The cost of criminal activity or damage to your commercial property can be very high on your business. Things like vandalism, arson and theft can hugely dent your business activities – and even affect your confidence as a business owner. This means it’s vital that you are vigilant about the security of your office, commercial property and employees. Security is an essential procedure and something that should never be overlooked or left to chance.
To help your business put essential security in place, we have created our 6 Point Checklist to Keep Your Business Safe & Secure.
1. Educate Employees on Security
Effective security begins with your employees. It’s best practice to have all company policies in writing and that security measures are included with all emergency procedures and health and safety codes. Your policy should also outline having keys cut and loaning your keys to others. Your management team should lead by example with these policies and follow a routine for locking doors and gates and securing the alarms. This procedure should also be reviewed with any employees responsible for closing the premises.
All staff should be encouraged to speak up if they see unusual activity around the office and feel completely comfortable reporting to management if someone requests sensitive information surrounding business security details.
2. Entry Points & Security Doors
All security points of entry must be locked, even during business hours, when not in use. Your windows are no exception and should be secured from the inside when the office is closed or if a space is not in use.
If possible, it’s a good idea to have deadbolts installed on all doors that give access to the building. If a deadbolt lock is in place, ensure it functions properly. You could also step up security with a high-security lock or an Access Control System. This will help reduce the number of keys in circulation and can also track who enters the property around the clock.
Security cameras will allow you to monitor who is accessing the building at all times. When installed on both the inside and exterior of your premises, the video footage will not only provide evidence of a crime but will also act as a deterrent to criminals.
Cameras should be placed at key locations of the premises such as entry points, loading docks, car parks/garages, storage rooms or any restricted areas. A visible sign should also be displayed that clearly states you have security cameras in place.
3. Protect Valuables
If your business takes payments of cash, you should ensure regular bank deposits are made. This will ensure the amount of money in the building is kept to a minimum to mitigate your risk. When the business is closing for the day, ensure employees are in the habit of placing particularly valuable items in a secure place and out of sight. Keeping blinds closed after hours will help deter opportunistic thieves.
We would also highly advise a review of your company’s insurance policy to familiarise yourself with what it covers and what the claims process is if required. You should record all expensive equipment within the premises and keep this documented in a safe and secure place.
4. Make Network Security A Priority
All employees should be briefed on business policies regarding computer usage, the handling of sensitive information and any electronic communications. Your WiFi network should be protected with a strong password and if you offer free WiFi to customers, this should be set up on a completely separate network. This is especially important if your business handles sensitive data or customer information that is subject to privacy regulations in order to avoid a potential security breach.
Administration staff should only print sensitive documents when absolutely necessary and ensure they are shredded rather than placed straight into the bin. Sensitive paperwork should always be disposed of properly and not left sitting around the office.
5. Property Maintenance
Having routine maintenance of your property will help protect your commercial building. Install extra lighting and replace all light bulbs and fixtures surrounding the property regularly. Motion detectors and floodlights help illuminate any blind spots and will also help decrease the risk of late night break-ins. Also, ensure that there is plenty of lighting near the main doors for any employees that may need to enter or exit after dark.
Bushes and landscaping should always be well trimmed and fences or gates with locks should be installed to help protect company vehicles and equipment. Lastly, it’s important that any damaged doors, windows or locks are repaired as soon as possible to avoid easy access to the property.
6. Managing Incoming and Outgoing Employees
When hiring a new team member, always request proper documentation and a number of references. This will ensure that you are aware of any past misconducts before handing over keys to your property and it’s valuables. It’s also important to establish a set procedure for handling your security when a staff member leaves the business. Things like changing computer passwords, keypad entry codes and the return of keys should be a high priority.
Whether you’re a small business or a large corporate, it’s critical to ensure your business, staff and property are protected at all times. Doing everything you can to secure your business will give you the confidence and peace of mind to keep moving forward with your company activities.
AIPS Security provides extensive, professional security services Australia wide. If you have any concerns regarding the security of your business, call us on 0451 33 (aips) 2477 today and we’d be happy to help.