Having your business property broken into or vandalised can be a very traumatic event for any business owner, often resulting in insurance claims being made or having to spend out of your own pocket to replace your much needed equipment.
Prevention is always better than cure, so if you think your business property might lack in security – or if the property might be vacant for a considerable amount of time – make sure to invest in a good anti-intruder system.
So what is needed to protect your business?
The first thing you should do is make sure there are high quality locks on every point of access. This means all externally facing doors and windows should be lockable.
Where possible, front doors should at least have a five-lever mortice deadlock, which conforms to BS 3621. Having this type of lock can actually reduce your insurance premiums, as insurers will deem this as a higher level of protection than a standard mortice deadlock or night latch. You can also enhance the protection of your business by adding some internal sliding bolt locks.
If you have many members of staff requiring access, an electronic pin code, swipe card or finger print system can be used for enhanced intruder defence.
For windows, it’s best to install locks that are key-operated as this will also satisfy insurers if you need to make a claim. If your property has older sash windows, you should install sash stops as these prevent the window from being opened so much that they allow entry.
To truly make your business property secure, you need to think beyond just secure locks.
Alarm systems are very important, especially for larger premises that might be left vacant for an extended period of time.
Alarm systems work mainly with motion sensors, which detect movement within a property and sound an alarm when this is detected. More advanced systems will be connected to a monitoring centre, where a property guard firm or the police can be contacted directly to attend your property in the event of a break in. This monitoring service will be subject to a monthly fee.
It’s worth noting that badly configured alarm systems can be prone to false alarms. If your alarm system is connected to the police, 3 false alarms within a 12 month period will get your property taken off the police register. If this is the case, the police will not attend your property when your alarm goes off.
The most advanced alarm systems can tackle this problem of false alarms. With a series of carefully placed wireless motion sensors and CCTV cameras, video footage can be sent to control centres where experts can assess the potential break in and either contact the police or dispatch their own personnel. If you have a large property that is often kept vacant, a more advanced alarm system may be needed.
Installing motion-sensitive lights is also a good idea for safeguarding your property. Placing lights that turn on when movement is detected in vacant spaces, passages and entrances around the side of the building is a good option for deterring intruders and vandals, especially in the darker months.
To keep your property safe you need to think like an intruder and assess whether the business premises can be exploited easily. Old methods such as leaving lights on whilst you’re out of the office are becoming less effective, as burglars are now wise to these tricks.
Having a security firm come to your business and assess measures that can be implemented is the best way to keep your business property safeguarded. They will be able to use their expertise to advise you on the correct locks as well as placements of motion sensors, lights and CCTV if required.