What You Should Be Doing to Protect Your Vacant Premises
Wondering how to protect your vacant premises?
As many businesses adapt to working remotely, hundreds of thousands of empty workplaces across the UK are being seen as a potential easy target for thieves and vandals looking to commit crime. Crime that can cost businesses more money in a time where they need it most.
Not only will this have an immediate negative impact on business, but it will also delay the business being able to return to operate as normal from the property when the time comes too.
To avoid irreparable damage like this, business owners and building managers need to ensure that all commercial property, including all stock and essential equipment, is secured. To help you do that, here is some essential security advice.
How to protect your vacant premises during the COVID-19 lockdown
Criminals are keen to exploit the current COVID-19 lockdown as it is an ideal time for an attack: most commercial premises are empty for extended periods of time and there is a lack of potential witnesses on the streets.
There have already been attacks made across the country and the police force warns of a rise in these incidents, so if you want to know how to protect your vacant premises during this time, they’ve issued some key advice.
1. Remove high-value stock, cash and important documents to a more secure location
The idea with this piece of advice is ‘prevention.’ By removing the temptation for crime, you should prevent it from happening in the first place. Put up signage to make this known to criminals so that they will be less likely to target you for a break-in.
2. Check your physical security measures
You should already have physical security measures in place; barriers such as windows, doors, blinds or window film, and fences or walls. Do a full sweep and check all are locked and are in good condition. By carrying out a risk assessment, you should be able to identify any vulnerable entry points which you can then strengthen.
3. Test your alarm system and CCTV
As part of your risk assessment, make sure you test your CCTV cameras and alarm systems – they are only beneficial if the response to activation is timely and reliable. If you don’t have any, then consider investing in them now. They are a very cost-effective security measure for vacant premises as they both deter crime and allow you to detect any breaches in security. Check that they are all in good working order and then they can be monitored remotely.
4. Get to know the keyholders of your systems
The keyholders of your systems will be the security company who is contracted to respond should an alarm be activated (not the company who installed the cameras and systems). If you have had new systems installed or you are planning to invest in some, check your security company’s credentials before handing over the keys. The most important credentials to check is whether they are accredited as a member of the SIA (Security Industry Authority) Approved Contracted Scheme (ACS).
5. Consider temporarily hiring a security guard/s
Having cameras and alarms in place, as well as an accredited security company to respond to any activations, is a great security strategy. However, if you want to know the best method for how to protect your vacant premises, it is to hire a security officer or guards. Having guards to patrol your premises, control access, and monitor and respond to all cameras and alarm activations, is a solid security measure which provides full protection for your site.
Important tip: make sure that all officers/guards hold an SIA license. They should be a direct employee on PAYE, not self-employed.
6. Think about ALL the needs of your property
If you want to get the most out of your security investments, then think about what else your property needs during this lockdown period. Maybe you have mail or deliveries that require sorting or you need your temperatures monitored to prevent stock spoiling? Whatever you might need, request this from the security company you are using. Many guards will be more than happy to assist with this.
Take these extra steps for security (and peace of mind)
This is the first time for many of us where we’ve had to leave our business or commercial property completely vacant for a considerable (and unknown) amount of time. Instead of ignoring or underestimating the damage that a criminal could cause during this time of absence, please take some time to check over your property and implement extra security measures to protect yourself.
Knowing how to protect your vacant premises and actually taking those steps now will ensure that you have a business to go back to.
We can help protect your business and your future
As part of helping businesses make it through this difficult time, RGM Security is partnering with other local South Wales businesses to provide security to businesses at risk. If you or someone you know is struggling at this time, please contact us; we can help to ease the pressure whether it’s offering advice and recommendations or providing extra security during this uncertain time.
01792 293 249