A business is an investment and protecting that investment is vital to you and your employees’ survival. Your building is the container of your business and an unsecure building means an unsecure business, especially if you have sensitive financial information in that building. Larger buildings, such as those owned by corporations, have very secure buildings. In fact, some companies have an annual budget on how much they must spend to secure their building.
But you don’t have to be a larger company to be a target. Take a small business that sells electronics. Many business owners ignore their security and assume it won’t happen to them, but it happens every day.
In 2010, there were a total of 495,749 burglaries of commercial buildings (Source: FBI). That means that, on average, there is a commercial burglary every 1.06 minutes in the United States.
There are steps you can take to protect your building and your business.
Your commercial windows and doors are the only way into your building. When a burglar tries to break into your business, they will look for a weak point in your windows and doors. If there is an open one, they will climb through it. If one looks cracked, weak, or otherwise vulnerable, they will break through it. To secure your commercial windows and doors, there are a few things you should know about:
- Strong Materials
- Various Locks and Security Devices
- Safe Practices
Materials – The materials used to manufacture your windows and doors should be chosen by you. When you purchase them, you should highly consider the security of the products. The strongest glass material is argued about by many, but you can never go wrong with fiberglass. Known to be one of the strongest materials, fiberglass can withstand serious impacts. Similarly, aluminum is a strong window frame material. When coupled with fiberglass, commercial aluminum windows can keep out most burglars. As for commercial doors, tempered glass is considered an industry standard for commercial entryway doors. We highly recommend sticking with the standard as it’s the most likely to keep out criminals.
Locks and Security Devices – Your windows and doors can be made of indestructible materials, but if the lock is cheap and easy to break, it’s useless. Make sure you buy a strong lock from a reputable dealer, or ask your commercial windows and doors installer about what they recommend for the best security. Poorly-built frames can also affect the effectiveness of a window’s lock as the screws go into the frame. Other security devices can be in place to protect your windows and doors, such as a security system. An alarm merely being in place is enough to discourage most criminals from even touching the building. Once it goes off, most criminals leave the scene immediately or very soon after. Cameras can also catch the burglary on tape. If you are a common target and have a larger budget, an electronic lock is an expensive but effective choice to keep out criminals. Lastly, we recommend locking your interior doors to minimize losses.
Safe Practices – All of your fancy security devices, locks, and strong windows and doors are useless if you don’t use them properly. Make sure your windows and doors are locked when you close. Never unlock something that doesn’t need to be. In most cases, windows can stay locked and may be stationary (meaning they can’t be opened). Also be sure you arm your security system before leaving.
The windows and doors inside of the building follow similar security procedures when being manufactured and installed. In fact, some interior doors are more secure than exterior doors as to protect sensitive information or products in a particular room. For example, if all of your business’s financial documents are stored in one file cabinet in one room, it’s a good idea to make sure that room is secure. Each window and door should be considered individually, or at least grouped with categories for easier organization during the project. Common doors that do not require as much security should be more focused on lifespan and energy efficiency than keeping someone out. Just like exterior windows and doors, you should know about:
- Strong Materials
- Locks and Security Devices
- Safe Practices
Materials – The materials used on commercial interior doors are similar to those of exterior, except your focus should shift. With most interior doors, the materials you choose should be long-lasting and energy efficient, as that’s where most of your benefits will come from. Depending on the size of your building, the materials should also be affordable because you have a lot of commercial doors to install. Tempered glass is unnecessary for an interior commercial door unless you really need to protect a particular room. Otherwise, a basic steel or aluminum door will work. For basic offices/cubicles or meeting rooms, a vinyl door may even be a consideration.
Locks and Security Devices – The interior doors and windows (if applicable) should have basic locks. There should be no need to purchase advanced locks for some interior doors. Take a look at your building layout and decide which rooms should have limited to no access after-hours, and which ones can remain open at all times. Your building’s alarm system should not need to connect to the interior doors, except for sensitive areas. A criminal would not break in and venture very far into the building before being scared off by the initial alarm. We highly recommend consulting a security expert to decide where an alarm sensor should be placed. Ask your commercial door installer what they recommend for your project.
Safe Practices – As with exterior doors, you should keep track of interior doors’ locks. Many businesses fail to check their interior doors and once a burglar breaks into the building, they have no resistance when moving from room to room. Locking down stairwells and elevators can also be a safe and secure way to lock down your building after-hours.
When choosing your commercial windows and doors, you should highly consider the security of your building. There are a staggering number of business break-ins in the United States and the majority of businesses are not prepared for them. Choosing strong materials, such as aluminum windows and doors with tempered glass, can protect your building from break-ins. However, during normal business hours, some criminals will walk right in the front door and find the room(s) with valuables. These rooms should be secured at all times and also use strong materials. Another core factor to consider when securing your business’s building is to make use of locks and alarms. When not in use, a room should be locked.
Contact Aeroseal if you would like to discuss a project in which you’d like to lock down your business’s building. We can provide recommendations and answer any questions you may have.