How bike dealers can beat the thieves

You don't need to hire a security guard to protect your stock...
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The first half of 2011 has seen cycle retailers challenged by the economy on two fronts – reduced consumer spend and a growing number of shop thefts. ActSmart asked specialist business insurance partner Butterworth Spengler for their top 15 tips on shop security...

● Before any improvements to the security are made, retailers should check that their premises are not within conservation areas. This could result in external security measures being prohibited. Certain security improvements may require planning consent and it is important to ensure that any additional security does not contravene fire escape requirements.
● Although protection of property and stock is the key objective, making a high standard of security very evident is more likely to prevent any attempt in the first place. Consider how your security compares with other similar premises in the area.
● The threat of ram raids can be limited by installing either static or retractable bollards across the front of the property, subject to the necessary permissions.
● Fit good quality mortice deadlocks to BS3621 or equivalent to all external doors - excluding designated fire escape doors.
● Ensure that the panic release facilities on fire exit doors are maintained in a good condition and that the securing bolts fully engage when the doors are closed.
● Check that the door frames are secured to the fabric of the building and fit hinge bolts to all outward opening external doors
● All external timber doors should be of a solid timber construction, if not strengthen them externally with sheet steel or consider replacing the doors with solid timber ones.
● Fit key operated window locks to all ground floor, basement and accessible upper floor opening windows i.e. those close to flat roofs, balconies, drain pipes, external staircases and the like.
● Consider the installation of solid roller shutters in very vulnerable areas, for display windows and doors with extensive glass panelling,
● Where solid roller shutters aren’t fitted, consider leaving some lights on within the sales area out of business hours and install security lighting in any particularly vulnerable areas, such as at the rear of the shop, or within a secluded side entrance way.
● Where there are vulnerable smaller windows, sky lights or roof lights consider securing them with steel bars or grills.
● Install chains through the frames of the bikes and secure to the fabric of the building, removing high value items from easily accessible areas, securing them separately out of business hours.
● Do not leave large amounts of cash on the premises overnight, take it to the bank frequently. Any cash kept on the premises should be locked in a suitably rated safe anchored to the building structure.
● Consider electronic protection. Install a good quality (PD6662 - European Grade 3) intruder alarm system, linked to an approved Alarm Receiving Centre. Ensure that the system is certificated and maintained by an NSI or SSAIB approved alarm company and that it benefits from Level 1 police response.
● Consider the installation of a CCTV system by an NSI or SSAIB installer and in particularly high risk areas where there has been a history of thefts, review the use of a security fog generating system, activated by the intruder alarm system.

CALL IN THE SPECIALISTS?

If you are uncertain about your insurance cover, or simply want to test the value of your cover against specialist insurance at next renewal, contact Butterworth Spengler on 0844 764 6464. Alternatively, simply e-mail info@actsmart.biz with your business name and renewal date and we’ll arrange a contact call.

The Cycle shops policy includes as standard:

● A 50 per cent increase in stock levels for any three month period in a year
● Road testing/demonstration by customers
● Road testing by staff following repair/servicing
● Cycle hire
● Public liability indemnity of £2,000,000
● Theft of cycles on display outside of the shop
● Up to 30 per cent no claims discount

ACT Members also benefit from:

● A membership discount on the policy.
● A loyalty bonus at each renewal
● A reduced minimum premium of £300
● ‘Demonstration day’ cover included free of charge

www.actsmart.biz or 0845 618 7256

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