Security is fundamental for every commercial building, whether a retail store, warehouse, factory, storage space or office. Enhancing security can significantly reduce the potential for break-ins, thefts and vandalism while reassuring your workforce and potentially reducing your insurance premiums.
The challenge for many businesses is that security covers such a broad scope it can be difficult to pinpoint which solutions are worth investing in and which will make a tangible difference.
In this article, we run through our nine top recommendations to keep your commercial premises protected.
1. Conduct a Comprehensive Site Risk Assessment
Risk assessments are always the best starting point when deciding on building or site security because the threats that pose the greatest hazard will naturally differ for each commercial structure/site. Without a thorough evaluation, you may miss a huge flaw in your security without realising, and a risk assessment should cover the following:
- An analysis of every threat, looking at entry points, the value of materials or equipment, operational hours, ingress routes, neighbouring properties, businesses or land, and the risks present.
- An assessment of the severity of each threat and the measures you have in place. The outcome will highlight hazards that are not under sufficient control to render them minimal.
- A decision about how you will address remaining issues, who will be responsible, and a follow-up assessment to determine whether the steps taken have addressed the potential risk.
Repeating your risk assessment annually or periodically and after any changes within your operating structure will ensure you stay ahead of developing security threats before they materialise.
2. Implement an Access Control System
For most commercial properties, the core issue is how to stop any unauthorised individuals from entering the building, whether a trespasser during the night or an unlawful intruder during opening hours.
There are multiple options, but you might consider an access control gating system that uses biometric data or security passes and codes to ensure anybody entering the compound or building has the appropriate credentials.
Alternatives include a door entry system with a controlled method for issuing security passes or key fobs, intercoms to allow security or reception personnel to screen prospective visitors, or an upgrade to your locks.
You can read more about commercial access control systems here.
3. Fit Alarms – but don’t forget monitoring
Thousands of businesses experience break-ins and robberies over the weekend or holiday periods when it is obvious the premise is unmanned. Even high-performance commercial alarm systems are ineffective if nobody responds or you assume the alert is another false call-out.
Alarm systems fitted to windows, doors, and high-value spaces such as server rooms or inventory storage areas with around-the-clock monitoring expedite a security response if an intrusion occurs.
Our NSI Gold accredited Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) operates 365 days a year. We can recommend options such as video-verified alarms or other battery-powered alarms for properties or sites with an unreliable mains power supply.
4. Supplement Security With CCTV Surveillance
CCTV cameras have advanced considerably in recent years. A set of commercial cameras with audio warnings, automatic activation, and functionality such as pan, tilt and zoom are strong deterrents against opportunistic criminals.
However, your cameras must be suited to the environment and positioned correctly to cover areas considered high risk.
For example, a CCTV camera tower unit is suited to car parks and broader land areas, but a fixed CCTV camera might be optimal for a smaller interior space. Our professional security consultants can advise on the right set-up, particularly for businesses with higher risk factors or complexities, such as needing to monitor stairwells.
5. Install High-Visibility Warning Signage
Most break-ins, thefts, intrusions and incidents of vandalism are opportunist, and criminals will scout locations and businesses to target those with insufficient security where there is little chance of being recorded, apprehended or stopped.
Warning signs are a low-cost but effective way to improve your security since signage indicating the presence of active alarms, security surveillance, CCTV recording, or security patrols is very likely to act as a preventative. They also show any potential criminals that you are taking your security seriously.
6. Consider Security Guards or Mobile Patrols
Depending on your risk assessment, you may find some threats difficult to mitigate or eliminate through technological surveillance and monitoring. In other cases, a business or commercial space with high-value assets or equipment may remain a target.
Physical, visible security guards hire remains one of the most robust ways to take your security to the next level and reinforce the protections in place.
Guarding can be flexible and varied, such as mobile patrols that follow irregular patterns, canine patrols for larger compounds, or static guarding for organisations with a greater risk of intrusion.
7. Conduct Regular Reviews and System Checks
Periodic site inspections, checks on your alarm systems and maintenance will ensure your security devices are working correctly and are primed to respond if a criminal intrusion occurs.
Just as alarms are less effective if they are not suitably monitored, businesses often find that a security system they had assumed was working perfectly has a major flaw, doesn’t cover a specific entry point, or hasn’t been updated.
Most security systems should be tested weekly or monthly at least, in the same way that you test commercial fire alarms, emergency lighting and call points to verify that they are functioning properly.
8. Introduce Car Park Security
Trespassers and criminals are unlikely to target a business if the parking facilities allocated to the property are secure, and vehicle thefts, including the theft of commercial vans, lifting equipment, trucks and cars, can be just as costly as an intrusion inside your building.
Adding bollards, entry gates, retractable parking posts, and surveillance ensures your workforce can enter and exit the property safely, and criminals cannot easily gain vehicular access.
You can also consider keyholding services where a trained guard provides unlock and lock-up assistance to ensure backup is available at those points in the day when a commercial building is most vulnerable.
9. Secure Property Boundaries
When we think of commercial building security, we might consider the locks, entry systems, and alarms in place – but if the land or space around the premise is open access, this can also multiply the potential for criminal activity.
Commercial Fencing, concrete barriers, security patrols and CCTV can prevent unlawful intruders from accessing your land and stop criminals from getting close enough to your building to attempt a break-in. Find out more about our perimeter security systems here.
For more advice about the right security protocols to protect your commercial building, please contact Clearway at your convenience for professional guidance from the security experts. We protect people, property and assets.