“Don’t learn safety by accident,” as the saying goes, and we couldn’t agree more. As we celebrate both National Crime Prevention Month and National Fire Prevention Week this October in the U.S., it becomes all the more important to revisit how important safety and security within the workplace are, and how these two shouldn’t be taken for granted. This month, let’s examine what practical steps you can take to secure your business premises, mitigate common threats, and keep your employees safe and productive.
Fortify each entry point
Many modern workplaces have shifted from using conventional lock-and-release door systems to electro-mechanical doors with code or key card systems. This funnels out any chance of intruders breaking in through crude means.You could take this a step further by installing security doors with energy-efficient motors, which deliver reliability and robust defense while lessening your office’s energy use and overall carbon footprint.
Just remember, you should survey each one of your office’s entry points, not only the ones that your employees use regularly.
Unblock all exit points
The same level of scrutiny should be afforded your office’s exit points—for example, its fire escapes and stairwells. Make sure that the emergency fire exits are accessible at all times. Clear the windows of obstructions, and clean off any rust that’s accumulated on their hinges. Ensure that the stairs by your fire escapes aren’t dilapidated and won’t fall through in case of emergency.
Install and maintain a CCTV system
CCTV cameras are of prime importance in your office’s safety and security, as they are able to record or detect impending threats from multiple sources. To this end, upgrading your office’s surveillance system is one of the most practical choices you can make. Acquire surveillance cameras with high-quality motors that can withstand the elements and regular use, and that you can depend on for precise speed and motion across the surveillance area.
Secure the perimeters from the outside
Discourage potential intruders from taking their first steps by making the premises appear well-guarded from the outside. Put your security staff in visible positions and enjoin them to be alert and professional at all times. In addition, check up on the state of the area’s fences, gates, and barbed wirings. Immediately arrange for repairs or replacement if you see damage, such as holes or frayed ends.
Conduct regular risk assessment within the premises
Be it every month or every quarter of the year, make sure that the business premises are subject to routine checks for risk assessment. This includes checking the functionality of equipment such as smoke alarms, sprinklers, fire extinguishers, gas detectors, electronic locks, two-way radios, and the like. This also includes keeping your staff up to date about scheduled fire or earthquake drills, or any changes to the log and roving security systems.
Log out, switch off
Enjoin your staff to be conscientious about unplugging office appliances, locking doors, and logging out of their office computers before leaving the premises. Unattended appliances are electrical fire hazards. On the other hand, unattended computers pose cyber-security risks, and they could be responsible for breaches in your company’s server or online accounts when you least expect it. Prevent any of these from happening by ingraining a “better-safe-than-sorry” mindset amongst your employees.
Develop an emergency response plan for your staff
Sadly, dealing with safety and security threats in your business premises means preparing for the worst. If anything untoward does happen, your staff should at least know who to contact from public safety or law enforcement, where to access fire extinguishers or emergency medical supplies, and how to do head-counts to identify missing or injured persons. The biggest hazard to actual occurrences of robbery, terrorism, fire, earthquake, or other types of disaster is this: being unprepared.
That said, beyond October, you and your staff should observe these best practices all year round. Best of luck on keeping the business premises safe, secure, productive, and happy!