Premises security

Crime potentially threatens all businesses, with criminals finding ever more sophisticated methods. Protecting and insuring premises and their contents is crucial to all businesses.

You could begin by contacting your local police station (on 101 or another non-emergency number) to ask for crime prevention tips. Find out which particular forms of crime you need to watch out for in your area or sector.

Assess your security risks

Carry out a crime risk assessment of your commercial premises. Identify areas most vulnerable to crime. For example, you could have valuable equipment, keep cash or store stock. Knowing where you're most vulnerable enables you to put in place security measures where they're most needed. This should also help you keep your insurance premiums as low as possible.

Pay particular attention to the exterior of your premises restricting roof access. All access areas should be adequately lit at night and secured. Many businesses now use CCTV.

Practical security measures

Protect doors and windows with strong locks. If necessary, strengthen or replace doors and windows. Consider whether shutters or grilles should be installed.

Having a modern alarm system fitted by a reputable contractor is a ‘no-brainer'. It should be tested regularly.

If you rent, your landlord might agree to contribute toward improving the security of your premises. If you haven't yet moved into new premises, security should be foremost in your mind - something you use when negotiating with a prospective landlord. Speak with other business people operating nearby and find out how crime affects them.

Take responsibility for security

Decide which staff member(s) will hold keys for your premises and who will be on call if your alarm goes off. Also think about how you will manage visitors, perhaps by making them sign in on arrival. 

Often shops put up security mirrors to cover blind spots. You might also restrict access to certain areas within your premises, and put up 'Staff Only' signs. Many cash-handling businesses provide panic buttons or secure areas for staff.

Minimise risks to valuable items that are easily stolen by locking them away when not in use. 

Don't park vehicles onsite at night.

Undertake regular checks to make sure that your security measures remain effective.