Seven Tips for Business Security
Your business, like your home, has security risks. You need to be aware of those situations and times when you are most at risk of being burglarized and act accordingly. For instance:
- You have just fired an employee.
- A disgruntled employee quits.
- You have multiple keys in circulation (maintenance people, employees, cleaning help, past employees, etc.)
- You have a very consistent schedule.
- You take long vacations or you travel for business.
- You have recently moved your business.
What follows are several suggestions for keeping your business safe from criminals. In addition, call Northeast Security Solutions, Inc. for a free confidential security audit.
Locks and doors: Locks are your first line of defense. Be sure they offer patented key control to guard against unauthorized key duplication and are resistant to picking and drilling. Install high security locks or electronic access control units on all entry doors. Remember-- standard access systems such as keypads or push button locks do not offer restricted access. Someone can gain instant “key duplication” by watching you or your employee enter his or her code. By looking at the wear marks on the keypad a criminal can also figure out the most used numbers, increasing his ability to figure out the code. Use latch protectors and/or security collars where appropriate. Most important and often ignored, is be sure that all locking hardware meets Life Safety Code 101, NFPA-72 Fire codes, ADA codes, and building codes. This will help to limit your liability exposure in an unforeseen disaster. For more details, see our page on Locks and Total Door.
Alarm System: An alarm system is only a notification system to let somebody know that your first line of defense has been violated. This is not to say that an alarm system is not a deterrent. Even security stickers in the windows let a criminal know that their time is limited if they enter the premises. In addition, a smoke, heat or water detector can help to protect your inventory and property from unforeseen disasters. A “panic button” or “duress code” can also be installed for emergencies to signal the police or paramedic personnel for immediate help. See Alarms and Remote Monitoring.
Access Control: Look at the many varieties of modern access control! Non-duplicating keys, keypads, stand alone units, magnetic cards, bar code cards, data chips, proximity cards, finger readers, hand readers, retina scan readers, face recognition readers, and voice recognition are just a few examples of such systems. Northeast Security Solutions, Inc can help you decide which of these is right for you.
An access control system can help track employees or vendors as they enter or leave the premises. In addition, it can limit the times they have access to your premises such as after hours, non-working hours or holidays when you are closed. For example, if an employee quits or is fired you can lock them out instantly without having to depend on a locksmith’s schedule to re-key the premises at their convenience or at high overtime costs. You can issue temporary access cards to cleaning and service people without fear of improper duplication or of people leaving the site without returning your keys. Biometric readers are an enhanced level of security for sensitive areas in your business and are a lot less expensive than you might think.
Camera Systems: Surveillance Cameras and Recorders are a great way to reduce employee theft, increase productivity, enhance safety in your building or parking lot for your employees and record events for prosecution, if need be. In addition they can be used to monitor your business production or warehouse areas from a remote site when you are out of the office. You can check in from your home or while on vacation, or anywhere that you can access a computer or laptop. A camera system can also be used as a deterrent but should not be used alone as a security system. Anywhere that you might want a set of eyes without actually being there is an ideal place for a camera: reception areas, stairwells, back doors, hospital drug cabinets, off-site buildings, mechanical rooms and shipping/receiving areas, just to name a few.
Safes: Safes are the last line of defense. From the moment when somebody violates your first line of defense, a safe is designed to buy you time until somebody responds to your alarm system. A criminal knows that they have 5 to 45 minutes before someone is going to arrive at your business. There are four kinds of safes: burglar, fire, burglar/fire, and media data safes. No safe is impenetrable; it’s only a question of how much time it takes to get into it.
Burglar-resistant safes can also be used as an effective tool for cash management by restricting or tracking access to your cash. With so much reliance on computer systems for accounts receivable and accounts payables, backing up your system and storing it in a proper fire/media safe is more important today than ever. Keep in mind, 95% of all businesses that fail after a fire, do so because they can’t rebuild their databases. Be sure to position your safe in clear view and have it professionally bolted to the floor. Have it alarmed as a zone on your alarm system. Change the combination often. Turn the dial several times in one direction after closing the safe to be sure it’s locked. Make frequent deposits so a minimal amount of cash is stored at your business. Vary your route and schedule for trips to the bank.
Lighting & Landscaping: Install motion sensitive lights as well as constant outside lighting. (Install glare shields to keep good relations with light-sensitive neighbors.) Eliminate dark places around the building that would make good hiding places. Keep some interior lights on even when the business is closed. Place inside lights in the rear of the room so that silhouettes can be seen from the street. In addition, keep a clear view into and out of your establishment by thinning high bushes or trees. Remove trees that are close to the building that would allow a criminal to climb to your roof.
Good Common Sense: Office crime is on the rise. If you see someone in your office you don’t recognize or they are unescorted without a security badge, ask them to identify themselves and ask them whom they are there to see. Always check maintenance or service people for identification. Advise employees not to “hold the door open” to let in people who are following them. Safety glazing and window films can inhibit breakage. Shred any paperwork that might have sensitive information on it (check with your legal folks to avoid shredding "too much"). Remember, if you are robbed it is better to lose your valuables than your life. Yield your possessions and let the burglar go. Then call the police. Be alert to every detail that can aid in identifying the criminal.