8 tips to keep your office secure

8 tips to keep your office secure

Theft, criminal damage and cybercrime can all harm your business, both financially and reputationally. In order to safeguard valuable assets, business premises therefore need to be as secure as possible.

No matter what type of workplace your business operates - from small offices or workshops to multi-building office complexes - the chances are, valuable items are stored there. This may include expensive equipment such as computers, legal documents for example client contracts, and even currency such as petty cash drawers.

For this reason, a certain level of security is essential. Effective security policies protect your business financially and reputationally. They also minimise risk, helping to reduce the cost of insurance premiums.

While every business is unique, there are a number of common policies all businesses should implement to stay secure. Below we provide our top tips for ensuring your business premises are as safe and secure as possible.

How to keep your business safe

1. Install an alarm system

Alarm systems are one of the most effective methods of deterring criminals and keeping your office secure. When triggered by a break-in, these electronic systems send emergency signals to the police or to a private security company. This may be done via a phone or internet link. In turn, a security officer can be deployed to your premises. Advanced systems also make use of two-way communication devices. These include voice intercoms and CCTV. With this in mind, if a security breach occurs, an alarm system can catch the criminal in the act. This can serve as an additional deterrent to criminals.

2. Install CCTV

The presence of CCTV at a workplace is a major crime deterrent. CCTV systems that can work in tandem with alarm systems are especially handy, as security officers can use them in real time to catch criminals in the act. This can help you and the police to identify any individuals involved.

When installing CCTV cameras, it's important to consider locations carefully. Ensure cameras are placed in positions that maximise the areas that are covered. For good coverage at night, placing cameras in locations that are well lit is also important.

3. Make use of effective lighting

Nearly two-thirds (60%) of burglaries take place at night. With this in mind, installing effective security lighting outside your premises can make a huge difference. Lighting can make burglars feel as though they are being observed, meaning they are less likely to take the risk of breaking in. Of course, good lighting also makes it easier for passers-by to visibly witness an attempted break in. 

Motion-sensitive lighting is the most popular form of security lighting. These smart appliances use passive infrared signals to detect movement. If someone comes into the sensor's field of vision, the security light activates. This means a business can enjoy the reassurance of additional security lighting without having to worry about the additional cost of powering a light continuously during the hours of darkness.

4. Keep important documents under lock and key

It can be a disaster for your business if confidential documents are lost or stolen. Leaked client information can cause data breaches, which in turn can lead to financial penalties for your business. This means it is important to keep all documents containing sensitive information under lock and key. Filing cabinets, drawers and even safes are all good options for this.

Additionally, it's a good idea to keep virtual copies of every document on a hard drive stored off-site, or on the cloud. For more tips on data backup protection, check out this article.

5. If cash is left onsite, use a safe

Whether you keep entire daily floats on-site, or just small amounts of petty cash, all money should be kept in a safe. Ideally, safes used in workplaces should be Eurograde safes, approved by the Association of Insurance Surveyors (AiS). An AiS-approved safe will give you the best chance of keeping your money safe, while also being recommended by some insurance companies. This means premiums may be reduced if you can prove you use a quality AiS safe.

6. Use device locks

Laptops and tablets are regularly targeted during burglaries. This is because of their high value and lightweight nature. However, by using simple device locks, your business can make it very difficult for potential thieves to steal these devices. Designed to work like a bike lock, device locks are essentially metal cables that attach a device to an immovable object, such as a table or the wall. These items are relatively cheap, easy to install, and have the potential to save your business thousands of pounds in the event of a burglary.

7. Introduce ID passes for building entry

ID passes, which can take the form of cards, fobs or even keys, are a great way to keep your business premises secure. Provided for staff and visitors, the merits of passes are twofold. Firstly, they can control who has access to your building throughout the day. This can prevent crimes of opportunity committed by passers-by. Secondly, security passes can help a business understand which individuals have been on the premises on which day and at what time. Should a crime take place, this can help you pinpoint who may have been involved.

8. Join a 'business watch'

Using a similar concept to neighbourhood watch schemes, business watch schemes are becoming increasingly popular. These programmes see a collective of business property owners alerting the police directly when break-ins or other crimes are detected. Local business watches are assigned their own police contact who can visit members and provide additional security advice. This can help your business identify any security weaknesses your workplace may have before they are exploited.

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