Whether you operate a warehouse, professional office, retail space, or service-orientated business, improving the security of your commercial space simply makes sense. Not only does focusing on security help to reduce crime-related losses, but it can also help to establish your company as one that truly cares about its employees, customers, and clients.
Here at the top 6 steps to improving commercial security at your business:
1) Perform Enhanced Background Checks on Employee Candidates
Pre-employment background screening that goes beyond the basic reference checks can help prevent problems related to employee theft, fraud, and even violence in the workplace by vetting candidates using in-depth screening criteria.
According to a recent HireRight Employment Screening Benchmark Report, a staggering 85 percent of employers surveyed found that job applicants had provided false, misleading, or incomplete information on their resumes or applications, which is up nearly 20 percent in just five years.
Criminal record searches that include county, state, and federal searches can reduce the chances of hiring an employee who may pose a security threat. Using scalable, on-demand online verification services to research an applicant’s educational background, professional credentials, and employment history may also be appropriate, as with pre-employment drug testing, fingerprinting, and even psychometric testing to evaluate a candidate’s personality traits, attitudes, and behavioral tendencies.
2) Create A Comprehensive Emergency Plan
While prevention is always the primary goal when it comes to commercial security, the reality is that it’s impossible to stop every threat.
Every business should have a comprehensive emergency plan that includes clear, site-specific details that outlines exactly how your employees should respond to an incident involving your facility, your staff, or your digital assets. This needs to cover the basics like fire response, dealing with power outages, and what to do if a lock-down situation occurs.
Your emergency plan should also cover issues such as cyber-attacks, terrorist activities, and violence in the workplace, as well as what your staff needs to do in the event of an armed robbery, natural disaster, or other catastrophic occurrences.
3) Install A Commercial Key Card Entry System
Replacing your traditional metal keys with a key card system gives you complete control over your access to your office, retail space, or commercial building. Card-based entry systems have been the standard in hospitals, airports, colleges, and other security-sensitive buildings for years and the technology has now evolved to make key card entry systems accessible to smaller businesses and facilities.
Keyless entry systems can be programmed to limit access to specific areas based on the time of day and the day of the week to eliminate after-hours entry to your facility, while the system software can be used to track employee movement throughout your facility.
Commercial key card entry systems also make it easy to deactivate a specific keycard remotely in cases where a card is lost or an employee has been dismissed, and, unlike metal keys, each key card can be reconfigured multiple times.
4) Upgrade to a CCTV System
Closed-circuit television, or CCTV, is a private television system that links strategically-placed cameras with multiple monitors and a digital recording device to provide video surveillance and recording of the camera feeds.
CCTV cameras are designed to provide a number of security advantages in commercial spaces. Because the cameras are distinctive and instantly-recognizable, they can act as a highly effective deterrent against property crimes such as vandalism, break-ins, and thefts. The presence of CCTV cameras can also help to prevent assaults in vulnerable areas such as loading docks and parking garages. When properly installed, these cameras can provide a clear video recording of an event that does occur within the range of the camera.
A CCTV system can be used in conjunction with a ‘buzz-in’ lock – a relatively simple system that replaces an existing mechanical door strike with a powered electric strike which is connected to a release switch. This allows you to see who is at the door on the CCTV monitors from a different area of your commercial building before unlocking the door using the remote button.
5) Hire Uniformed Security Guards
While hiring armed guards on a permanent basis can be cost-prohibitive for many business owners, having one or more uniformed security professionals posted at your commercial property may be appropriate for special events that require enhanced security measures.
Security guards can be utilized to respond to specific threats against your business that could compromise the safety of your facility, clients, and employees. Situations that involve protestors, labor unrest, high-risk employee termination or domestic violence against one of your staff members may warrant hiring armed guards on a contract basis.
Consider enlisting armed security guards during times when your existing security systems are off-line, such as when you are upgrading your master key system, installing a keyless entry system, or performing maintenance on your fire suppression system.
6) Install Commercial-Grade Safes and Locking Cabinets
Although having effective perimeter protection can go a long way towards keeping your business and it’s assets safe, the reality is that workplace crime is a huge problem here in the United States. According to Statistic Brain, employee theft costs American companies a staggering $50 billion each year, and in most cases, these losses are never recouped.
The most common type of internal theft involves stealing physical inventory via vendor theft – this can include everything from computer parts to office supplies, medications, and even large pieces of equipment. Increasingly, data is also targeted by thieves – this includes sensitive information such as patient records, employee files, and corporate information.
Installing high-quality commercial locks on your filing cabinets, using time-delayed safes, and having other physical security devices such as GPS trackers can work as effective deterrents against both employee theft and break-ins. These measures also send a strong message to employees, contractors, and clients that security is a priority at your business.