Tips & Ideas For Lock Types On Commercial Doors
Those of you who have been paying attention to my blogs over the years, and I know there must be literally millions of you, may have noticed they mainly focus on the residential aspect of the trade – home security and the like. I feel as if I’ve neglected the business side of things, despite the fact that takes up a good proportion of my time – fitting and repairing locks on shops, restaurants, factories, offices and the like. In that vein, I thought today I’d look at the dangers that face businesses, small or large, and precautions that owners can take to lessen the risk of that business being disrupted by a break in or security breach.
No matter what the type of business, it is likely that there will be assets of considerable value kept on the premises, whether these be fixed assets such as machinery, vehicles or other equipment, of current assets like inventory or cash. As such, it’s no surprise that business can easily become targets for the criminal fraternity.
Therefore, it is important that all businesses have sufficient insurance to cover their property and the contents within it. Not only this, but insurers will frequently insist on certain steps being taken by the business to ensure the insurance policy remains valid. Failure to take basic security actions could lead to the insurance being invalidated in the instance of a claim. Therefore here I will take a brief look at basic security steps that can be taken by a business that should be enough to satisfy an insurer, and also to help deter any burglars from targeting that business.
There are a myriad number of locks out there in the market which can be confusing to the beginner. To keep things simple, we’ll take the two locks that are the most common – these are rim locks and mortice locks.
A rim lock is a simple lock that appears like a box on the inside of the door. This contains a deadbolt, and there will be another small device on the door frame into which the deadbolt will go when the door is locked. These are not always the most secure, so generally I would advise to go for a mortice lock instead. This lock is within the door itself, so cannot be seen when the door is closed, as the mechanism is totally hidden away. This makes it more difficult to prise off, giving added security.
In terms of mortice locks, insurers look favourably on the 5 lever variety – these levers are embedded in the door and when the key turns, they move in or out of the door frame. As a rule of thumb, the more levers, the more secure, and five levers has quickly become the industry standard.
When looking at quality marks on the locks, insurers will usually request BS3621 so it’s worth checking. However this is the standard mark of quality within the UK so it’s more than likely if you’ve got a decent lock it will meet this criterion.
Businesses are not only vulnerable to break-in from doors; windows are also a favourite target for burglars. Again, when sorting out your business insurance, the insurer may insist that all windows are fitted with modern window locks. Most modern properties come with lockable windows as standard, but on older properties this may mean locks need to be fitted, either to existing windows, or as the older windows are updated.
For older style sash windows, the choice is more limited, but even with these, it should be possible to install a screw bolt which can be tightened when the window is shut to prevent any access from the outside. This should be secured as a matter of course when the building is left unoccupied.
Shutters and alarms
To really beef up the security of a business, shutters or grilles can be added over the windows. This will limit the risk of someone gaining entry through smashing a window – a crime that even the best window lock would struggle to prevent. A wide variety of grilles and shutters are available, usually constructed from steel or aluminium, so do shop around. However, it should be checked that the grilles themselves meet a minimum recognised security standard. This in turn could well lower your insurance premiums, so talking to the insurance company about which standard they favour could save money in the long run.
A burglar alarm is also likely to lower a business’ insurance premium, especially one that is properly installed and maintained. It’s no use getting a poor quality one and forgetting about it – often insurance companies will insist on it being regularly maintained, and could refuse to pay up if it has not been or, even worse, if it was never set.
With alarms, as long as the alarm company is approved by either the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB) or the National Security Inspectorate (NSI), you should be on safe ground. If the alarm is connected remotely to an SSAIB or NSI centre, alerting them when the alarm is set off, all the better. Combine this with an audible alarm to frighten off the intruders and you have the ideal combination of security. An endorsement from the police in the area is also going to be looked upon favourably by the insurers.
Just a few tips there about keeping your business secure – we know how hard small business owners have to work to keep going and the last thing you need is to have to deal with the after-effects of a break in. As well as the financial hit, it can be really demoralising for owners and staff alike, so preventing such an occurrence is an important aspect of running a business.
For any help with any lock or security-related matters, whether commercial or residential, please call me on 01302 378067.