Improving the Physical Security of Your Business

When I’m looking at the physical security of any business premises, the first thing I like to do is to identify the strengths and potential weaknesses. Every building will have some strong points but equally, will have less secure areas. Really take your time to consider the weakest parts of the building and how you might strengthen them. Here are a few of the most common things that I would look to improve.

Access points – controlling these is essential. There are so many types of access system available these days that a lock and key has been superseded. Certainly, you can still have secure locks with keys, but try to enhance these with an electronic method as well. There are keycards, biometrics, and electronic locks to choose from. Using an electronic entry system can not only boost security, but may also reduce insurance premiums.

Windows – ground floor windows should be made from security glass or if it is an older building, there are specialist protective films that you can buy that are affixed to the glass. Windows that open should have window locks that will only open the window so far and lock the latch when the window is closed. If using window locks, always ensure there is a release system so that there is an escape route in the event of a fire. Grills, bars, or shutters can also be fitted to the outside of ground floor windows providing further physical security.

Security cameras and alarms – look for any blind spots around the building and have CCTV cameras installed that will cover these areas. Cameras that are moveable remotely are particularly useful as they can see a larger area. It is important that all access points are covered by security camera, as well as storage areas and car parks. Fitting alarms to doors and windows are helpful in preventing a physical breach of the premises.

Lighting – making sure that there are a sufficient number of lights will make a difference not only to the security of the building, but also the safety of staff and any visitors. All access points should be well lit and having motion sensor lighting will deter intruders. Any alleyways should be illuminated particularly if there are any windows or doors along the alley.

Security guards – this is becoming an increasingly popular method of enhancing security. Any security personnel will be licenced and well trained. They will be able to respond quickly to any potential incidents and will act as a deterrent to anyone with criminal intent. They can have either a discreet or a more obvious presence, depending on the nature of your business.

Mobile Patrols – where it is not possible to have guards onsite 24hrs a day for the whole year, mobile patrols can well be the best answer. They cannot make up for poor ‘defences’ though, so please ensure that your business is protected by following the advice on this page. For more information on mobile patrols see

Regularly review your overall security and make changes where any weaknesses are found. By doing this, you are more familiar with the overall defences that are in place, and how they work. Knowing this puts you in a better position to pre-empt any trouble.

These are the main things that I look at when I’m assessing the security of a business premises. Being able to pinpoint the weakest areas means that these can be addressed quickly and decisively.

Sarah Evans