Business security checklist
Protecting your business using the Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles.
Landscaping and architectural designs
- Ensure shrubs and trees don't create blind spots or hiding places.
- Trim bushes and hedges to a maximum height of three feet.
- Use walkways and landscaping to direct visitors to the proper entrance and away from private areas.
- Sidewalks, parking lots, doorways and all areas of the property should be well lit.
- Remove objects that may provide informal seating for loiterers.
- Recessed doorways can provide cover for criminal behaviour or loitering. Change these to be ﬂush with the walls, or install gates.
- Prevent easy access to the roof or ﬁre escape from the ground.
Controlling access to your business
- Locate your cash register at the front of the store, near the door, where itʼs visible from
- Ensure public paths are clearly marked.
- Use signs to direct customers to parking and business entrances.
- Only provide rear access to your business from rear parking lots.
Light up at night
- Light up all entrances, including alleys, with vandal-proof ﬁxtures.
- Leave some lights on inside your premises; white metal abide lights should be used.
- Maintain clear visibility from the store to the street and sidewalk or parking areas.
- Window signs should cover no more than 15 per cent of windows. Keep shelves and displays five feet high or less, especially in front of windows, for visibility.
- Keep weeds, shrubbery and debris away from your doors and windows. Don't provide thieves with places to hide, or climbing platforms
- Monitor all entrances through visual or electronic surveillance.
- Use cash drop safes during lower traffic hours.
- Avoid having a single employee make after-hours bank deposits.
- Install and monitor video cameras, but hide VCRs (supply a decoy).
- Provide employees with safety training.
- Securely lock rear entrances.
- Use secure doors and frames.
- Put 180 degree door viewers in rear security doors.
- Your business hours should be the same as those of neighbouring businesses.
- Night time employees should have access to safe, visible parking located close to the entrance.
- Put a cash limit, such as $50, in place. Train employees to check regularly for cash over the limit and to place it in a drop safe that they can't open. Then post a sign that the maximum amount of cash in register is $50.
- If it isn't possible to have a safe, don't place large bills under the cash register – ﬁnd a safe
alternate hiding place.
- Try to have two staff on hand at opening and closing times as these are attractive times for robbers.
- Train employees to be alert for suspicious persons and call the RCMP or store security if they notice suspicious activity. Parked cars and telephone booths are common outdoor observation spots.
- Watch for customers who seem to be loitering or glancing around the store while shopping or browsing a magazine, or who seem nervous or rushed.
- Check all doors and windows at closing time.
- Keep side or back doors locked at all times and have employees use the main entrance.
- Work with other businesses in the area to promote shopper and business safety and address special security issues.
Other security options
- Install a monitored alarm system and post a conspicuous notice that you have one.
- Install video cameras and post signs advising that the area is under video surveillance.
- Place height markers at the main entrance so employees can use them to gauge the height of a robber as he/she leaves your business. Place strips of differently coloured tape at the 5 feet, 5 feet 6 inches and 6 feet heights.
Read more details in our Protecting Your Business brochure (pdf) .