Commercial buildings and properties are prone to high security risks. Institutions like banks, malls, offices, restaurants, and mom-and-pop shops are a perfect cover for criminal activities.

Business owners must understand the importance of building security. To establish success, physical security must be considered. Often, these security measures are the first line of defense in protecting your property and assets, and the occupants of the building.

Hiring a security guard or two is not enough for a comprehensive building security plan. To ensure you don’t become a target of criminal activity, here are the five top building security mistakes to avoid.

1. Not securing all entry points

In order to comply with local fire code, many commercial buildings are required to have numerous entrances and exits.

While business owners tend to secure their business’s front doors, many fail to remember that emergency exits can pose a huge security risk. Not securing all access points can result in unauthorized individuals gaining access to all areas of your property.

To avoid this risk, fit all entry points with layered security measures.

This includes fitting CCTV cameras and other monitoring devices at all entry points. Employees with a good security awareness program will also provide good defense against unauthorized entry.

2. Not implementing a security awareness program

Looking for a cost-effective method of enhancing your building’s physical security? Adopt a security awareness program.

One of the best defenses against security threats is having employees who are aware of what’s happening around them.

Employees who have a solid understanding of security policies, procedures, and best practices are better equipped to take appropriate action in the event of a security threat. Well-designed and well - executed security training require a top-down approach.

Higher ups and management must participate in security best practices as much as employees do.

Making security a core business value is the best way to implement a successful security awareness program. Tight integration is the only way to transform business culture and prevent criminal activity.

3. Emphasizing aesthetics over security

While it’s important to have an aesthetically pleasing building to attract prospective clients or customers, never let aesthetics compromise security. Prioritizing a building’s aesthetics over security can encourage criminal activity.

Installing security cameras and other monitoring devices in an aesthetic manner, hidden from plain sight, for example, can compromise your building’s ability to securely protect your assets and premises.

The value derived from security cameras is that they are visible. They serve as deterrents, reducing security threats against your business. When people know they are being watched, they are less likely to participate in deviant behavior.

If aesthetics are important, consider employing both hidden and visible surveillance. This will enhance your building’s aesthetic appeal without compromising its security measures.

4. Failing to understand your security needs

Not knowing what physical security measures your premise needs can result in the installation of too much security. While this may seem like a good thing, too much security provides no real value and can heavily impact your bottom line.

Avoid overdoing it by understanding the level of risk your business faces.

Identifying potential vulnerabilities is necessary for assessing the security measures your business needs. Speak with a professional or a security provider to understand potential risks.

This will allow you to create security measures that will cater to your business needs.

5. Using the same level of security throughout the building

While providing security throughout the building is essential, certain specific areas require more security than others. Even small businesses will benefit from securing specific areas with added layers of security.

Areas that house important business-critical information or customer data, such as computer server rooms or mail centers, must be provided with extra security.

Whether it’s installing biometric identification, security access cards, access control systems, additional surveillance, or otherwise, securing these sensitive areas with extra security measures reduces the risk of proprietary information becoming compromised.

Understanding the business value of physical security

Physical security risks are costly mistakes that could be avoided. As a business owner, it’s crucial you understand the risks and vulnerabilities present across your commercial property and its premises.

Understanding the physical security risks and vulnerabilities listed above and how they can affect your business will allow you to formulate protective measures. These protective measures will ensure your business is secure from any and all physical threats.

AUTHOR BIO

Michael Dunne created Safecell Security Ltd in 2001 and acquired Authorized Access in 2013. He is now Managing Director of both companies and oversees the strategic development and day to day running of the businesses. Michael has spent over 20 years in the security industry and specialises in the Design, Installation, Maintenance and Commissioning of electrical security systems such as Intruder Alarms, Fire Alarms, CCTV, Warden Control and Access Control and all Physical security including Key Cutting, Safe & Lock Picking, Suited Key Systems, Automated Barriers & Gates and Shutters, throughout the North West of England.