Maintaining office security, and ensuring the safety of your staff, is paramount. Yet sometimes the daily hassles of running a business, can see your office security jeopardised. It is recommend you run a security audit of your business regularly, to ensure systems are working effectively, and any new staff have been properly trained in correct security procedures. By keeping office security a priority, you should reduce the risk of criminals targeting your business, and keep your staff safe.
Outside the Building
There are simple steps you can take, to protect the outside of your premises. Having clearly visible signs and addresses that can be seen from the street, will help couriers find you, and ensure no unwanted visitors stumble across the premises. It will also make it easy for emergency services to locate you, in the event of any emergency.
If you have a perimeter fence, ensure this is secure and have appropriate warning signs, such as ‘no money kept on premises’, or ‘Trespassers will be prosecuted’.
Make sure any trees and bushes are well maintained to avoid any hiding places. Identify any blind spots and address with either lighting or security cameras. Make sure rubbish bins are securely stored and emptied regularly, to avoid them being used as climbing aids or arson.
Ensure all door frames are solid steel construction, which meet Australian standards. A secure door is only as good as the frame, so it’s important the frame is well maintained.
Good quality locks should be installed on all perimeter doors. Keys or security codes restricted to managers or primary staff only. Steel or aluminium security screens are also recommended, which are made and tested to Australian standards.
As with doors, the window frames should be built to Australian standards, to avoid any forced entry. They should also be fitted with a good quality window lock. It is highly recommended all windows are fitted with security screens, so staff are able to open and enjoy fresh air, without jeopardising security.
Window security screens should also be fitted with safety exit mechanisms, so staff can exit through the windows, in the event of fire.
Restricted Master Key System
If you have multiple departments or various sections to your business, you may want to consider a Master Key System. This is where you can have a ‘master key’ to access all areas, and then vary access for other staff members. It also means keys cannot be copied, without your permission.
Security Alarms & CCTV
Installing CCTV and a security alarm act as a great deterrent. To make these effective in preventing crime, your security alarms should be monitored, and have a manual activation function, which your staff are trained in using. Alarms should always be activated after hours and tested regularly. Make sure you also have some clear signage, alerting any wold be intruders, that you have a monitored alarm system.
A secure safe is a good way to keep documents safe from fire and theft. Ensure safes are secured to the floors or walls and are out of public view. Use a safe register to record who has access to the safe.
Ensure you have regular staff security training. Include in the training:
- How to manually turn the alarm on and off.
- Fire & emergency evacuations.
- Important Contact Details for WA Police, Your Security Company and Your After-Hours Assistance.
- Request ID from anyone entering the premises (eg contractors, utility workers etc).
Change your online passwords regularly, and never have these visible in the office (eg printed and posted on the wall). Have secure logins for all PCs and ensure these are not left logged in unattended.
Most businesses by now, should have a social media policy in place. While these are primarily to protect your business reputation, its also a good idea to include some tips for staff about not divulging sensitive information online. This includes everything from not notifying of when staff are working after hours/alone and not sharing any passwords or security info on social media (even if they think it’s in a private forum).