Advice To Keep Your Empty Premise Safe

The Metropolitan Police have released some advice on how to keep your venue safe during lockdown.

We have started to hear some reports from bars across the country of attempted, thankfully so far unsuccessful, break-ins into shut venues. With the lockdown being extended for at least another 3 weeks it seemed like the right time to look at how you can help sure-up your venue from people looking to loot and also people looking to occupy somewhere with heating and running water.

The Metropolitan Police have put together some advice specifically relating to this and whilst a majority of it is pretty commonsensical it is worth considering their points, at the least it is a handy check-list. Let’s face it a break-in is the last thing anyone needs right now!

Test Your Alarm – ensure it is monitored, fully operational and contacts are up to date. Two industry bodies accredit reputable CCTV companies: the National Security Inspectorate (NSI) and the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB).
Identify Vulnerable Areas – try to fix these. Ensure gates, bollards and fire exit doors are secured.
Ensure Doors Are Closed and Locked – don’t leave any keys inside the premises
Key Holders – make sure you have a list of key holders
Staff Contact Details – make sure these are up to date
High Value Items – considering moving these items into secured stockrooms and/or ensure they are out of view. If possible move them off site.
Lighting – consider timer switches/ensure sufficient lighting is left on at the premises/surrounding area
Prevent Arson – ensure there are no combustible materials left in the proximity of the building such as packaging
CCTV – Is it operational? Are cameras covering key areas? Can you view remotely?
Cash On-site – Ensure that no cash is retained on the premises. If you have to leave cash on site then store in a security accredited safe bolted to the floor – check coverage with your insurance company
Test Your Fire Alarm – ensure they are fully operational and if battery powered replace with new batteries.

Some other suggested options include:

Forensic marking – There are several property marking deterrents which can be used to enhance your security and protect your infrastructure and assets. These contain a unique traceable liquid/DNA code that can provide evidence of a vehicle or individual’s presence at your property.

Removing the utility supply – These amenities can be attractive to any would-be occupiers. Cutting-off the electric or water supply to the site, if they are not needed, may deter illegal occupiers. Be aware that removing them will impact on any security features you have such as intruder alarms or CCTV. You will also have to consider fire regulations.

Shutters or grilles – Consider protecting your doors and windows by using accredited shutters or grilles. The security rating will be dependent on your building and its contents. Some venues have been targeted historically for illegal occupations and raves on account of having large rooms inside (halls, large dining areas etc.) so if these have entrance doors secure them.

You can read their full advice sheet here.