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The safety of employees, materials, equipment, and premises is a constant concern for any business owner. Luckily for you, there’s a fair degree of overlap between these factors, and by securing anyone you improve the safety of the rest. Here are seven strategies you can implement right now to Enhance your overall business security to a higher level.
Inspect all doors and windows
Your business security, like any other business aspect, needs strong foundations, so start with the basics. Check all avenues of ingress and egress on your company’s premises: gates, loading docks, driveways, pathways, doors, and yes, even windows. You’re not sufficiently safe if you just close and lock them. Standard doors and windows are still vulnerable to breaking, lock picking, and other manners of forced or covert entry.
Replace them with enhanced materials like steel or reinforced wood. Install roll-down safety gates over glass doors. Opt for reinforced glass for your windows, and maybe put up some protective grates. Beyond the panes themselves, strengthen the frames with metal plates and fortified strike boxes. Remember to address your interior doors and windows as well – in case some undesirable does get in, you’ll have a few more lines of protection between different assets to minimize damage.
Assess your locks
Replace any exterior or interior locks that are old, rusted, damaged, poorly installed, came loose over the years, etc. Be especially wary of mechanical locks that share a key, as is sometimes the case in old buildings that house modern offices. Either replace them with new individual locks and have new keys made, or skip the hassle and install a modern smart lock system. Instead of distributing physical keys that can be easily lost, stolen, or duplicated, you can assign individual access codes to employees.
This allows for greater flexibility and enhance your business security to a greater level since you can tailor each person’s access according to their rank in the company, their specific duties, and other factors. Moreover, if an employee departs the company, you can simply deactivate their code instead of wondering if a disgruntled former associate might have made a key copy. Best of all, smart locks maintain access records, so every individual’s use of a given door is accounted for at any time. Thanks to this feature they can double as a low-maintenance, high-efficiency, visitor management system if your premises are in any capacity open to the public or third-party stakeholders.
Keep it bright
Dimly lit parking lots, stairways, arches, corners, and alleyways are like magnets for shady types, from inebriated passers-by looking for discreet improvised toilets, through petty vandals on a dare, to genuine criminals. Combat this with better lighting solutions in shadowed zones, particularly the side and rear exits. One effective approach that lighting experts recommend for exterior areas is to install motion-activated lights. They’re especially suited to infrequently or irregularly accessed sections. You get adequate illumination on demand while minimizing your energy bill.
As for the interior, proper illumination can be a great deterrent to thieves and sneaks – but you want to balance that with your energy consumption. You can set a good example and enhance your business security with conscious solutions: a specialist electrician might recommend smart lighting. It can be set to mimic the effects of occupancy, effectively deterring potential burglars. They create an illusion of activity (and therefore monitoring and security) even when the premises are empty.
Install good security cameras
Once your locks and lights are good and secure, you’ll want to complement them with proper surveillance. Maintaining a video record of all incidents in a business environment can substantially safeguard your enterprise should any criminal activity transpire.
Strategically situated cameras can gather crucial evidence against potential shoplifters, vandals, burglars, incidents of violence, and even employees engaging in criminal or dubious activities. The mere presence of cameras signals a high chance of getting caught in the act, prompting potential criminals to reconsider their actions. In addition, they contribute to more subtle security factors such as workplace safety, workflow monitoring, reduced risk of lawsuits etc.
Review and update your alarm system
Effective integration of the right business alarm system can yield substantial advantages. Even if your business already has one, check its age. Advancements in surveillance technology over recent years are noteworthy, so you should consider an upgrade. Maybe switch to a smart alarm system tailored to your business’s specific needs.
The latest solutions often combine various features in a single framework. These contemporary systems seamlessly incorporate intrusion safeguards, CCTV cameras, access control, fire protection, and automation features (such as lighting and HVAC control) under one cohesive program. This approach far surpasses conventional alarm systems, granting you both wide-scale security and centralized control.
Secure the valuable assets
While your premises are your biggest security project, you should independently protect your actual assets as well. Numerous businesses possess assets that could be enticing to potential criminals: cash, valuables, documents, and digital data. Each of these asset categories requires specific security strategies. Specifically for cash management, it’s wise to adopt certain best practices such as limiting money handling to designated areas and permitting access only to a handful of trusted personnel. A similar approach works for data, where it’s confined to appropriate servers and accessible on a need-to basis to as few people as possible.
If you have a safe for documentation and other valuables, their placement should be in a secure location, and knowledge of the combination should be confined to reliable individuals. For costly equipment or high-value inventory, strategic storage solutions are paramount. These can be in-house or off-premises, or a combination of both, depending on what you’re safeguarding. At the close of each business day, make sure all assets are secured in their designated areas. In cases of exceptionally valuable items, make a point of preventing their visibility through windows after business hours.
Establish a closing time safety protocol
Finally, all business proprietors ought to formulate a systematic procedure for concluding operations at the end of the day. Crucial safety measures are less likely to be overlooked upon departure when adhering to a consistent closing routine.
Your evening safety regimen should encompass a series of actions, including verifying and securing all entry points, safeguarding valuable assets, inspecting various sections of the premises for security vulnerabilities, activating the wireless alarm, and more. Impart this plan to any employee entrusted with securing the premises overnight – and to keep accurate records of those employees.
To sum up, keeping your people and assets safe at work mostly comes down to protecting the workplace itself. Secure your premises against outside crime and in-house incidents with reinforced doors and windows, modern locks, strategic lighting, and effective surveillance. Update your alarms, limit access to any valuables, and have an ironclad closing routine to make sure everything is secure before employees leave for the night. These measures directly contribute to enhance the operational side of workplace safety, and therefore to staff well-being and your business security as a whole.