Evidence shows that the prospect of theft or damage arising to empty buildings is high, even if only temporarily vacant. So, how are you to best protect your premises over the Christmas shut down period? Systems should be put in place to deter potential intruders, deny entry and in the event of a successful break-in, to detect entry. Levels of security will depend on the position of your business and the local crime rate.
1: Deter entry. Ensure that fencing is in good order and that gates are padlocked. Adequate fencing and gates not only mark the boundary but also ensure access is restricted. Good perimeter fencing is especially important if the buildings within the site cannot be effectively secured. Access Control systems are perfect to use on doors and entrances to stop anyone without the correct entrance method from getting into your property. We install top quality systems such as Paxton and BPT to ensure that your premises are as secure as can be. A neglected appearance can be an incentive to intruders so make sure the property and its borders are kept in good order. As well as using secure locks, padlocks and access control systems, ensure that there are no ladders or other structures lying around which could be used to access the building.
2: “No trespassing” and “property under video surveillance” signs should be erected on the perimeter fence or walls. Ensure clear sight-lines are established for video surveillance and that there are no potential obstructions. Don’t keep stacked materials and objects lying around which may provide potential hiding places.
3: You are under a duty of care to visitors to your premises, whether they be invited or not. Make sure there are no potential hazards such as broken, weak or loose walls; piles of rubble, rubbish or glass; nails and sharp edges; risk of falling objects; ease of access to roof; unstable or thin roofing; missing or damaged stairs, railing or flooring; exposed or damaged live electrical wiring.
4: Install good lighting around the building – for example, Security Lights should be fitted securely in high positions and should be on timers or motion detectors. Motion activated lighting should be considered in addition to any perimeter protection, as it creates a feeling of vulnerability for any criminal or other trespasser. We offer a variety of different Security Lighting systems.
5: Install a CCTV System which can be monitored remotely by a qualified company and ensure that there is an effective response plan in place. A good security firm will also advise you on protective measures to put in place and what is most appropriate for you.
6: Ground floor or basement windows should ideally have fitted bars or be boarded. Alternatively, ensure they have internal window locks fitted. Windows are the most common entry point into buildings for criminals and are also the item most vulnerable to vandalism. If not repaired, broken windows can encourage further vandalism and also result in water entering to create further damage. Therefore ensure that any damage is repaired promptly. Use of competent contractors to carry out this work is advised. Many firms also offer a useful out of hours emergency service for repairs.
7: Make sure your fire alarm is maintained properly and that any potential fire hazards are identified before closing the premises for your shut-down period.
8: Install an Intruder Alarm so that if an intruder has managed to break into the premises, an alert is immediately activated. Sensors can be added to cover windows and doors so that as soon as an intrusion has taken place a siren is sounded. Our Intruder Alarm systems can be monitored 24/7 and set up to immediately contact the Police on intrusion with your premises receiving a response within minutes.
Feature image credit: Alexey Kljatov via Flickr.