Combating office based crime with biometrics

From driverless cars and artificial intelligence to biometric passports and contactless card payments– in today’s world technology has permeated almost every aspect of our lives.  The security industry, which tends to be at the forefront of new technology, is no exception. However, while many businesses are very keen to take their cyber security seriously, spending thousands of pounds on hi-tech software and employees dedicated to defending their online infrastructures, actual physical security of their premises sometimes takes a backseat.  This decision to favour online security over a physical approach often leaves the door open to a wide range of crime from theft and vandalism to criminal damage and even violent crime.

As a means of access, control biometrics are leading the way. Rather than using key fobs and cards, many businesses with security concerns are using biometrics as a solid method of preventing crime in their offices. Areas of importance can be locked down with fingerprint scanners and reduce the need to cut keys, cards or fobs which can quite easily find themselves in someone else’s hands.

The benefits of installing biometrics in an office environment go past the prevention of crime too. Many businesses are using biometrics to cut down on administration in the workplace, for example by registering employees’ fingerprints so that they can ‘clock in’ and ‘clock out’ of work each day. This removes the need to manually type up employee timesheets and reduces the fear that they may have been ‘punched in’ by a colleague covering for their unapproved absence.

Biometric fingerprint readers work in such a way that it takes just a matter of seconds to confirm the identity of a person trying to gain access to your site.  So, rather than having a physical security guard checking ID badges and signing in visitors you have a digital record of everyone who has entered your building each day.  A convenient, cheaper and much more secure record, as a scanner cannot be corrupted or tricked into allowing access to someone who could cause your company harm.

If you are interested in learning more about this growing industry trend then please contact Gateway Automation for a free, no-obligation quotation and feasibility survey. 

Click here for more information about FR-240 Biometric Fingerprint Readers, click here to arrange a callback or click here to download our free brochure.

How to prevent and reduce the damage of tailgating

Tailgating is one of the most annoying lapses in security that you can have happen and unlike many other security bloopers it is often it is the result of common courtesy rather than ineptitude or criminal intentions. Picture the scene - one of your employees swipes their security fob to gain access to the front door of your building, as the door is about to swing shut they notice someone else stood there and courteously hold the door open for them.  While your employee might not realise the gravity of the situation at the time, they could have unwittingly given a criminal access to your property that could quite easily go on to commit vandalism, theft, criminal damage or even a violent crime on your premises. 

What can we do to prevent tailgating?
The first place to start when it comes to defending against tailgaters is to seek out a risk assessment. A professional company will be able to take an audit of your facility analysing the strengths and weaknesses in your operations and helping to develop a security solution that protects your assets and your employees. For example a risk assessment might result in  recommendations to install waist height or half height turnstiles or biometric fingerprint readers, both of which can be effective in preventing tailgating.

While you can put lots of measures in to place to prevent tailgating, your security is only as strong as the culture you build around it. If your employees aren’t trained in the risks of tailgating, and are not told to challenge unidentified visitors then you run the risk of your systems being ineffective. 

Most businesses have some kind of important asset that they need to protect, whether that is expensive equipment, confidential information, restricted chemicals or something else. This is why it is important to not only secure your entry and exit points but also to lock down any important areas of your building with high quality access control equipment.

Whether your business runs from small retail premises or a large industrial site, we can provide you with a free, no-obligation risk assessment, feasibility survey and quotation to assess your perimeter security requirements. For more information please contact us here or call us on 01522 682 255.

Risk assessments – the first step in securing your premises

The perimeter of your property is the boundary between your buildings and land and the outside world. As such, the strength of the physical security around your perimeter is the first line of defence against criminals. It acts not only as a deterrent, but also a means to physically delay or completely stop a criminal from gaining access to your site.

Crime remains a major threat to businesses and organisations in the UK with crime against businesses accounting for as much as 20% of all the crimes recorded. What’s more, a large proportion of these criminal activities are unplanned and opportunistic - meaning that criminals spot vulnerabilities in a business’s perimeter security and decide there and then to exploit them.

Time and time again, we find businesses that rely solely on only one or two forms of perimeter security, perhaps only installing CCTV cameras or relying on outdated or broken equipment which leaves their property vulnerable. The problem with this approach is that it fails to consider every eventuality and does not deliver the 360 degree approach that is needed for adequately securing premises. For example, CCTV may be able to witness a vehicle entering your site as a robbery takes place and alarm systems may notify authorities, but a piece of equipment like a Crash Tested Road Blocker may prevent the vehicle from ever gaining access in the first place.

When it comes to securing your property the absolute first step you should take is to ask a professional company to undertake a risk assessment. This means that, rather than relying on guesswork as to how best to deter criminals, you will have cold hard facts as to where you are vulnerable and which products would best suit your needs.

Taking in the needs, processes and operational style of your business, a risk assessment will help to create a security solution that works for your business. Looking at your organisation and how it operates, what threats you face and the constraints of your location, buildings or other factors it will help you and your employees to feel safe and secure in the face of criminal activity.

Whether your business runs from small retail premises or a large industrial site, we can provide you with a free, no-obligation risk assessment, feasibility survey and quotation to assess your perimeter security requirements. For more information or for further advice on how to protect your business premises from criminals, please contact us here.

Why you should choose a Gate Safe installer every time

Here at Gateway Automation we are proud to be certified as Gate Safe Aware. This is a specific accreditation handed out only to those who have undergone training and assessments to show that they have a fully comprehensive understanding of the guidelines surrounding responsible installation.

The importance of having your gates installed by an accredited professional should not be underestimated. The dangers of failing to do so is highlighted by the cases of Semelia Campbell and Karolina Golabek who were both tragically killed in accidents involving automated gates in the space of just a few weeks in 2010. Semelia was trapped while playing hide and seek and Karolina was trapped while playing with a cat. The company deemed responsible for Semelia’s death was handed a £50,000 fine and a publicity order for leaving their automated gate in a ‘lethal state’.

A strong security gate is one of the most effective forms of access control and creates a physical barrier that acts as an obstacle and a deterrent to criminals. However, it is critical that businesses have their gates fitted by professional installers who are aware of how to make a gate safe as well as secure. Further to this it is equally important that those gates are maintained to a high standard, rather than left to become a dangerous hazard over time. Neglecting to do so can lead to fines, damage to your company reputation and in some cases, and worst of all, a devastating loss of life

Gateway Automation provide a range of gates to help businesses and individuals to secure their sites and also provide nationwide servicing and repairs to gates, barriers and other perimeter security equipment. We are proud to be certified as Gate Safe Aware Installers. To find out more, please contact us on 01522 682255 or take a look at our brochure which can be viewed here: http://www.gatewayautomation.co.uk/brochure/.

What are some of the threats to unoccupied buildings?

Properties can become vacant for a number of reasons. Whether closed for refurbishment, awaiting a sale or closed for good there are a whole range of reasons why a property might be unoccupied for a long period of time.

However, it is absolutely critical that during the time that a building is left vacant that the owners take steps to secure their property.

High on the agenda of concerns for landlords of vacant properties is the risk of scrap metal theft. High export values for materials such as lead and copper have led to a sustained rise in the number of buildings pillaged by thieves, with 1,000 commercial properties every week targeted in the UK at the peak of activity. Criminals force their way into property and then proceed to strip it of all its valuable metals often causing thousands of pounds worth of damage along the way.

Another problem which is also causing headaches for landlords is that of squatting. This is when a vacant property is taken over by people determined to live in the building free of cost with the only route to remove them being to take them to court. Once evicted, landlords are often left with heavy renovation costs to pay for as well as expensive energy bills for water, gas and electricity that have been racked up during their stay.

The best strategy for dealing with these types of threats is to take preventative measures. The first step you should take upon knowing that your property is to be vacant for a period of time is to have a risk assessment carried out.  Here at Gateway we regularly assess properties for risk making sure that they are adequately secured and recommending any ways that we think security could be improved.

  • Every site is different but our recommendations might include: Installing lighting in areas where criminals and squatters could potentially gain access.
  • Turning off gas, electric and water supplies to the property as early as possible
  • Installing heavy duty gates or barriers which make access difficult both on foot or in a vehicle.
  • Applying anti-climb paint and clearing away bins, wheelbarrows or other items which could be used to gain leverage onto the property. 
  • Restricting access to the entire property or specific areas with access control equipment
  • Restricting vehicular access with automatic rising kerbs
The risks to empty buildings are numerous and should not be underestimated.  Beyond squatting and stealing scrap metal there is also the risk of trespass and there are numerous incidents of vandalism taking place in vacant properties, as well as the risk of having to pay compensation if someone is injured while trespassing in your building as you may have a duty of care over them while they are in your building.

If you believe that your property may become vacant in the future, or you own a property that has already been a target for thieves and vandals then please call us on 01522 682 255 to discuss how we can help to keep you safe. 

Why physical security is crucial in protecting your business from crime

While many businesses fall back on CCTV as a low maintenance form of security, as we explained in our recent blog it is anything but an all-in-one solution. CCTV has indeed proven to be weak in many areas and it is particularly worth remembering that a camera cannot physically prevent a crime from happening, only document it taking place. It simply records the event in the hope that police or private guards can be informed in time and a conviction can be secured later on.

Here at Gateway Automation we provide full risk assessments so that we can identify any vulnerabilities and then recommend the best tailored approach to protect your business. This often means a variety of different physical barriers designed to make your property unattractive to criminals and could include one or a combination of the following protections:
Creating a robust physical perimeter around your business site should be high on your agenda, but equally it is just as important to maintain your gates, fences and other types of security solutions, for if they are damaged over time due to intrusion attempts or even just accidentally damaged in your day to day activities then they could leave you vulnerable.

This is why we offer a nationwide reactive callout service with engineer response times of 8 hours, 24 hours, 48 hours and 7 days meaning that we can get to you quickly to repair any damage and keep your business safe and secure.

To find out more about our servicing and repairs options, please visit http://www.gatewayautomation.co.uk/service-repair/ or contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no-obligation quotation and feasibility survey to assess your perimeter security needs.

How to manage traffic with speed ramps and flow control plates

Whether you are looking to control traffic in a multi-storey car park, a bus lane, construction site or another type of premises, there are a number of different options available to you. Of course, employing traffic controllers to direct vehicles is one way to prevent unwanted access, but there are other methods which are considerably cheaper in the long run and more reliable.

Speed Ramps
Speed ramps are an excellent way of restricting the speed of traffic as it moves around your site. Together with signage to warn road users, speed ramps provide an effective way of calming traffic. Our GA5750 speed ramp is made from heavy duty recycled PVC segments and available with embedded cats-eyes and high visibility yellow and black sections, providing an important visual notice to on-coming traffic. The GA5750 offers differing speed restrictions with two separate heights available, and it is also available in different lengths.

Flow control plates
Here at Gateway Automation we provide three different styles of flow control plates:

Our sunken flow plates force mono-directional traffic, allowing traffic to pass over them in one direction but not in the other. They are made from steel but feature noise-reduction buffers which quieten the noise of the metal box moving back into position after a car has travelled over it.

Our surface mounted flow plates are made from heavy duty chequer plate steel which makes them very robust. They are surface mounted and ideal for concrete applications, such as multi-story car parks or economy projects.  They feature a sophisticated spring action system which ensures they return to position after a vehicle has passed overhead.  We also offer an even more robust version which is suitable for heavy goods vehicles, the GA5875HD.

Gateway Automation can provide free, no obligation quotes and feasibility surveys for your premises to assess your security requirements, contact us here.