13 ways businesses can avoid scrap metal thefts


* Install a security camera with a video recorder and store the recordings.

* Secure all equipment and scrap metals in locked buildings or in well-lit areas secured by fencing. Consider a perimeter security system with contact alarms or motion detectors, or install a six-foot perimeter fence with barbed wire at the top (as permitted by local regulations) that has locked gates.

* Post “No Trespassing” placards or signs indicating the presence of a surveillance or security system.

* Remove items that promote access to buildings and roofs such as trees, ladders, scaffolding and dumpsters.

* Secure access to the building with deadbolts and door and window locks.

* Trim or remove shrubbery or other landscaping that allows criminals to hide from view on your property.

* Increase exterior lighting and protect fixtures (such as AC units) with locked metal cages.

* Mark metals, AC units and other items with the company’s name using paint, hard-to-remove decals or engraving equipment.

* Make sure someone is present when supplies such as copper, wiring or pipe are delivered to a job site so they can be immediately secured.

* Avoid lengthy storage of supplies. The longer metal is onsite and unused, the longer it’s at risk for theft.

* Develop a relationship with local law enforcement. Ask for their guidance in preventing metal theft at your business and what to do if a theft occurs.

* Create a master list of equipment and bulk metal (if applicable) and include pictures. Provide the list to your insurance company/agent and law enforcement officials to aid in theft recovery.

* If you have a metal theft, call the police immediately so that local recyclers and scrap dealers are alerted. Be sure to preserve the crime scene, including tire tracks, shoe tracks and fingerprints. This evidence could be used to help prosecute the thieves if they are caught.

Scrap metal
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