Commercial Burglary Prevention

COMMERCIAL BURGLARY PREVENTION from Philadelphia Police 26th District


  • Install double-cylinder deadbolt locks on glass-paneled doors.
  • Make sure window locks are designed and located so they cannot be reached and opened if the glass is broken.
  • To deter the “smash and grab,” move merchandise away from the windows after closing.
  • Use strong, well-built doors. For entrances on any side of a building not easily visible to neighbors, solid core doors with minimal or no glass should be installed. Doors with large areas of glass should be used in locations visible to neighbors or passersby.
  • Install see-through fencing or thorny vegetation to make it more difficult to access your business; however, make sure that these additions do not decrease the visibility of your property.
  • Any opening can be a potential entry point. Secure skylights, air ducts, attics, crawl spaces, and vulnerable areas shared with other businesses.
  • Keep premises and surroundings clean and well maintained to communicate that the owners are in control of the property and vigilant.
  • Trim and limb up shrubs and trees so they do not provide hiding places for burglar, especially near entryways.
  • Do not store lumber, pallets, or crates near buildings. They offer easy access to upper windows or roofs. Keep ladders locked up.
  • Make sure fire escapes and exits are equipped with exit only doors.
  • Install outside lights at all entry points, behind the building, and in alleyways. Install lights outside that either remain on all night or have motion detectors.
  • Leave on enough interior lighting after business hours to detect movement. Make sure that blinds or curtains do not block visibility.
  • Secure valuable inventory in secured cages or safes.
  • Anchor the safe with bolts so it cannot be carried away.
  • Consider limiting the amount of inventory on hand with more frequent deliveries.
  • Never leave combinations or codes where they can be found.
  • Change the combination or codes every few months and anytime an employee leaves.
  • Make bank deposits frequently to keep cash at a minimum. Establish a strict cash control policy and advertise it.
  • If you choose to install an alarm, be sure to test it on a regular basis and make sure that employees are properly trained on its use.
  • Mark all office equipment with your Federal Employer Tax ID number or your Driver’s License number.
  • Keep a record of all merchandise and equipment serial numbers; this will help with recovery in the event of a burglary.
  • Use a good quality surveillance camera system; the camera will need to adjust for darkness and light. The angle of the cameras should be considered during installation. Consider the retention period of video.
  • Leave the empty cash register open at night.
  • Log and mark all checks “FOR DEPOSIT ONLY”
  • Devise a control system for all keys. Keep a record of who has keys to building or store. Engrave all keys with “DO NOT DUPLICATE.” Consider changing locks annually or after an employee has been terminated.
  • Lock up all important files and/or computer back up disks in a secure location.
  • Start a Business Watch program designed to reduce crime and fear. Communicate and build relationships with neighbors.




For a visit from your Crime Prevention Officer please contact:

Police Officer Cinnamon Smith #2131

26th Police District

615 E Girard Avenue