When we read about security for commercial premises, lots of attention seems to be given to protecting the building itself, which of course is essential. However there are other aspects of commercial premises that must not be overlooked.

Because it is vital to ensure your commercial security strategy is fully inclusive, you will need to incorporate the entire plot on which the premises sit. So what needs to be considered? Here we look at the features that sit outside commercial premises, and what can be done to keep them – and the building they surround – secure.

Car Parks, Loading Bays and Yards

Just as a well-cared for garden sends out signals to potential thieves that a home is not going to be an easy target, so a clear and tidy car park or yard outside a commercial building says, “we’ve got this place covered”. Keep your outside space clean and free from debris: not only will it show that the building is very much taken care of, it will also reduce fire and slip or trip hazards.

If you have litter bins outside your building then ensure they are emptied on a regular basis, and that they are the fixed, lockable type. Ideally you should keep them at a reasonable distance away from the building.

Also make sure that wheeled refuse containers are secured either with chains or in a holding area so that they cannot be moved and used as a step up to gain access through windows. Wooden pallets and crates should most definitely be securely stored, as they can easily be used either to gain access, or for arson.

The Crime Prevention Website suggests that any materials of a combustible nature should be stored at least 10 metres or more away from your main building. Your local fire officer will be able to advise you on such distances and how to store certain types of materials and waste safely.

Exterior Condition

Damaged brickwork, peeling paintwork, climbing plants, broken windows: none of this tells a tale of good care and attention, and potential intruders may well assume that your security system is of a similar level if you fail to maintain the exterior appearance of your building. Keep everything in good order, and if you are not responsible for it yourself, ask your landlord in writing to attend to the issues.

If your alarm box is dirty, have it cleaned, and if it is ageing then ask your security company to replace it, ensuring it can be seen clearly. Make sure that all angles are covered – even if you have to put up dummy boxes as well as functional ones – so that every point that can be seen from the street shows the building is alarmed.

Outdoor Furniture

If you have benches or picnic style seating areas on your grounds, make sure they are secured to the ground so they cannot be moved and used for climbing, and ensure they are not located close to any access points of your building, such as windows.

Intelligent Planting

Whilst plants can make a plot look attractive, it is important to make sure they do not aid crime. So make sure any planting is well maintained and under control so that it does not act as a screen or obscure CCTV surveillance.

On the other hand, you can also use intelligent planting as an anti-crime measure. If there are areas prone to graffiti, a few well-placed thorny bushes could prevent access. The same type of planting can be used to protect areas disposed to climbing.

It’s clear to see there is a lot more to consider when planning your commercial premises security strategy than just the main building itself. Hopefully these tips will assist you, but of course if you would like some tailored advice from a security expert, you can always get in touch with the friendly commercial security specialists at Barry Bros Security who will put together a comprehensive plan for your business.