By Jeremy Cassady, Managing Director of Securikey
As part and parcel of managing the health and safety of any business and its employees, it is essential to conduct regular risk assessments to identify potential risks in the workplace and to implement the appropriate physical security measures.
Priorities for protection should focus on: People (staff, visitors, contractors, customers), Physical Assets (buildings, contents, equipment) and Information (electronic and paper data).
With technology advancing in leaps and bounds, electronic security systems are constantly growing in sophistication. However, the fact remains that there is still a very real need for straightforward, intelligent physical security solutions to suit the budgets of those businesses and organisations under pressure to keep costs as low as possible.
When implementing a business security plan, there are a number of measures that will cost the company virtually nothing such as encouraging staff to ensure that doors and windows are locked at the end of the day and that electrical devices are shut down. There are a number of Business Watch schemes within the UK which allow business communities to share best practice, raise business crime prevention awareness and even share the costs of security equipment.
Leading manufacturers of security products, such as Securikey, offer many solutions to suit every company size and budget as well as offering long term functionality. Here are a few examples of how to keep employees and assets safe at a relatively low cost:
Reflect and React
In terms of security, prevention rather than reaction is key. CCTV (closed circuit television cameras) are commonly used both inside and outside of commercial buildings and are useful as they record images of people in and around the building which can later be used to identify those responsible should a crime take place. Some businesses and private residences prefer to cut costs by using a decoy camera which is a ‘fake’ camera using exactly the same housing as active cameras but without the recording capability.
Although invaluable in some buildings, CCTV can be costly and is not always necessary. In fact, in many cases, it is considered to be a poor use of budget, with some £515 million spent in the UK over five years netting only a 3% success rate in identifying criminals. Both CCTV and decoy cameras can also lead to a false sense of security due to some CCTV cameras frequently not working or images obtained being of insufficient quality for use in court, according to the Head of the Visual Images, Identification And Detections Office (VIIDO) and the campaign group Big Brother Watch. Similarly, although decoy cameras are useful as a deterrent to would be intruders due to the fact that they are generally indistinguishable from the real thing, the same feature may lead personnel to feel more protected than is actually the case.
A popular and extremely cost-effective alternative to cameras is the convex mirror or safety mirror. Used extensively in a diverse range of environments, convex safety mirrors are a highly effective way of eliminating blind spots inside and outside a building and can be useful in enhancing safety, security and operational efficiency as well as saving the business money on operational and energy costs.
There are a number of options available such as interior, exterior, speciality and institution mirrors, each designed to meet specific requirements. Easy to maintain and with a low purchasing cost in comparison with more high tech alternatives, convex mirrors can also be useful in making staff more aware of their surroundings. Different convex mirrors have many different applications and it is essential that the correct mirror is chosen for an organisation’s needs. In addition, each mirror must be positioned to give the most comprehensive view and expert advice, as well as free guides, are available from leading suppliers to help the customer make an informed decision that will precisely meet requirements.
When choosing a convex mirror, it is recommended that security personnel seek advice from organisations such as Secured By Design (SBD). SBD is the official UK Police flagship initiative whose objective is to ‘design out crime’ with approved physical security and their principles have been proven to achieve a reduction of crime risk by up to 75%.
Access All Areas
Whatever the size of the premises, the ability to monitor who is coming in and out of the building in order to avoid theft, vandalism and sabotage is of paramount importance. Access control is one of the fundamental security concerns in many commercial buildings, particularly applications such as student accommodation, hospitals and education buildings which have a high level of foot traffic.
Although high tech individual swipe cards, facial recognition systems and fingerprint identification provide an extra level of security by recording the identity of the person entering the building, they can be expensive and, in many cases, unnecessary. A lower cost but highly effective alternative is to install digital door locks which provide convenient and secure access for multiple user entrances without the need for individual keys or security personnel. As well as offering a long lasting, high quality and user friendly solution, digital door locks satisfy a variety of demands and security levels with features that include a reset function if the codes are compromised. They are also quick to install since they operate without wiring or battery power, making them ideal for use in isolated areas.
With such a universal range of options available, business and workforce security needn’t cost the earth financially or environmentally and, in addition to offering high quality products to meet the security requirements of the business, a good supplier will also provide comprehensive advice from initial enquiry through to final installation, ensuring the ultimate protection for the company’s assets, premises and staff.