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In 2018, an average of 2,000 of stolen vehicles are stolen daily. The stolen cars have cost the public over $6 billion dollars. This alarming statistic doesn’t only affect individual car owners, more importantly, it has a bigger impact on businesses involving car sales as well.
Worrying won’t help you solve your problems, you must take action to address those risks. Make some improvements in your security and facilities before the first theft. Risks may include a stolen car belonging to a customer who made an appointment for service. Or if the car was already sold and is awaiting pick-up when it was stolen. It’s important to install safeguards in your place not only to protect the cars but also your reputation.
Securing Your Place of Business
Security may require specialized tools and equipment, but at times, improvements won’t cost that much or changes are free. Following these few tips will help you save a lot of headaches in the future:
Install a Surveillance System
Video surveillance is an efficient way to secure your automotive dealership. Just the view of cameras mounted all over your lots will help to discourage potential thieves. Ensuring that critical functions are included in your surveillance system can improve your video camera surveillance effectiveness. This is the basic recording of live video of car lots and displaying floors so you can refer back to archived clips in case you need to review a particular time and date. You will also need to have motion-triggered settings, which are activated at off-business hours, send alerts via text or email, letting you know when suspicious activity is detected.
You will also need to strategically employ this system to be more optimized in your security. Hold your surveillance cameras and monitors on a private network, and use good password protection to protect you from the hackers’ monitoring system. Place cameras above entrances, exits, cash registers, and inventory areas no more than 12 feet above. Use signage disclosing oversight to deter criminals and avoid legal liabilities.
Secure Each Unit
Between 2016 to 2018, almost 300,000 car robberies occurred between incidents where the car had keys or key fobs left inside. Modern vehicles often come with key fobs, rather than working keys, making it easier to lose key control. Never leave your keys unattended and lock your cars before you drive. Try storing keys in a secure place or a room with an access control device, once inside the store.
Have a Safe Place for the Keys
Always store keys in a secure location when you’re driving or delivering the vehicle. Never keep keys in the ignition, or spares in the glove compartment, even if the showroom is pulled in. Investing in a key safe that keeps all your keys in a much safer place since it’ll be hard for a thief to break it down. In this way, you will be assured that your keys are safe and cannot be easily stolen by anyone.
Secure the Lot
Good lighting will reveal dark areas in the lot and inside the showroom, where robbers are likely to hide and break into cars. This will make things easier for your surveillance footage device to pick up any nighttime activity.
Additionally, physical barriers can prevent crime, such as fences and gates. If a thief tries to steal a car, the limited exit points will make it harder for them to run away. Mount a security system at the entrance gates for even greater security. A single passcode will keep out trespassers.
Install an Alarm System
A monitored alarm system can be useful to secure your dealership. Protect your inventory with a high-quality alarm system for burglars. The alarm system can activate auditory and visual warnings if a break-in happens at the premises. The device will then give the monitoring services an emergency alert where an operator will warn you of the interruption and inform the authorities.
Consider placing motion detectors on showroom windows to provide added security. Those sensors can activate the alarm if a thief breaks a window for entry. Windows is the most fragile part of your showroom so you’re going to want to protect it from break-ins.
Employ Security Personnel
It is critical, above all, that you hire competent security staff to keep a close eye on the dealer lot. The number of security guards in your store that you should have depends on the size of your dealership. They will be able to track all of the surveillance devices such as CCTV cameras, alarms, sensors, and the like, this will make sure that you are adequately informed about the activities in the dealership.
Limit Point of Entry
Monitoring dealer lot traffic is much simpler if there are just a couple of entry points. Place a guardhouse both at the entrance and the exits. You may also use a ticketing system for individuals entering the dealer lot, and at the check-out, they must display the same ticket. This can help you ensure that nobody gets into or out without getting a pass from the security staff.
Use GPS in Cars
The hiring of security guards and the installation of cameras are not enough to enhance security for car dealerships. Alarms don’t go off, security guards failing to spot a suspicious visitor or crime and police reacting a little too late to car theft are only three of the potential incidents that could lead to undesired circumstances. You can use a GPS tracking device and attach them to every vehicle parked on your lot to ensure safety at all times as mentioned above.
Perpetrators view theft as good business, they have low capital cost and wide margins for when they sell it on the black market. The advancement of technology has allowed them to keep up with the times as well. Using different gadgets and utilizing new methods makes it easier for them to steal assets without getting caught. Car dealerships pose a unique risk because large money-making assets are lined up with selections ranging to the best and most expensive car on display. However, if you are prepared, using the tips mentioned above, you’ll be able to secure your assets and deter any ill-advised attempts of stealing your cars.