Business security should be high on the list for small businesses, particularly those that sell products because the value of the stock could be lost or damaged. It is important for small businesses who have minimal assets such as computer equipment to still think about security measures in place because it’s not always the value of the hardware but also the damage to loss of information that might be stored on the computers. Not to mention, you need to ensure your staff is well protected, too.
Good security measures act as deterrents as opportunists go for quick wins, however, should the unthinkable happen, you can be assured that you have done all you can to prevent it or be able to provide evidence to catch any perpetrators.
A good security system should:
Notify you of an unauthorised entry – Record evidence of unsolicited activities – Allow quick access to security footage – Restrict access to authorised persons
Your security needs will depend on various factors such as assets, site size and type of business so please get in touch for a free site security audit.
CCTV Systems for the Small Business
Small Businesses like to keep their costs low which is understandable however, how much would it cost your business if you lost your assets? What if someone had an accident and tried to put a claim in against your business? All of this needs to be addressed and the risks weighed. CCTV is an added level of protection
Your CCTV system should provide you with good quality footage so that if you need evidence of an intrusion or a health and safety incident; you have it.
Best types of CCTV Systems for Small Businesses
Your small business should have an IP CCTV system with the following key features:
- Mobile app – You are able to view your CCTV footage live or in playback mode, remotely.
- Analytics / Notifications – You will have analytics available such as stats on how many people you have visited your site. This is especially useful if you have a car park attached to your business site.
- Smart Search – You are able to “draw a line” around a certain area and watch the activity for that specific area. It enables quick searching for any incidents such as health and safety issues, break-ins or criminal damage attempts. For instance, if you have a break-in and you identify the entry point, you can then select the area on the camera where the door/window is, select a time-frame and it will highlight ‘events’ which will show you when that entry point was accessed. You will then have the evidence needed to send on to the police and it takes roughly 15 minutes.
In conjunction with choosing a CCTV system you need to choose type of CCTV cameras. There are three main types of cameras; Fisheye, Dome and Bullet.
For Small Business, we’d recommend Dome Cameras for internal use and Bullet cameras if you need surveillance, externally. Fisheye cameras tend to be better suited to larger spaces like in Warehouses.
Dome Cameras cover a large area and tend to be known as “Vandal-proof,” because of their durable casing. Bullet Cameras tend to be a lot more noticeable because of their aesthetics and are a better option for outside monitoring.
Plug and Play CCTV System
Small businesses like yours may want to try the ‘plug and play’ cameras that you can pick up from most stores. This may be a perfectly viable solution but do take care and look at the available features as they are fairly basic such as recording, playback and remote viewing.
Also, whilst they are cheaper, we have had customers come to us after 18 months because they are losing viewing quality. On the other hand, we have a customer who had a BTT system installed 10 years ago, their cameras are still going strong. Whilst these wholesale DIY options are cheaper, they aren’t as robust so you are likely to be replacing them often, meaning it will work out a whole lot more expensive over time.
CCTV Rules of Surveillance
When you install CCTV, you need to ensure you comply with the Data Protection Act which intrusts you do four things. You must:
- Put up a sign to let people know CCTV is being used and why (it must be clearly visible and easily readable)
- Be able to provide images within 40 days to anyone you’ve recorded (you can charge up to £10 for this)
- Share images with the authorities, e.g. the police, if they ask for them
- Keep images only as long as your business needs them.
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.
What type of Intruder Alarm does a Small Business need?
It can be more damaging to a small business rather than a larger business when assets are stolen or property is damaged. The best course of action is prevention. An intruder alarm is a natural deterrent to opportunists as they are usually after quick wins.
Best types of Intruder Alarm for a Small Business
There are three main types of intruder alarms; Bells Only, Dialler and Smart.
For a small business, a Bells Only can be the simplest solution; the alarm will go off and create a lot of noise which is a deterrent but you won’t be notified of the alarm being triggered. For some small businesses, a Bells Only can be enough but if you want an alarm that notifies you, choose the Dialler Intruder Alarm as it will notify your selected contacts via a phone call, or if you prefer, choose the Smart Intruder Alarm which notifies you via an app.
The Intruder alarm you choose should have the following features:
- Motion detectors – detect movement within the area it can monitor
- Shock sensors – for any entry via windows
- Alarm – which alerts through sound
- Panic buttons – if you are within the building and notice a break-in you can act on it
- App – keep an eye on the business when you are not physically there.
Access Control in Small Businesses
Most small businesses have equipment, staff and property that need to be protected. The best course of action is prevention. You need to reduce the possibility of an opportunist gaining entry to your business.
Access control helps with that. Access control is where you have a locking device attached to doors of your choosing. These doors can either be fitted with the pin type device, a token type device or with a biometric entry system. You are able to set the doors to provide access at certain times of the day, yet restrict it at others.
Why do small businesses use Access Control?
Most small businesses tend to have a specific reason for choosing access control, here are the most common:
- Your reception is sometimes unmanned and thus allowing for visitors to wander in.
- You are unsure if your staff are performing their required hours. E.g. Arriving late / leaving early.
- You are experiencing theft within your business.
- You store sensitive data, in paper or electronic form.
- Your business operates at night and you need to protect your staff from unauthorised people entering.
Types of Access Control used in Small Businesses
In a small business, we advise when you choose Pin Code access control, you choose to programme it so that each individual has their own PIN code rather than a universal code.
Pin code access control is more cost-effective than the pass or fob but it does rely on people’s memory.
Access Pass or Fob
The Access Pass/Fob device is set up in a similar way to PIN Code access control, except the device is programmed to accept a pass or fob. The physical pass can be standardised across the whole business so that everyone looks the same.
Access passes are used continuously so they can be subject to wear and tear and they can be cloned, lost, stolen or shared.
Video intercoms are especially useful for small businesses that don’t have a manned reception area so they can verbally and visually confirm the visitor’s identity and reason for visit.
A small, rectangle device with an oval shape (usually with an LED backlight) is attached to an entry point. Once a fingerprint is read, it checks the database of recorded, authorised fingerprint and then allows or denies access.
Some smaller businesses like nurseries use these to ensure entry is permitted to the right people without slowing down the flow of traffic.
Does a small business need a Fire Alarms and Detection System?
Most small businesses have their assets in one building and if nothing is backed up, your business could literally be wiped from existence which means an end to your ability to earn a living as well as ay staff you may have. A fire alarm can help prevent that.
Fire alarm regulations state that all business premises must have ‘an appropriate fire detection system’. Essentially, you need a detection system in place that allows everyone to be warned so they can quickly and safely exit the building.
Which Fire Alarm is best suited for a small business?
UK Fire Alarm regulations don’t specify the exact type of fire alarm you should have, it should just be ‘appropriate’ for your business. There are three main types of fire alarms that are used in businesses; Conventional, Addressable and Wireless.
A Conventional Fire Alarm is best for a small business. It works on zones, so it divides your business area into different areas. When a fire happens, the fire alarm panel will show you the zone but not the exact location.
Conventional Fire Alarms are entry-level fire alarms and tend to be the cheapest system available.
Addressable and Wireless Fire Alarms are more suited to larger businesses.
Which Security Barriers are used for Small Businesses?
The security that you put in place should make it difficult for opportunists to access as much of your site as possible, putting every obstacle in their way so they deem it too risky to attempt a break-in. With this in mind, security measures are essential outside of your physical building.
Automated security barriers are the first line of defence. There are many different types of Security Barriers, some barriers can tie in with access control, making them automated security barriers which, in turn, automates entrance - but also gets them to verify their identity.
Types of Security Gates and Barriers for Small Businesses
There are multiple different types of security barriers that we supply but we find that small businesses tend to instal Drop Arm Barriers. If you have a larger site but are still a small business, we can still help but get in touch for more specialist advice.
Drop Arm Barrier
A Drop arm barrier is typically found at entrances to car parks. The barrier arm is down until access is granted and then it is automatically raised. It can be integrated with access control like the Access Pass/Fob or an intercom.
Free Security Audit
Not sure where to start or what security measures you need?
A security site audit would mean that we will come to your site, look at the size and location, assess the security risks and current security measures.
We will give you a completed security audit with a list of our suggestions.
Get in touch to request a free security site audit.