In today’s modern society, we often worry so much about securing our networks against hackers and viruses that we forget to consider physically securing our buildings and offices properly. Physical security is the way in which you protect your buildings and personal property from intruders. Read on to discover how you can better protect your business and its assets with a few simple security measures.
If you aren’t sure of how to secure your business or office, consider consulting with a security professional. Someone skilled in the area of security can be a valuable asset to your business and ensure your future protection. You could hire a security consultant, or simply call a couple of local vendors to walk through your office and take note of your current doors, windows and security system. Let them draw up an estimate to give you an idea of what needs to be changed and what is already installed properly. From this estimate you can hire one of them, or do parts of it yourself.
2. Doors and Windows
Flimsy doors and windows are an invitation to an intruder. Steel entry doors provide more security than glass doors. Windows, if installed in your office, should be high enough that breaking them and entering your business would be no simple task. The hinges and locks on your entry points should be of a commercial grade rather than a residential grade. This is a simple update that will add valuable security to your property. Realize that if your private offices are not individually alarmed it is best to keep their doors open while the office is empty, so any disturbance is more apt to set off interior motion detectors.
3. Key Control
While it’s often necessary to hand keys to your business to one or more trusted employees don’t neglect to keep a key control policy. You should have written record of everyone that has a key to your office and be sure to have those keys returned should the employee be terminated or sever their employment. This common sense tactic is often the most overlooked by business owners.
4. Electronic Access
Consider installing an Electronic Access Control System. It can be a bit expensive, though most alarm monitoring companies provide a huge discount if you lease their equipment or accessories. An electronic system will record every attempt at opening a door, whether it is successful or not. The system will also allow you to add and delete electronic codes, eliminating the possibility of break-ins due to lost, misplaced or stolen keys. You can also give employees various levels of authority, allowing access to designated areas and denying access to others.
5. Alarm System
Taking physical security measures will better protect your office against intruders but what happens if they get in? Having a monitored alarm system will both sound when someone trips a sensor and alert law enforcement to the intrusion. This can cut down on response time significantly and better protect your assets. Don’t skimp on motion sensors, especially in private locked offices!
6. Video Surveillance
A camera will provide you a means with which to monitor your office. Don’t make the common mistake of setting up dummy cameras. These are not only useless but a waste of money. A digital system will allow you to record the activity on your premises as you see fit and will provide useful evidence should you experience a break-in. Exterior cameras are something you may want to coordinate with the complex manager and share the cost with other tenants. Be sure to consult the privacy laws in your state if you are installing cameras on your own; there are areas that, by law, cannot be recorded.
7. Front Desk
If your business receives walk-in sales or payments, a front desk person will need be able to comfortably approach unfamiliar guests to be sure that they have business in your office. The person that you utilize for this position should be security minded or have experience in the law enforcement field. Having such a person stationed at the front desk will also give your employees someone to go to when they need to report suspicious activity, as well as giving them a sense of protection. Placing a large mirror strategically near the entrance could give your back office location ability to see who is entering or leaving.
Conduct an assessment of your office’s current security features. Make a list of the of all of the things that you have found to be lacking and upgrade where you are able. Physical security is the first step in protecting your business’s assets.
About the Author
Jonathan Freedman is a security consultant who also writes for Qualified Hardware, one of the oldest Commercial door hardware companies in the country. He suggests checking out http://www.qualifiedhardware.com/ for a complete selection of commercial door accessories, from door hinges and closers to locks and alarmed exit devices.