If you have an existing business or a new business it is important to consider all the options to protect yourself against crime. Crimes committed against businesses can be costly and result in damage or loss of stock, equipment, money or data. The safety of staff members can also be at risk so appropriate security measures should be taken to protect your business and staff.
There are many different security measures available and deciding on which is best for you and your business will depend on a number of factors, such as:
- Type of goods/service
- Staffing situation
- Trading hours
- Data held
- Type of premises/equipment etc.
I have listed and explained some common security measures which you might want to consider.
In Ireland, employers have a legal responsibility to protect the health and safety of their staff. This obligation should not be your sole reason for taking action; the team of staff is an integral part of any business and should be treated and protected as such. For example, if you have a shop or petrol station, personal alarms may be needed. Protective clothing or high visibility clothing may be appropriate to your industry. Just remember that happy workers are more productive workers.
The security features on premises are going to vary depending on the factors discussed earlier. The following measures should be considered:
- Alarm systems – Get a reputable licensed installer to fit and maintain your alarm system and ensure that it is used everyday. Visible alarm boxes and signs indicating that you are protected by an alarm are good deterrents.
- Smoke alarms – There should be a smoke alarm, and watering system if needed, installed throughout your premises. Check the system regularly to make sure it is functioning properly.
- CCTV – Closed Circuit television cameras can be used to monitor inside and outside your premises. They work well for deterring thieves and vandals but also allow you to view what goes on in your business when you are not there. With today’s technology it is possible to monitor your business from anywhere via your laptop computer.
- Security Protected Doors – Access to specific rooms within your building may need to be restricted to certain staff members. Where possible access to these rooms should only be possible with swipe ID cards and/or PIN technology.
- Cash Safe – If your business keeps cash on site it should always be kept in a secure safe which is fitted to the building so it can not be easily moved.
- Shutters – The location of your business or high value of your stock may require you to not only to have very secure windows and doors but to also have shutters secured to add further protection.
Crime against business is a reality, particularly in the current economic climate. Be aware that this activity can come from inside your business as well as from the outside. It is important to be vigilant but there is no need to be constantly suspicious and on edge. All that you can do is to implement a security plan that will reduce the risk of criminal theft or damage.