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Security planning and management tips for small businesses

 Small businesses should not neglect security investments
Cutting costs on security investments puts small businesses at the risk of criminal activity
During tough economic times, many small businesses can be found guilty of neglecting investment in their on-going security protection.  Naturally, this can prove to be problematic as the impact of break-ins and criminal activity greatly affect the accounts and day-to-day running of the business. Luke Martyn, SMB specialist at ADT Fire and Security provides practical, cost-effective advice for smaller businesses to guarantee a safer working environment for employees as well as safeguarding the premises against crime and vandalism.

Businesses are often prompted to consider their security requirements based on the minimum standards required by their insurer rather than reviewing the problems and threats faced.  These days, with technology and usage improvements, security systems can add value to the day-to-day running of a small business and offer cost effective solutions to ongoing problems of crime and vandalism. 

The SMB sector is now beginning to rise to technological advances and examine what the security industry can provide to protect premises.  The cost of security solutions themselves are a lot more competitive now due to increased availability and a wide market of competing security organisations.  This means that installing a security system becomes a lot more accessible to the average small enterprise and increasing protection by moving away from the ‘bells only' approach to integrated solutions is much more realistic.

Security systems offer cost effective solutions to ongoing problems of crime and vandalism

Featured below is an outline of these potential security systems:

Intruder detection

Intruder detection has developed considerably from mere burglar alarm.  The many products available for the varying types of small businesses are extremely impressive.  As examples, intruder sensors will detect unauthorised individuals for retail outlets, hold-up buttons send direct messages to the police protecting employees during robberies and magnetic sensors safeguard prescription drugs.  Intruder detection systems can be monitored for emergency services response and even linked to  CCTV for additional protection.

CCTV  surveillance

CCTV has various advantages for smaller businesses, safeguarding both external and internal threats against the business. Video surveillance has other benefits in addition to deterring criminal activities. It can also discourage workplace violence and false accident claims.

Electronic access control

Electronic access control is increasingly being recognised by small businesses as a cost-effective security choice.  The adequate level of access control can be determined by security organisations, for each individual business.  Depending on the building's size, structure and number of personnel, the levels of access control used varies from single-door access control with photo ID badging systems to sophisticated visitor management platforms that use smart-card technology.

Small businesses which are re-evaluating the security systems they have in place should consider the following points before making decisions:

Integrated systems add flexibility to businesses
Integrated security systems help facilitate out-of-hours working for businesses
  • Identify the security problems faced by the business
    All businesses require specific security solutions and it is important to maintain a balance between limited security and being guilty of overkill depending on those objectives and needs
  • Consider the quality of the security provider
    Being able to guarantee that the security equipment is installed and maintained without error is crucial; otherwise more problems will be created than solved. The National Security Inspectorate and British Security Industry Association accreditations can help select reputable providers.
  • Explore the required level of monitoring and rapid response required
    Monitoring and rapid response increases not only protection but also peace of mind.  If police can be alerted in any case, there will be a reduced risk of loss or damage.
  • Keep security working
    Testing the security equipment will reassure staff and ensure it works when it is most needed, thus protecting the investment placed in the solution.

Whichever solution is chosen, it must ensure that the collective parts of the business are protected 24 hours a day from criminal activity.  Installed systems deter vandals and burglars and have the ability to alert keyholders or the police about any trouble.   Integrating multiple security systems can help add flexibility to businesses by facilitating out-of-hours working and deliveries or managing a multi-site organisation.

The recession has strained many businesses and has resulted in drastic cuts in spending.  However, security should not be an area suffering from cuts. SMBs can work with reputable providers to decipher the most ideal solution which delivers the correct protection to the business for its premises and employees so a safer, more comfortable working environment is established.

ADT Fire and Security Luke Martyn
SMB specialist

ADT Fire and Security

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