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Securing premises

Crime needs to be managed like any other business risk. Theft of equipment or data from premises may leave the business unable to trade for an extended time, and a business with limited resources might not survive this period of little or no income.

What do I need to consider when securing premises?

Safe premises are vital to protecting all your business assets - equipment, stock, staff and information. Here are the important things to do:

  • Control visitor access.
  • Check that door and window frames and locks are strong - and that staff lock up securely before the premises are vacated.
  • Consider an alarm - almost always essential in obtaining contents insurance.
  • Keep as little cash on the premises as possible.
  • Build a safe securely into the wall for on-site valuables.
  • Strictly control your staff's access to keys to the premises.
  • Keep back-up copies of business data in a fireproof environment.
  • Keep the grounds of the premises well lit after dark.
  • Consider closed-circuit television as a deterrent.

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Do I have obligations to my employees with regard to security?

You are legally required to comply with the following:

  • Fire safety regulations require that people on your premises must have unobstructed exit routes in the event of a fire. Make sure that your security systems do not get in the way of this important requirement.
  • Staff should know how to raise the alarm in case of fire, and be made aware of fire exits and mustering points.

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Hints and tips

  • Consider business interruption insurance in case a theft of certain equipment or information prevents your business from operating. This insurance covers the shortfall in net profit, as well as any fixed costs (rent, wages or interest on a loan).
  • Ask your insurance company to recommend security mechanisms that will reduce your monthly insurance premium.
  • Keep a regularly updated copy of business records in a safe place off the premises.

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