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A festive shield

Paul Eskeriett MBE, Director of Police and Consultancy Services at The Shield Guarding Company Limited, has written on premises security. He asks how can SMEs secure their premises during festive season – in the most cost effective and efficient ways.

No matter what size your business, there are some important, basic and common sense security measures that can be easy and cost-effective to execute to safeguard staff, equipment and other valuables.

According to the Office for National Statistics, thefts from homes and other businesses went up by five per cent between 2010 and 2011, making it more vital than ever to make sure you are properly protected. Having a good alarm that will automatically inform a central monitoring station of a criminal act while it’s happening could one day more than pay for itself. If you already have one, make sure it’s regularly serviced and tested and working properly.

It is crucial that you identify the particular threats you face in the area where your business is situated. Then you can focus on which particular security systems will be the most suitable for you.

Failure to put the most appropriate security measures in place not only leaves your premises vulnerable, it can also impact adversely on your business insurance. There is a range of appropriate products which can raise the level of security to business premises. These include:

– Roller shutter doors;
– High speed doors;
– Steel hinged doors;
– Security locks;
– Anti-ram barriers;
– Security grilles;
– External lighting; and

Intruders usually enter the building through doors or windows; they can also exploit flat roofs and skylights, adjoining cellars, access hatches, or even go through walls built of metal foil construction or single skin brick walls. Therefore, all of these potential access points need to be considered in any risk assessment.

Secure doors and windows, complemented by other essential security measures, such as alarm systems, CCTV and illumination, are crucial in minimising the risk of burglary to your business.

Shutters and doors can be installed without compromising the aesthetic value of the property and they provide a high degree of security and deterrence.


1. Purchase quality door locks and use them

2. Have an emergency alarm system that works

3. Keep seldom used doors and windows locked at all times

4. Install peepholes in doors so you can see who comes to your door

5. Join a Neighborhood Watch team or Business Watch if there is one in your community

6. Never leave a message on your answering machine telling people you will be away

7. Make sure that all employees in your business are aware of all the security procedures

8. Lighting is an effective and cheap way to secure premises. Motion-sensitive lighting will ensure that any dark corners that could provide cover for criminals are illuminated. They will also help enhance surveillance.

9. Always ensure your computer systems are backed up daily and you have details of your suppliers, customers, insurance and staff stored away from your building. This may be as basic as backing up to a memory stick which you take home each night for safety, allowing you to keep contact with important people or organisations who will be able to assist you to keep trading following a fire or other damage.

10. A general rule of thumb for SMEs is to think what information would be essential to help you continuing trading if the building caught fire and your records were destroyed and back that information up on a daily basis.

About the company

The Shield Guarding Company Limited is a national provider of integrated security services for internationally recognised brands within the commercial, industrial, charitable and public arena with nine regional offices. The Shield Guarding Company Limited was the first security company in the UK to receive the Security Industry Authority (SIA) license and in 2012 the SIA has awarded the company an Approved Contractor Status with a quality ranking of 151. The Shield Guarding Company Limited recently introduced to the UK market a fully operational Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) in Preston which has full Category II status and is compliant with BS5979. The Shield Guarding Company Limited is wholly owned by India’s leading and largest security conglomerate TOPSGRUP, led by Global Chairman Dr Richie Nanda and has projected sales of £70 million for the fiscal year 2012-2013.


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