Commercial Security: Six aspects you should be considering
There’s never a “quick fix” when it comes to the security of a business, but taking a few proactive steps can go a long way to reducing your risk, and making it harder for burglars to target your assets. While the trade-off for having a fortress-like property is often a building aesthetics, there are ways to keep your business looking modern and secure at the same time.
Doors and Windows
- If you have a hollow door, you should get it replaced. The more practical, secure, external doors are solidly constructed from fibreglass, solid wood, or a have a solid wood core with a veneer.
- Consider if your door really need glass; while most glass will easily break after being struck with a hammer; glass services like O’Brien offer a product called LamGuard – A clear vinyl layered between two sheets of security glass. This would also be something to consider to replace the glass near any doors, to prevent a thief from smashing your windows, and reaching around to open your door.
- Hinges should be on the inside of the door, and secured to the frame by 10cm (3-inch) screws.
- Door Frames are often simply tacked to the wall, and can be easily removed with a crow-bar. Secure your frame to the walls by using 10cm (3-inch) screws along the frame and door stop.
- If you have a sliding glass door, install a polycarbonate panel behind the glass on the inside of the door.
- Heavy metal grates may be used on windows of high vulnerability (such as rear windows).
- With the exception of sliding doors, all exterior doors should have a deadbolt lock in addition to the lock built into the doorknob. The deadbolt should be high quality solid metal with no exposed screws on the exterior, with a throw bolt (the bolt that comes out of the door) at least 1 inch long.
- The best way to secure sliding doors is to install keyed locks at the top and bottom of the door. At the very least, place a rod (a thick wooden dowel, for example) in the bottom track of the door to keep it from being opened.
- The strike plate is the metal plate that surrounds the lockset (the hole in the door frame where the lock bolt enters). All exterior doors should have heavy-duty metal security strike plates secured by four 3-inch screws.
- When securing strike plates, angle the screws back slightly to catch the frame. Make sure that the strike plate for your doorknob lock has a metal lip on the outside to prevent jimmying. You can also purchase special jimmy guards.
Alarm Systems, Alarm Responses, and Security Patrols
- Your alarm system should be supplied and installed by a licensed security alarm company.
- Back to base monitoring provide a real-time notification that your system has been activated.
- You should have your system report back to base each day to ensure continuous operation.
- Advertise the fact you have an alarm system install with the company’s sticker, or wall-signage.
- Consider having trained security officers attend alarm responses, rather than going yourself.
- Consider an nightly patrol service to check that your doors are secure.
- Property lighting has more to do with your local environment, as light can both help thieves, and hinder them. Area-specific, movement sensor-activated lights are generally a good option because they draw attention to a specific section of property where movement has been detected, in an area that is otherwise dark.
- Ensure lighting is housed in vandal-proof covers, and cabling is secured in strong conduits.
- Perform an audit and ensure all openings can be secured. Check the roof, basement, and walls.
- Maintain good visibility by not allowing landscaping, boxes, trash bins or cans, vehicles equipment, etc. near your building where they might provide access to the roof.
- Fences need to be adequate enough to keep intruders out, and at the same time allow good visibility of your business by neighbors and police. A good example of fencing would be vertical iron bar or 1/8 inch mesh vinyl-coated chain link.
- Keys should be handed out responsibly.
- A master-key system (that is, one key opens all locks) may be convenient, but it may not be the best for security.
- Code all keys, keep them securely locked when not in use, and do not allow employees to leave them lying around or make duplicates.
- Electronic Swipe Card Access Control systems allow you to track who enters and when, and allows you to set times for when a building can be accessed.
- Change locks whenever you suspect that key security has been tampered with.