5 common mistakes made with safes

July 5, 2011 | by D. B. "Libby" Libhart

We work hard in the restaurant business to provide our customers the food they desire. With efficient operations, we have enough inventory to convert raw products into meals that customers pay for usually at a register. However, it's what happens after the payment process that often leaves cash vulnerable to theft and threatens profitability.

1. Leavig safes Unlocked
The biggest vulnerability of all. The safe is left unlocked, usually from neglect or convenience.

2. Daylock
On a spin dial safe, the combination is set within a few clicks of opening. It fools no one. It's usually done for convenience and saves time from going through the entire combination sequence.
3. Shared combination
The safe combination is shared among the, hopefully, authorized users. The main issue is accountability when funds are missing from the safe. An added problem with shared combinations is determining who else had the combination to the safe since the last time the combination was changed. How many managers have come and gone since then?

This can also occur with electronic safes that require electronic keys and PIN numbers. The key and PIN number is shared even though the capability may exist for individual keys and PIN authorizations.

4. Writing down the combination
OK, there are those of who need to write down passwords and combinations to have it ready when needed. But where do you keep such sensitive and confidential information? Be aware of safe combinations written down and exposed.
5. Giving keys, codes, & combinations to unauthorized persons
Sharing codes and combinations occurs frequently usually for convenience, defeating the whole purpose of keys, codes and combinations.

Take control
Ideally, access to the safe is tightly controlled. For combination safes, only authorized personnel are issued the combination with a requirement that the safe is never placed on "daylock". The combination should never be shared without proper authorization and the combination should be changed with every change in management or periodic intervals. The same disciplines apply with electronic locks where the key and PIN are shared.

Electronic safes have even better controls with the capability to issue individual keys and PIN codes. PIN codes are deleted and reissued with change in management. The safe opening/closing record is tracked per user and stored in an electronic file within the safe.

Whether your safe has rather simple features or sophisticated electronics, common mistakes can leave your cash extremely vulnerable to theft. Take a hard look at the operations of your safe and instill the disciplines to protect your cash and valuables.

Topics: Equipment & Supplies , Loss Prevention , Operations Management , Safety

D. B. "Libby" Libhart / D.B. “Libby” Libhart has more than 30 years of experience in the loss prevention industry. He has provided security and safety leadership in retail settings such as department stores, drug stores and quick-service restaurants. Before launching his own company, LossBusters, Libby served as the Senior Director of U.S. Security and Safety for McDonald’s Corp. He entered the QSR industry with Taco Bell and subsequently YUM Brands.
www View D. B. "Libby" Libhart's profile on LinkedIn

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