safety tips for asian business owners

Some more information out of Philadelphia... this past Monday, Chief Inspector James Tiano and members of the Philadelphia Police Department conducted training for about 120 Chinese take-out restaurant owners and their employees, with representatives from the police and fire departments, L&I banks, security companies and community leaders.

The training was in response to the rash of robberies and assaults that have occured at these businesses over the past year. Timely, considering that Asian business owners seem to have become targets in several recent violent crimes. Although the training was geared towards restaurants, many of the ideas could be helpful to any business. Here are some of the tips they outlined:
  • Make sure your business is well-lit inside and outside.
  • Do not open your rear doors for anyone.
  • Do not clean outside your business during late evening or early morning. You are more vulnerable to criminal activity.
  • Post "No Loitering" signs outside your business.
  • Do not sell items that could bring in a criminal element, i.e. cigarette rolling papers.
  • Do not carry large sums of money out of your business. If you must, have someone escort you.
  • You can call for a police money escort by dialing 311.
  • When walking, stay in a well-lit area so you can be seen by others.
  • Have security cameras, with good quality picture ability, inside and outside your business.
  • Have delivery drivers look around before exiting their delivery vehicles and make sure it is safe.
  • When hiring, know who you are hiring. Conduct background checks. Some robberies occur because criminals know your activities perhaps because they are an employee or an ex-employee.
  • Criminals are using cell-phones that can't be traced when ordering take-out.
  • Register your business with police radio rooms, especially if employees don't speak English. This will enable the police 911 operator to immediately switch an incoming call to the appropriate language interpreter.
  • Look into a panic alarm eitherstationary or on your person.
  • Fire houses are always available to assist. Just walk-in if necessary. For free smoke alarms call 215-686-1176.
  • Contact your local police precinct for a free security review of your home or business.

This all sounds like common sense, but it doesn't hurt to be reminded, for safety's sake. Feel free to copy, paste and share these tips with anyone you know who might find them helpful. I imagine many Asian business owners in the Philadelphia area are on high alert, considering recent occurences, including the fatal home invasion robbery of Robert Chae last week. Stay vigilant, stay safe.

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