If you have been instructed by the government to close your business in line with the COVID-19 guidance or you have chosen to close, it is a good time for you to review your current security measures to reduce the chances of your premises being targeted by opportunist thieves.
These top tips from Thames Valley Police will help you carry out a simple security risk assessment of your business premises and identify any obvious vulnerabilities.
You should check your premises regularly, at least once a week, to see if there are any obvious signs of an attempted break in or damage. It is important that premises continue to be well-maintained during this period of closure. This includes removing litter and graffiti as soon as possible, and making sure that landscaping is cut back to assist with surveillance from passers-by and your CCTV system.
Flammable and combustible materials and substances should be stored in a secure, lockable container, cage or room. Bins should be securely stored away from the building to prevent arson.
This is a deterrent to burglary, as it decreases the likelihood of being caught. Make sure the system is regularly maintained and is remotely monitored for a police response by a National Police Chiefs’ Council compliant Alarm Receiving Centre.
Ensure that staff are familiar with opening and closing procedures to prevent false alarm activations. Update your key holder list and share it with third parties where necessary, e.g. your intruder alarm company.
This is triggered by an alarm sensor and will instantly fill the area you are trying to protect with a dense, harmless fog that reduces visibility. This makes it virtually impossible for an intruder to access the items they want to steal. If you have this system, check with your supplier that is is still in good working order.
Make sure your CCTV is regularly maintained with sufficient storage capacity. It should provide coverage of the most vulnerable areas, including doors and windows where access is likely to be gained.
The recording equipment should be kept in a secure cabinet inside a lockable room within the building. All CCTV should comply with the information Commissioner’s Office guidance.
Doors and easily accessible windows should be in good working order, free from rot and damage and have good quality locks that have a Kitemark, showing that they meet the relevant British Standard.
All external doors should have a minimum of two locking points, with locks that meet the British Standard. All doors and windows that are not part of a designated fire escape route should be closed and locked.
All glazing should be laminated to resist forced entry. Double glazed units only require either the inner or outer pane to be laminated. Alternatively, security film can be applied to the internal glazed panel, ensuring it is fixed under the beading, where possible.
These can provide additional protection to external doors and windows in vulnerable areas around your premises. They are useful for protecting recessed doors that create hiding places, because they are set back from the building line. If you have these fitted, make sure to use them.
The need for external lighting will be determined by local circumstances and the quality of street lighting in the area, e.g. inner city, rural, adopted, non-adopted areas, etc.
Internal lighting should be operated by detection devices, which will automatically switch lights on where movement is detected. Check that all lights are in good working order.
These should either be removed from the business premises or stored in a secure, lockable container, cage or room. The keys should be stored in a secure key cabinet or removed entirely.
It is advisable to check the continued performance of essential equipment and services, such as fridge freezers, electrical and water suppliers, including central heating pipework.
Gaming and vending machines should be emptied of all stock and cash, with visible external signage to advertise this fact.