How To Keep Your Premises Safe
24 April 2020
How To Keep Your Premises Safe
With all the focus being on ensuring that you are setup to work remotely from home, and also consider that most businesses doors were closed within a matter of a few days, without doubt there was no real time to review the how secure your premises are. In all fairness, this would not be the top of the list when the focus would have been ensuring that employees can work remotely, and that business continuity is continued as best as possible.
With all this being said, with the uncertainty and economic slowdown the last thing any business owner needs during this time is a security breach to their premises or other workplace-based assets. Whilst it has been reported that there has been more than a 30% decrease in burglaries in some parts of Britain since the Coronavirus pandemic, there has also been a rise in some areas of targeted attacks on businesses during the lockdown. Business premises generally contain high value items and it is difficult to remove and store all these items as some maybe be high value like machinery, server racks, printers and other items where the sheer logistics make this moving of these difficult.
We have put together a few tips to help keep your premises and equipment safe during the lockdown.
Tip 1 – Review your Security System
From experience, there can be complacency around a business’s security systems. There have been many occasions where we have been contacted as a reactive measure when security systems are generally designed and installed to be used as a pro-active measure for companies. It is easy to set and forget with security systems, but business owners will be the first to run to them if there has been a breach at their premises and then finding out they have not been working correctly for a long period of time.
There are simple steps you can take to review your security systems and if remote access is possible this can be carried out without having to travel to your premises unnecessarily.
With CCTV, are all CCTV cameras working? Are they clean and offer good images day and night? Are you getting the required 30 days recording? Does your system have any other features that offer a proactive response over reactive?
With your Access Control System, are all the break glasses reset and doors not freewheeling? Are all the Access Control doors operational? Are the locking devices in place fit for purpose and cannot be breached easily? When was the last time you purged the database of users no longer with the company and did, they return their cards?
Then we move on to the alarm system, when was the last time you checked the keyholders? Is the monitoring station still receiving the correct confirmed alarm information? Are you sure that every zone on the alarm system is still operational and has not been programmed out?
These are just a few small examples on a few systems that are commonly in place within a business premises. We also feel that in general, businesses are only utilising roughly 10% of the capability of the systems installed. Part of our core business is to ensure you are utilising your systems to suit the environment they are installed within and to optimise your return on investment.
Tip 2 – External Lighting
Having lights around the perimeter of your premises can make it look less desolate and offer a deterrent when coupled with CCTV cameras. You may choose to have a simple timer system where the areas can be lit at different times.
Another option can be to link the security lights to the CCTV system and setup as an alarm event. It is often overlooked but most modern IP CCTV systems come with numerous inputs and outputs that could integrate with certain security lights to offer alarm events if intruders enter a certain area of the perimeter or loiter in certain areas.
Tip 3 – Let People Know Your Offices are Closed
Letting people know of your closure is important, its sounds counter-intuitive but announcing your office closure to your customers and neighbours and even updating your social media shows that firstly you may still be trading to you your customers and that different forms of contact will now apply.
With you neighbours, if they are a key business that is still operating, they will be more likely to keep an eye on your premises knowing that it is empty during this period of lockdown and will notify you if they notice anything out of the ordinary.
Tip 4 – Lone Worker Protection
If you are still operating with a reduced workforce, then this can leave them potentially vulnerable. If someone with intentions to breach the premises access the building it will be easier for them with less people to stop or intervene.
It is important in these situations that any lone workers ensure that the premises look occupied. Turn all the lights on, not in just one office and communal areas as this will indicate that the premises are not fully occupied. It is also important to make sure that if you have free access to your business premises, you inform colleagues, management and family where you are and how long you intend to stay.
Tip 5 – Secure Valuables and Remove if Possible
This needs to be approached with common sense. Not all valuables will be able to be removed such as machinery, production equipment, server racks etc. but these are generally not easy to move so the focus should be on the smaller items like laptops or other devices that are easy to steal. Make it difficult to peer through a window and keep door shut so that its difficult to see what maybe within the next room.
Tip 6 – Your Insurance Cover
Its times like this that really shows if we have the best insurance cover that suits your business or not.
The premises are going to be empty for a lengthy period, does this affect your cover? If you have a lone worker at the office, is this covered if they must use any form of machinery or similar equipment? There are lots to think about to ensure if the worst happens, you will be covered by your insurance.
Another potential effect on your insurance cover will be the functionality of your security systems. They need to work correctly to avoid any unnecessary implications if the worst does happen and a claim against your insurance is made. You must consider that if the alarm goes off who will be called? Do they know their responsibilities? Is the person close to the company premises and has the means to access the premises if required?
All of us hope that the lockdown is lifted soon, and our normal way of life is resumed as soon as possible but we want that to be knowing that the right steps have been put in place to avoid any security breach. The steps are simple but often overlooked and we would encourage business owners to pay close attention to this, especially during the period of lockdown.
Stay safe everyone!