One of the most challenging parts of owning a business is keeping it safe and protected. Unless you are a freelancer with no physical business premises, stock etc. and you always take your office with you, you would be right to ensure that all your assets are duly protected.
When you have physical buildings and stock to look after then securing it should be top of your list. If not, your business is going to suffer from it. Crime rates in the UK are at an all-time low, and that is purely down to the fact more people are taking precautionary steps to combat the problem. Criminals are opportunists, they are looking for new and ingenious ways to undermine the security measures taken. So, it’s all about being one step ahead and choosing the right security measures for your premises. By doing some or all the things on this building security audit checklist, you will be well on your way to a safer and protected business.
Seek Advice And Secure Your Premises
Before doing anything, it is a good idea to speak to the local police in the area where your premises are sited. This way you can ask the question and find out if your area is a crime hotspot, then, with the help of the police, you can find out where the threats are mainly coming from and what steps you can put in place to secure your premises. In the rest of this checklist, we give you some top tips on what is available to help secure your premises.
It is imperative that although all of the security measures you put in place will help deter and if necessary catch criminals, it is vital that all staff know what to do in the event of such things happening when they are on the premises. It is good practice to ensure all tills are emptied regularly and cash in the safe is regularly banked. Your employees’ safety is the most important thing over whatever it is that the intruders are intending to take. Security training is not something to take lightly.
There are so many advantages to CCTV cameras as opposed to security guards, one being that you don’t need to pay them for showing up. Once you have looked at what meets your needs and have them installed, they are there for you to use. They can be in operation 24/7, and there’s also no chance of them falling asleep! As technology is improving daily, there are some high-tech systems available. There are High-Definition cameras, and infrared or night vision is also possible, Dome cameras which cover a larger area can be manually controlled, and these can make hard to see as an intruder which way the camera is looking. This is just a fraction of what’s available.
CCTV and human security cannot be compared as they both have their benefits, and there are a few things that each cannot do. However, if you put the two together, they complement each other quite nicely. For example, if the CCTV operator at a remote location can see something suspicious, they could call in the security team to go and check it out. OR vice versa – a security guard on the premises may hear something suspicious and ask the CCTV operator to scope out a given area. This combines the strengths of both attaining a broader level of security.
Alarms And Lighting
Criminals look for an opportunity, a job that has a high payout, with as little risk as possible. The last thing they want is a loud alarm ringing drawing all the attention to themselves. However, alarms do not need to be a loud deterrent which would hopefully spook the criminal. Alarms are also available with a silent signal that is sent to the central monitoring system, where then the threat can be seen and managed via CCTV.
In addition to this, the last thing that criminals want is to have attention drawn to them, via a big flood of light. Motion censored lights are another great solution to deter criminals.
Another option to secure your building is to ensure it is only staff getting access to your building. Special turnstiles/doors give this option. Staff then have unique passes, fobs or biometrics to gain access. With electronic user access, you also get a precise automated time-stamped log of who has been coming and going. So, as and when required, you can pinpoint exactly who was on your premises at any given time.
Secure And Keep Track Of Equipment
If you have high-value goods and equipment on the premises such as laptops and anything of value, these should be kept under lock and key. If possible, keep them locked away in a room that is not the easiest to gain access to and fit security tags which enables you to track the valuable items should they be taken. It is also good to practice the habit of keeping records of any valuable items. Record any time you move it to another area of the premises. If an item is taken out of the building, steps to secure the item would include logging the persons responsible for the item while is it out of the building, then also logging when it is returned. Recording the movement of any valuables will also prevent employee theft from happening as you will know who last had access to the areas with access to valuables.
Prevent Employee Theft
One of the greatest dangers is from employees themselves. Checking employment history and references is an essential task before employing someone. This gives you an insight into if they are trustworthy or not. This, along with access control as mentioned above, should ensure that your trust in your staff, if misplaced, doesn’t cause you to lose valuable equipment.
Hopefully, the checklist above should help you to ascertain whether your business is duly protected. However, it is also vital to ensure you have the right insurance to cover you should the worst happen, and your business becomes the victim of crime.