10 steps to protecting your business premises when unoccupied

Your business premises are at their most vulnerable when left unoccupied. If given a window of opportunity, then would-be criminals can be quick to take advantage – especially if your business looks to be an easy target, or there’s the prospect of grabbing some high worth items.

At best, this may result in the presence of unwanted visitors on site. At worst, the theft, damage or destruction of equipment and assets.

Having effective security plans in place is a vital first step, but equally important is the need to perform regular checks and reviews of such plans, to ensure they are in full working order and remain fit for purpose. There are also some key site maintenance tasks that can help bolster the effectiveness of any site’s physical security.

Here is a list of the top ten things you need to think about.

10 top tips for security maintenance

  1. Test alarms

Alarms form a core part of most security strategies. Make sure you have tested the system and that everything is in full working order. Who will be alerted, if an alarm is triggered and how fast will they respond? An alarm is almost pointless, if it is not reacted to. The quicker action is taken, the less time an intruder will have to grab assets or cause damage. (You may also be interested in our blog ‘How to prevent false alarm call out’)

  1. Check your CCTV systems

Review your CCTV regularly to ensure it is operating as it should be. Also assess where any blind spots may be and think what additional layers of protection you can put in place to try and mitigate them. If cameras can be reached and moved, they are no use to you. As with alarms, a CCTV system may be a deterrent, but it won’t perform to its full potential unless it is being actively monitored and acted upon. There are also different grades of system and that can influence whether the police take any action.

  1. Lock up valuables

Keep all valuables hidden from view and ideally locked away. The more that is on show, the more tempting a break in may be. If an intruder does go on to gain entry, then items that are easy to spot and grab, will be a quick win for the criminals. Before a business shutdown or the buildings are unoccupied, have a system in place for locking away such items.

  1. Check lighting is working

If you have security lighting in place, make sure it is operational and in the most appropriate places. If any nearby street lights are out, report them to the relevant authorities in good time.

  1. Restrict site access

The easier it is for criminals to access and shift equipment off your site, the more at risk your premises are. If a vehicle can gain access, be loaded up and driven off, it won’t take long for the cost of a break in to mount up. For larger sites, you also risk trespassers setting up camp if access is very easy and that can be an unpleasant sight to face after a shutdown and often a real headache to deal with.

  1. Check the site is secure

There needs to be a system in place for checking that a site is fully secure before it is left unoccupied. Have up to date policies and send out reminders to staff. For example, require all important documents and assets to be locked away. Have a check list for ensuring all external windows and doors have been secured.

  1. Assess building entry points

You also need to check that all entry points are secure. A criminal might not use the front door. Think about windows and backdoors. Check their frames are strong and consider fitting bars and other security deterrents where necessary.

  1. Secure external bins

Check any external bins are locked and fastened, so they cannot be used to gain access to the building. This will also reduce the risk of fire and arson caused using the contents, which is one of the biggest causes of fire on commercial premises.

  1. Cut back shrubbery

Check your site maintenance is up to date. If shrubs are overgrown, they can provide cover and may shield criminal activity that is taking place. They can also obscure cameras and create blind spots if left unchecked.

  1. Get professional support

To give yourself complete peace of mind, get help from the professionals. External security companies can assist in several ways, including:

Mobile Patrols

Mobile security patrols can be a cost-effective alternative to manned guarding. The presence of uniformed officers on patrol at random times throughout the day or night, can be an incredibly effective crime deterrent, while closing any window of opportunity for a break-in or burglary to take place. Patrol officers can also check buildings are fully secure and look out for other issues, such as burst pipes.

You can find out more here: What are mobile security patrols and how do they work?

Key Holding & Alarm Response

There are many risks and challenges associated with having a member of staff act as a key holder. They need to be contactable and fit to attend at any time of the day or night. Not to mention the unpleasantness of having to go on site alone, out of hours, never knowing what they may come face-to-face with. An external security contractor can respond to alarms on your behalf, and so eliminate these risks, while taking the pressure and responsibility off employees.

At Venture, this service is available from as little as 75p a day and our average alarm response time is just 17 minutes in the local area. Our security officers are also fully trained in crime-scene and conflict management, so they’re ready whatever they may be faced with.


Get your free security review

Venture Security is ranked among the top 1% of security companies in the UK. From manned guarding to mobile patrols and key holding services, we help our customers keep their premises, assets and people safe.

Our specialist team works with businesses big and small, based across Winchester, Andover, Salisbury, Basingstoke, Fareham and the wider central-southern region. For more information, or to book a free security review, please call us on 01264 391538.