Insurance 8 March 2016

Business property protection series: Part 3 – Security alarms

Alarm systems are often the most effective way to protect your property.

In the third and final instalment of Business Advice’s guide on protecting small business premises, security expert Brian Thomson gives his top tips on choosing the right alarm system.

One of the most effective forms of property security is an alarm system. For business owners, this is an essential way of protecting your means of livelihood, and in the words of the Metropolitan Police’s advice on burglary prevention guide, “alarms are undoubtedly the most effective deterrent against burglary”.

If you’re serious about securing your commercial property, an alarm system is an essential measure you should take. Here’s our tips on choosing and maintaining an alarm system to ensure your business is kept as secure as possible at all times.

Which alarm system should I get?

There are two main types of security alarm system: monitored and unmonitored. An unmonitored alarm will simply emit a loud sound which will alert those nearby and potentially scare away the culprit, while a monitored alarm will also contact both a designated key holder and the local police whenever it is set off, providing an extra level of protection.

The right alarm for your business depends mainly on how much value you leave in your office each time it’s left vacant. For example, if your empty office contains a large amount of cash, a lot of expensive electronic equipment and computer software, and any confidential information, it may well be worth the premium for a monitored alarm system.

How often should my alarm receive maintenance?

If there is a fault with your alarm when it is needed, many insurance companies will reduce the compensation you receive for any losses. It’s therefore imperative that you have your alarm system serviced once a year. This is especially the case if it’s a wireless system, as they frequently need their batteries replacing, or if it’s a monitored alarm, as if there are three false alarms from your system in less than a year, the police will stop responding to them.

What else can I do to protect my business premises?

Alongside an alarm system, a simple and effective security measure you can install in your commercial property is security lighting. Thoroughly illuminating your premises will often be enough of a deterrent to prevent the majority of would-be thieves, and if your building is entered, the culprits are more likely to be identified. There is a range of effective and affordable security lights available via sites like Amazon, and while they are easy to install and maintain, they can make a huge difference to the security of your business premises.

Keep these tips in mind when setting up your commercial security to ensure your premises are protected as well as possible.

Why not go back and read part 2 in the series – on limiting the risk of a security breach?

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

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