Many businesses are having to shut their doors on public access areas and high street locations during the COVID-19 lockdown and we know that this can add to a growing list of worries, particularly about how you can ensure your business premises are secured during any extended shut down or closure period.
Under normal circumstances, we would recommend undertaking a security assessment with your security provider to ensure all aspects are covered and to identify any particular security risks that need to be addressed.
Implementing a security assessment
Unfortunately, these are far from normal circumstances at the moment, so to minimise the need for site visits, we have produced a checklist of 7 things that you can do as part of a site inspection and security self-assessment.
7 key security checks
These simple pointers will help you to plan your security arrangements to make sure your premises are secure.
1. Make a plan of your site and building
Remember that security of your business starts OUTSIDE, so ensure you know the overall site layout and how it fits with surrounding sites.
- Use online mapping tools to get a site overview and mark perimeters and boundary’s
- Mark entrance and exit driveways and pathways for cars and people
- Include information on adjoining properties where the boundaries meet
- Add details of any walls, fences or back alleyways that could provide access to your site
2. Building entrance points
A building plan would typically include all external doors but ensure you also have details such as:
- Ground floor windows
- Fire escapes, ladders and stairways leading down from higher levels
- Emergency doors at the side and rear of the property, which may not be used normally
- Shutters or roller doors for workshops or warehouses
- Delivery areas or loading bays should also be included
- These should be included on a plan of the building, and a visual check, with photos can help to identify any maintenance issues that may need to be addressed.
3. Locks and entry systems
Having assessed entry points, it is also worth checking that door and window locks would provide suitable resistance to a forced entry
- Take photos or make a note of the locks and entry systems in use
- Check with keyholders so you know how many keys are in use and who has access (Access control)
- If you have electronic locks that are card or token operated, consider introducing restricted access for all but key personnel
- Review alarm settings and update your security provider
If you already have intruder alarm systems in place, make sure these have been tested and work in the way you expect. You may need to change system timings and update your security provider about new working arrangements.
Going up to the top of the building may not be your idea of fun, but if the roof is accessible, perhaps via escape routes, this could be used as a point of access.
- Check for roof lights or maintenance hatches
- Mark these on building plans and if possible, undertake a visual check to ensure good working order.
5. External storage areas
Any separate outbuildings or storage areas within the perimeter should also be noted, particularly if security measures are needed specifically for those areas, or if they restrict the operation of security covering the rest of the site. (eg. Blocking the view of CCTV)
- Mark any external structures located within your perimeter
- For each, note details of entry points and locks as with the main building
- Photos will help to show how an external storage area is situate, as well as its construction
If storage areas are not covered by your existing security arrangements, you stand to lose valuable raw materials or supplies through theft, and you may even find your insurance does not cover your losses if you don’t make sufficient efforts to secure these areas.
While not strictly needed for Video (CCTV) system with night vision, motion activated lights will deter most opportunist criminal elements and show that areas are empty and are being protected. It may also help to reduce insurance premiums.
- Mark on your plan where external lights are located and what area they cover
- Internal lighting will also help to deter break-ins and vandalism of property
- Check lighting timers if appropriate, and if only certain lights are to be used, fitting low energy bulbs may also help to reduce electricity usage
7. Protecting business assets
- If you are locking down a property for any extended period, it may also be worth identifying any easily movable assets that can be temporarily placed in less accessible parts of the building.
- Move computers and monitors, away from windows or into lockable offices or storage rooms
- If equipment cannot be easily moved, include it on your office plan and check that your security arrangements cover that area
- Unplug any non-essential equipment to further reduce the risk of fire
- Sensitive data regarding staff, customers or suppliers, should be stored off site if possible
Just putting things out of sight will reduce temptation for would-be burglars, and is one less thing to worry about.
Download our free security self-assessment checklist
Whether you are on emergency lock-down, or are simply planning an extended closure, these simple tips can help you plan your security arrangements and ensure you are taking appropriate steps for securing your business sites and buildings.
Of course, STANLEY Security can help you select the right security solutions and even during this unprecedented period, we are able to offer installations, remote security management and site visits for the most urgent cases.
STANLEY Assure™ is a finance solution and offers an affordable rental package that spreads your payments over a fixed term. Included within your STANLEY Assure package are all replacement parts, call outs and labour on wear and tear basis that allows you to manage your budget over the COVID-19 pandemic effectively.
To help you plan your security during an extended shutdown, please use the security self-assessment checklist below to ensure you review some of the key areas with your security and monitoring provider.