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Improving business security

Considering the vast range of threats companies face, they are often looking at ways to improve business security. For any business looking at how to improve security, it must have clear objectives in mind. 

Are you looking to deter thieves?

Is it a case of deterring and catching local vandals?

Have you had a rise in shoplifting or aggressive customer behaviour?

Is there an issue around staff conduct, or employee theft?

Do you still use traditional keys and are concerned about intruders easily picking locks?

These are just some of the concerns businesses face.

Tips and advice on how to improve overall business security

In this article, we have provided a host of tips to help businesses improve overall security.

We cover CCTV, having a checklist, regulating access, using signage, reducing security costs with remote monitoring, and much more.

CCTV installation at a business

1. CCTV – internal and external

This sounds like a simple, obvious recommendation. Most businesses have CCTV, right?

Considering the volume of new enquiries we receive from businesses looking to deploy CCTV for the first time, this isn’t the case.

CCTV is used to help businesses deter and catch criminals.

Furthermore, CCTV can give staff and visitors peace of mind.

Interested in CCTV?

Here are a couple of links to relevant pages on our site.

CCTV and security camera systems

Benefits and advantages of CCTV

If you are wondering about the effectiveness of CCTV here are a couple of news stories from Berkshire and Hampshire.

Burglar caught on CCTV crashing through shop window in Caversham, Reading

This recent article highlights the importance of having CCTV at a business’s premises. Whilst the perpetrator was wearing a balaclava, the footage gained forms the start of an inquiry, hopefully leading to an arrest.

The impact of crime on a business isn’t always financial. The shop owner had the following to say about the ordeal:

“They caused more damage than the value of what they took, not to mention the emotional stress of just getting back on our feet after Covid. There’s been a spout of these recently in Caversham and Reading with Geo Cafe being broken into about month ago.”

Read the full article

15 electric bikes worth more than £30,000 stolen from New Forest Cycling in Burley

Unfortunately, this shop owner didn’t have CCTV watching over his premises. Therefore, the thieves in question were able to make off with over £30,000 of bikes.

“We called the police but, due to there being no CCTV evidence, blood or any tools left behind, they didn’t see any use in coming down,”

Read the full article

2. Use hidden and covert CCTV cameras to catch light-fingered employees

Employee theft is an issue for many businesses.

Standard CCTV systems can be used to monitor the premises.

However, in instances where CCTV isn’t currently in place and stock goes missing, covert, hidden CCTV cameras are an effective means to catch the culprit(s).

If you suspect a member of staff is a thief, covert CCTV will help you catch them; without the culprit even knowing they are being watched.

Is covert CCTV an effective form of surveillance?

This article should help answer that. Although the employer showed leniency, the cameras did their job.

Postal worker took cash from greetings cards walks from court

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Improve business security with video intercom

3. Video intercom – see who’s at the front door before letting them in

For businesses looking at how to improve security, a video intercom is a modern, secure way of granting staff and visitors access to your building.

These systems offer reception staff a certain degree of peace of mind as they get to see who is at the front door before letting them in.

Criminals posing as delivery drivers could target businesses without effective door entry and access control systems in place. If they can walk in unchecked, there would be a significant threat to the business.

4. Car park lighting  – especially during autumn and winter

If you are looking at how to improve security, car park lighting should be high on your list.

Dimly lit car parks provide vandals and thieves with the perfect environment to commit crimes.

If a car park is poorly lit, thieves can use this to their advantage.

Car parks with effective security lighting in place, provide staff and visitors with peace of mind when they are walking to and from their cars.

Considering it gets dark at around 4 pm in the winter, staff leaving the office will invariably be walking to their cars in the dark. This puts them at risk of muggers, and thieves.

Effective security lighting coupled with well-positioned CCTV cameras will reduce this threat.

CCTV footage being monitored

5. Reduce costs with CCTV monitoring

For businesses operating sites with large perimeters, security guards are usually deployed to monitor CCTV footage and patrol the site.

These businesses usually have significant assets to protect such as solar farms, construction sites, warehouses, distribution centres, and manufacturing sites.

Security guards aren’t cheap.

For businesses looking to reduce the cost of security, CCTV monitoring is the perfect solution as it can save up to 80% against the cost of physical guards.

Interested to find out more about CCTV monitoring? Here are some articles to help boost your knowledge.

What is CCTV monitoring?

CCTV monitoring FAQs

6. Consider alarm monitoring with Police response

Many businesses have an alarm as a visual deterrent.

However, crafty criminals may assume they can break-in, and make off with their ill-gotten gains before the company has had a chance to take action.

If an alarm is triggered, the business owner / keyholder would normally make the first response.

They will first check their CCTV footage, or if they don’t have cameras will drive to the site to see what has happened.

If they check their CCTV footage, and spot someone trying to break in, they can contact the authorities.

If there is no CCTV and they drive to site, the crime may have been committed and the criminal long gone. Even if they call The Police, they have already lost valuable time in trying to apprehend the intruder.

With remote alarm monitoring with Police response, if the system is triggered an alert is sent to The Police for them to attend site.

This could be the difference between catching the intruder, or being the victim of crime.

If you are operating a business with stock, assets or a large volume of cash to protect, definitely consider remote alarm monitoring.

7. Set up a local business WhatsApp group to report suspicious incidents

If your business is located on a business park, or retail district the power of community can help improve security.

Have you considered setting up a WhatsApp group for you and your neighbours to notify each other of suspicious incidents, or when known shoplifters or vandals are in the area?

It’s simple and free.

And, it is a fantastic way to build and cement relationships with other local businesses.

8. Track number plates in and around your premises with ANPR

For those who don’t know, ANPR stands for automatic number plate recognition.

Therefore, these CCTV cameras have the ability to track the number plates of vehicles entering and nearing your site.

For car park management this is an effective form of security.

Furthermore, ANPR cameras can be used to track number plates of suspicious vehicles. For example, if your ANPR cameras pick up the same number plate nearing your premises late at night, it could be a potential criminal scoping out your site.

If a school has issues with drug dealing, and the dealer’s number plate is known, ANPR cameras can be used to alert the security team of their presence.

Interested in ANPR?

Find out how ANPR cameras can provide an additional layer of security for your business.

FIND OUT MORE

9. Have a security checklist

A simple way to improve security is to have a checklist.

This can include actions such as:

  • Checking windows are locked
  • Setting the alarm
  • Ensuring CCTV cameras are recording footage

Looking for ideas on what to include in your business security checklist? Read our guide today.

Business security checklist

Regulating access with key fob door entry systems

10. Regulate access

Access control systems can be deployed to regulate access to different parts of your site.

For example, a key fob door entry system can be deployed to grant universal access to all staff via the main entrance, and limit access to areas holding cash, sensitive information, servers, and more.

With health and safety in mind, access control systems can also be used to restrict access to areas of the site containing hazardous material, or in the context of a warehouse, where forklift trucks may be in use.

As mentioned above, video intercoms provide an effective first line of security for many businesses. Seeing who is at the front door before letting them in provides peace of mind for reception staff. Video intercoms are another effective means to restrict access to a property.

Access control systems.

Manage and restrict access to your premises

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11. Appoint a security representative within the business

Businesses of a certain size may have a security manager, or someone looking after facilities.

For smaller businesses, this may not be feasible.

Security is just as important for smaller businesses as it is for larger companies. A solution would be to have someone in the business act as a security representative. This is a fantastic way to help improve business security.

Their job would be to ensure the systems are regularly checked, the team is aware of their individual responsibilities, and to be the go-to person for any concerns around security.

CCTV system maintenance

12. Review your current security systems

If you are looking at ways to improve business security, start with your current systems.

As mentioned earlier in this article, CCTV cameras should be checked regularly to ensure they are working correctly and recording crisp footage.

Additionally, you should review your door entry and access systems. Are you still using traditional keys? How do you know who is in the building and who isn’t?

How about deliveries?

Do you have a video intercom in place? How do reception staff know who to let in?

13. Align IT and security

IP CCTV systems often operate on the same network as ePos, access points, and telephony.

To ensure system outages don’t occur, your security systems provider should have a relationship with your IT team or company.

A simple update to an IP CCTV camera could cause disruption to access points or the phone system.

Reviewing CCTV footage

14. Review your CCTV footage regularly

If you are looking for ways to improve business security, make sure you review your footage regularly.

There would be nothing more heartbreaking for a business owner to know they have been the victim of crime, and the CCTV cameras weren’t recording.

Check your cameras regularly.

Another reason to regularly check your footage is to ensure you don’t miss potential, failed burglaries, or someone scoping out the premises after hours.

A regular check could prevent a crime being planned from happening.

15. Ensure you have clear security objectives

Like with all commercial decisions, you should ask yourself ‘why do we need this, what’s the objective?’

We always recommend having a clear security objective when investing in a system.

For example here are some security objectives for a range of systems

  • CCTV – deterring criminals, catching thieves, and offering all-around peace of mind
  • Access control – restricting access to certain areas of the site, health and safety and tracking employee whereabouts
  • Intercoms – managing access and deliveries
  • Alarms – deterring criminals, catching intruders
  • Key fob door entry – modernising the business, reducing the risks associated with losing keys

16. Shred paperwork

Don’t throw bank statements, and other sensitive material in the bin before shredding it.

We don’t need to say too much more here.

Not only could this represent a data protection breach, the information could also be used to commit fraud, and identity theft.

Disgruntled ex-suppliers could try and source personal private information and use it to their advantage.

Here’s a good article to read around the reasons you should shred your company documents and paper waste.

CCTV signage deters criminals

17. Use signage to deter criminals

Signage can often be the first line of defence.

Effective, well-positioned CCTV signage can offer a solid deterrent along with the cameras.

As an intruder approaches a site’s perimeter, if they see the warning signs, they may think twice.

Audio-CCTV-systems

18. Integrate audio with your CCTV systems

CCTV systems can be integrated with audio to deter criminals.

If you have security guards monitoring the footage, and they spot an intruder, they can communicate over a tannoy warning them they have been spotted.

For businesses who have replaced their guards with remote monitoring systems the same applies. If a sensor is activated, your offsite security team will perform the same role as a guard in communicating with the intruder.

19. Monitor access and attendance

Another way to improve business security is to monitor access and attendance.

As a bare minimum, a sign-in sheet should be used to track visitor flow. However, it is 2021, and electronic door entry systems that allow you to track staff attendance are very affordable.

For small to medium-sized businesses, our go-to solution is the Paxton Net 2 or Paxton 10 system. It is incredibly easy to administer, the system provides data on time and attendance, as well as staff whereabouts.

These security systems can also provide information relating to unauthorised breaks or those who tend to take toilet breaks every half an hour without a known medical condition.

Furthermore, this data can be used for fire roll calls offering significant health and safety benefits to the business.

Related reading:

10 Advantages of Paxton Access Control

What Are the Benefits of Access Control Systems?

20. Upgrade doors, windows and locks

One of the best pieces of advice we can give is to ensure your doors, windows and locks are fit for purpose.

As an example, rural businesses need to check that door hinges are rusting and decrepit.

Office-based businesses need to consider modernising their doors if they are still accessed via traditional keys.

Generally, businesses should check window locks to ensure they are fit-for-purpose and don’t enable easy access for crooks.

21. Avoid cheap CCTV systems

Cheap CCTV systems should only be deployed if they are truly all you can afford.

There are a number of reasons businesses should avoid cheap CCTV:

  • Cheap CCTV systems can be unsuitable for outside use
  • They offer low-quality footage  – not exactly congruent to identifying a criminal
  • Cheap CCTV cameras can be prone to hacking
  • If you buy cheap, you buy twice

Read more: Why you should avoid cheap CCTV systems

Looking to improve your security?

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