UK Police just announced that crime has fallen by 28% over lockdown, in fact from 12th April there has been a 37% drop in burglaries. As well as the financial worries lockdown prompted, we were also worried about our office and storage spaces, as we didn’t know how long they would be left unattended. Of course, working in security and safety we made sure specific measures were in place to help prevent vandalism, theft, arson or property damage. However, it appears that many businesses are left susceptible to such crimes, by not having many or sometimes any security measures in place.
FSB said 109,391 burglary cases were recorded by businesses last year alone, but a third of businesses don’t actually report the crimes as they feel the police won’t help. It seems as though business owners are ready to take their property protection into their own hands, and we’re extremely proud to be in a position to offer advice, and potentially save people a lot of heartache and money.
Anyone that has been burgled knows that it has a lasting effect on both trade and staff morale. It really is an unpleasant situation to be in, especially when you’ve worked so hard to get where you are today. Owners and staff can suffer from emotional distress, which is the last thing we need during these times of uncertainty. Plus, any damages to the property can be long-lasting and cost a lot of money to sort out. There are plenty of actions businesses can put into place to protect themselves and their staff from vandalism, theft, arson and property damages – here are some of the best ways of keeping on top of those crimes.
- Protect valuables
Just like in domestic properties, many burglaries occur because they are tempted by what’s on show. Utilize lockers for your employees and ensure that their belongings aren’t left exposed, and make sure any other valuables are locked away at all times. Invest in either a home, fireproof or a high-security safe for any money, important documents or belongings that are kept on site.
- Install surveillance systems
Surveillance systems will protect personnel and property, as well as deter criminals – both internal and external. You will be required by the Data Protection Act and GDPR to put signs up informing people that they’re being filmed. It could mean the difference between a burglar choosing your business to burgle or another. It also means that if somebody vandalizes the place, you have evidence for insurers and could even catch the culprit red-handed.
Review and replace your locks, especially if you think someone could still have access. Consider smart locks as although they have a higher initial outlay, you can take advantage of features such as audit trails and access control, which come in handy if you have a high turnover of staff.
- Security lighting
Criminals will always use the cover of darkness if they can. That’s why security lighting can be such a great way to deter unwanted visitors, as they will detect motion and expose them to the street. Make sure your business has no dark and shady areas for thieves to lurk.
- Start a “business watch” scheme
A similar concept to neighborhood watch, this is where a group of businesses in a geographical location will look out for each other, keep in close communication with each other and share advice and information. You could even share the cost of a security firm to provide physical security 24 hours a day.
- Invest in an alarm system
If a burglar does damage your property, installing an alarm will shorten their time limit, which could in turn mean less harm is caused. Smart alarm kits also allow the user to be instantly notified when the workplace alarm goes off via your phone, that way you can quickly react to the situation. Key fobs can also be tracked so you can backtrack and check exactly who locked and unlocked the door at specific times.
In the unfortunate event of a fire, the majority of the interior of an office will be completely destroyed. Therefore, if you’re aware of any important documents or items that need extra protection, getting a fireproof cabinet or cupboard could be absolutely key to saving them. The longer fire resistance time it has, the better.
For both insurance purposes and for the protection of the business and its staff, following these simple steps can make a huge difference to your day-to-day. Having this peace of mind can prove to be invaluable, so it’s worth seeing which areas you could improve when it comes to the security of your workplace. If we go into an immediate lockdown again, having these elements prepped and ready to go means you can adapt to the sudden change in situation, and not have to worry about the potential dangers that could take place.