Office break ins can cause a lot of destruction and upheaval for a small business!
Imagine coming to your office in the morning and finding out someone has rummaged through things and taken a laptop, server, or inventory. Is someone still in the building somewhere? The sinking feeling is overwhelming and getting back to normal could take weeks and even months (not to mention the expense of replacing equipment and product). There could even be a loss of data or things that are not replaceable that leaves you vulnerable.
As a business owner, you do not want to go through such an ordeal. You want to take the necessary steps with your office security to keep your customer data, employees and property safe. But where do you start and what should you consider when it comes to protecting your small business?
We have written this article for just this reason: to help you break down the safety measures you should consider for properly securing your small business. These elements not only provide protection and prevention, but they also help you manage, oversee, and keep in touch with your small business operation.
The Basics of Office Security
Office security can involve a wide variety of things ranging from something as simple as secure locks, to sophisticated electronic systems and there is a lot in between. Since every business is unique so there are several things to take into considerations and each might have varying importance depending on the type and size of your business.
In this article we will explore a few of the important office security considerations in the general order of importance. Each will have application in varying ways to your particular business and others are general enough to be important to all business. These office security consideration are: locks and good lighting, security system, fire system, video surveillance, and access control.
Locks and Good Lighting
Maybe the most effective means of security for your small business is also the easiest. Many crimes are just crimes convenience. A door left open, or a dark corner are open invitations for trouble.
This is why your doors should be equipped with good closers, latches, and guards so they shut well, lock, and are not easily jimmied. If you’re looking for the most secure options, dead bolts are the best way to lock a door. But regardless of the type of locks you choose, it crucial to immediately fix your doors when they are not shutting right, rubbing, or the latch is malfunctioning. Taking measures make sure doors are secured when they are locked and have good hardware are the true key to ensuring securing your building.
Aside from installing quality locks, the space outside your business should be well lit all the way around. New LED lighting is often brighter and much more efficient and should be a consideration. Just like your doors, it’s important to change out fixtures or lighting elements quickly when the light is not working. We also encourage business owners to keep an inside hallway light on at all times as a good deterrent.
A basic, good, and functional security system is first and most important electronic system you should deploy to protect your small business. A good security system should include:
- Contacts on every exterior door
- Motions sensors covering areas of movement
- Glass break sensors in key areas that have windows
- A good loud siren
- At least one keypad near the door the main entrance/exit door.
Arming the security system when leaving for the night should become second nature and sometimes it makes sense to employ automatic arming after a certain time at night when everyone should be out of the building so the system is armed even if the last person forgets.
The security system should be monitored so if an alarm goes off it not only makes lots of noise to scare off the intruder but also sends signals to a 24-hour dispatch center that makes calls to key people in the company and to the authorities, so things can be checked out quickly. A quality security system usually has 2 paths for sending signals to the 24-hour dispatch center usually these two paths are a cellular communicator and the Internet.
Remote access to the security system which is available on most systems allows you to see your system status, to arm and disarm, to receive text and email notifications which is helpful but is never a good substitute for the reliability of a 24-dispatch center. The security system is the main proactive system that lets you know when the office has been breached so you can check things out in person or via your camera system—more about that below.
A fire system is perhaps as important as a security system but with many building having fire sprinkler systems the fire system is often provided by the building management company if your small business is in a multi-tenant building. If your small business is in a standalone building or an older multi-tenant building then having a fire system is of 1st important for your small business. Sometime a combination fire and burglar system, that combines the security and fire system into one system can be used to save money on monitoring and equipment.
- A quality fire system should include the following:
- Fire system monitor smoke detectors
- Duct detectors
- Flow and gate valves on fire sprinkler system
- Engage horns/strobes to alert building occupants
Fire systems are designed to detect fires early and alert occupants to safely evacuate the building and to alert the local fire department so the fire can be put out as quick as possible. Most fire systems also feature 24-hour monitoring along with multiple paths for transmission to a 24-hour dispatch so you can rest easy knowing help is on the way.
Video surveillance is a powerful tool used to monitor activity in and outside of your office. These systems use strategic placement of CCTV (closed-circuit television) cameras to monitor internal activities and deter potential threats. While every business will have different needs for their surveillance coverage, we generally recommend installing cameras at all main points of entry/exit, high-traffic areas, and spaces containing high-value items or where you want to monitor activities.
Video surveillance systems offer a wide variety of features like remote access, cloud storage, license plate recognition and even facial recognition. With both live and recorded feeds, modern surveillance systems allow business owners to keep an eye on employees, customers, and respond to suspicious activity no matter where they are.
While surveillance systems used to bear a hefty cost, over the last few years the cost of equipment has continually decreased allowing video surveillance to become more accessible to businesses of all sizes.
Access Control Systems
One of the best ways to manage who comes in and out of your building is through an access control system. These systems consist of keycards that are programmed to grant access to the property. This ensures only those with a keycard can enter while those without will need to be allowed in by a manager.
Many access control systems are equipped with remote monitoring and management. This allows administrators to seamlessly update keycards for new hires and past employees. This means no more getting new keys every time an employee is fired and forgets to return their old keys. Now you can simply remove access to the property with just a few clicks.
Plenty of systems also have customizable management features. This allows administrators to easily manage who has access to specific areas, along with schedules for when they can be accessed.
Depending on the level of security necessary for your business, access control systems can also be integrated with video surveillance and alarm systems. When fully integrated, offices can be equipped to quickly lock down the property, monitor any threats, and alert authorities.
The Best Way to Implement an Office Security System
While no one likes the thought of a security threat in their office or building, it’s something everyone should be prepared for. Whether it’s a fire, burglar, or a suspicious person, being proactive with your security is the best way to mitigate risk in the office. Not only will you be better equipped to handle any issues that may arise, but both you and your employees will feel safer at the office.
If you’re looking to upgrade the security of your office, make sure to contact our team at Prowire. Not only do we aim to provide guidance in the selection of your security system, but we also ensure proper implementation from equipment installation to employee training.
Contact us today to learn more!