How to Protect your Business from Break-ins

Breaking and Entering can be a lucrative opportunity for criminals. Consequently, any home or business is at risk. Property owners can greatly reduce this risk by simply improving the physical security of their premises. This is referred to as target hardening, and this will help deter break-ins and protect property.

‘Target Hardening’ – CPTED

‘Target Hardening’ is a crime prevention strategy derived from CPTED (pronounced SEP-TED) –Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. This strategy involves incorporating security improvements to a residence or premises, which will reduce the likelihood of a criminal identifying that location as an easy target.

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Each year, an alarming number of thefts take place at Canadian businesses. You work hard to build and maintain your business. That’s why it’s important to protect yourself from all potential losses, especially when they’re avoidable. It all starts with installing a burglar alarm system.

Protect your business

In Canada, there are no provincial or federal regulations that make it mandatory for a business to have a burglar alarm system. It’s up to you to assess the risks and take the necessary steps to protect yourself, your staff and the contents of your business. The level of protection that you need will vary depending on your business. There are many options out there, so here’s what you need to know:

Underwriters Laboratories of Canada

Business Insurance Burglar Alarms Camera Theft Hamilton Business Insurance AcumenThe Underwriters Laboratories of Canada (ULC) is an independent product safety testing, certification and inspection organization. ULC is responsible for testing burglar alarm equipment and also provides certification for individual burglar alarm system installations.

Here are the benefits of installing a burglar alarm system that has been certified by ULC:

  • peace of mind that the system will be installed, monitored, and
    maintained properly
  • you may be eligible for discounted insurance rates
  • prevents building and property damage that can occur from theft
  • prevents loss of income to your business from having to close your business down for repairs and having to replace stolen property and contents
    ULC also provides certification for safes, vaults, ATMs and guard services.

Don’t make the mistake of installing an uncertified system
Alarm systems are no different than any other product on the market – you get what you pay for.  Right now in Canada, it’s estimated that 90% of burglar alarm systems on the market are uncertified.

Here’s why you shouldn’t install an uncertified burglar system:

  • there’s no guarantee that the system will function properly
  • there’s no inspection after installation
  • if someone tampers with the alarm system, it’s possible that the monitoring station and authorities will not be notified
  • contractors can use ULC listed equipment, install to ULC standards and monitor through ULC listed monitoring stations, but will not certify
    as per ULC requirements

Someone breaks into your business through a window and cuts your phone line so that your alarm system no longer works. The monitoring station will not receive a signal, and police will not be notified. This allows a thief to take whatever they want.

How can you prevent this from happening?

By having a ULC certified system installed, with a minimum P2 line security and supervised alarm, you can prevent this from occurring at your business.

Questions to ask your installer or alarm contractor:

  • What level of protection does my business need? (ULC and Acumen Insurance can provide guidance on what type of system would work
    best for your business).
  • If someone cuts my phone line, will the monitoring station still be alerted?
  • Can the alarm be enabled/disabled during opening and closing of the business?
  • Are you a ULC listed installer? If so, can I see a certificate to prove it?
    If not, why?
  • Who is the monitoring station and are they ULC listed?

Any business can experience a loss, but with the proper preventative measures in place, it’s easy to avoid. Protect your business and your livelihood by having a ULC certified monitoring system installed.


Underwriters Laboratories of Canada
ULC Online directory
Insurance Bureau of Canada