The Covid-19 pandemic has forced the majority of high street retailers and businesses to shut up shop, with some of those on the government’s exemption list electing to reduce opening hours, or close the retail outlet side of their business altogether. In addition to scaling back services, those businesses that are operating are having to adapt their working practices in line with the government’s advice on social distancing.
Customers and suppliers have been adversely affected too. Many normally office-based staff are now working from home and have drastically reduced the number of shopping trips taken. Businesses in the supply chain who are unable to diversify operations to support the national effort have either scaled back or suspended operations. The overall result is that otherwise busy retail, office, leisure and distribution facilities are temporarily unoccupied, making them increasingly vulnerable to burglary, squatting and vandalism.
Keeping a smart eye on things
Police are advising business owners to focus on the risk to their premises and regularly review their security requirements. Burg-Wächter believes that good security is all about building in layers. Starting with the perimeter, ensure any gates at chained shut, with doors, windows and shutters secured with the highest quality locks you can afford. Use a strong padlock, hasp and staple to secure any outbuildings and warehouses, whilst a padlock, chain and ground anchor are ideal for keeping forklifts, machinery and outdoor items in place.
High quality CCTV is both a great visual deterrent and useful source of evidence. Modern wireless CCTV systems are relatively easy to install, with “smart” versions offering an array of features such as remote monitoring and event alerts on a smartphone. Similarly, a smart alarm system will notify you in the event of a break in, flood or fire, whilst smart doorbells allow you to see and speak with visitors to your premises even when you’re not there. One side effect of the Covid-19 pandemic has been a dramatic growth in online sales, so it’s also worth considering an external secure post box or parcel container to temporarily secure any deliveries until they can be collected or moved inside.
The (Kite)mark of increased door security
Whilst the lockdown has seen a reduction in home burglaries, unoccupied properties have become a much easier target for thieves. The vast majority of break-ins occur through a door (either by kicking it in or forcing the lock) and most customers still rely on one or two primary locks to secure their door.
Sterling’s British Standard Kitemarked DoorMinder cylinders hold pride of place at the top of its popular range of Euro profile cylinders. Available in both 3-star and 1-star models, DoorMinder Euro cylinders have been indepently tested to and passed the latest TS007:2014 standard.
Sterling’s 3-star and 1-star Kitemarked DoorMinder ranges feature anti-drill, anti-pick and anti-bump protection and are Snap Safe. For added security, 3-star Kitemarked DoorMinder incorporate an innovative and patented cam locking mechanism, which is automatically engaged when the key is removed.
Coming with a 10yr guarantee, both DoorMinder ranges cover all popular sizes from 70-100mm and are available in double cylinder and thumbturn variants. The 3-star variant also adds single cylinders to the range and a new dual finish with satin nickel body and brass plug. All DoorMinder cylinders feature a standard section keyway and are available with either keyed-alike or master key options.
Pinning and keying services are now available for both 3-star and 1-star DoorMinder cylinders through Sterling’s sister brand Burg-Wächter UK.
Safe as houses
The last line of defence for any building should be a safe, which can be used to securely store cash, valuables (including goods, equipment and IT) and important documents. Carefully considering what you would like to store, its total value and what danger you are trying to guard against will help you pick the right model of safe for your circumstances.
Cheaper safes tend to be little more than glorified cash boxes, whilst “proper” safes come in a wide choice of sizes and locking mechanisms. They also have a selected range of ratings which can be broadly split into monetary insurance values and fire resistance. It’s important to check your insurance policy for the required ratings and look out for the “AiS Approved” logo, which proves the safe has been independently tested and verified. It’s worth remembering that the safe must be properly installed in line with the manufacturer’s instructions, otherwise insurers may not recognise the ratings in the event of a claim.
Having buildings and assets protected by reliable high quality security products and systems helps to ease the strain on absent owners. It minimises the potential for further disruption of loss and damage during these challenging times, enabling the business to focus its efforts on getting back on its feet when things return to “normal”.