June 4th, 2019 7:27 am

To Catch a Thief and Other Reasons to Make Office Security a Priority

physical security best practice

Why does every business need to think about office security… and make it a priority? Employee safety, customer safety, vandalism, robbery are just a few types of physical security threats to your business.

The easiest office security measure you can put in place is video surveillance. Recently, I was talking with some business owners about what types of security cameras are best (more on that later). One person asked whether they’re really necessary. Before I could answer that yes, they are, someone else jumped in with an amusing story.

He owns a retail business that has both front and back doors, and the back door is often unlocked so the employees can park out back. For their safety, he has security cameras on all the doors to alert the staff when someone comes in through the back.

That’s not the amusing part of the story. I’m getting there.

A few years ago, he came into work one morning to find that the office computers had all been stolen, as well as the petty cash. Everyone was baffled, and acting quite innocent. Apparently the thief didn’t realize (or forgot) that the security cameras are on 24 hours a day.

Imagine the receptionist’s surprise at being caught entering the business in the middle of the night.

That wasn’t the reason this business had the security cameras, but they sure were grateful to have them.

Types of Physical Security Threats

Robbery isn’t the only type of physical security threat. Like in the example above, the business owner is primarily concerned about employee safety and all of his security measures focus on that. The most common physical security threats are:

  • Theft and burglary (both from outside sources or employees): This is the most common type of physical security threat, and the most straight forward to manage. Access control and video surveillance measures help limit the threat. 
  • Assault: This is more difficult to predict because the reasons are often personal. Observing behaviors and having policies in place can help reduce this threat.
  • Vandalism: The key to defeating vandalism is having strong perimeter security, such as fences, barriers, and signage alerting vandals to the fact they’re being watched on surveillance video.
  • Natural disasters: You can’t deter natural disasters (despite how nice it would be if we could deter a tornado). However, you can protect your business, your employees, and customers. Evacuation plans, sensors, and alarms can all help keep everyone safe.
  • Terrorism: In the Washington, DC area especially, being aware of terrorism threats is important. Be aware of who your business neighbors are and if they are potential targets. And put safety protocols and measures in place so that everyone knows what to do in the event of an attack.

Physical security best practices

Clients ask me where to start with their office security. Here are some best practices that will get you going.

  1. Protect all entrance points, including windows. Make sure you have high security locks. Have a commercial locksmith come out and assess them. It’s one of the easiest and cost effective ways to improve security. If you need more security, then go to best practice #2…
  2. Install access control systems. Whether you need a straightforward pin code or key card entry system installed at the building’s front door, or something more advanced like biometric access control to private rooms or spaces in your building, these systems are easier to implement than you may thing.
  3. Have a professional install video cameras for all entry points. Video surveillance systems include a wide range of functionality and resolution. A professional with experience in designing physical security systems ensures you get the tools you need for your specific situation.
  4. Ditto with alarms that will alert authorities when someone breaches the system.
  5. Have safety policies in place so that employees know what to do if they see something suspicious. Outline the risks, who to call, and what protocols to follow. For example, at night have a policy that employees walk each other out to their cars. That’s a simple policy that deters assault. 

Our physical security solutions

We have been keeping our clients safe and secure for years, and are proud to offer the experience and expertise to design, install and maintain an office security system that fits your specific needs. Examples include:

  • On-premise and cloud-based solutions
  • Expandable storage solutions
  • 360 degree cameras
  • Bullet cameras
  • Discreet IP based camera systems
  • Pan Tile and Zoom or PTZ cameras
  • Night Vision/Thermal Imaging
  • License plate and Facial recognition
  • Outdoor cameras
  • Access control systems, including pin keys and biometric access controls

One final thought: when you layer your security, you significantly reduce the myriad risks that inherently exist for your office.

Call us today to learn what types of access control systems, surveillance cameras, perimeter security, or other security solutions will keep your employees and your business safe.

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