A Jeweler's Guide
to 24/7 Security
From opening your jewelry business each morning until the last employee leaves, use these tips to keep
your store safe.
If you’ve encountered something suspicious during the beginning of the day and have shared it with coworkers, you’ve done your part to help protect your business.
Unfortunately, criminals casing your store are most likely also casing other jewelers in your area. Some may even be part of a larger syndicate that operates around the country or across the globe. For these reasons, you need to spread the word quickly.
With information coming in from many sources, you’ll hopefully be on the receiving end of alerts more often than needing to share them—and thanks to all the communication technology options available today, that should be no problem at all.
Selling with Security
You’ve been open for a few hours and customers are coming and going with consistency.
As traffic in your store ramps up, you need to be prepared for the most common type of crime that impacts jewelers — sneak thefts. If security isn’t ingrained in your selling procedures, it’s not difficult for a thief to run off with valuable merchandise.
Successful businesses have the best salespeople, but selling shouldn’t be the only thing on their minds. If you’re not doing the following when interacting with customers, take time to start working them in and helping your coworkers do the same.
Jewelry shipping advice to follow:
- Your package doesn’t contain jewelry terms or identify that it’s coming from or going to a jewelry business.
- Labels are placed directly on the box, not in an adhesive sleeve.
- You have the merchandise in a small (but sturdy) envelope or box and have packed that inside of a slightly larger box.
- The outer box is secured with paper mailing tape or pressure-sensitive shipping tape.
- You’ve handed the package to a courier (required for insurance) – not a drop box – and requested an acceptance scan. Be sure to retain your receipt. Using unmanned drop-off locations and drop boxes voids coverage.
- You have detailed records and a tracking number for the shipment.
Inventory Control and Internal Theft
Even though you’ve done the right things to prevent external threats, mismanaging the process of putting your merchandise away could lead to an embarrassing situation. As you begin closing for the day, be aware of any missing items or displays. While a sneak theft could have occurred, it’s also possible that you simply misplaced something, or worse — another employee has been stealing.
You should have an inventory software system to help you keep track of merchandise moving in and out during the day, but if something goes missing and you don’t recognize it, that will complicate things in the long-run.
Physical counts and reconciliations should be done regularly to keep track of your inventory. To reduce the chances of an internal theft, it’s important to instill an honest culture in your workplace.
Once you’ve arrived safely at home, it’s still important to remember that burglars might be targeting your business while you’re away. Adequate physical protection with safes, vaults and alarms that are listed by Underwriter’s Laboratories will give you peace of mind, but there’s more to consider. If you’re woken up by a phone call at 2 a.m. regarding your alarm and respond negligently, you may regret not being more proactive.
Given enough time, any safe or vault can be compromised. That’s why it’s important to be notified of alarm signals as soon as they happen and respond to each one with the same sense of urgency.
One tactic criminals use is signaling multiple false alarms to make you think your system is malfunctioning. They may do this over the course of a few weeks or days to monitor your response and once they recognize flaws in your pattern, they’ll strike.
How to get alerted and respond to alarm signals:
- Review the features of your burglar alarm system with your provider on an annual basis.
- Verify every alarm signal with your alarm monitoring company.
- Go to your business to investigate every alarm signal.
- Follow the same rules for traveling safely to work so you don’t become the victim of an ambush.
- Wait for police to arrive prior to parking.
- Allow the police to inspect the premises for you, then tour the site with the police to identify anything that may indicate a burglary occurred or may be in progress.
- Contact the alarm company to determine the cause of the signal — if system repairs are needed, arrange for them to be made immediately.
Home Security for Jewelers
Being confident in your response to a potential crisis at your business is one thing, but what if criminals target you at home?
Before you call it a day, the last thing to do is take actions that boost your safety where it matters most. If criminals are desperate enough and recognize that there’s no way to foil the security at your business, they may target you personally to access the valuable merchandise you sell.
By coercing you with a weapon, they will force you to return to work and grant them access to the merchandise they’re after. This is as emotionally distressing as it is financially devastating.