What Jewelers Should Know About Overcoming Strip Mall Risks
In recent months, burglaries have become staggeringly more frequent at jewelry stores in strip mall locations throughout the US and Canada. If you are a jewelry business owner with a location in a strip mall setting, it is crucial for you to know the ways in which criminals may be targeting your business, and how to protect yourself and your property from threats.
When you’re inside your own store, it may be easy to forget that the only thing separating you from the business next-door is a little bit of drywall and insulation. Because of this fact, criminals tend to target locations that are connected via common walls to vacant properties. They enter the vacant property and access the jewelry store through the common wall, sometimes slipping back out the way they entered without the business owner immediately noticing.
The second most popular way criminals have also accessed stores is through the rooftop. Now, you may be thinking, that only happens in movies! Unfortunately, rooftop burglaries are a very real threat to business owners and often give the criminal the opportunity to enter and exit without harming the structure of the building, making it hard to notice anything happened. This entry also makes it appear as though an alarm signal is false.
There are many tactics criminals use when preparing for a burglary and knowing how your location may be targeted is the first step to reducing your risk.
The next step is educating yourself and your staff on the types of simple but impactful preventive steps you can take to make your business less vulnerable.
Here are some risk management tips for keeping your location safe and secure:
- Make sure your call list is up to date so alarm system notifications can be responded to promptly.
- Consider a redundant alarm system to complement your current alarm system.
- Arrange to meet the police at your protected property when responding to any alarm notification. Do not arrive alone!
- Seek approval from your landlord to install temporary cameras and motion detectors in any vacant adjoining spaces and secluded rear entrance and the ceiling.
- Double-check that your roof and common walls with other adjacent properties are adequately protected. If possible, move your safe from the common or shared wall. If moving the safe from the common wall isn't an option, reinforce the wall with steel plating.
- Invest in full motion and vibration alarm protection on safes as well as welded shelves to minimize the chance of losing everything in the safe.
- Check your safes for adequate physical protection. Burglary-resistant UL-rated TL-15 and TL-30 safes have recently been targeted in these attacks and have been successfully compromised. Consider upgrading to a TRTL-30X6 safe.
- Remember to notify Jewelers Mutual Group and/or the Jewelers’ Security Alliance of any incidents at your operation as we are tracking this criminal activity pattern.
- Make sure you have adequate insurance coverage. Start by scheduling a virtual inspection. With this type of inspection, you can clearly document the inside and outside of your property at any time and on your schedule.
Watch John Kennedy of the Jewelers’ Security Alliance and Larry Spicer from Jewelers Mutual Group as they discuss burglary trends and what jewelers can do to mitigate loss.
As this trend continues, it's critical that your alarm is working properly and if you receive an alert from your alarm service, treat it as an actual event and alert law enforcement right away.
In addition to the risk management tips above, we offer additional services as part of our JM™ Risk Services division dedicated to providing loss prevention education and risk management solutions to our policyholders and the entire jewelry industry.
Alarm Response Program supported by Securitas
False alarms can put stress on any security system and cost you time and additional expenses. However, an alarm not responded to can put your business at risk. If you respond to an alarm alone, you are putting your own safety in jeopardy. With the Alarm Response Program, a trained security officer will respond to all your alarms.
We joined with Securitas, a highly regarded global leader in protective services, to make the Alarm Response Program available to all jewelers, whether insured by Jewelers Mutual Group or not, at a reduced cost.
Sensor Systems supported by Hartford Steam Boiler (HSB)
Sensor systems by HSB provide 24/7 monitoring of your business and detect issues caused by a power outage (criminals have been known to cut the power before entering a business) and water intrusion due to weather or a pipe burst.
When the sensors detect an adverse condition, an alert is sent to you which provides early warning and an ability to take action to protect your property from damages or reduce the severity of the damage. Jewelers Mutual Group policyholders can get these sensors at no additional cost.
The right insurance coverage
It’s important to make sure you’re covered for any peril that threatens your business. You may have insurance; however, some business owners find themselves paying extra out-of-pocket expenses after a claim is filed because they didn't have well-rounded coverage or proper limits.
The best way to make sure your business is properly covered is to work with an agent that is an expert in jewelers block insurance.
Jewelers’ Security Alliance Membership
Keep in mind that we pay the membership for all Jewelers Mutual Group policyholders within their respective country’s leading organization dedicated to promoting crime prevention within the industry. For the U.S., that’s the Jewelers’ Security Alliance and for Canada, policyholders receive complimentary Jewellers Vigilance Canada crime package membership. Members with both organizations receive tools, tips and resources necessary to ensure their jewelry business is safe and secure.
Your Guide to 24/7 Security
Turn to the Jeweler’s Guide to 24/7 Security for daily safety and security advice regarding opening and closing procedures, recognizing suspicious activity, digital and home security as well as safe shipping and travel.
Order complimentary materials such as showcase signage, window signs and other resources to place potential criminals on notice that you take the safety and security of your business seriously.