Small businesses must deal with a variety of risks on a day-to-day basis from protecting their staff and inventory to securing their premises. This article offers 10 practical and effective security tips to help businesses with a physical location to not only reduce the risk of crime occurring, but also to minimise its impact if an event occurs. For personalised security advice, contact the ai security team today.
- Assess Risks
Risk is an unavoidable part of owning a business no matter your industry, location, or business model. While you may not be able to entirely prevent some risks, there are ways to manage and minimise them. For example, you cannot change someone’s decision to attempt to break into your business, but you can have measures in place like CCTV, security barriers, door locks, and alarms to reduce their impact. We recommend completing a full risk assessment that considers your physical security and cybersecurity. You should not only identify risks, but you should also find ways to mitigate them. When was the last time you reviewed all of your business risks?
- Secure Your Perimeter
If your small business has a physical location, then it is essential to have a secure perimeter. A sturdy, high-security fence can deter and prevent intruders from accessing your property, while automated gates and barriers can ensure that only authorised people and vehicles can enter the premises. In addition to the perimeter of your property, you should also secure your building with locks, and other physical exterior measures where required.
- Monitor Your Surroundings
Not only does CCTV monitor your surroundings 24/7 and provide recordings of any incidents, but it also acts as a fantastic deterrent of crime. CCTV systems now have advanced technology that allows for night vision and high-quality image recordings. The features available in digital CCTV technology make it easy to have advanced security with an affordable price tag. Police cited a lack of CCTV evidence as a key reason why criminals were not caught after a crime. Meanwhile, former burglars attest that the presence of CCTV and barking dogs are the main deterrents to breaking into a building. CCTV has many security benefits and can offer peace of mind for business owners. We recommend professional installation to maximise the effectiveness of your system.
- Protect Your Assets
Where do you keep your tangible valuables? Are they well-protected in a secure location or vulnerable in an unlocked drawer? Staff and business owners often neglect basic asset protection due to complacency. The attitude of ‘it won’t happen to us’ is prevalent, particularly for staff and businesses that haven’t been a victim of crime before. But this small and innocent mistake can often lead to terrible results. We recommend that you lock-away all valuables overnight in a secure safe or off the premises. Keeping no-cash on site is a common example of protecting your physical assets.
- Intruder Alarm
An alarm can limit the amount of time an intruder spends on your property while also notifying surrounding people and the authorities. A survey that interviewed convicted burglars found that 60% were deterred by the presence of an intruder alarm system.
- Fire Alarms
Fire alarms are a modern-day essential for homes and businesses. They offer a cost-effective, safe, and simple way to protect your staff in the event of a fire. Here is a note on fire safety in the workplace:
“You’re responsible for fire safety in business or other non-domestic premises if you’re:
- an employer
- the owner
- the landlord
- an occupier
- anyone else with control of the premises, for example a facilities manager, building manager, managing agent or risk assessor
- You’re known as the ‘responsible person’. If there’s more than one responsible person, you have to work together to meet your responsibilities.
- The Fire Safety Order also applies if you have paying guests, for example if you run a bed and breakfast, guesthouse or let a self-catering property. Fire safety rules are different in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
As the responsible person you must:
- carry out a fire risk assessment of the premises and review it regularly
- tell staff or their representatives about the risks you’ve identified
- put in place, and maintain, appropriate fire safety measures
- plan for an emergency
- provide staff information, fire safety instruction and training”
It is also important to note, “you could be fined or go to prison if you do not follow fire safety regulations.”
- Control Access
Access control is a simple yet effective way to limit access to various rooms and locations. It works when a fob activates a card reader, only opening if the fob is verified to enter that location. While this may not be necessary for very small businesses or shops, it is an important security measure for schools, hospitals, manufacturers, major business sites, and government locations.
- Cyber Security Considerations
Cyber risks are a modern-day security threat that can impact all aspects of your business operation. If your online data were compromised, this would significantly impact not only you, but also your clients and staff. While our specialisation is physical security, here are some general cyber security tips to help your small business:
- Use strong passwords and a password management system
- Use two-factor or multi-factor authentication
- Securely store client and personal data
- Do not give credit card or confidential details if you’re unsure
- Beware of scams
- Educate staff about cyber safety
- Keep your software up to date
- Be careful what you click
- Install recognised antivirus/anti-malware protection
- Security Procedures
Small business owners often think that risk management or security procedures are only relevant to big corporations. This is incorrect. Disasters, security breaches, and crime can happen to anyone. Knowing what to do in an emergency can serve you well during an emergency event. Would you know what to do in the event of a fire, lockdown, or evacuation? And would your staff know how to act? No matter the size of your business, it is important to invest time in creating emergency procedures.
- Check Your Insurances
Risk management doesn’t just consider prevention, but it also includes recovery. Insurance is the best way to ensure that you’re protected if something happens. But do you know what you’re actually covered for? Are there exceptions in your policy or reasons why your insurance may be invalid? Being thorough now will serve you well in the event you have to make a claim.
Install Security Measures
If this article has raised any questions about the safety or security of your small business, now is the time to act. Call ai security today to learn more about CCTV, access control, fire alarms, security barriers and gates, and more. We offer comprehensive security solutions from installation to maintenance and repair.
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