Although all parts of a retail facility need to be protected against unwanted intrusion, perhaps no single structure is as important to safeguard than the chemical warehouse. In fact, according to Craig Petermeier, former CEO and vice chairman for Jacobson Companies, effective warehouse security is a must in the world of the 21st century dealership.
“Considering how important what’s kept in them is to the security and safety of the facility and the neighbors in the community, you can’t emphasize strongly enough just how important comprehensive warehouse security at the ground level is to every ag retailer,” says Petermeier.
Here are four tips on how retailers can protect their warehouses from outside interference.
1. Clearly Establish Facility Boundaries
The first step in setting up warehouse security, say experts, is to make certain that access to these buildings is limited. In many cases, retailers will post signs on the structures themselves warning unauthorized persons to keep out and that the buildings are not to be entered without permission.
In other instances, the chemical storage warehouse building should be surrounded by some kind of physical barrier. This can include anything from a high, heavy-duty chain link fence to reinforced gauge steel, and key locks or bolts on all entry and loading bay doors.
“The entire perimeter of our facility is secured by a fence,” says Terry Adams, manager for Crop Production Services in Dothan, AL. “No trespassing signs are also posted.”
2. Use High-Tech Surveillance Devices To Monitor Warehouse
Another method for protecting chemical warehouses against intruders is through the use of sophisticated warning systems. According to many retailers, the use of an alarm system tied to entry doors is a great way to safeguard these structures. Another is to install security cameras around the facility grounds, focusing a few directly on the warehouse.
“We installed five security cameras at our facility,” says Stephanie Gallard, safety and compliance director, Western Consolidated Cooperative, Twin Falls, SD. “There are two monitors in the main office area and the views can be watched from remote areas, such as my desk 45 miles away.”
3. Make Certain Facility Visitors Sign In
One way most retailers keep visitors to their chemical warehouses under a watchful eye is to have them stop by their main office upon entering the outlet grounds and sign in with the office personnel. In this way, says Dan Kennedy, general manager for Ritter Crop Services, Inc., Marked Tree, AR, the retailer is able to keep an active log of the comings and goings of everyone that visits the facility.
“We have signs at our facility entrance that clearly state that all visitors must register at our office to gain access to our grounds,” says Kennedy.
4. Rely On Outside Sources To Maintain Security And Safety
A final step to keep an outlet’s chemical warehouse safe is to work with local law enforcement and other outside sources. According to many retailers, making arrangements with the local police or law officers to make regular nightly rounds to their facilities to watch for any suspicious activity is a good idea for protecting their chemical warehouse.
But law enforcement isn’t the only outside source to consider. “We contract the services of an outside safety and compliance officer who conducts bi-annual audits of our facility and operations,” says Scott Firlus, agronomy manager for Wisconsin River Agronomy, LLC, Adams, WI.