If you’re running a business, then the chances are that you’ll have physical assets. If you’re a freelancer whose entire business consists of zeros and ones, then real-life security might not be something that you need to take too seriously. But if you’re running a physical business with premises and stock that needs safeguarding, then security will be crucial. This is all the more so in the world of construction, where such assets are unprotected, and your workforce is in a state of constant flux.
For as long as the concept of property has been around, there have been those willing to steal or damage it. But fortunately, this means we’ve an enormous amount of wisdom to draw upon – and recent years has seen this knowledge harden into procedure, making sites better protected than perhaps they’ve ever been. Moreover, improvements in technology have allowed site operators to monitor and protect their sites in ways that they’ve never before been able to.
Let’s take a look at the five best ways to keep your site secure.
1. Security Guards
Knowledge, as they say, is power. If you don’t know about the ways in which your site is under attack, then you’ll be unable to do anything to stop it. This is true of broader trends in crime in a given area, but it’s also true in the more acute sense: if some unauthorised person is intruding onto your site at a given minute, then you want to be able to know about it.
Of course, site operators are not able to oversee their premises personally 24/7. Nor do they have the experience and training necessary to effectively do so. And so instead, a specialist firm that can provide that cover via remote services such as cctv is required.
CCTV cameras hold several advantages over security guards. Most obviously, they don’t need to be paid, and they can operate constantly. Many of them are also able to see in the dark. Security cameras can also record images to be called upon later, providing crucial evidence about any incidents which do take place. Modern security cameras can be placed atop tall poles, and communicate with a central remote monitoring station via radio waves, rendering them practically immune to sabotage.
But comparing the relative merits of CCTV and human security is misguided – the best security systems will make use of both. CCTV solutions, much like looms, combine harvesters and computers, are not designed to replace your security workforce, but to complement them. A CCTV operator at a remote location might, for example, ask a member of your security team to move to a given place in order to check out some suspicious activity. And the reverse might be true, too: a guard might ask a CCTV operator to inspect a given area. By combining the respective strengths of the two means of surveillance, more information on threats can be gathered, and a broader level of protection thereby attained.
Criminals, in several senses, are just like every other professional. They want the highest possible payoff for the lowest possible risk. Whilst the occasional dramatic jewellery heist might make for better headlines and Hollywood storylines, the majority of crime doesn’t require quite so much daring and ingenuity. If the average robber see an unguarded van that’s filled with high-value goods, then they’re much likelier to target it than they are an armoured truck.
The conclusion we draw from this is an obvious one – if your premises look difficult to target, or it looks as though doing so might carry a risk, then you’ll provide criminals with a strong disincentive. In some cases, this disincentive might be suggested with a simple sign saying ‘intruders will be prosecuted’. You might also install fake security cameras, which provide the same deterrent as the real thing, but without any of the cost.
Alarms are another effective means of dissuading a wrongdoer. If their intrusion has caused an almighty siren to sound, then potential thieves will turn tail and flee. But alarms needn’t simply be as crude as a loud noise – they might instead consist of a silent signal to the central monitoring station, which, as we’ve seen, would be able to see the threat via CCTV, and then act accordingly.
Another effective deterrent is light. Thieves dislike being noticed and seen, as do arsonists, vandals and other criminals. Given the choice, they’ll work under cover of darkness. The best approach to discouraging such people, therefore, is to make use of motion-controlled lights. These will provide a strong disincentive to would-be intruders – after all, if there’s one thing that’s likely to unnerve such a person, it’s the prospect of suddenly and without warning being made extremely visible.
5. Access control
One of the best ways to prevent intruders from gaining access to your premises is to insist that each of your employees can only access the site through a special turnstile. Each worker would then use a special unique keycard, fob or biometrics in order to come on site. This would yield a substantial improvement in security, particularly for businesses whose staff turnover is high.
The reason for this is simple. Giving every member of staff a mechanical key would mean that whenever anyone left the company, they’d still retain access to the site. Moreover, they’d be able to pass that key on to a third party. Electronic access control takes a different approach: everyone’s keycard is unique, and the list of approved personnel can be constantly adjusted to reflect the current payroll. Moreover, there can be areas within your premises with different security levels than others, so that you can allow management to get into the administrative centre without allowing visitors to do so – all without having extra keys cut.
As well as preventing unauthorised people from entering your site, electronic user access control can also provide you with an automated, timestamped log of exactly who has been coming and going. This means that, when the need arises, you’ll be able to look back at a given incident and see exactly who was on-site.