If you own a business storefront or other commercial premises, then building security is probably something you’ve thought about or even addressed. The fact of the matter is – the more value you have in your building, the more likely unwarranted individuals will be tempted to break-in. That goes for offices, retailers, agencies, and institutions that contain valuable tangibles as well as intangible information.
While we often discuss digital-related topics here at Area19Delegate, this post will focus on the actual buildings in which we operate and how to better protect the assets and individuals inside them. Here are a number of methods to consider when adding security upgrades to your building.
1. Secure External Doors With Deadbolt Locks
The main entry points to your building will probably be the front and back doors along with any side or service access doors. These doors are all prime intrusion points for burglars and will likely be the first thing they check for access. Negligent workers in a shop, office, or other business will often leave doors unlocked, giving burglars easy access. Upgrades to your security should start with these doors to the outside.
Each of these external doors should have a deadbolt lock with a throw lock for additional security. You can find many easier to use locks that let you lock the door by just pressing a button on the interior doorknob. These secure the standard door latch by locking it in place and are convenient to use when compared to a deadbolt lock. They are also convenient for burglars to open, often just requiring a credit card inserted between the door and door-frame. Use a proper deadbolt lock instead.
Also, make sure that the doors themselves are not flimsy and easy to breakthrough. Standard doors tend to be hollow with some honeycomb material for sound and heat insulation. You need either solid doors or doors with internal reinforcement. Otherwise, entry to your premises may be as simple as prying off the door facing with a crowbar.
2. Monitor External Doors Using Security Cameras
You should also mount a motion-sensitive security camera above each door to record the faces of anyone using the door outside business hours. These can act as a visual deterrent for thieves, as they indicate that the premises have better than average security and are not easy pickings.
More importantly, security cameras and monitoring systems can detect intruders attempting to break in and give you a warning that there is a security threat. If the intruder does manage to break in then the video recording may help police catch them. You might also want to consider a second hidden camera at the side of the door as burglars will often spray the main camera with paint or cover it with a rag when breaking in.
3. Use Mesh Grill Doorway Protectors
Consider adding a sliding mesh grill to slide into place over external doors after-hours. These security upgrades act as a good visual deterrent and give you an extra layer of security. You can get expanding grills that slide in from the side along with roller-door style ones that roll down from above the door. Another option is a standard hinged door with steel bars.
4. Use a Good Security System
There are many ways that burglars can enter your premises, so having a way to detect them once they are inside is smart. Security systems with motion detectors can help catch burglars in the act and noisy alarms may scare them off before they have a chance to do harm. Systems with silent alarms that signal a security company to check out your premises when the alarm is triggered can help catch burglars unawares and ensure that they are captured and arrested.
Your security system should also be set up to detect the human error in securing your premises. It should be able to check for unlocked doors and windows, and you should also consider setting it to turn itself on automatically using a timer in case someone forgets to activate it at the end of the day.
For your peace of mind, you might also want to consider getting upgrades for your security system that connect it to the internet. This allows you to monitor the state of your property while you are away, and if anything is amiss, you can call the police or security company to check it out.
5. Add Safety and Security Window Film
No matter how secure your walls, doors, and other potential access points may be, you still have the problem that the windows on your building are made from easily breakable glass. One brick or baseball bat swing, and intruders can walk or climb straight in. Large shop windows and glass doors are particularly vulnerable to this threat.
There are many methods to secure glass windows and doors, and they can often be used together to give layered protection. Window bars, intrusion detection systems, and laminated glass are all options to consider. One method that you should definitely use is to add a security window film to your windows. By adding window film to one or both sides of the glass any breakage will still result in the window being held together by the plastic and may stop it from breaking altogether. This can stop intruders from entering the building and give you more time and options to deal with the situation.
There are also safety advantages to window film. When a window breaks, it shatters into many sharp pieces. These can become a safety hazard if any of the pieces impact bystanders. For some types of window glass, such as laminated glass, the pieces may be more contained but a plastic layer outside the window will still add extra protection that will help keep your premises secure and reduce safety issues that may affect your legal liability. You may also find that you are better able to negotiate lower insurance premiums due to the extra layer of protection.
In addition to giving you extra security, these window film upgrades can stop vandalism from people deliberately scratching the windows on your business premises. These scratches can be difficult to remove with polishing alone and may result in your needing a new window pane. An impenetrable film over the window will stop the scratch from reaching the glass, and the film can generally be more easily and cheaply replaced than a scratched window pane.
Treated window film can also be great for cutting down on sunlight, heat, and UV rays entering your building. This can reduce glare, provide thermal insulation, and stop UV radiation from fading the finish on your building interiors. For more advanced safety and security solutions for windows, DefenseLite™ is product also worth a look.
6. Secure Rooftop Access
Rooftop access to a building is often neglected, as people often only think about horizontal access points. If your roof has ceramic roof tiles, for example, then a burglar can just remove some tiles to give themselves easy access. You should lock all access doors and panels that lead to your building’s attic and also consider extending your security system to include the attic area. If your roof area has doors that give access to the building then ensure they have deadbolt locks and robust construction.
Basic building security is something that store owners often neglect until they find out the hard way that they need that security. You probably work hard for the profits you make in your business, but burglars can work just as hard to steal some of those profits from you. So make sure that the security measures for your commercial building are up to the job of keeping thieves away from your products and profits. It’s better to spend some of those profits on your security than lose a large amount of them to criminals.