Insurance 1 March 2016

Business property protection series: Part 2 – Limiting risk

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Replace keys and locks with electronic restricted access systems to make your property more secure

In the second of our three-part series on protecting premises as a small business, security expert Brian Thomson offers up some invaluable advice for owners wanting to limit the chance of a security breach.

It’s an unfortunate fact of life that your business premises are an attractive prospect to thieves. Even the smallest of businesses are generally full of items worth a lot of money, such as laptops and computers, telephones, printers, and various other electronic items. This is not to mention any cash and invaluable confidential information you may have onsite.

Furthermore, premises are often completely vacant on evenings, weekends, and over holiday periods, leaving them extremely vulnerable to burglary. This is reflected in crime statistics: 20 per cent of all crimes are committed against businesses, according to the FSB. Here are some further tips on how to secure your business premises.

(1) Get a site survey

The first step towards securing your small firm’s commercial property is booking a site survey. If you’re serious about preventing theft then this is an essential step – a fully-qualified professional will evaluate your property and identify how to improve any potential weaknesses.

A big part of securing any property is to simply make sure it isn’t the most vulnerable in the area. For example, if the buildings around you are poorly protected and you’ve taken some basic security measures, thieves are likely to pass your property by in favour of an easier target. If you make the changes recommended in a site survey, your premises will be up to the adequate standards of protection, which will give you peace of mind when you know the office is empty.

(2) Lighting

A simple step you can take to protect your office space is installing motion-activated security lighting. If your premises are overlooked by passers-by, a high level of lighting is often enough to deter any potential thieves from attempting an entry, and it also makes them more likely to be identified if they do break in. If your business property is in a remote area, however, which isn’t overlooked at night, increased lighting may simply make it easier for burglars to work, so keep this in mind before installing lighting.

(3) Restricted access system

A great way to keep your business secure is with an electronic restricted access system. By replacing traditional keys and locks with electronic scanners and tokens, business owners can manage who enters and leaves premises. This means employees and office space can be easily monitored and kept secure. Lost or stolen tokens can also be deactivated, rendering them useless and removing any worry about keys getting into the wrong hands.

Take these steps and you’ll go a long way to securing your business premises.

In the third and final instalment of the series, Thomson looks at which alarm systems make the most effective detterents against burglary and how small firms can ensure they pick the right one.

Brian Thomson is team leader at ProtectMyProperty – specialising in the assessment, installation and maintenance of UK property security.

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