar-Proof Your Windows and Doors


While you can't always predict supply and demand, ensuring the protection of your business is one investment that will always pay off. And according to the FBI, businesses are four times as likely to be burglarized as homes. It only makes sense to safeguard yourself from being a part of that statistic.

Burglars are usually looking for one key feature in any business they "case" — simplicity. The more complicated the target, the higher the risk, and therefore the less attractive the target becomes. Which is why properly securing your doors and windows — the most likely and visible means of entry into your business — is so important.

Here are some business security measures that can help burglar-proof your windows and doors.

Securing your windows

Newer windows made of hard-to-break glass or clear plastic is the best place to start. Laminated glass or clear acrylic plastic are good options. Laminated glass has plastic sheets between layers of glass. This glass looks a lot like safety glass, but without the easy shatter; it can handle repeated blows. Clear acrylic plastic is also shatterproof but susceptible to scratching.

Your windows should also have locking mechanisms that close securely and don't need to be "forced.” Don’t rely solely on the locks supplied with your windows, though. It’s likely they aren’t enough, and extra protection will be needed.

If possible, add a security bar on side or rear windows, and other windows out of view of passersby that a burglar might try to break to enter your business. Make sure the retaining bolts can’t be removed from the outside. (But do keep in mind that bars must comply with Fire Code requirements for inside release to allow escape in the case of a fire.)


Keep your windows well-lit, even when your business isn't open. A well-lit window provides a less-than-appealing target for entry and breaking glass panes can be loud.

Along the exterior of your building, try not to place or leave items that can be used as stepping stones, particularly in areas that aren't well-lit or highly visible. A planter or a cement ashtray may look nice by day, but by night they're just a convenient ledge to someone trying to get through your windows.

If you have a say in your window installation, opt for raised windows rather than floor-to-ceiling styles. If you install large display windows and live in a rural area, you can also be at risk for damage from storms or unexpected visitors, such as the confused deer that burst through the front of a South Carolina gym in broad daylight late last year.

Don't leave high-value items on display in clear view from outside — either secure valuable items each evening, cover displays, or use shades on your windows to prevent criminals from seeing inside.

The best way to keep a "live" eye on your store is through technology; glass-break sensors on first-floor windows are an excellent solution, particularly when combined with a security notification via a phone app.

Securing your doors

Once your windows are secured, it's time to create some burglar-proof doors. Again, before you look into structural support, make sure you create a space around your doors that's uncomfortable to thieves. Additions like bright outdoor spotlights and security cameras make criminals feel exposed and jumpy — and more likely to skip your business when plying their trade.

Opt for strong wood, metal or glass exterior doors whenever possible. Solid doors should be at least 1-3/4 inches thick. Wooden doors should be reinforced with 16-gauge sheet metal. If your business uses sliding door types, look into purchasing a tension bar to set into the track at night; this will prevent brute force from shoving the door open. Hinges should be located on the inside or have non-removable pins.

If your door is solid, consider installing a full-range 180-degree peephole that lets you identify people at the door without them seeing you. It also allows you to check that no one may be hiding near the door waiting for it to be opened.

If your lock set uses deadbolts, make a habit of using the deadbolts every evening — a few moments of extra work more than outweighs the regret of skipping this important step. And don't keep spare sets of keys out or labeled as spare keys — if you need to keep a set in the store, make sure they're hung someplace that's both visible and only open to staff, so you'll know immediately if they're missing.

It makes sense for some businesses to invest in "smart" locks — those that require an employee passcode or ID card to gain entry, tied into a monitored security system that notifies you whenever someone enters or exits the building before or after operating hours. As long as your staff is diligent about keeping doors secured when they're going through their opening or closing procedures, these locks afford you and your employees an extra layer of protection and oversight.

Motion detectors are another great way to deter would-be burglars from your business.

Secure your… employees?

Even the best security measures can fail due to user error or apathy. Make sure your employees understand your closing procedures.

If your security system uses a keypad entry system, remind all new employees that they may not share their individual access codes with anyone, nor should they use another employee's code under any circumstances.

Stress that employees working closing shifts alone should not exit the store until they're ready to leave for the evening; leaving a back door open while the trash is being taken out or the cash drawer is being counted could provide a tempting target for a criminal.

Periodically "spot check" your business by testing doors and windows after-hours: this only takes a few minutes a month, and will help you identify any ongoing compliance problems within your staff.

Consult an expert

You've worked hard to earn the success and profit your business delivers — don't let an opportunistic criminal put a dent in that upward trend. A professional security company can help you plan, install, and test your window and door security measures to ensure they meet all safety code requirements. Visit our website for more information. Or give us a call at (800) 444-7231