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Building security

Security, both external and internal, plays a key role in protecting your business. It’s a must to help reduce crime and should be installed from the outset, not as a reaction to an incident.

Thinking about installing the right alarms, CCTV, locks and lighting is a vital part of any business plan.

Follow the steps below to make your building secure. You’ll find external security advice on the next page.

Windows and doors

Windows and doors can be the most vulnerable part of your premises, particularly those on the ground floor or at the back of the building, so fit good quality locks.

Install windows certified to British Standard BS7950 (windows of enhanced security) and doors that meet Product Assessment Specification 024 or LPS 1175 SR 1-6 grades.

Think about using laminated glass (a minimum of 6.4mm thick) in windows and door glazing as it’s much harder to be break. If you choose a wooden door, it should be more than 40mm thick.

You might also want to consider fitting shutters and grilles. Safety bars on windows can deter thieves too but be careful not to block emergency exits.

Blinds are a good idea, particularly on ground floor windows, as they can stop thieves spotting expensive equipment. You should also think about installing a safe to keep valuable items, cash and important documents under lock and key.

Make sure door frames are strong and securely fixed. Doors should fit the frame well to prevent them being forced open.

Entry systems

Keep keys to your premises under close control, distribute them only to trusted members of staff you nominate as key holders and check regularly none of the keys have been lost.

Use keys registered to a company that will not readily produce duplicates. This will prevent copies of the key falling into the wrong hands.

Do you really need to use keys? Fob and number code entry systems make access to your premises more difficult for thieves and are easier to control than keys.

Using this kind of entry system negates the need for additional keys to be cut and allows access to be recorded on a computer. Lost fobs can easily be deleted from the system and door codes changed regularly.

Think about installing an audio or video entry system for extra security.


Business premises are less likely to be broken into if they have a clearly visible alarm so it’s advisable to fit one. Your Crime Reduction Officer, CCTV Liaison Officer or companies registered with the National Security Inspectorate or Security Systems and Alarm Inspection Board will be able to advise what sort of alarm is best for you.

Always buy an alarm system that meets British or European standards and contact a professional to install it – an alarm that doesn’t work properly could end up costing your business more in the long term.

If you’re planning a new factory, office complex, retail unit or even just a refurbishment, it’s important to think about how the design of a building can help reduce the likelihood of crime.

For help on how to build a development that’s both fit for purpose and crime friendly, read about Secured by Design, a police initiative that focuses on crime prevention through the design, layout and construction of commercial premises. You might also want to seek advice from our Architectural Liaison Officers.

If you are moving too a new business premises, check with the landlord or estate agent that it has been certified by Secured by Design.

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