Securing your commercial property
Are you concerned your businesses property could be at risk of being a target of crime? Follow our advice on how to protect your commercial property and reduce the risk of it becoming a target of crime.
How vulnerable your property is will depend on a number of factors including its location, amount of crime in the area and the type of boundary that exists such as walls or fences around the perimeter of your premises.
As an owner of commercial property, there are steps you can take to protect your property, and land, from crime.
The COVID-19 outbreak has meant many businesses have closed. It is important that you secure your premises and review your security to reduce any risk of crime whilst your business is closed. Remember to only travel when necessary and considering the health and safety of yourself and others.
Top tips for securing your commercial property
- Protect your doors and windows by using security accredited shutters or grilles (PDF). The security rating will be dependent on your building and its contents.
- Secure entrance doors.
- Hire a security guard. If a security guard is not an option, consider using a timer switch to create ‘the illusion of occupancy’.
- Fit a monitored alarm to the building. They are a good deterrent and a variety of alarms are available. There are two industry bodies who accredit reputable alarm companies: the National Security Inspectorate (NSI) and the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB).
- Consider the use of fogging systems that activate upon an alarm being activated. These have a proven record of stopping burglars as you cannot steal what you cannot see.
- Lock valuable products away from the shop floor or any visible location.
- Purchase security and insurance accredited safe, which can be bolted to the floor and located in a safe and secluded location.
How to secure your business premise
Read our detailed advice about securing your property:
Review your security regularly
Carry out a detailed review of your security measures of your occupied and unoccupied property and any land that you are responsible for.
Make sure to:
- review your premises security area by area (e.g. your warehouse, your office or retail space) making sure you are thorough and note down where their weaknesses and how you could improve on them
- look at how secure the boundaries around premises such as walls or fences and then work your way in
- look for vulnerabilities in the space between the perimeter, any outbuildings and the main building
- lock away any items that could be stolen, used as a climbing aide or targeted for arson
- take a look at the SecuredByDesign website. SecuredByDesign is a police initiative which aims to improve the security of buildings and their immediate surroundings.
Secure the boundaries and access to your premises
- Invest in a recognised security standard gate and locking mechanism, which is securely fixed to the ground and aligned with the boundary fence/wall.
- Make sure any fences or walls around the boundary of your premises are security rated and high enough to stop someone from climbing over them. We recommend a minimum height of 2.1 metres. Contact your local planning office for details of what height of boundary they will allow.
Prevent vehicles accessing your site
If the site is closed, you can prevent vehicle access to your properties entrance/boundary by:
- securing entrances with heavy-duty concrete blocks or security rated bollards
- installing a strong vehicle height restrictor at the entrance to restrict large vehicles entering your site
- ensuring heavy-duty vehicles, such as lorries, are parked securely in an outdoor area
- parking vehicles close to or in front of the entrances to buildings can reduce vulnerability by making them harder to access (make sure it is safe to do this whilst maintaining compliance with fire regulations)
Protect your property by:
- Hiring a Security Industry Authority (SIA) licensed security guard to provide a permanent presence and quickly alert us to any attempt to illegally enter the property. In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, make sure to follow Government recommendations with regards to occupancy of buildings. The SIA’s website has advice on key worker status.
- Hiring a security company with a monitoring station who have remote access to the site. Monitoring stations ensure the police and, if applicable your local authority, will be instantly notified when someone illegally enters your property, with or without a security presence on the site.
- Installing an accredited CCTV system which is positioned in a way that covers the whole of your property especially any particularly vulnerable areas and is not positioned where it can be easily attacked or removed.
- Training your staff on how to use your CCTV system properly.
- Considering installing ‘smart CCTV systems’ which link to an app on your phone allowing you to monitor your properties remotely. Some Smart CCTV systems have the ability to let you ‘communicate’ with an intruder via a speaker on the camera.
Make sure your property has good lighting
Make sure your property has good lighting levels.
- Consider constant low level dusk-till-dawn lighting which comes on when sunset is detected then continues to remain on until sunrise.
- Bollard mounted lights are not recommended as they can be vandalised and do not light up the face of any potential intruder enough.
Mark your property and put up signs
Marking your property using property marking products or visible signs can enhance your security and makes it easier to trace back to you if it is stolen.
- There are several products you can use to mark your property which contain a unique traceable liquid/DNA code that can provide evidence of a vehicle or individual’s presence at your property. There are also DNA spray type devices available that can be connected to your alarm system.
- Install highly visible warning signs will show your property is protected and warn of the dangers or consequences of entering.
Cut off the electric or water supply to the property
A property with a electricity and water supply can make it more attractive to any would-be occupiers (squatters). If electric or water supplies are not needed, consider turning them off if safe to do so.
Be aware that turning them off will have an impact on any security measures you have in place such as an intruder alarm, fire alarm or CCTV.
Report a burglary
Find out how to report a burglary.