property safety house and lock LED lights

Winter is well and truly on it’s way and with the clocks going back next week we start to prepare ourselves for darker mornings and longer darker evenings. It also feels as though it’s the time of year to become more vigilant with office building security and our own security in our homes.

It seems that more recently office buildings and small businesses are becoming targets for break-ins. We are led to believe that this might be the case because it is assumed that smaller businesses could potentially be less securely protected – meaning that criminals believe it is easier to attack a smaller commercial building without encountering any alarms or guards.

Based on the above, it is a huge responsibility for anyone running a business or managing an office building to ensure there is adequate security at all times for staff, their belongings, equipment and supplies of the business.

‘Property crime covers a range of criminal activities where the aim is to either steal property or to cause damage to it. It is an important driver of overall crime, accounting for 70% of all police recorded crime in 2014/15 and 81% of all incidents measured by the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) in the same period’*

Basic Office Building Security – What You Should Have In Place.

Ultimately there are two ways to keep your property / business protected, these are with the use of technology (alarm systems, CCTV cameras, floodlights) or by employing Security Guards to physically stand guard over the property 24/7. Your choice of protection will be ascertained by the size and type of building, your budget and whether your employees safety needs to be guarded.

Questions to consider when it comes to the safety of your staff:

  • Do you have staff working late into the evening?
  • Do they need to cross a dark car park to get home?
  • Do your employees vehicles need to be guarded due to the location of your premises?
  • Is your parking lot likely to be vandalised?

These are all questions that you as a business owner or property manager should be assessing before making your security decisions.

If budgets do not allow for security staff to be on site 24/7 there are always alternatives and ‘common sense’ should also prevail in these circumstances for example, ensure no-one works alone at night, especially female employees, buildings and parking lots are well lit with security lights and CCTV cameras, and shrubs and trees kept to a minimum, as you do not want to provide hiding places for people looking to target your property.

What Building Security Systems Should I Have In Place As A Small Business?

Technology is widely available now and any business SHOULD be providing building security for their employees and equipment. Below are some general guidelines to follow to help make sure your building is secure.

Monitored or wireless alarm system

An alarm provides a significant deterrent to thieves and should be one of the first things you consider installing. There are various options to choose from including:
Alarm systems that transmit emergency signals via a mobile phone connection, landline or internet connection to a monitoring station, which dispatches police to the scene when needed.

and

Two-way voice intercom alarms; if the alarm is set off, the intercom connects the chosen employee/business owner directly to the monitoring station. This ensures that if an intruder does get into your premises, police will be alerted in the shortest possible time.

Security Lighting

The majority of burglaries take place during the evening or at night – security lighting should installed on the outside of your premises can be an effective deterrent as well as your alarm system. The type of security lighting you chose will be dependant on how high the risks are and the type of surveillance already in place. The most popular form of security lighting is passive infrared: it is activated when someone comes into its field of vision and is cost effective to install.

CCTV

CCTV is a great way to deter burglars but it should be seen as only one aspect of your overall security system. Thieves can always cover their faces to keep out of the camera shot. It is also really important to know where to place the CCTV cameras and to make sure that the lighting is sufficient. For CCTV installation is is advisable to enlist the services of a security company or professional to help.

British Standard Locks

British standard locks are rigorously tested to ensure they offer enough protection from a break in. You will more than likely find that your your lock is to be BS 3621 compliant as requirement of you office insurance policy – without it, you will be putting your office at risk.

Laptop Locks

Laptops are highly targeted during break ins so make sure you use laptop locks, these make it very difficult for anyone to steal your computer. The laptop lock acts in a similar way to a bike lock – t is a metal cable with one end that attaches to a hole in the side of your laptop, and the other that is looped around or connected to a non-moveable object.

Other office security solutions:

  • Keep important documents in locked cabinets
  • Put cash in a safe
  • Join a ‘business watch’

We hope that the above information will help you make some important decisions with your office building security – whilst doing our research we came across a really interesting infographic by The Home Office on the results of the Crime Against Businesses 2015 Commercial Victimisation Survey – check it out

(• http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160105160709/http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/crime-stats/crime-statistics/focus-on-property-crime–2014-to-2015/stb-focus-on-property-crime–2014-to-2015.html)