We’re heading into winter and unfortunately the longer dark evenings and nights can increase the risk of burglary. And securing your premises means more than having a burglar alarm.
View your workplace through the eyes of a potential offender to identify vulnerable areas. Then follow these tips to address your weak spots and reduce the chances of your premises being targeted this winter.
- Harden the target
In other words, make your premises and its contents more resistant to any kind of criminal attention. How? By making potential targets in your workplace harder to remove or damage. It may sound fairly obvious but are you sure you’re doing everything you can? Ideas to consider include:
- Upgrading locks on doors, windows and shutters – or upgrading the actual doors and windows if they’re in a poor state of repair.
- Making sure you have an effective, properly maintained burglar alarm covering all areas of your workplace.
- Installing fencing systems to reduce access to your site.
- Repairing any damaged or derelict property.
- Securing any outbuildings.
Effective target hardening increases the time it takes to commit an offence – and that will make the offender think twice before attempting to break in.
- Remove the target
We all know we should keep any objects that might be of interest to a burglar out of sight. But it’s easy to forget and leave items on view through windows. Ensure a potential target won’t attract an offender’s attention in the first place by keeping valuable items securely locked away or hidden where possible. If you can’t remove objects, simply remembering to close blinds will help. A burglar’s less likely to break in if they’re unsure what the payoff will be.
- Don’t gift the burglar the means to commit the crime!
In other words, make sure that any material or object that could help a criminal break into your workplace isn’t accessible.
Like what? Well, dustbins and large industrial wheelie bins can be used as mobile platforms to provide easy access to windows or roofs. As can building materials like scaffolding or ladders. Loose bricks can be used to smash open windows. Secure anything that could be used by locking them away or chaining them up if you can.
- What’s your access control system like?
It’s worth spending some time thinking about your access control policy because burglars don’t just break in to deserted workplaces in the small hours. Some of them take advantage of the fact that premises have a lot of people going in and out and try to slip in unnoticed.
You can protect against this in a number of different ways. At the simplest level you can use door combination locks and make sure doors are properly closed all the time. Access control with identity cards can also work well. Many workplaces nowadays use more sophisticated methods of access control such as card systems, intercoms and even finger print recognition to make sure only authorised personnel can enter specific areas.
- Increased visibility = increased chances of capture
If a criminal feels they could easily be seen (and therefore potentially caught), they’re going to be less inclined to commit an offence.
So improve your natural surveillance by installing lighting and removing dense vegetation. Encourage your employees to be vigilant and make sure they know what to do if they have any security concerns. If you need a more formal approach to surveillance then consider using a closed circuit television (CCTV) system. CCTV cameras can be used in all sizes of workplaces so even if your building or office is very small it could still prove a cost effective solution. Use signage to alert potential offenders to the fact that CCTV security systems are in place. As with all security equipment, don’t just install it but have it regularly maintained to make sure it’s operating effectively. In addition, CCTV on mobile devices gives you immediate eyes on your premises in the event of an intruder.
By taking the time to identify and address any vulnerable areas in your workplace’s security systems and processes, you’ll increase the chances of a crime-free autumn and winter (and spring and summer for that matter!). If you’d like some further advice about keeping your workplace secure, give us a call – we’d be very happy to help.