How to Protect your Business during COVID-19

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This article will not only guide you on how to protect your business during lockdown but also, what security measures you can put in place when your employees start returning to your place of work.

Many businesses have had to close their sites down because there is no one who can safely work there whilst COVID-19 is in full force. This has led to a warning from the Government and the Police to ensure that all properties are appropriately secured. Vacant sites can be a prime target for intruders and vandals, particularly if expensive machinery, equipment and tools are left on-site. It’s imperative to ensure your security measures are up to date and are effective in deterring and preventing theft, damage or harm.

Although, COVID-19 isn’t going to last forever, there are certain security measures that need to be put in place during the lockdown but also, when staff start to return to work there needs to be certain measures put in place.

Closed down

Before you close down your site it would be beneficial to conduct a risk assessment to identify any areas that need special measures such as an extra camera to show a blind spot or a reinforced gate rather than a security barrier.

Most businesses have some sort of security measures in place but even in “normal” times these aren’t always a sufficient deterrent and that is generally when a building is maybe locked down for a weekend at the most. Below are some ideas on how to protect your building, longer term and reduce your risk further:

  • Change Access Control privileges – so that you only have those who need access to possess that ability. Your staff may be very trustworthy but by chance losing their access card, that could land in an opportunists hand and they could have free reign without raising suspicion. Revoke access to those who don’t need it.
  • CCTV – you need your CCTV system to show key areas and enable you to have remote viewing (if you haven’t got this type of system you need to get an updated one.) You’ll need to keep checking those feeds to ensure that Mother Nature doesn’t impede your views during lockdown. An overgrown tree or bush could easily hide the view of someone entering your site.
  • Motion Sensor Lights – if you have outside lights at your premises, ensure they are on all night or are motion sensor lights it makes opportunists, hesitant as it exposes them.
  • Fire risk – reduce the risk of arson and remove anything flammable from site or certainly, from view. Also, unplug any non-essential cables and test your fire alarm.
  • One-way vision window film – allows you to effectively prevent opportunists from seeing into your building, therefore, it is unknown to them what assets you actually have. Another benefit is that it actually strengthens your existing window glazing as it creates a protective barrier on the outside of the glass which is shatter-resistant.
  • Commercial Safe – move all high-value goods, cash and document to a commercial safe.
  • Deliveries - ensure deliveries are not being left unattended by tracking them so you know when they are due to arrive so that they aren’t left out, exposed.
  • Inventory – take a complete inventory of all assets and equipment so you know exactly what is on your site so you’ll know what is missing if someone breaks in
  • Patrol – you need to maintain some sort of presence whether that is a few employees occasionally walking and checking the site or if it is a mobile patrol that you outsource or simply, you retain manned guards throughout.
  • Lock up and Testing – before you close down the site, ensure you have checked every entry point and locked them down. Check that your CCTV, intruder alarm, fire alarms and security barriers are in working order. Also ensure there is a clear process in place as to who is to be contacted in the event of a breach (this needs to be more than one person.

Returning to site

Most businesses will stagger the return of their staff but there are some security measures you can put in place to help in addition to the government guidelines when it comes to cleaning and social distancing.

These solutions will enable your business to adjust to the 'new normal':
  • Temperature Screening - you can get CCTV Cameras which have temperature detection where they can detect elevated skin-surface temperatures. They can be used for rapid and preliminary temperature screening in office buildings, factories, stations, airports and other public places, with accuracy up to +/-0.3oC where there are many workers who may still be coming in despite poor health. Ensuring you are aware about your staff’s health can help minimise the risk to other staff members being exposed to any potential virus in the future.
  • Touch free Entry/exit – you can get a touch-free terminal which allows your staff to enter a building, record attendance and simultaneously check temperature without having to touch a terminal or gate, using face recognition and thermographic technologies. The touch-free nature of the terminal makes access easier and safer, suitable for long-term temperature screening with access control for any scenarios with a high footfall of people. It can also be configured to allow for people to ‘self-check’ their temperature.
  • Density Control – which is people counting technology. It is a display with real-time alerts to ensure pre-defined capacity thresholds are never exceeded, even in locations with multiple entrances and exits. It means you can ensure that you never exceed “capacity” in your building which would increase risk of infections spreading.
  • Digital Signage and Screens – install signage whilst show required actions to comply with guidance such as direction of travel through your building, particularly in communal areas.
  • Smart Doors – allow authorised entry with remote access to support business continuity and lone worker monitoring whilst adhering to social distancing protocols.

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