Your new business property should represent a great opportunity for growth, but it can also represent a new risk. Before you move all your equipment, stock and vital resources in, it’s wise to make sure you’ve got the best security that you can afford in place.
We’ve created this detailed guide in conjunction with Locksmith Coventry, giving examples of what you should check out before you take possession of your business property or, at the very least, what to do as you move in.
Are there any locks that need replacing?
The first thing that you have to check when you move into a new premises is just how secure the entry points are. This means taking a look at your doors, shutters and windows. When it comes to the main external access point locks, are they of a basic standard that wouldn’t be able to withstand attempts at forced entry? Do the windows have any security, and do you have the keys for all of these?
You should replace all the external locks on the premises on principle, as you do not know who has a set of keys otherwise. If you don’t, your insurance company may not pay out if there’s a theft, but no actual break in!
Ideally you should use this as an opportunity to upgrade your locks to a higher security standard by fitting anti-snap and high tensile strength versions. One of the things you should check before moving into a new business property is whether the uPVC door locks are of a high security standard, and consider upgrading them to anti-snap and high tensile strength versions to ensure better protection against forced entry.
Are the premises covered by a security firm?
If you’re the leaseholder or owner of a property, then you’re not likely to have the protection provided by any private security companies, unless you organise these yourself. If you’re renting or buying an office within a larger block, or on a managed business park, security guards and patrols might already have the building covered.
If you don’t have a security firm in place for your building, it means investing in extra security measures is more important, as is having robust internal security processes to ensure your team are vigilant. It’s worth considering whether you need security services, especially for periods when the property is empty; e.g. overnight. Depending on your business type and location, it may be worth talking to other local business to see if they are interested in a shared security service with a quick response time.
Do you need to fit an alarm or CCTV?
Even if your premises are secured with high quality locks and watched over by a professional security team, it’s worth basing your security on the assumption that someone might attempt to break in, rather than hoping for the best.
As such, having extra security equipment such as an alarm or CCTV can play two important roles. For one, they act as a deterrent, effectively showing would be criminals that breaking in without being noticed isn’t easy. Furthermore, if there is a break in, they can provide an alert to both you and the police, as well as helping to capture evidence.
Who has keys to the property?
Assigning the keyholders of the business property is essential, especially in cases like shop security where large amounts of money may be held in the building after closing hours. While there’s no need to be inherently distrustful of other employees, the keyholders are in a position of trust, be they family members or long-term employees, they need to have proven their ability to handle responsibility.
For a keyholder to really be of use, they must be easy to contact at any point, have their own transport, and be located conveniently enough that they can arrive at the premises at short notice, responding to any issues or alarm calls quickly.
Access arrangements for your employees
It’s important to consider who has access to what and where in the workplace. Nowadays, many of your valuable assets are potentially digital and must be protected by log-ins, encryption and different levels of system access.
In the physical world, swipe card systems for areas like stockrooms and offices with safes or digital storage equipment play much the same role. Alternatively, the advent of smart locks means that you can restrict and control access using fobs, keypads or smart phones. These type of locks mean that changing access settings is simple, with no physical lock changes required.
Is there a safe?
If you have a lot of money or other valuables in the building then you need to check that there is a safe. If there isn’t, or its key/code can’t be changed, then it’s wise to install one that complies to British standards. This ensures that it’s not easy to break into or simple to lift and carry away.
Where the safe is located matters as well. To prevent anyone from trying to easily access it and get it out of the building via a ram raid, keep it both somewhere that’s relatively hidden, as well as difficult to transport it from. For instance, if a safe is kept from the entry points by stairs, it can be hard to get to and remove without the right equipment.
Get a security audit
Rather than trying to figure out whether your business premises are secure enough, or not secure enough by yourself, having a trained professional on your side can be a lot of help.
Get in touch with a professional locksmith for the purposes of an audit, they can tell you your risk level and what vulnerabilities in your security you should consider rectifying. You should also keep the number of a reliable 24 hour emergency locksmith in your phone, just in case you need it. If you’re in the Coventry area, you can contact Locksmith Coventry 24 hours a day.