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that rely solely on only one or two forms of perimeter security, perhaps only installing CCTV cameras or relying on outdated or broken equipment which leaves their property vulnerable.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.

Why more businesses are using biometric fingerprint readers

Fingerprint recognition technology is one of the most reliable ways to control access to unauthorised areas. Once reserved for only the most high tech of businesses, biometric fingerprint readers are now widely accepted and being increasingly used in a broad range of fields. 

How do biometric fingerprint readers work?
Fingerprint recognition is the most widely used form of biometric recognition, more popular than both iris and facial recognition techniques.  The first step in this type of recognition is fingerprint template formation, which is also known as minutiae extraction. This is when the sample fingerprint is provided to the scanner and the scanner creates an 8-bit scan of the person’s fingerprint. This scan is then converted into binary code using complex algorithms. When an employee or other authorised person wants to gain access to your building, or a specific part of it, they simply need to scan their finger and the biometric reader checks its storage for a matching approved scan in a process which takes only seconds. 

Why are they so popular?
Biometric devices are becoming more and more popular every day as people discover different uses for it. We often see fingerprint scanners used in airports and by police forces, but they are becoming more and more common as a method of access control. While key fobs, cards and keys are useful in preventing unauthorized personnel from accessing your property, there are occasions when they fail, such as if someone loses their keys, or has them cloned. Biometric fingerprint scanners are much more reliable as everyone’s fingerprint is unique and it is much harder to create a copy.  Other examples of biometrics being used in less obvious places include at schools as a method of checking attendance, at gyms to only provide access to paying members and as a means of payment for services and goods. 

If your business needs to control access to restricted areas or has another use for biometrics then Gateway Automation can assess your requirements and provide you with 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.

Reduce employee theft in warehouses

clip_image002Internet shopping giant Amazon hit the headlines recently after resorting to putting up flat screen TV’s in their warehouses which showed stories of alleged former employees who had been ‘terminated’ or ‘arrested’ for stealing company stock.

While this is an extreme method of deterring employees from stealing from you, it is understandable that Amazon aimed to put protections in place considering how much of their stock has a resale value.

However, there are other ways to show your employees that you mean business that have less of a chance of damaging company morale and creating a public relations storm.

Mirrors & cameras
First of all, mirrors can be installed in strategic areas of your warehouse that highlight any hard-to-see areas where employees may be able to conceal items away from your cameras or the sight of other employees. Your employees are less likely to try and commit opportunistic crime if their actions are highly visible through a combination of mirrors and cameras.

Create secure areas
For particularly high value items it is important to put systems in place so that employees are unable to easily gain access to them. Security does not end simply with perimeter protection and you need to make sure that items of high value are given full protection. This could be achieved by enforcing a two-person rule where no-one is ever allowed to access specific items by themselves, or by securing a room or cage with a key pad or finger print biometric access control system.

Limit the number of keys
While it’s important to lock up your building at night, keys are not as secure as they might first appear. Physical keys are easily copied which means that if a key is lost or falls into the wrong hands then it could put your entire warehouse and stock at jeopardy. Instead you should limit physical keys only to specific high clearance members of staff and provide key fobs for other staff which can be deactivated if they part ways with your company.

Outside of these three key areas you should also ensure that checks are done on new employees to make sure that they are fit to work for your company and don’t have shady details in their past. You may not need to enforce a DBS check even just calling previous employers can help.

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