Crime against businesses takes many forms, from shoplifting and robbery to fraud and data breaches. In the UK, burglary is one of the most common types of crime businesses experience; according to official government statistics there were 45,000 reported incidents in the wholesale and retail sector alone during 2014.
Businesses are also at a greater risk of re-burglary compared with domestic properties. Criminals target commercial buildings because they often contain high-value items such as laptops, printers and cameras. They also know that most business premises are empty during the evenings and weekends – an ideal opportunity for them to make their move.
As a business owner, there’s no doubt the safety of you, your team and assets are of paramount importance. If your businesses were to be burgled, it can seriously impede your day-to-day operations and result in loss of earnings. Not only that, but it could also tarnish your business’ reputation and affect customer trust and employee morale.
Needless to say, investing in quality commercial insurance along with physical security measures is a must for all businesses. As part of your risk assessment you should identify all vulnerable areas within the premises; not just the main access points (doors and windows) but also any flat roofs, single-skin brick walls and access hatches, for instance.
Identifying vulnerabilities will enable you to determine what systems to put in place to ensure maximum security of your business. Depending on your individual needs, possible physical security measures can include:
Retractable security grilles and shutters can be installed for use on any doors and/or windows on your business premises, whether it’s an office, warehouse or retail store. Most suppliers will carry out free valuations to assess your needs and offer a fixed-cost maintenance contract to ensure the longevity of your security measures.
If your business occupies a large site with multiple entrances, the use of physical barriers can act as a good burglar deterrent. Along with high walls and fences around the outermost perimeter of your site, you might want to consider vehicle barriers and height restrictors. Putting razor wire or barbed wire along any tall fences will further deter criminals from breaking into your property.
Alarms and sensors
Alarms and sensors are an essential security measure for all businesses, alerting you to any possible security breaches. Alarm systems – such as glass break detectors, contact sensors and motion sensors – should be installed both inside and outside of the property.
Another security essential, CCTV cameras can provide internal and external surveillance and will enable you to keep an eye on who’s entering the building. Not only will they help to deter criminals, but in the event of a break-in, the footage can provide valuable evidence.
Criminals are much less likely to break into a property that’s well lit. Security lighting should be installed inside and outside the business premises – floodlighting on the walls and fences, gatehouse lighting for the entrance, and area lighting surrounding buildings, for instance.
In the event of a burglary, security lighting will help with the identification of criminals. Low-intensity lighting can actually work better than high-intensity lighting, as the latter can sometimes skew images picked up on CCTV cameras.
If you have a number of security systems in place, let criminals know about them! Warning signs and stickers, when paired with other security measures, are incredibly effective as deterrents.
No business is 100% safe from crime. However, investing in a number of physical security measures will limit the likelihood of a burglary and help you to protect your assets.