Developing strong security procedures in a beauty salon has become increasingly important. Salon employees and customers alike are vulnerable to different types of theft. In addition, because salons often sell beauty and personal care products that can easily be sold to others, salon owners need to protect their inventory and equipment from possible pilferage and shoplifting.

Identifying security concerns as well as different types of security breaches is a good first step in developing a comprehensive security plan.

Security Breaches in a Salon Concerning Theft

Salons often stock high-end hair care and beauty products for use in the salon or for customers to purchase and take home. In addition, stylists often store their shears, blow dryers and straightening irons at their stations. These items are small and easy to remove from a salon. In addition to being targeted by professional thieves, these items may also be shoplifted by customers or pilfered by employees.

Thieves may target cash stored in cash registers or safes or stashed away as tips in employee stations. In some cases, thieves may not wait for the salon to be closed to try and break in. Because salon doors are typically open during business hours, a salon may be particularly vulnerable to a hold up.

The private property of your customers and employees may be targeted by a thief. This is often because customers will hang outerwear on coat racks at the back of the salon or may place a handbag on a station counter or under a salon chair. Because the customer is not paying attention to these items, they are vulnerable to being stolen. Similarly, employee property can easily be swiped from a station or an unattended break room.

Assault or Other Violent Crimes

While rare, it is possible that a violent crime could take place in a salon. An assault may take place during a burglary, a customer or employee may be targeted by somebody or the violent crime may be a random event.

Identity Theft in a Salon

Your business files likely contain sensitive information about your employees and stylists who rent stations from your salon. In addition, state laws often require stylists to post their professional licenses in public view, providing an identity thief with additional information about a target. Identity thieves may be able to hack into your computer files or break into a file cabinet to get information that could be sold to others or used to exploit an employee's identity.

Customers are also vulnerable to identity theft. Many salons maintain computer files containing sensitive information about customers, including names, addresses, email addresses and phone numbers. In addition, your files may include information about a client's birthday as well as the services she has used in the past. All of this information can be used by an identity thief.

Developing a Security Plan

Procedures for dealing with security breaches should focus on prevention, although it is also important to develop strategies for addressing security breaches in process.

Take steps to secure your physical location. Ensure that your doors and door frames are sturdy and install high-quality locks. Install a security system as well as indoor and outdoor cameras. Keep back or side doors locked at all times and instruct employees to not use these doors unless absolutely necessary.

Require all new hires or station renters to submit to a criminal background check. Do not allow new employees to have keys to the salon or access to cash registers or safes. Appoint trusted employees as key holders and restrict access to cash registers, safes, file cabinets and computers. Employees and station renters should not be permitted to stay in the salon alone either before or after standard operating hours.

Other Methods of Maintaining Security

Many police departments have community relations officers who work with retail businesses. Talk to law enforcement to learn more about what you can do in your community to keep your establishment safe.

Limit access to private information in both paper and electronic files and databases. Employees who need access to this data should be given individual user names and passwords so you can track access to sensitive information.

Secure wall lockers are easy to install and provide an extra level of security for your employees and customers. You can also install hooks under station tables so patrons can keep an eye on their handbags while receiving services.