Distribution centres store huge amounts of stock and those assets need to be protected. It’s a known fact that thieves will scout out a place before they attempt to enter. This means the security system in place needs to deter them.
A Distribution centre is generally a vast building on an even larger site. You need to cater for security measures across the site, inside the building and specific areas within the building such as high value areas.
We have installed many security systems in Distribution Centres across the UK and below are some key security considerations for each area of your site.
Quick overview of Security technology:
First, you need to protect your perimeter. Palisade fencing protects the boundaries of your site whilst maintaining a view of whether access is being attempted. The shape of the area that is needed to be protected doesn’t matter when you use palisade fencing; whether it’s regular in shape or not.
Palisade fencing acts naturally as a deterrent because of the height, lack of footholds to climb and the points at the top. It is easy to maintain and extremely durable; long life span and can be protected from rusting.
You can integrate the fencing with an intruder alarm with line crossing beams. This means that if your perimeter is breached or an attempt is made e.g. if someone attempts to climb the fence then the intruder alarm is activated and a recorded alert is sent out.
Staff Car Park
A secure staff car park will have a drop arm barrier with an intercom and fob access control.
The intercom would be linked to reception where they can permit access via a push button so if a staff member has forgotten their fob, they can still gain entrance.
Site Entrance and Exit for Visitors
You may have several site entrances but the site entrance for visitors should have a drop arm barrier with an intercom. The intercom can be linked to reception or the security office where they can permit entrance with a push button.
You also need to consider what happens when someone exits your site because you'll still want it recorded so you know who is on your site. This does not need to be a manual process. You can have an ANPR Bullet Camera which means that when the drop arm barrier is approached, it automatically releases the barrier based on the car registration recorded for that vehicle.
This is particularly useful with lorries constantly leaving site.
To gain entrance to your building, everyone should be subjected to a security check. This does not need to be a manual process.
The best way is to implement turnstiles for staff and visitors. Turnstiles can be integrated with access control meaning that you can give staff a fob. This means you’ll have an electronic record of everyone on site because it is near impossible for people to share fobs to gain entrance when used with (certain) turnstiles.
You can have a push button to permit entrance for your security to allow access for visitors but you know it means they are subjected to further security scrutiny e.g. bag checks or verification of visit.
External Building Surveillance
You should have a range of bullet CCTV cameras because of the angle of trajectory and the ease of manipulating them to ensure they cover the right areas.
You’ll need to ensure you have full coverage of the site which includes the entrances and the site perimeter. Your site is likely to be an active site, 24/7 so you’ll need to think about what features you’ll need.
For example, for cameras covering your perimeter, we recommend line crossing detection but for cameras which are focus on building entrances, we recommend facial detection and object removal detection. We have also found that thermal detection is a great feature to have for distribution centres; especially for more rural sites. This enables your cameras to detect whether the intruder is animal or human by heat signatures and by shape.
Your bullet cameras will need to have brilliant resolution, low light performance and can be optimised in both bright and dark areas at the same time whilst not compromising on the quality of the recording.
Internal Surveillance and Security of Distribution Centre
You’ll have a mix of CCTV cameras, access control and intruder alarms for inside the warehouse area of the distribution centre.
The majority of your distribution centre will need dome cameras so they can cover large areas. Dome Cameras can rotate 360-degrees so they cover a larger area than most of their counterparts. They also tend to be known as “Vandal-proof,” because of their durable casing, they can withstand quite vigorous of activities compared to their fisheye and bullet counterparts.
Fisheye cameras are a better alternative as they can eliminate blind spots with the right placement and with fewer cameras but tend to be more the more expensive option. They can also detect events across an entire area, focus and record those events whilst maintaining a wider visual.
Some distribution centres have refrigerated sections so, you’ll need cameras that aren’t affected by freezing conditions so they are still effective.
Most Distribution centres have areas of high value which tend to be caged off. You can enhance your security measures by installing cross beam technology.
Essentially, it detects when someone has crossed a line (beam) between the sensors. It can be disabled by a fob, allowing access, otherwise, when it is integrated into the intruder alarm, it will trigger an alert. Security guards who are in the surveillance room can immediately, see as it populates the camera visual of the intrusion to draw their attention.
Internal Surveillance and Security of Internal Offices
Most distribution centres have offices on-site that need protecting. Dome cameras on office floors will be sufficient for monitoring purposes.
You may decide that certain areas, perhaps where important documents are stored, that you want to protect them so access control on the doors to those areas would be required. Fob or pin access control should be sufficient protection.
Don’t forget that if you are putting in CCTV that you adhere to data protection regulations.
Additionally, you must notify the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) as to why you’re using the CCTV which is subjected to a fee. Remember, if you set up a system to survey any criminal activities you can’t then use it to “catch your staff out” unless of course, you specify that as the reason.
With a good IP CCTV System, you should be able to have good analytics where you are able to access your footage and identify, quickly the area(s) of concern.
With IP CCTV systems we install, you can log on to the analytics, identify specific areas within the camera frame (it’s called smart search). It will then show you when an event has happened within that selected area, using a timeline, which means you can jump easily to each event to find the one you need.
For a Distribution centre, the benefits are huge. One recent incident, the customer had a worker come to them with an injury, claiming something had fell on him and made it sound as if it was the company’s fault. Before installing our system, they wouldn’t have looked because it would have taken too long, so would have paid out several thousand pounds. It took them 15 minutes to identify the area, search, find and view the incident. It turned out that the employee hadn’t been acting inline with health and safety and had caused the incident. Does that sound familiar?
Free Security Audit
Discover the very best security systems for your Distribution Centre with a security audit.
We can look at the site, assess high risk areas, identify key security measures needed against those security measures in place.
You will get a full security audit report, so get in touch!