Preventing theft, intrusion and malicious damage at your commercial building

How secure is your business’ premises? For all businesses with a physical site, property damage, intrusion and malicious damage are ongoing risks, and these incidents can cause significant disruptions and costs.

Avoiding unauthorised access starts with the development of a robust security plan, which is used to proactively mitigate risks and subsequently protect your business from break-ins and damage.

Malicious damage ranges from vandalism to arson and while claims for these incidents are usually less common than those for theft, the value is often much higher. While replacing stolen goods can be relatively straightforward at times, replacing a building due to malicious damage can be far more costly, while also oftentimes leading to business interruption and reputation damage.

Whether or not a commercial building is occupied, avoiding serious damage relies on keeping people from being able to enter. 

The three levels of security management

Security at a commercial property can be broken into three different areas: the site and perimeter, the building itself, and the goods within the building.

Securing your business’ site and perimeter is the first level of protection. It is used to help you keep would-be intruders from being able to reach the building and can include measures like fences, gates, bollards, turnstiles, boom gates and security patrols.

While these efforts reduce the likelihood of an incident, they aren’t all necessarily realistic for every business. But taking steps to make the building as impenetrable as you can – where possible – is still incredibly important.

Even if you don’t have a site perimeter, there are various options for making sure the building itself is secure. This includes installing intruder alarms, robust locks, barred or shuttered windows and doors, reed switches and keycard access.

These measures are the next best option for businesses that are unable to keep unwanted visitors off their site completely.

The last layer is commodities – which includes a business’ stocks and assets – and is all about reducing exposure. The approach for protecting commodities will differ from business-to-business, depending on the nature of their operations.

An example of this would be using safe and strong rooms for protecting any cash held on-site. If the commodity is larger, there may need to be more consideration around the general location, as well as possible relocation methods.

A business can also benefit from ensuring they have additional layers of security inside the building to further deter theft or burglary. This could involve making sure valuable goods are stored in secured areas that are harder to reach, rather than near external access points.

Deciding which security is right for your business

A security partner can advise your business on which products and measures to implement, monitor the premises and respond to incidents. This can be invaluable for protecting your business against theft, intrusion and malicious damage.

Through working with a reputable provider that has robust and proven response mechanisms in place you can give your business the best chance at avoiding or minimising the impact of an incident.

It is important to know how the monitored systems on your premises are managed, such as alarms, as there is a range of approaches that can be used and not all will be reliable for every situation. When systems have redundancies set in – for example more than one communication link and backup power – this can be a great option.

When choosing a security partner, it is also a good idea to make sure you fully understand how their procedure for responding to incidents. For instance will they contact the police, alert management or personally attend the site?

Commercial property security and protecting your business

All too often commercial property security is taken for granted – until an incident occurs and it’s too late. Taking proactive measures to mitigate risks and protect your business can help reduce the likelihood of a potentially devastating event.

For more information, or if this article has brought up any queries about your cover, get in touch with your insurance adviser. We can work with you to make sure you get the appropriate level of protection.

Disclaimer

Conditions apply for each policy and the information expected from you for a policy to trigger. Coverage may differ based on specific clauses in individual policies. Please ask your broker to explain the additional benefits and exclusions pertaining to your policy.

The information provided is general advice only and does not take account of your personal circumstances or needs. Please refer to our financial services guide which contains details of our services and how we are remunerated.