Businesses are vulnerable to all types of crimes — burglaries, theft, cyber crimes, vandalism, and more. Per the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) 2019 Crime Report, 37.2% of all reported burglaries occurred at commercial properties, such as offices and stores. Also, per a recent Gartner study, 80% of business owners do not have a strict plan in place to protect their data.
Therefore, in the current scenario, where more and more businesses are opening after the global COVID-1- shutdown, it’s extremely important to develop comprehensive commercial security strategies to protect your people, buildings, and assets.
The following best practices and tips are commercial security strategies that you can use to protect your business, irrespective of its locations, size, or industry.
6 Commercial Security Strategies You Need to Implement
1. Establishing Safety and Security Policies at Your Business
Every business is responsible for creating a safe and secure working environment for their customers and employees. There are numerous safety and security threats, such as workplace-related accidents, cyber crimes, burglaries, and so on. Therefore, you, as a business owner, should also look at creating strict safety and security policies for your business.
One of the most effective commercial security strategies is developing safety and security policies to show your customers and employees that you care for their well-being.
Businesses should consider building working safety and security policies around physical as well as virtual environments. Workplace safety and security should not be limited to physical security. It also includes cybersecurity — protecting critical data, networks, software, and equipment.
Moreover, the safety and security policies should cover all business functions. Every business function may have its own challenges; therefore, you need to ensure that safety and security policies are specifically designed to meet the needs of different business functions.
For instance, in the event of a workplace fire, workplace safety and security procedures will be quite different from those followed during workplace violence.
You need to follow two critical steps to build an effective safety and security plan for your business. First, create a checklist of potential threats to your commercial property. The list should comprise different sections for risks from natural disasters such as fire, flood, earthquake, etc., and crimes such as burglary, intrusion, vandalism, etc. Second, to build effective safety and security policies, you must look at possible risks by conducting a safety audit.
Safety and security policies that are a part of your commercial security strategy will cover:
- Access control systems for enhancing the overall security of your commercial property. These systems can help you determine the number of employees and visitors in your building in real-time.
- A reporting system where customers and employees can report incidents and threats.
- Emergency planning, which includes measures you need to take in the event of a crime or natural disaster.
- Regular inspections to identify issues that may compromise commercial safety and security.
- Periodic training to educate employees about workplace safety and security.
2. Understanding the Importance of Commercial Video Surveillance
Along with your security staff, a commercial video surveillance system can help a great deal in protecting your people, building, and assets. According to research, 67% of burglaries taking place in commercial properties can be easily tackled by installing advanced commercial video surveillance solutions. Today, more than 25 million CCTVs are being used by businesses across the globe. Therefore, you must consider getting a commercial video surveillance system for your business.
Commercial video surveillance systems are developed using the latest technology and recording methods. Therefore, they are affordable and reliable. Let’s look at some benefits of commercial video surveillance systems for your business:
- Prevention of theft and robbery: A recent retail study shows that several small businesses lose almost $50,000 annually due to factors such as break-ins, vandalism, robberies, and other crimes. Businesses can bring down this number by implementing comprehensive video surveillance solutions.
- Real-time video recording: With commercial video surveillance, you can record and view footage on a real-time basis.
- Overall security coverage: With a commercial video surveillance system in place, you can secure even the most isolated areas in and around your commercial property.
Businesses must identify vulnerable areas in and around their commercial property to determine the right placement of video surveillance equipment. Some areas where businesses typically install video surveillance cameras are:
- Entry points, including doors and windows
- Areas comprising burglar targets (expensive equipment, electronics, critical documents, and so on)
- Point of sale (POS)
It’s best to hire professionals to install your commercial video surveillance system as a lot of equipment and components are involved; DIY installation may not be a good idea here. The disadvantages of DIY installation in the case of commercial video surveillance systems are:
- Improper camera placement
- Lack of password protection
- Inadequate visual coverage
- Missing remote access capabilities
You also need professional help to maintain the commercial video surveillance system after installation. A commercial surveillance system can prevent loss and act as a valuable asset to your business only if it is implemented properly.
3. Implementing Business Access Control Systems in Your Organization
One of the best commercial security strategies for your business can be implementing a business access control system. You can make the most of this system to monitor who is entering or leaving your commercial property.
Business access control systems can help in preventing intruders from entering your property and minimize security risks. They’re also reliable and affordable.
Most business access controls are convenient to use and require minimum to no training. They include:
- Access control panels
- Access control servers
- Biometric systems
- Contactless readers
- Electric locks
- Video surveillance equipment
- Sign-in sheets
- Fire detection systems
- Panic alarms
- Audio intrusion detection
Let’s look at the benefits of installing a business access control system in your commercial property:
- Better ease of access for employees
- Reduced costs; you save money on traditional locks and security personnel
- 24×7 access to individuals entering and leaving the property
- Flexible work timings for employees; they can use their access cards to enter the building per their convenience
- Better safety of organizational data
- Easy access to multiple locations and buildings
- Thorough compliance with industry security standards
Business access control systems can be used to protect areas, such as:
- Building entrances and exits
- IT rooms
- Storage areas
- File cabinets
4. Setting Up — and Following Through With — Emergency and Evacuation Drills
Emergencies, such as fire and natural disasters, can occur at any time. Therefore, you and your employees should be ready to tackle them anytime, anywhere.
Emergency and evacuation drills help organizations understand how they should act in a large variety of potential emergencies. They are typically scheduled throughout the year to ensure the readiness of the organization in responding to any emergency that requires them to evacuate the property.
However, before planning emergency and evacuation drills, businesses need to perform a thorough risk assessment to identify all possible threats, assess them carefully, and segment them according to their likelihood of causing injury and damage. These include:
- Chemical leaks and spills
- Natural disasters
- Community evacuation
- Explosions and implosions
- Power failure
- Civil disturbances
Emergency and evacuation drills typically cover:
- Identification of emergency and incidents where evacuation is required
- Determination of emergency management equipment, such as fire extinguishers, water supplies, and so on
- Evacuation techniques, such as slides, ropes, assembly methods, and so on
- Notification of emergencies, such as how and whom to notify, and when
- Communication with external emergency response teams, such as the ambulance, fire personnel, police, and so on
Follow these steps to organize well-structured emergency and evacuation drills in your organization:
- Get buy-in from different teams and stakeholders. Everyone should be on board with the idea of planning regular emergency and evacuation drills.
- Communicate the plan clearly.
- Set goals for the drill and measure them. For example, time to completely evacuate the property.
- Clearly define responsibilities in your organization. Have an emergency manager and authorized emergency response persons on the team.
- Plan a date and time. Ideally, you should conduct a fire drill every month or quarter.
- Appoint observers. You can request an emergency and evacuation professional to monitor the drill.
5. Leveraging Fire and Disaster Prevention Tips
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), in 2020, a local fire department responded to a fire emergency on an average of every 23 seconds. Not only this but in the same year, local fire departments responded to 1.4 million fires. These fires lead to approximately 15,200 civilian injuries, 3,500 civilian deaths, and approximately $29.1 billion in property damage.
Look at these numbers, your organization should be wise in designing fire and disaster prevention plans.
Your organization’s fire and disaster prevention plan should include:
- An outline of conditions that will require emergency evacuation
- Methods for reporting fire- and disaster-related incidents and emergencies
- A detailed evacuation policy and fire escape plan
- Emergency evacuation routes and procedures, such as building plans and floor plans
- Details of persons to be contacted in the case of emergencies
- Special procedures and policies for employees who will remain inside the building to shutdown necessary systems before evacuation
- Special procedures for evacuation of employees with disabilities
- A plan for communicating the need for immediate evacuation in the event of a fire or disaster
- Rescue- and medical-related responsibilities, along with details of employees assigned to each
The best fire and disaster prevention plans include employees in the brainstorming and planning process. Instead of communicating your plan to your employees after completion, we recommend making them a part of it.
Motivate them to provide suggestions on how to tackle fire and disaster emergencies. Once the plan is ready, review it with your employees and collect their feedback.
6. Designing and Implementing Comprehensive Commercial Security
As you’ve seen in all sections of this post, irrespective of the type and size of your business, you need a comprehensive commercial security solution to:
- Ensure the safety of your people, building, and assets
- Monitor employees and visitors with commercial video surveillance
- Prevent crimes, such as burglaries, theft, unauthorized access, vandalism, and cybercrimes
- Minimize damage for fire and disasters
The four main components that are typically found in today’s comprehensive commercial security solutions include:
- A business access control management solution
- A remote monitoring solution
- A commercial video surveillance system
- A fire safety system
At ProTech Security, we have a strong history of experience, innovation, and customer service. The ProTech Security Advantage is more than 35 years of service in Northeast Ohio and a strong commitment to providing quality, cost-effective protection for homes, businesses, educational institutions, and government facilities. To see what ProTech Security can do for you, contact us today.