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Seasonal safety?

19 December 2012

Paul Eskriett MBE

How can SME’s secure their premises during festive season? What are the most cost effective/efficient ways? We asked Paul Eskriett MBE, Director of Police and Consultancy Services at The Shield Guarding Company

No matter what size your business, there are some important, basic and common sense security measures that can be easy and cost-effective to execute to safeguard staff, equipment and other valuables.

According to the Office for National Statistics, thefts from homes and other businesses went up by five per cent between 2010 and 2011, making it more vital than ever to make sure you are properly protected. Having a good alarm that will automatically inform a central monitoring station of a criminal act while it’s happening could one day more than pay for itself. If you already have one, make sure it’s regularly serviced and tested and working properly.

It is crucial that you identify the particular threats you face in the area where your business is situated. Then you can focus on which particular security systems will be the most suitable for you.

Failure to put the most appropriate security measures in place not only leaves your premises vulnerable, it can also impact adversely on your business insurance.
There is a range of appropriate products which can raise the level of security to business premises. These include:
- Roller shutter doors
- High speed doors
- Steel hinged doors
- Security locks
- Anti-ram barriers
- Security grilles
- External lighting

Intruders usually enter the building through doors or windows; they can also exploit flat roofs and skylights, adjoining cellars, access hatches, or even go through walls built of metal foil construction or single skin brick walls. Therefore, all of these potential access points need to be considered in any risk assessment.

Secure doors and windows, complemented by other essential security measures, such as alarm systems, CCTV and illumination, are crucial in minimizing the risk of burglary to your business.
Shutters and doors can be installed without compromising the aesthetic value of the property and they provide a high degree of security and deterrence.

1. Purchase quality door locks and use them
2. Have an emergency alarm system that works
3. Keep seldom used doors and windows locked at all times
4. Install peepholes in doors so you can see who comes to your door
5. Join a Neighborhood Watch team or Business Watch if there is one in your community
6. Never leave a message on your answering machine telling people you will be away
7. Make sure that all employees in your business are aware of all the security procedures
8. Lighting is an effective and cheap way to secure premises. Motion-sensitive lighting will ensure that any dark corners that could provide cover for criminals are illuminated. They will also help enhance surveillance.
9. Always ensure your computer systems are backed up daily and you have details of your suppliers, customers, insurance and staff stored away from your building. This may be as basic as backing up to a memory stick which you take home each night for safety, allowing you to keep contact with important people or organisations who will be able to assist you to keep trading following a fire or other damage.
10. A general rule of thumb for SME’s is to think what information would be essential to help you continuing trading if the building caught fire and your records were destroyed and back that information up on a daily basis.

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