Knowing who’s on your premises and maintaining security
Whatever the nature of your business, the people within the building will include several ‘types’ of occupant. This may include staff, customers, visitors and service providers and possibly other people. So, do you know who’s on your premises and where they are at any given time?
Maintaining the security of your business is as much about managing the risk when you’re open as when the building is closed and locked up for the night. In some ways, protecting it during opening hours is more of an unknown quantity than simply locking up and setting an alarm.
Retail is an obvious one, with customers outnumbering staff many times over at peak times, but office or industrial buildings can also pose risks. For example, how easy is it to slip through a rear loading door or can visitors access all parts of a building once they’ve been allowed through an initial reception area?
To maintain good levels of security, as well as safety, it’s a good idea to have knowledge of who is on your premises and ensure that access to anywhere that could potentially be a target for theft is restricted. This is not always achievable and it does depend on the nature of your business eg you can never really know who the customers are in a retail shop but you can in an office building, but every business can take some actions to control the risk.
Here are just a few security measures that businesses can take:
- Consider an access control system where fobs/cards can be programmed individually, providing access only to the area designated for that person. This will also offer a record of the areas accessed
- A simpler access control could simply have a key code for staff areas so that visitors would be unable to enter
- Ensure that all ‘staff only’ areas are clearly marked as such so that nobody accessing them could use the excuse of not realising they shouldn’t be there
- Issue ID cards for staff and visitors and challenge anyone who doesn’t wear them visibly
- Instigate a PPE (personal protective equipment) policy in warehouses that not only offers health and safety benefits but would make anyone not wearing them stand out
- Operate some kind of sign in/out system for visitors and make sure it is strictly followed
- Have a single designated entry point for the building with a reception and make sure all visitors are channelled in this way
- Install CCTV cameras internally (where reasonable) as well as externally. Particularly at entrance points
- Install door chimes onto any doors leading to restricted areas to sound an audible alert when anyone enters
- Don’t leave valuable items where they can be seen through windows and doors in internal offices, in fact the best place for these is in a safe where possible
Obviously you don’t want to treat your staff, visitors or customers with suspicion but most of these measures should only really impact on people who are in areas where they didn’t really ought to be. Knowing who is in the building at any time is also good practice for fire safety or any other kind of emergency evacuation.