Today’s headlines are full of businesses suffering at the hands of cyber-criminals, but a company’s physical premises remain a potential security risk. Burglary remains a popular crime, and commercial targets are far more popular than homes.
While we’re not suggesting that cyber-security is unimportant, we do strongly recommend that you keep an eye out for old-fashioned burglary.
The government’s recent survey of ‘crime against businesses’ found that fully half of the UK’s business premises were sites for some form of criminal offence in 2013. (This is the latest year for which complete statistics are available.) Burglaries made up 80 percent of the crimes in the survey. The study further found that business premises are three times as likely to be targeted by burglars as homes are. If you store a lot of documents (and even if you don’t), as a precaution a safe that is also fireproof is a good idea. In the event of a fire, this will protect the contents from smoke damage or complete destruction. Look at where to buy a safe as this can make all the difference.
Here are 10 always-effective security suggestions for your small business:
1) Rely on Quality Locks
All exterior doors should be fitted with deadbolts and mortice locks of the five-lever type. You may also want to consider strong locks inside the building to compartmentalise it and add more security to sensitive areas.
Remember that windows need good locks as well. The latest police suggestions include double locks – at top and bottom – for gates. If you plan to secure your premises with roller shutter doors, supplement the manufacturer’s locking mechanisms with a stout padlock.
2) Make the Locks Your Own
Whenever you move into a new building, have new locks fitted. It’s impossible to know for certain whether or not there are ‘legacy’ keys out there that compromise your security.
3) Keep Track of Keys
Keep thorough records of who gets keys to which doors. Make a strongly-enforced policy that employees are not to share keys or give them to anyone else. Always make sure you get keys back from departing employees.
4) Maintain a Strong Perimeter
Locks don’t keep you secure if they ignore gaping vulnerabilities. We recently helped upgrade a business where strong steel gates were kept chained and padlocked at all times. Around the side of the property, though, a perimeter fence had a large hole. This made the gates useless.
5) Take Anti-Climbing Measures
Spikes designed to deter climbers are extremely durable, highly effective, and legal. (This last point puts them above razor wire or broken glass.) Walls that may otherwise allow intruders rooftop access can be given a coat of anti-climb paint. Note that anti-climb spikes must be accompanied with a posted notice to meet your legal obligations.
6) Light Protects
The dark is the burglar’s friend. Deny it to him! Modern technology offers you a number of affordable, highly-effective solutions for equipping your premises with motion-detecting lights. These can be used to illuminate specific vulnerabilities or your entire property. Note that security lights should be mounted in high and inaccessible locations, so they can’t be damaged.
7) Many Hands Make Light Work
If your property is close by others with similar security concerns, consider collaborating to share security measures. One of the most effective is hiring a security firm to conduct off-hour site visits. If you go this route, remember to ensure that security visits do not fall too regularly into a fixed schedule.
8) Mind Your Corners
Specialist security mirrors can dramatically extend your line of sight. When fitted in the appropriate spots, mirrors will let you observe strangers’ activity without your attention being noticed. Good security mirrors are made of durable polycarbonate so that they are extremely long-lasting.
9) Cultivate a Security Culture
It takes an especially bold intruder to enter your premises when it’s full of staff. Teach your employees to remain alert for strange faces. Set a reasonable policy for challenging unknown individuals. It’s best to report strangers up the organisation so that any challenge is made by multiple people.
10) Keep Vehicles Away
Ram raid barriers are an excellent investment to prevent catastrophic intrusions. These are especially important for retail business; the survey mentioned above stressed that this sector is an especially vulnerable one.