Getting a good alarm system installed in your shop doesn’t guarantee that you won’t suffer a burglary loss.
Recently, one of our customers in the western part of the country suffered a large burglary loss. The customer had a very good alarm system, (UL Certified Central Station Grade AA, Safe Complete), which covered the entire perimeter of his shop and his safe. One evening he received a phone call from his alarm company notifying him of an alarm condition at one of his stores. The customer sent one of his managers to the store to meet the police.
The manager and police looked over the entire premise and found that everything was in order. Believing the alarm condition was just a false alarm, the police and the manager reset the alarm, locked up the store and left. Later on that evening, the business owner received another call from the alarm company advising of a second alarm condition but decided not to respond since he and the alarm tech felt that there must be a problem with one of the alarm components. The next morning when the owner arrived, he found his store opened, his safe destroyed and the entire contents of the safe gone.
So what happened? The alarm system did its job. It notified the alarm company’s monitoring station, the business owner and the police of an alarm condition at the store. However, in this case a seasoned burglar was involved. The burglar knew what would happen once he breached the shop’s alarm system. He knew that the police, owner, and maybe the security guard would arrive to investigate. The burglar had disrupted the alarm system in such a way that it appeared to be a false alarm yet still allowed for the system to be reset. Later on that evening he tripped the alarm again and then sat back to see what would happen. By causing two alarm conditions in the same evening, there was a strong possibility that no one would show up the second time or third time assuming it was a false alarm.
What should the business owner have done?
After the store was inspected and nothing was found that would have resulted in an alarm condition, the owner reset the alarm before leaving. If the system couldn’t be reset, the owner or his manager or the security guard would have needed to stay in the store until the alarm company cleared up the problem. With a second alarm condition occurring that evening, the owner should not have assumed there was a problem with the system. He should have gone to his shop to check things out. It is extremely important to check out each and every alarm condition, no matter how many times it goes off.
Over the last 50 or 60 years we have seen situations similar to this happen time and time again. Customers with excellent alarm systems have suffered burglary losses because they didn’t play their part in protecting their property. Your alarm system is extremely important; however, it does have limitations. Your participation in your store’s security certainly aids in loss prevention and protection.
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