A negligent security claim could cost your business its reputation and you could be forced to pay legal fees and compensation. As such, it makes sense to do everything you can to protect your small business from claims. Of course, how you do this depends on the nature of your business but here are a few ideas that will help you tighten security.
In order to protect your customers and employees from becoming victims of crime on your premises, it is a good idea to have security cameras installed. Cameras can act as a deterrent to criminals, they can provide video evidence in the event of a crime, and they also allow you to prevent a crime from escalating. However, if you do install cameras, it is important to ensure they are properly monitored.
2.Deal with drunken patrons correctly
If you serve alcohol on your premises then this is especially important. Make sure you have a policy in place for dealing with drunk or disorderly patrons. Ensure customers are not served to the point they are so intoxicated that they become a danger to themselves or others. If it is likely that a patron could be a danger to themselves or other people then it a wise to have a system in place to ensure they get home safely. Disorderly or aggressive customers should be removed from your premises to avoid situations escalating and if necessary police should be called.
3.Make sure areas are well lit and maintained
Overgrown bushes, broken fences and badly lit corridors make life easier for attackers or intruders. Ensure the grounds of your business are well maintained and if locks, cameras or other security measures are faulty encourage staff to report and replace them immediately.
4.Make sure all employees/tenants are checked out
If someone is attacked on your premises by a known offender you have employed or someone you have given a lease to, then you could be liable. Do background checks on everyone who you employ or rent property to. This won’t always stop attacks but if you have done everything you can, you are less likely to be liable.
5.Ensure you have proper locks, fences and gates
Just as you have proper door and window locks at home, it is important to ensure your business’ premises is adequately protected from intruders. As with security cameras; strong doors, secure locks and big gates can act as a deterrent and even if it doesn’t prevent them, it will certainly slow them down.
6. Have security procedures in place
Having written security procedures in place makes expectations and requirements clear to all employees. Security procedures should be incorporated into staff training and regularly updated to ensure it is fresh in their minds. Employees should be told how to handle drunken/intoxicated patrons, when it is necessary to phone the police and when it is appropriate to ask a customer to leave the premises. The procedure should also include rules on staffing numbers, recording incidents/accidents and reporting potential hazards/breaches of security. If your employees are trained to be vigilant then it could prevent incidents occurring or your business being targeted. Regularly checking all security measures are working is also imperative. Have practise runs as part of the training and regularly test alarms and cameras to ensure they are working. Have a back-up system in place in case anything goes down.
7.Ensure you have security guards
Check the crime rates in the local area and if necessary employ security guards to protect your business. As with other measures security guards can deter criminals but ensure you have enough to handle the situation, as even inadequate security can result in legal action.
8. Get insurance
A good insurance policy could make a massive difference in the event of legal action. Choose cover that is appropriate to your business needs. If you have any doubts or concerns about your measures then it is a good idea to seek legal advice to ensure that all your security measures are adequate.