The devastating impact of arson on businesses

light-flick-allumer-zippo-80307Of all the crimes that can take place on business premises, arson has the potential to cause the most damage. The impact of a fire can result in serious – sometimes irreparable - damage to your business premises. The knock on effect of which can result in financial losses, lost stock, damaged infrastructure and even permanent closure for your business. But how do arson attacks happen and how can they be defended against?

The impact of arson

A fairly recent example of just how badly a business can be effected is the blaze at the Barnsley warehouse of popular online clothing retailer ASOS. One of the fastest growing online retailers in the UK in recent years, ASOS prides itself on quick delivery times. A fire which broke out at their Barnsley warehouse effected several floors of their building and took over 60 fire fighters to bring under control. The damage that the fire caused meant that the business had to put the brakes on online orders for several days, losing an untold amount of money whilst they made repairs and tried to get their operations back on track.

How it happens and how it can be stopped

Arson attacks most frequently occur during the night time. While it’s absolutely vital that businesses have sprinkler systems and fire alarms installed, that should not be where your fire prevention ends. Arson attacks can often be prevented by a combination of good housekeeping and strong perimeter security.

A good place to start is to look at some of the potential risks around your property, of which there may be many. Flammable liquids and other materials that could be easily set alight should be locked away, including bins where rubbish accumulates. Windows should be secured, potentially with shutters to prevent objects being thrown through them, while letterboxes should be fitted with airtight metal containers that will limit fire damage should any lit materials be passed through.

The key way that you can prevent acts of arson on your property is to prevent the arsonist from ever being able to gain access. This is achieved through strong perimeter security equipment that deters opportunistic criminals as well as making it hard for even the most determined ones to be able to get into your property.

Why risk assessments are crucial

Every business is unique which is why a good perimeter security company will begin by performing a risk assessment.

A risk assessment highlights any potential areas of weakness and means that the solutions offered – whether gates, barriers, access control equipment or something else – are the solutions which will make a significant impact on the security of your premises.

Gateway Automation provide a range products to help businesses and individuals to secure their sites and also provide nationwide servicing and repairs to gates, barriers and other perimeter security equipment. To find out more, please call us on 01522 682255.

How secure are your security gates?

pexels-photo-277670As perimeter security specialists, we have years of experience looking for flaws in the physical security of businesses. One of the most revealing methods of pinpointing weak spots is to perform a full risk assessment. This allows us to develop a 360 degree approach for a business owner who might be concerned about the threat of crime on their business. However, while a good many business owners do recognise the overwhelming challenges that crime can present, a good many more do not take the threat seriously, or equally believe that they have already got everything covered.

One of the most effective forms of perimeter security comes in the form of gates – both a physical and mental barrier to opportunistic thieves. Here at Gateway we provide three major types of gates – swing gates, sliding gates and bi-folding gates which are commonly used to ramp up on-site security. Installed correctly and properly maintained, these types of gates are one of the strongest means of restricting both pedestrian and vehicular access to your site.

However, if gates are not properly maintained then they become ineffective in preventing intruders. This is why gates should be regularly inspected in order to spot any signs of degradation or damage. Damage can easily occur from vehicles, pedestrian traffic, acts of nature or just simply weaken over time, but it is important that it is spotted quickly in order to keep your business protected. While you may believe that you can fix a problem yourself, it’s important to have a trained professional visit your site and assess the situation as DIY repairs can often exacerbate the initial damage.

Here at Gateway we offer a nationwide reactive callout service with engineer response times of 8 hours, 24 hours, 48 hours and 7 days which means that any problems can be dealt with quickly. With years of experience our professionals will get to the bottom of the problem and ensure minimum disruption to your employees and customers. We also offer maintenance contracts on our products and can source supply spares and parts for all manufacturers’ equipment.

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 equipment.

How to tackle the problem of unauthorised parking

clip_image002With an ever increasing number of vehicles on the road, the problem of parking, particularly in inner city areas, has begun to reach boiling point with thousands of land owners becoming increasingly frustrated by vehicles illegally parking on their land, obstructing their day to day activities.

However, this issue which is affecting businesses and landowners nationwide is not something that can be handled by the police, as it is a civil matter rather than a legal one. While in the past land owners were able to use clamping as a deterrent, this is no longer allowed, with The Protection Of Freedoms Act (2012) making it an offence to clamp a vehicle in England or Wales. So with this in mind, what alternatives are still available to businesses to tackle the issue of unauthorised parking on their property?

Barriers
One way to limit access to your site is to use barriers. Automatic barriers, height restrictor barriers and manual barriers all act as effective solutions for limiting access to vehicles or particular types of vehicles. They can be operated either manually – remaining up in business hours and locked down in the evening, or automatically - with access granted via CCTV, proximity cards, a key pad or tokens.

Gates
One of the most effective ways to limit access to a site is to install gates, a particularly effective choice if you are aiming to lock down a specific area such as a staff car park. Having unauthorised cars using up your employees’ parking spaces, or spaces reserved for clients and guests can be infuriating and cause real problems for your business, so gates, bollards and barriers are all good options. Read more about our swing gates, sliding gates and bi-folding gates.

Bollards
If you require a simple but effective solution for dealing with unauthorised access then bollards are a good option. Bollards are particularly effective if you are looking to prevent unwanted parking but also preserve the view of your business site. For example a car showroom might want to retain the views of their property for passing traffic so may opt for a bollard system rather than high fences which obstruct the view of the cars on their lot. Our GA7276H automatic bollards have been built for optimum performance and intensively tested to ensure reliability for over 3000 movements per day. In the event of an emergency or power failure they can be lowered manually and can also be operated simultaneously. Click here to read more about our GA7276H Automatic Bollards.

Gateway Automation provide a range products to help businesses and individuals to secure their sites and also provide nationwide servicing and repairs to gates, barriers and other perimeter security equipment. To find out more, please call us on 01522 682255.

Keeping your business safe at night

clip_image002For many employees, once their shift is over their responsibilities at work end and they don’t think about it again until the following day. However, that luxury is something that owners of a business are not lucky enough to enjoy. Owners and managers of businesses spend many nights in constant worry over the potential threats that their company face from crimes such as arson, burglary and theft and vandalism. Here we will look at some of the ways you can protect your business from these threats while your building is vacant.

Arson

A serious fire has to be up there with the most damaging incidents that can happen to a business. Fires can cause damage to your buildings, furnishings and structure as well as stock, equipment and even your personnel. To protect against the risk of arson businesses should be sure to strengthen entrance and exit points such as windows and doors to restrict access to the property, as well as tough gates and high walls or fencing. Businesses should also develop a routine before closing down for the night whereby they check for any flammable materials or liquids lying around on site that could be used by arsonists to ignite a fire, such as by padlocking waste bins.

Burglary

Another serious threat to businesses in the night time is burglary. Businesses are naturally a massive target for criminals but with a comprehensive security strategy it is easy to mitigate the risks. Some common mistakes include poor lighting – allowing criminals to go undetected, failure to lock down important areas or assets, failing to prevent unwanted vehicles from arriving on your property, a lack of physical deterrents and securing a property with physical keys instead of electronic access control equipment.

Theft

While theft of assets can come from external criminals unknown to your business, crime can quite equally come from employees. While you can monitor the movements of your employees during the day, at night it may be more difficult. To avoid the risk of your employees stealing from you in the night, or handing your keys to a criminal to do so, you should limit access to valuable goods with cages or safes and consider biometric access control equipment to lock down high value areas.

Vandalism

Vandalism has a big impact on a business. Not only does petty vandalism affect the corporate image of your premises but it can also draw finances away from planned expansion or development within your business. The cost of replacing broken windows or removing graffiti is rarely budgeted for and will often leave a business out of pocket. A combination of deterrents such as anti-vandal grease, strong gates and fencing and motion censored lighting can help to deter opportunistic vandals determined to do damage to your business premises.

Gateway Automation provide a range products to help businesses and individuals to secure their sites and also provide nationwide servicing and repairs to gates, barriers and other perimeter security equipment. To find out more, please call us on 01522 682255.

How to protect your premises from a vehicular terrorist attack

truck-1910871_640If you operate in a sensitive field of business that puts you at risk from protest or terrorism then it’s particularly important that you find ways to mitigate the risk of an attack. In recent years there has been a rise in the number of attacks from vehicles which are driven by terrorists fuelled by religious or political agendas. But how exactly can businesses prevent a vehicular attack which could happen at any time?

While we trust the great job that our security services do in the UK, there are occasions when terrorist operations sadly fall through the net and in those times it’s important that your business and your employees don’t come to any harm. Let’s look at some of the ways that you can restrict the impact of a vehicle, whether armed with explosives or using its size and weight to cause damage to your infrastructure.

Crash Tested Road Blockers are the go-to solution for many financial, government and private organisations looking to reduce the threat and subsequent damage of a terrorist attack. Crash tested road blockers prevent vehicles from gaining access to important or restricted areas of your premises while simultaneously doubling up as a deterrent. Our GA100000 Shallow-Mounted Road Blocker was crash tested by the Motor Industry Research Association and passed with ‘0’ penetration and remained operable under the strain of various tests.

One option for reducing access to your site is that of heavy duty sliding gates. Sliding gates are used throughout various industries where important equipment or data is being protected. Our own GA900 Automatic Cantilever Sliding Gate is easily fitted with optional extras such as razor wire extensions, anti-climb spikes, electric fences, traffic lights and warning sirens. The gate’s movement is controlled via a rack & pinion system monitored by an encored which allows for precise and controlled operation. Our GA900 is also made from hi-grade aluminium which is extremely rigid and dependable.

For small vehicles such as cars and motorbikes, bollards may well be an effective solution. They are designed to stop vehicles from passing but still allow pedestrians to make it on to your site. They may be particularly effective if you are looking for a way to stop access to an area but still retain a friendly and open appearance.

Gateway Automation provides free, no obligation quotes and feasibility surveys for your premises. To assess your security requirements, please contact us here.

Physical security for data centres

technology-1587673_640While data centre outages can often be the result of the growing threat of cyber crime, there are also an increasing number of incidents brought about by physical perimeter breaches.

While many companies will employ seasoned IT security specialists to protect them from cyber hacks and a serious online breach, their physical security is often an afterthought. However, protecting a data centre from physical threats is just as important as protecting those posed online and could have just as serious an impact. If your businesses houses their own data centre, or indeed if you are the chosen company to outsource another businesses data then an attack could have serious consequences for your business.

Every site will have its own specific needs and a risk assessment is certainly the place to start. This will help to develop a holistic approach that covers every aspect of your physical defence needs. While many businesses choose to utilise CCTV coverage as a means of protecting their premises it does not work as a means of preventing crime. Criminals attempting to target a data centre will know the consequences they face if caught and will make efforts to either destroy CCTV equipment or hide their faces so as not to be identified. This is why a 360 degree approach to site security should be adopted rather than relying on CCTV alone.

Some ways which you can prevent a criminal from ever gaining access include fully automatic barriers, gates and automatic rising kerbs.

Automatic barriers can be controlled by push-buttons, tokens, and proximity cards, or by manned guards on site thereby preventing unauthorised access. Heavy duty gates like swing gates, sliding gates or bi-folding gates prevent unwanted entry but also deter criminals who would otherwise try and escape in a getaway vehicle after breaking into your data centre. Automatic rising kerbs can also be used to cut off vehicular access, either to your entire site or just selected areas highlighted as under threat.

Gateway Automation provides a range of perimeter security systems to help businesses and individuals to secure their sites and also provides nationwide servicing and repairs to gates, barriers and other perimeter security equipment. To find out more, please contact us on 01522 68255 or take a look at our brochure which can be viewed here: http://www.gatewayautomation.co.uk/brochure/.

Swinging or sliding gates?

SONY DSCRecent figures show that over half of all the small to medium sized businesses in the UK have been victims of crime at some stage. With this in mind, many businesses have begun to investigate how they can start to secure their premises and reduce their chances of being targeted.

While tools like CCTV are effective in recording a crime and can help to alert the police if monitored, they are not able to stop it from happening. This is why perimeter security is the place to start when reviewing your security.

One of the most effective forms of perimeter security are gates, whether swinging or sliding they ensure an effective barrier that slows down and prevents the entry, and the exit, of criminals into your premises.

However, when it comes to choosing between swinging and sliding gates what should you consider? Well for starters the choice between swinging or sliding gates often comes down to the specific layout of your premises. For example, if your entry point is limited by space then it might not be suited to a swinging gate as there isn’t enough room for the full arc, or if you are limited by the layout such as being on a hill then you might be better suited to a sliding gate.

It’s worth remembering that while gates are often the first step of securing your property they are rarely the only step. It is very important to have a professional company visit your site and do a full risk assessment to point out any holes in your security and guarantee a 360 approach.

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.