Office security systems present some unique challenges when it comes to the installation of burglar alarms, access entry systems and other watchful measures.
Offices can be targeted for theft, illegal entry, even forced occupation and, as the most likely victims will be offices that have little or no security in place it makes sense to take precautions to reduce the threat or incidence of crime in your offices.
The first step is to conduct a professional assessment of your safekeeping office needs. That will require taking stock of your current safety measures and assessing the robust and the weak points.
A professional crime prevention survey should include an analysis of the current security measures, how these measures are implemented and enforced, how often they are overhauled and who is responsible for them.
Offices present unique problems for security alarm professionals. Many offices will have significant numbers of staff, some probably working in large open-plan environments.
Some offices may have areas that invite open access to the public while other sectors are strictly private or reserved for individual members of staff and not others.
Here are just a few of the safeguarding measures to consider when protecting offices and staff from unwanted intrusion or illegal entry.
Parking areas could have good lighting with CCTV cameras situated at strategic points to deter potential burglars. Even a barrier entry system in and out of the car park should not be ruled out.
Key cards or other door entry system can be installed in sensitive areas, and staff can be issued with access control badges to prevent unauthorised access.
When offices are open to the public, it is sensible to have a single public entrance for customer service, to install access control locks to doors that lead to private areas and to have CCTV monitoring of public rooms.
Arrange offices and access entry points so that unescorted visitors cannot go unnoticed, and issue visitors with temporary identification badges.
Other sound security measures include encouraging staff to keep work and personal items safe at all times, and this could mean having the capacity to lock computers, lockable cabinets within easy reach and to auto lock door mechanisms to ensure offices are not left empty inadvertently where confidential papers can be within easy reach.
Even simple measures such as labelling or security marking office equipment can help encourage staff to be more alert to office safety procedures.
And if office staff stay late it is most advisable that they do not work alone while placing great emphasis on the importance of keeping doors closed and locked.
Recent advances in electronics, wi-fi, and wireless technology have given security firms like Crown Securities a whole new set of tools to fight crime and to keep premises safe from intruders.
The most common of these are closed circuit CCTV surveillance systems and door access control systems.
CCTV camera can monitor specific areas of a company's workspace and signal any unusual activity both during business hours and when the office is empty.
Access control systems can ensure that all staff and visitors can be routed through predetermined control area before admittance is authorised and once admitted their movements can be monitored.
Control points can be as high-tech as required, from simple manual keypads to fingerprint or even retina scans. The latest versions of 'swipe cards include video imaging where an employee's photo can include data such as work hours, contact numbers, car license plates and other information.
Other electronic systems increasingly used by security-conscious firms include miniature hidden cameras that can be concealed in a clock face or table lamp and be virtually undetectable.
Burglar alarm systems are another traditional office security measure. Intruder alert systems can range in complexity and price, but any alarm response system should cover all main doors and windows to be fully effective.
Most common are motion sensors that detect movement and window sensors that are activated when the glass is broken or if they are forced open.
Video monitors can be automatically activated with any unusual activity and cameras can be configured to begin recording automatically when a disturbance is detected.
As with all intruder alert systems, a key component is the monitoring. If an alarm goes off and no one is there to notice, or if it is ignored, then office security goes out of the window, along with the stolen goods.