Unfortunately, crime is a reality. As business owners, we have to be on guard and be vigilant about security for our office, commercial property and employees.
If you are a new business owner there are surely a lot of things that you have to manage. Don’t overlook security. Here is a short checklist of six main measures that you need to address to keep your company safe.
Checklist for a Secure Commercial Property
1. Build a Company Culture about Security
An effectively secure business starts with its employees. As the business owner, it’s your job to put company policies in writing. Security measures should address emergency procedures, visitor restrictions and safety codes. They should also cover how employees should treat company property and their keys to the commercial building – if they are allowed to loan them to others or make copies.
Managers should follow a set routine for locking doors around the property, closing gates and setting the alarm. Review the expectations regarding locking up with employees. Go over the company’s security policies and emergency procedures with your entire staff and with new hires.
Security isn’t just about written rules, though. Encourage your staff members to speak up whenever they see unusual activity in and around the office. They should always come to you if someone requests sensitive information or asks about security details. You could also talk to other business owners in the area. Together, you could form an area watch group to notify each other of crime patterns or suspicious activity around their property.
2. Secure Doors and Entry Points
Don’t overlook this basic business security feature. All doors and points of entry should be locked, even during regular business hours, when they’re not being used. Windows are no exception. The should be secured from the inside when the office is closed or when a space is not being used.
If it’s possible, have deadbolts installed on all the doors accessing the building. If deadbolt locks are already in place, make sure that they all function normally. To step up security, we also recommend upgrading to high-security locks or a keyless entry system. This reduces the number of keys available and makes it easy to track entry into the building throughout the day. For more information, see our guide to locks for commercial buildings.
Adding security cameras will allow you, as the business owner, to see who is accessing the building. When installed on the interior and exterior of the building, the video feed will provide evidence of a crime if necessary, but also act as a deterrent. Cameras can be placed at key locations on the premises: entry points, loading docks, the parking lot or garage, restricted areas and storage facilities. It’s important that you post signs clearly stating that security cameras are present.
3. Protect Valuables
If your business accepts cash payments, be sure to make frequent bank deposits during regular business hours. This will limit the amount of money in the cash registers at any given time.
When you close up for the day, have your staff get into the habit of putting particularly valuable items away, out of sight. It would also help to deter possible thieves to close the blinds and window treatments. Extra cash and important documents should be stored in a secure, fireproof combination safe.
Before anything bad happens, you should review your company’s insurance policy. Be familiar with what it covers and how the claims process works. You will want to record the serial numbers of expensive equipment and keep this document in at least two different safe places.
4. Enforce Network Security
Inform your employees about expectations and policies regarding electronic communication, computer usage and handling information. This should include running regular system updates and using anti-virus software. The WiFi network should be protected with a strong password. If you would like to offer customers access to free WiFi, provide them with a separate network.
Especially if your company works with sensitive data or customer information that is subject to privacy regulations, you will need to invest in extra network security measures.
Office workers should print documents only when necessary and shred any sensitive information that has been printed before throwing it in the trash. Be sure that this type of garbage is handled properly and not allowed to sit around on the property.
5. Maintain the Property
Routine property maintenance will help protect your commercial building. Install extra lighting and replace light bulbs in fixtures surrounding the outside of the building. Floodlights and motion detectors can also help illuminate any blind spots and decrease the risk of nighttime break-ins. Ensure that there is plenty of lighting near the main doors for any employees that may need to enter or exit after dark.
Work to keep bushes and landscaping well trimmed. Fencing and gates with secure locks should be installed around the property to help protect company cars and equipment. Lastly, it’s important that damaged doors, locks and windows be repaired as soon as possible to avoid them being used for easy access into the office.
6. Manage Incoming and Outgoing Employees
Many companies have made background checks a standard part of their hiring process. This can provide a greater sense of security when working with new staff. You should also request proper documentation and references for any other service providers who will have access to the office building, such as cleaning crews.
The business owner should establish a set procedure for how to handle security when employees leave. For example, any employee who is let go or fired should be required to turn in their set of keys or access card.
Increase Security at Your Business
Trust an expert to help you increase security at your place of business, whether it’s an office, store or warehouse. The skilled locksmiths at Great Valley Lockshop offer a range of services for commercial buildings, from making master keys to installing emergency exit doors.