Protecting your business this Christmas

Securing your business at ChristmasMany businesses such as offices, schools and factories are are shut between Christmas and New Year. Although this break is much appreciated by employees, business managers need to ensure that security is up to scratch as it is often during this quiet period that criminals target business premises, they believe to be unoccupied.

Here we discuss some tips that managers should consider in order to ensure their premises remains as secure as possible during this time.

•   Create a procedure in advance for the last day in the office. Nominate and agree an individual to secure the premises. Communicate the plans thoroughly to avoid any mistakes or confusion about what the plan is.

   Keep track of visitors- Christmas, for many establishments is a busy time for guests due to more deliveries for example. Ensure you know who is in your building or premises at all times. Having access control barriers and panels for your building can help ensure no unauthorised vehicles or personnel can access your premises.

•    Decide which key holders will be contactable during the Christmas break- Although the likelihood of them being needed is relatively small, always confirm which members of staff who have keys will be available to deal with any emergencies. Share a list with relevant staff to confirm.

•   Turn off electrical items or put in safe mode. If your premises will be empty during Christmas, carry out thorough checks prior to the break to avoid risk of fire.

•    Check heating settings- Although there will not be anyone in the building, you might want to have the heating on for a short time each day just to ensure its being used regularly. This is especially important is certain stock needs to be temperature control.

•    Consider employing security guards- Depending on your organisation, you may decide if it is worth the investment to have a physical security guard on during the days the office is closed. For many companies this may be unnecessary.

•    Ensure nobody is left on their own- On the last day, try and avoid having one person closing the office or building on their own. It is a lot of pressure for them to remember everything and can also make them vulnerable to any criminals that are watching the premises. If you decide to close early, ensure everyone leaves at the same time.

•    Keep the perimeter well lit- Having strong security lighting is not only protecting your employees during dark mornings and evenings, it is also a good deterrent for potential criminals as it can scare them away but also means any CCTV footage will be clearer.

•    Install barriers, gates and signs- Barriers and gates create a physical barrier that can protect your company but they, along with strong signs such as “CCTV in action” act as a strong deterrent.

•    Do a trial run- You can always do a trial run to ensure all protocols are met. You should also carry out a trial security threat to test reaction times.

The tips above are just some of the ways you can ensure your security levels remain high over Christmas. Of course, these tips and precautions can and should be implemented all year round. Having a permanent high level of security all the time ensures the security remains a part of everyday life and will reduce the vulnerability of your business throughout the rest of the year.

To find out more about how we can help with your business security needs, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no obligation call and feasibility survey to assess your business needs.

4 Physical Security threats to your business and how to prevent them

Physical security threats
There is a myriad of potential threats that can impact a business. Here we discuss some of the most common threats to businesses along with how business owners can be proactive to ensure maximum protection. 

1)    Theft

Theft is one of the most common types of physical security threats a business can face but is also one of the easiest to protect against. It is a threat you should never take lightly, the reason why it is easier to protect against is that you can often predict the ways in which thieves might steal from you. You know the entrances and exits to your building for example. This allows you to invest in equipment that will improve security in these areas.

Cyber security is a huge focus for many businesses and while businesses need to tackle this severe threat; it is also important not to overlook physical security. The amount of time a company has to devote to tackle cyber security threats that have increased over the past few decades can leave resources too thin to think about physical security in as much detail. However, having strong physical security as part of your overall business security plan can also help with cyber security.

Access control systems around the entrances to your building mean that only people with the correct key card or passcode can enter. Ensure this is even more secure by considering the use of biometric fingerprint readers.
Unfortunately, many businesses also should consider that the threat of theft can be internal. Therefore, you will have to consider internal processes to help reduce this possibility, such as CCTV cameras.

2)    Vandalism

Vandalism may not be seen as a security threat; it is as it deliberately damages property. Not only does it cost money and resources to rectify the problem, it creates a bad image for the company from a physical point of view. Implementing the correct measures can reduce the risk significantly. Having strong perimeter security with use of gates, efficient lighting, CCTV and even a security guard can all help.

3)    Tailgating

Installing an access control systems can reduce the danger of unauthorised people accessing your premises. Tailgating is when an unauthorised person follows an authorised person through a secure door. It is easily done, especially during busy periods with lots of foot traffic. People could easily mistake an unauthorised visitor as a genuine visitor and hold the door open out of politeness. Investing in anti-tailgating doors or turnstiles can help reduce this problem. Always ensure employees know the correct protocol and only let in people who can prove should be there. Ensuring your visitors are given official temporary access badges can help with this.

4)    Natural Disasters

Natural disasters are difficult to plan for.  Due to the nature of floods, earthquakes and wildfires, advanced warnings can be limited and damages hard to forecast. Although we are lucky in the UK to not have high risk of major earthquakes or wildfires, we are at risk of flooding which can cause significant damage to some companies. If you are in a high flood risk area, ensure you have considered the threat when creating a security plan to try and mitigate as much of the risk as possible.

There have been threats to business security as long as businesses have existed. The concept is nothing new, it is just that new threats appear over time that businesses need to prepare for. The good news is, that our level or protection has also advanced over the years. There are a suite of devices and systems that can help improve security. If a business is not prepared for these security threats, then both their company and it’s employees can be adversely affected as a result.
Having a comprehensive business security plan is the first step to ensuring that you have made the necessary precautions to ensure your businesses’ security.

To find out more about we can help you improve your business’ security, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no obligation call and feasibility survey to assess your business needs.

How to improve public car park safety

Car Park SafetyPublic carparks can be extremely convenient for people as it provides a secure place for them to leave their car. However, despite the convenience of them, they can in fact be dangerous places. There are a lot of cars and people moving around car parks at any one time and all it takes is one person not paying 100% attention for an accident to happen. As the car park owner, although some things are out of your control, there are many things you can do in order to improve public car park safety. Here we list just some of the safety methods you could implement.

•    Bike Racks- Not only do bike racks provide a convenient additional service for those travelling by bike, the bike racks also act as a physical barrier between cars and pedestrians.
•    Height Bars- A lot of car parks cannot handle the manoeuvring of large vehicles but without a physical deterrent or barrier, you have no control over which vehicles enter the car park. Height restrictors are highly visible and act as a visual deterrent. They also physically stop larger vehicles from entering which will reduce the amount of car incidents you would have if they were not in place.
•    Speed ramps- Having speed bumps or ramps strategically placed throughout the car park will ensure cars are slowed down, allowing more time for all drivers and pedestrians to react.
•    Signage- Ensure you have large, clear signage throughout the car park. Reflective car park signs are a must if your car park is open during dark hours. You need to communicate clearly the rules of the car park, which direction the cars should be driving, what the speed limit is and where pedestrians should cross
•    Parking space protector- Depending on the type of car park you own and who uses it, you may need to keep some spaces reserved. Having parking space protectors can do this. They lock in the up position whilst they are not in use and lower on demand, ensuring unauthorised vehicles cannot park there.
•   Flow control plates- Flow control plates can be great in car parks. They ensure cars enter and exit the correct way, reducing any accidents due to drivers not paying attention.
•   Barriers- Having barriers at the entrance or exit can really help make traffic flow smoothly in and out. You can even have an automated access control system that streamlines this. Next to the barriers you could issue tickets which when re-entered at the exit, will operate the other barrier.
•    Pedestrian only zones- You need to create pedestrian only zones to help improve safety for pedestrians when they are nearby cars. You can indicate where these areas are by using clear signage on the walls and floor and reinforce the areas with bollards so cars cannot access

Whether the car par is at a shopping centre, in a town centre, at a factory or other business, having a carpark that is considered safe and secure is vital. It will in the long run create more business for you and mean your car park will run more efficiently. A lot of the methods mentioned above are value for money as the safety they can provide is priceless.

To find out more about what you can implement to make your carpark safer, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no obligation and feasibility survey to assess your business needs.

How you can benefit from Pay and Display Machines

pay and displayIf you own a carpark, having an automated pay and display machine can reap many rewards. Here we discuss how they can benefit your business. Automated pay and display parking machines are popular across the country and one of the most popular options for all types of car park (whether they are public or private).

•    Saves cost of hiring- Having an automated system means you do not require a parking attendant who is constantly on duty.
•    More convenient for customer- The machines also benefit the customer. Without the need to deal with a parking attendant directly, they can get their parking ticket with ease, especially when the machine accepts several forms of payment. They also know in advance how much their parking costs which is preferable.
•    Flexible- Automated pay and display machines allow customers to pay with cash or by card, making the payment process a much smoother process.
•    Easy to Use- Because the payment process is seamless, customers will end up being more satisfied with the service. This reduces the number of customer service issues you will encounter. The time it takes to pay and receive the ticket is also quick, which customers will appreciate.
•    Maximize park revenue- Having a machine, rather than a person, issuing tickets means your carpark can become a 24-hour stream of revenue as you will not need to ever have closing times.
•    Secure- Having a pay and display machine not only benefits the owner, it also can benefit the customer. Parking their car in an official car park with a ticket machine provides a more secure environment and they are happier to leave their cars here.
•   Sturdy- Not only are the machines sturdy with reinforced doors, you can have additional Anti-Graffiti coating applied to it to ensure your investment remains in great condition and safe from vandals and thieves.
•   Easy to run- The machines have ticket capacity for thousands of tickets and a large cash box, meaning it can last a relatively long time without needing to be refilled which saves your time.

These are just some of the benefits you can gain by investing in an automated pay and display machine. They are cost effective installations which will benefit you as the owner of the car park but also the customers as having a car park they know they can enter, park, pay and exit quickly is important.

To find out more about which pay systems and features are available for your business, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no obligation and feasibility survey to assess your needs.

Job Vacancy: Skilled & Semiskilled Gate & Barrier Engineers

Due to continued expansion, an opportunity has arisen for SKILLED & SEMISKILLED gate & barrier engineers to join Gateway Automation Ltd.

You must have previous knowledge and experience of Gateway Automation systems and Access Control systems. Experience in Welding would be beneficial. You would be involved in installations of new systems, retrofit and fault finding so experience is essential.

Job Overview

This field-based role will be a demanding role, working under pressure and to strict deadlines. You will have the responsibility of installing new Gate Automation Systems or undertaking the maintenance of existing systems, working individually or as part of a team as required. Fluent English both spoken and written is a must as you will be dealing with residents and customers and delivering detailed and accurate reports to the office.

An ideal Service and Installation Engineer will hold the following skills and experiences:

•    Must have previous experience within the Gate & Barrier industry
•    Valid UK Driving License
•    Knowledge of Door Entry Systems / Access Control Panels / Door Automation systems would be beneficial
•    Fluent English spoken and written is a must
•    Have good knowledge and understanding of Health and Safety aspects related to any gate/door automation
•    Ideally would live in the Nottingham/Sheffield/Leeds area
•    Act responsibly and with necessary care for himself, the property of others and his team

Salary is negotiable depending on your experience.

The working hours will be 42.5 hours per week. Monday to Friday 08:00- 17:00. Overtime will be available.

You will also be provided with a company vehicle, fuel card, mobile phone, uniform, Health & Safety training, in-house training on company products and 28 days paid holiday including bank holidays.

To apply please email your CV to kevinf@gatewayautomation.co.uk or call Kevin Fairclough for an informal chat on 01522 682255

4 ways to make your employees feel safe

VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100Your employees spend a lot of their time at their workplace, so it is extremely important that they feel as safe as possible when they are there.

Studies have shown that if employees do not feel sufficiently safe at work it can adversely affect staff happiness, productiveness, efficiency and staff retention. There are a lot of things that you, as an employer, can do in order to make your staff feel as safe as possible. The investment you spend in both time and money in these additional security measures will be worth it as it will create a happier workforce that will be more productive. Here are four key areas you can look at in order to improve staff safety.

1.    Invest in gates and barriers
It is a simple thing but having gates can really improve how safe employees feel whilst at work. Creating a barrier using gates acts as a deterrent to anyone who is trying to get onto the premises without permission. Having gates surround the entirety of your property not only indicates to everyone which land belongs to your business, it also protects staff car parks. Having barriers and gates will also help protect your assets (not only your staff but also your stock, the premises itself and sensitive data to name a few) it will also help visitors feel secure when they come for meetings as well.

2.    Have Access Control
Consider having access control areas where you use proximity cards, intercoms or biometric finger print readers to ensure only authorised personnel can enter the premises. These devices are great to have on the entrance of your main building or, alternatively, any room that contains private and important equipment or information. When visitors come, you can provide them with a temporary visitor pass. Not only will this make it convenient for them during their visit, they will also feel secure knowing you need passes to enter the building.

3.    Hire security guards
Sometimes having someone to physically guard your premises can really make your employees feel safe. If you use a security guard alongside barriers, gates and turnstiles, you can ensure only authorised personnel can enter.

4.    Enforce speed limits in staff car parks
The staff car park can be dangerous. If you do not have safety measures in place you could end up with injuries. Ensure you have designated areas for pedestrians which are clear to everyone. Make sure there is sufficient lighting so people can easily get to their cars during winter months. Enforce slow speed limits throughout the car parks using speed bumps and rising kerbs to support this.

Taking time to put some of these methods into practice can really benefit both your business and its employees in the long run. It not only protects your businesses’ valuable items or any sensitive data, it also prevents any serious accidents and increases employee happiness and productivity. Being a company known for having the safety of their employees as a number one priority will also build confidence and trust in your business.

To find out more about what security measures you can put into place for your employees’ safety, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no obligation and feasibility survey to assess your perimeter security equipment.

Keeping staff carparks safe and secure

SONY DSCHaving a staff car park is a great benefit for employees. However, having somewhere for them to park their car is not enough. You need to ensure you have undertaken as many preventative and safety measures as possible to ensure that the cars and staff always remain safe, as well as your employees and visitors. If staff do not believe their car and possessions will be safe whilst at work, this will adversely affect productivity and staff happiness. Here we discuss 9 ways you can make your staff car parks as safe as possible, ensuring staff happiness.

Under the Health and Safety at work Act 1974 and subsequent legislation, car park owners and operators are fully responsible for the safety of car parks. This includes employers.

1.    Sufficient Signposting
The car parks should be clearly signed throughout. You need to highlight any areas staff cannot park, which areas are for visitors only and have a low speed limit enforced at all times. In addition to this, you should have pedestrian crossings where necessary and pedestrian access only areas.

2.    Bollards
Bollards are a great way to separate pedestrian and driving areas. Knowing the cars cannot enter certain areas will provide peace of mind to the pedestrians and help guide cars in the right direction. During winter months as well, you can use the areas marked out by the bollards to indicate to pedestrians which routes are best to work on to avoid slippery surfaces.

3.    Speed ramps
Having a slow speed restriction sometimes is not enough. Pairing this with speed ramps can really help make the car park more secure. When staff are entering and exiting the car park at the same time each day, there is a higher chance of collisions or accidents taking place. Ensuring cars are moving around the car park slowly and responsibly helps reduce this risk significantly.

4.    Space
Careful planning of the car park needs to happen. You must ensure you have enough room for all cars whilst also ensuring there is enough space for manoeuvring. In addition to this, you need to ensure that any areas that delivery vans need to access or any emergency exits are kept clear at all times.

5.    CCTV
Especially during winter months when many people come to work and leave work in the dark, CCTV equipment can really help make the car park more secure, especially from the employees’ point of view.

6.    Barriers
Using barriers to the carpark is recommended as it can help make the car park more secure and will ensure only authorized personnel can park their car. Although automatic barriers accessed by the employees is possible, another option is to hire a security guard to ensure the barriers are always working, to allow entry to authorised people only and can also greet visitors as well as acting as a deterrent. Barriers are also great to avoid people thinking they can park there for free when they are not employees. This is especially important the closer to cities and built up areas you are.

7.    Height Restrictors
If you only have a small car park which cannot accommodate large delivery vans, then a height restrictor could be something you should consider installing. This will stop larger vehicles entering the carpark and potentially blocking other cars or even causing damage if there is not sufficient room.

8.    Control Access Equipment
To create an even more secure car park, you could use Access Control Equipment at the gates and your work building itself. This double layer of security ensures only people with authorization can enter the car park and the workplace.

9.    Lighting
Always ensure the car park has sufficient lighting. This allows pedestrians to be easily visible by drivers as well as allow people to walk safely back to their cars during winter months.

Although you may not see it as directly related, studies have shown that a good, secure staff car park will lead to happier, more productive staff as they do not dread coming to work because of fear they will struggle to park. If they do struggle to park, they are more likely to arrive to work frustrated which will impact their performance.

To find out more about you can secure your staff car park, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no obligation and feasibility survey to assess your perimeter security equipment.