By Devin Partida, Editor-in-Chief, ReHack.com
Good security practices can help keep any business safe from threats like crime, extreme weather, and other emergencies.
Many businesses, however, don’t have the best handle on their physical security. While they may have basic security protocols in place, they often overlook key areas of building and business security that could leave them exposed in an emergency.
These six physical security tips are some of the best ways to protect your business from physical threats.
1. Develop and Practice Emergency Drills
According to FEMA, almost 40% of small businesses never reopen after a disaster. At the same time, many small business owners fail to consider how severe weather may impact their business.
The right training can go a long way in ensuring you and your employees are prepared for any situation. This is why many businesses prepare and train employees on emergency preparedness plans.
These plans cover major emergencies — like a hurricane, fire, or break-in — and how employees should respond. Information in these plans, for example, may help them know where to go when a fire breaks out, or which locations in a building are safe to shelter in during a storm.
2. Keep Track of Key Assets
Having a list of your business’s most important assets — like laptops, mobile credit card readers, or any other essential equipment — can help you minimize loss. A good list can also help you manage building access.
You likely have spare keys, keycards, or other items that allow access to the building. Regularly reviewing loaned-out keys can help you control building access and ensure only authorized staff will be able to enter your building.
3. Create a Safe Workplace Culture
Workplace culture can have a major impact on the physical security of your business.
A hostile work environment, for example — one where violent or discriminatory behavior causes employees to feel unsafe, intimidated, or uncomfortable — can be a serious threat to the physical safety and mental well-being of your employees.
Being able to identify a hostile work environment and taking steps to improve your workplace culture can help ensure all your employees stay safe.
4. Consider “Smart” Security Hardware
Basic security equipment, along with a business security plan, is a great way to keep your business safe.
However, it’s possible to do even more with additional security investments. For example, new smart security cameras can stream captured audio and video, providing you with a 24/7 feed of your building, even when you’re not there.
Some cameras are also equipped with advanced features like two-way audio or motion-sensing technology, which may allow the camera to send you an alert if there is movement in or around your building after closing time.
New smart locks can be locked or unlocked remotely and are one way to grant temporary access to a building when you don’t want to turn over a set of keys. They can also help you keep your building secure if you or your team forget to lock up.
5. Designate Emergency Managers
Having a point person designated in an emergency preparedness plan is a great way to ensure that these plans are followed when necessary.
This emergency manager will direct employees during an emergency as needed, take roll call at muster points or shelter areas, and help you ensure that all staff members are accounted for.
While they may need some additional training to make sure they know your emergency plans inside and out, they’ll be essential in keeping staff safe.
6. Manage Access Points
Every access point — including doors and windows — provides a possible entry route for unauthorized persons into your building.
Ideally, these access points should all be fireproof and lockable. It’s also generally good practice to ensure that, if you have a security system, these doors are secured and on camera.
When taking stock of access points, also take steps to ensure all fire exits in a building are accessible, that employees know where they are, and that they’re easy to reach in an emergency.
These Tips Can Help Keep Your Business Safe
Physical security threats like crime and natural disasters can have a serious impact on any business.
These strategies and investments are some of the best ways to ensure you and your team are kept safe. Emergency plans, smart security technology, and a safe workplace culture all help make your business more secure and reduce the potential impact of physical threats.
Devin Partida is an industrial tech writer and the Editor-in-Chief of ReHack.com, a digital magazine for all things technology, big data, cryptocurrency, and more. To read more from Devin, please check out the site.