According to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor’s 2017 Global Report, nearly 13% of U.S. citizens are starting businesses, the vast majority of which are based out of their homes. When you manage a (hopefully) successful business from your home, a break-in can go from devastating to catastrophic in a heartbeat.
Between inventory, equipment, and your private documents, a thief could do fatal damage to your business without even realizing it. Your home business needs protection. Here’s how you can do it.
1. Use Hidden Cameras to Monitor Your Home Office & Inventory
Your home office is the hub of your business. If it’s anything like mine, there are folders full of private, sensitive documents and a few thousand dollars’ worth of computer equipment. Losing the laptop that your business runs on or a box full of inventory can be costly. Place a security camera somewhere in your office so you know if you have any unwanted visitors. It can provide you with security footage to turn over to the police if a break-in occurs.
Many cameras come with 24/7 professional monitoring, so if motion is detected, the station can automatically reach out to the authorities. As an added bonus, if you purchase your security equipment solely for your office, you can deduct it from your taxes as a business expense!
2. Install Smart Locks to Tell You When Someone Enters or Leaves Your Office
Place a Wi-Fi enabled lock on your door so you can lock and unlock it remotely. You’ll also receive notifications whenever it is locked or unlocked, so if you have employees working for you, you’ll know when they leave for the day—even if you aren’t there at the time. A smart lock can also be combined with smart lighting to illuminate a room as soon as the door is unlocked, streamlining the start of your day.
3. Install Window Sensors to Guard Exterior Entrances
A door isn’t always the best way into a home. In fact, about 30% of burglars enter a home through an unlocked window. However, you can do more than just lock your windows. Place a window sensor on the windows surrounding your business space, and you’ll receive alerts if the window is opened. If a thief breaks the window, the force will still trigger the sensor. The various sensors you place around your home-based business can be wired to a central hub that will sound a siren and alert the authorities.
4. Integrate Motion Sensors with Your Interior Lights
This simple tweak to your lighting can not only help you save on utility costs, but it will also notify you when motion is detected at abnormal hours. A motion-activated system combines security and convenience in one.
For example, if clients visit you at your office, a motion sensor placed in the hallway might activate a chiming tone to alert you that someone is approaching the door. It might also activate a security camera to let you see who is approaching or trigger the camera to begin recording all activities. You can configure your motion sensors to alert you if motion is detected in your office during times you aren’t there.
5. Install Motion-Activated Lighting Around the Exterior of Your Home
Everyone loves a landscaped home, but great landscaping also provides cozy hiding places for potential thieves. If your shrubs make it easy for someone to be out of sight, you’ll want to set up motion-activated lighting that will quite literally shine a light on a potential thief.
Anyone moving around on your property will draw attention, if only because of the sudden illumination. Many exterior security lights also come with built-in cameras that will let you monitor or record anyone moving about outside.
Just like you would protect your personal possessions against thieves with a home security system, you should also protect your home business against prying eyes and would-be burglars. A home security service or your internet service provider can help you determine which door and window sensors, video cameras and other types of security equipment are right for you, and allow you to connect these safeguards using a single security hub. A bit of technical savvy can automate your home and business, while doubling as top-notch protection for your assets.
Patrick Hearn is an Atlanta-based tech writer for who also runs his own small business. When not researching the latest gadget or home security solution, he can be found at the latest coffee shop trying the newest pour-over.