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Security and Safety for Small Business

The number of robberies at convenience stores has increased across the country, which is higher now than it was 10 years ago.
Make sure you're operating a business where your employees and customers feel safe from robbery and violent crimes by implementing a thoughtful security and safety program in your store.

Preventative Measures
The three basic rules in designing your overall safety and security are:
Territoriality: the use of physical features to show ownership over your property. It discourages outsiders by defining private space, and it allows employees to see intruders. This way, you can tell if people are there to shop or to loiter.
• Define your territory with:
o Landscaping
o Fences
o Signs
• Keep the store and parking lot clean and free of litter.

Access control: a way to limit the number of people who should not be on the property. The property and store are designed for convenience to customers, but do not make it too convenient for criminals.
• Limit the number of entrances and exits to the store and the parking lot.
• Close off some parking lot entrances and doors at night.
• Consider installing gates, locks or turnstiles and electronic access control devices if necessary.

Surveillance: the use of physical features, such as electrical and mechanical devices, to maximize visibility.
• Use effective lighting both on the lot and in the store.
• Remove signs from windows to provide clear lines of visibility to the cashier.
• Move displays that block visibility to the cashier from the outside.
• Be alert to your surroundings and report any problems.
• Train employees to be vigilant for potential threats
• CCTV

Cash Control and Signage: Minimize cash available at your store can reduce the risk of robbery. Use deterrents such as:
• Drop safes
• Keeping cash in registers low

Lighting: Maintain adequate lighting inside and outside the store.

Visibility: Criminals seek out locations where they can't be easily noticed by bystanders outside the store, or by employees entering the store. People outside the store, including police, should be able to see into the store, and employees should be able to see their surroundings.
• Keep windows clear of signs and merchandise
• Keep shelving units low so there are no hiding places within the store
• Mirrors can help, too

Escape Routes: Criminals want to blend into the surroundings after committing crimes. Make blending in more difficult by fencing the property and limiting the number of entrances and exits and making exit routes visible to others.

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