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A business security checklist

Burglaries of business premises are not uncommon, and they can be costly.

Just last month, we reported on figures from the British Retail Consortium that showed the sector was left out of pocket to the tune of £603 million in 2014 as a direct result of crime - an increase of 18 per cent on the preceding 12 months. And offices and industrial facilities are often targeted, too, with items like computers and mobile devices having a high value to opportunistic thieves.

Nonetheless, while no business is immune to burglary, everyone can take steps to minimise their exposure to costly and brand-damaging criminal activity. Here's a checklist of security measures you can use to protect your premises from a break-in, ranging from the simple to the specialist. How many can your business tick off?

Keep doors and windows locked out of business hours.

This might seem obvious, but there are a handful of important considerations here that are often overlooked. Are you in control of your keys, for example? Have you kept a record of the number of keys that you've issued, and do you have a policy in place so that staff can report losses and thefts?

Additionally, be sure to check that your locks are tough enough to stop forced entry, and that all points of ingress - not just your front entrance, but also back doors and windows - are looked after with the same rigour.

Install a burglar alarm and CCTV

Again, these might seem like pretty obvious security measures. The truth is, however, that there's a world of difference between well-installed alarms and CCTV systems and badly thought-out ones. It's worth seeking professional advice on issues like camera placement, local versus centrally monitored alarms and so on.

Keep your premises well lit after hours

Most burglaries occur at night under the cover of darkness, so one of the best deterrents at your disposal is simply to flood your premises with light at all hours. This helps to give the impression that your workplace is occupied, which typically drives away thieves on the more opportunistic end of the spectrum.

Ensure that valuables aren't left out in the open

True security can't be achieved with physical controls and safeguards alone. It's also important to promote a working culture in which employees are aware of how their behaviour impacts the business' exposure to risk. Ensure that they take responsibility for locking doors and windows, lock away key assets after hours, and keep their own valuables out of sight of a potential intruder.

Employ a professional security service

Finally, bolstering the above with a professional security service will arm your business with the best possible defence against criminal activity. Having your premises guarded 24 hours a day not only acts as a deterrent to would-be burglars, but also provides you with the means to respond to an incident as it unfolds - something no alarm or CCTV system, however sophisticated, can offer.

 

Posted by Andrew Miller

Image courtesy of Thinkstock

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