7 Security Measures for Schools

School Slow Traffic Warning SignWhilst schools are a place of learning, they are also at risk of potential crimes and therefore robust security measures need to be put in place. Here, we discuss 7 security measures for schools. 

Have access control 

Access control measures are a great way to ensure the flow of people into the school is limited. Having keypads at entrances to buildings that require a pin code or an ID badge can help keep track of who is in a building at any one time. Access control cards can also be assigned to students as well as staff. This will create even greater control of who is on-site at any given moment.

Use signs effectively 

It has been proven that barriers, gates, and other perimeter security measures can be complemented with the effective use of signs. These signs can be used to not only deter criminals (For example, by installing signs that state CCTV cameras are in action on-site) but, can also highlight exits in cases of emergency, keeping everyone safe and aware of what to do in an emergency.

Ensure the perimeter is secure 

It is vital that the entire perimeter of a school is protected. Perimeter security measures such as barriers, gates, and turnstiles can all be used effectively to ensure there are no easy access points. Assess the perimeter on a regular basis to check there are do damaged areas to the perimeter. For example, check for any holes in fences or any weak points that need to be repaired. 

Try and install metal gates and fences where possible as although they are more costly, they will last longer when properly maintained.

Consider having a gated entrance, ideally one that requires keypad or swipe card entry. Although during peak times such as the start or end of the day, the gate may have to be left open, having the added gate protection can help staff feel safe when they are leaving work after the children have gone home.

Although securing the perimeter is vital, whatever is installed needs to be able to unlock in case of emergencies when an alarm is triggered, so bear this in mind.

CCTV

Install CCTV in key areas, for example where high-value items such as computers and money are kept. Having this extra layer of security helps protect the higher risk areas. Although the CCTV footage may not be reviewed regularly, it is invaluable to consult after an incident such as theft, fires or vandalism. 

Keep track of visitors 

Ensure all visitors naturally have to walk past the reception of the school. Try and limit the places on the school grounds that a visitor can access without temporary access cards. Keeping access limited will help stop unauthorised personnel from being able to wander around the school site.

Install security lighting 

During the colder, darker months, it is always a good idea to install security lighting through the site. Especially near playgrounds and footpaths to ensure accidents and trips are avoided and the staff and students feel safe walking around outside.

Carry out regular risk assessments

Security requirements will inevitably change over time. More security solutions will be available and the needs of the school may alter. Therefore, you should assign someone to be in charge of assessing the site. Alternatively, you can hire a security company to come in to carry out the risk assessment. The benefit of using someone external is the fresh eyes and new perspective they can provide.

Enforcing these measures will help create a safe environment that will benefit the staff and students alike. By have strictly enforced security measures like the ones discussed above ensures that learning can take place without being disruptive, there is higher morale, less cost in the long run as theft and other criminal damage will be reduced. In addition to this, schools that can be clearly seen putting safety as a key priority will gain a great reputation which will benefit the school for years to come.

What's Next? 

For more information on how Gateway Automation can help keep your premises secure, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no-obligation quotation and feasibility survey to assess your perimeter security equipment. 

7 Ways to improve business security

gateway blog 84No matter if your business site is small or large, there are many security risks a company may face. Although the type of risk can depend heavily on a business’s location, size or even industry,  it is imperative that all companies are prepared for these risks and have a plan in place. Here are 7 ways to improve business security. 

Assign someone to be responsible for the security 

The person you choose must be someone in the organisation that is trustworthy and can handle the responsibility. Although they do not need to be an expert in all aspect of security, they need to be able to oversee it. This role could encompass tasks like being the point of contact for security installers, being responsible for ensuring the security equipment is maintained, be responsible for updating key-holder information, etc. 

Have a maintenance plan 

A company may have a robust security system in place, however, if it is not maintained, it will not be working at its best. Ensure you have a maintenance plan in place to ensure the security remains as robust as possible. For example, if you have security gates and barriers installed, it is vital they are serviced regularly. Otherwise, they could cause a significant security breach.

Having a maintenance plan with the original installer can help guarantee your security stays in top condition as they will have the extensive experience of the equipment and will have a lot of experience with fixing their own products. 

They will be able to ensure the systems are up to date and address any repair issues quickly as they are familiar with the products.

Do regular site checks 

It is important to do regular site checks, especially if the site is large. This is so any changes to the site can be addressed. These changes could require more security or highlight the need for some repair work. For example, cars may be parked too close to perimeter fencing which can make it easier for people to gain access. There could be holes in the fencing or CCTV cameras could be blocked by a building or overgrown foliage. The list is endless. If the site checks are done regularly, you can report any changes to your security company and the problem can be rectified quickly.
 
Make seasonal changes

As the seasons change, the security required may need to change as well. For example, once we get into late Autumn / Winter, the days are significantly shorter and the darker car parks may require more security lighting to ensure your staff remains safe. Having bollards installed can also help identify and protect pedestrian walkways which are extremely important when it’s snowing or icy.

Keep security details secret

Limit the number of people that know the details of the security system. You need to know exactly who knows what at all times. It can be surprisingly easy for passwords or other sensitive information to reach the wrong people. This is especially important when employees leave.

Assign key-holders with care

All companies need to have a certain number of key-holders depending on the work being carried out and the size of the site. Ensure you regularly review your list of key-holders and double-check their contact details. Not only do you need to choose responsible people, but you also need to ensure they are able to respond to any security breach alert in a timely and efficient manner.

Have access control installed 

Where possible, consider installing access control. If there are many people entering and exiting your site, it can soon become difficult to keep track. Having access control takes away some of the risks by ensuring only authorised personnel can enter the premises. The best part is that you can use access control to certain areas of a building as well. This means that each employee can only access the areas they need to carry out their day to day roles. Restricting access will help reduce the risk of unauthorised entry significantly. 

Following these tips can help make all the difference and improve the security of a business’ site tenfold. The best thing is, these tips can be implemented across all businesses from any sector and companies of all sizes. 

What's Next? 

For more information on how Gateway Automation can help keep your premises secure, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no-obligation quotation and feasibility survey to assess your perimeter security equipment. 

Top security mistakes that companies make

Security MistakesEven if a company has spent a lot of money and resources on its business security some common errors are still made. Here we discuss some of the top security mistakes which business owners should avoid where possible.
 
Not having a third party assess the security
 
Even if your company has an internal security team whose role it is to regularly assess the business’s security equipment, it is always wise to use a third party for a security assessment. This is because they arrive at the business with a completely fresh pair of eyes. This makes them more likely to spot potential weak areas in a business’ physical security because of this fresh perspective. Third parties are unbias and their opinion can be invaluable. They can raise questions that the internal team has never even considered because they are so used to how they currently work. Working alongside a third party team means that you benefit from both an internal and external viewpoint and they can work together to provide a robust security system.

Not having strict enough ID procedures

Although many companies have ID requirements to enter premises, it can be surprisingly easy for security measures to become lax over time. For example, security guards may let people through the gate without their ID if they recognise them. In many cases this wouldn’t cause any issues, it only takes one person to make a mistake. It may also be easier for unauthorised personnel to access a building during busy times of the day. This is why access control methods should be implemented. In addition to traditional ID, businesses should look into biometric readers that provide more accurate results. They could also consider installing turnstiles at entrances to avoid tailgating.

Not providing sufficient training 

It is imperative that your entire team understands the security measures in place in order for your security to be fully effective.  For example, would all members of staff know what to do if there was a security breach? Also, it is not enough to merely install as much security as possible. Although many think more is better, it is not necessarily the case. You must ensure that every piece of security equipment is being used correctly and using it to its full potential. All security team members should be fully trained in equipment so that all it’s features are being used with nothing underutilised. This makes it better value for money but also more effective in the long run.

Forgetting about internal security 

It is common for businesses to focus solely on the perimeter and external security as they assume threats will always come from outside the company. Unfortunately, this is an idealistic view and not always reality. In fact, many security breaches can happen internally from employees. People are on the premises for several hours a day and businesses must understand they can potentially cause a threat. In addition to a strong perimeter security strategy, businesses should also have a strong internal strategy as well. Not all members of staff need access to everything or everywhere. Ensure each individual only has the access they require to undertake their everyday role.

Businesses can also end up with weak areas in their internal security strategy as the business grows. Review on a regular basis to ensure the business’s assets and other members of staff remain safe.

Despite a strong security system in place, there are many security mistakes that companies can make. By noticing these potential mistakes you can create a security system that is as strong as it can be.

What's Next? 
For more information on how Gateway Automation can help keep your premises secure, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no-obligation quotation and feasibility survey to assess your perimeter security equipment. 

6 Ways to maintain access control

Finger scanner on the scanner glass by card.Installing access control is a simple concept and is simple to incorporate into your security system, however, a business must also maintain access control. Although they are extremely efficient and effective, a business needs to ensure that the access control equipment is maintained in order for it to fulfill its potential and provide the best level of security.

Here we discuss 6 ways to maintain access control:

Remove dirt build-ups

A build-up of dirt can severely impact your security. It can stop the card readers from working which can cause several issues and prevent anyone from entering the building. 

Back up your system

It is vital for your systems to be backed up on a regular basis. If there was a system failure, data could be lost and the access control system would not be able to be used until this data is reloaded. If there is no backup, the process of reloading could be substantial- as would the chaos it would cause. 

Update your system

Jus like system backups, ensuring your systems are up to date is equally as important. If you have the system connected to the internet, it shouldn’t take long to update remotely. If not the process will have to be done locally.

Conduct Emergency testing 

Regular tests need to be done on the systems to recreate a real-life emergency scenario. If the fire alarm goes off, for example, your system needs to be working correctly. Tests need to be done to ensure they automatically unlock and no one is at risk of being trapped in the building. 

Keep your information up to date 

When an employee leaves, you must ensure their information is removed from the system and if necessary, pin codes changed. Disable any access cards or fobs that have had a large period of non-use as well.

Be careful with keypads

A maintenance task that can often be overlooked is cleaning the keypads for access control. Fingerprints can often be seen on the digits that make up the code. If the code is only a few digits long, the combinations are not that endless. For example, if the keypad code is only 4 digits, there are only a total of 24 combinations. If an intruder can see what these 4 digits are, they could work through these combinations.

There is a lot more to maintaining an access control system than just seeing if the door opens when you enter the correct code or provide your ID card. However, having these checks booked regularly can provide you with the peace of mind that the security is working at its best.

What's Next? 

For more information on how Gateway Automation can help keep your premises secure, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no-obligation quotation and feasibility survey to assess your perimeter security equipment. 

5 Ways to Protect Your Business from Internal Crime

Internal CrimeUnfortunately, a significant number of reported fraud or thefts from companies comes from an internal source. When hiring, it is important that not only can the successful candidate carry out their job but they are honest and trustworthy. Although internal crime does not impact every business, all businesses should implement ways to protect their business from internal crime. Here, we discuss some of the most effective methods 

Check that your physical security is sufficient 

Carry out regular checks that your physical security is up to scratch. Even if you have robust barriers and gates to form your perimeter security will not help the threat of internal crime. Therefore, you need to consider additional physical security measures that complement the perimeter measures. For example, use CCTV cameras where possible and other surveillance methods. Even the fact that the CCTV is in place can sometimes be enough to deter any crime. 

Have strict access policies 

Only allow employees access to data and areas that are directly related to their job role. If they do not need to enter a certain part of the building in order to carry out their daily tasks, then they do not need to be granted access.  

Ensure your building is maintained  

You need to ensure that your business’ premises are maintained correctly. Doing so not only makes the business look more professional and clean, it helps keep everything in order and easier to keep on top of. This is especially important for those businesses that have a lot of equipment, devices and stock. Not having them tidy and in an organised manner can lead to problems as it could mean you are unaware if things start going missing. If you have a robust and accurate system, you can avoid any internal theft. If the theft still occurred, you would be in a better position to realise quickly and sort out the security breach.

Have strong policies in place 

When it comes to protecting a company’s assets, both physical and data, then companies should ensure that they have detailed and robust policies in place. A major policy that companies should have is a BYOD (bring your own device) policy. In recent years, it is becoming increasingly popular for members of staff to use their own laptops and mobiles to carry out their work. Although this is convenient for the member of staff, it can cause a significant headache for a business. A BYOD policy states what is and issues allowed along with property guidance for best practices. Having these policies ensure that all members of staff are aware of the risks.

Train Staff 

Having policies in place is not enough. Although you can make employees read the policies, you have no control over how much of the information they are taking in. Therefore, employers should provide their staff with regular training. This training can go through the policies, warn employees the impact any internal crime will have, and let them know what they should do if they have any suspicions about other members of staff. Ensuring these training sessions are regular, set out thorough procedures and ensure staff know who they can speak to regarding any issues can all go a long way to a more secure and safe environment. 

What's Next?

For more information on how Gateway Automation can help keep your premises secure, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no-obligation quotation and feasibility survey to assess your perimeter security equipment.

Tips on Boosting Your Physical Security

Boosting Physical SecurityBusiness security needs to be at the top of the list for companies, both in terms of physical and cyber levels. Here we share some tips on boosting your businesses physical security and how it can help make the company's overall security more robust.

Device Inventory  

When it comes to cybersecurity and data protection, physical security is not always considered. However, it is just as important as a preventative measure. Businesses should keep an inventory of all the devices that contact company data. Ensuring you have this physical check-in place will allow you to keep control of the devices, learn immediately if there has been a theft and deal with it accordingly. Knowing who has what device and with what information can help damage limitation. 

Limit access to certain areas 

 It is important that members of staff do not automatically have access to all areas of the business if it does not directly relate to their job. Rooms that should only be accessed by certain members of staff should be out of bounds to other employees. There is a myriad of physical security options to achieve this. Barriers, turnstiles, and keypads are all effective ways to achieve this. 

Go one step further with biometrics 

Businesses should also consider the use of biometrics. Used alongside the traditional physical security measures, you can have peace of mind that only authorised people are entering certain areas of your business. Biometric keypads, for example, will only work for that individual, meaning no intruders can enter.  

Have sufficient security documents 

A business’ security efforts can sometimes be wasted if they are not used properly. Always train staff sufficiently on all aspects of business security through training sessions and security documents and policies. If employees are not trained correctly they may be putting the business and others at risk, potentially not even realising they are doing so. Ensure security documentation covers at least the following: 

- Door locking process and times 

- Who has what access 

- Who manages security 

- Password policy  

- Visitor Access policy and procedure 

Always update these documents regularly and hold a training session with employees ideally once a month as security methods will continue to change and people need updating. 

As you can see, these tips can help businesses improve their overall security. By using physical security, the premises are not only secure but the company’s data as well. It only takes one breach of security to severely affect a busy. Using these tips can help a company get started on ensuring their premises and data remain as secure as possible. 

What's Next? 

For more information on how Gateway Automation can help keep your premises secure, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no-obligation quotation and feasibility survey to assess your perimeter security equipment. 

Automatic Security Gates- How to Choose

Choosing automated gatesWhen it comes to automatic security gates, there is a lot to choose from. To ensure you are making the best decision for your business premises, it is vital that you ask yourself the following questions. Once you have the answers to these questions, you will be happy knowing that you have perimeter security that will suit your exact business needs. 

What is the current traffic level of your site?
Start off by asking yourself how many people are currently exiting and leaving your site and how regularly they are doing so in a 24 hour period. Consider the figures for both off-peak and on-peak times so that you get an accurate number to work with. 

Is this level of traffic likely to increase in the future?
If one of your business goals is to grow, then you will need to consider how this will impact the level of traffic on the site. If you are spending money on the investment of automatic gates, then you should think ahead to ensure they can cope with future levels of traffic. This saves you having to replace the gates a short time down the line. 

How do people access your site?
Is the entrance where you are wanting the place the automatic gates the only entrance to the site? Are people only arriving in vehicles or will there be some people arriving on foot? If the latter is true, then consider whether you should have turnstiles installed alongside the gate for easy pedestrian access and safety.

What style is the property?
Although the most important aspect of an automatic gate is that it provides sufficient security, it is also key to consider how the gate will look aesthetically. You need to ensure that the gate matches the style of the building and doesn’t look out of place. The exterior of a building is what makes the first impression for building, therefore the look of the gate is just as important as it needs to complement the rest of the site.

Do you want the gate to swing or slide?
Both are a popular option but often depend on personal preference and the specific site in question. Swinging gates obviously take up a lot more space, so you need to ensure you have this space available. If you do not, then sliding gates will be better. Whichever you decide, you need to ensure there is enough room for vehicles to fit through. Be especially considerate if you need delivery trucks and vans to fit through. The decision will also depend on what your traffic flow is like. If you need the gates to open on a regular basis, then discuss with your provider how quick each type of gate takes to open and close as this will aid the decision.

Do you need access control?
A great way to enhance your automatic gate is to install access control equipment as it adds an additional layer to your security. You can use keypads for entry to voice or video intercoms. This decision ultimately depends on your needs and your budget but it is still an important thing to consider.

How will you maintain your gates?
Having your security gates installed is only half of it. To ensure they remain in peak condition and provide you with robust security for a longer period, you will need to have the gates maintained on a regular basis. Choosing a manufacturer and installer that also offers servicing and maintenance gives you peace of mind that the automatic gates will be kept working correctly.

Automatic security gates help ensure that your business site remains secure and gives you full control on who is entering or exiting the premises. The questions above are just a few things that you should bear in mind. Thinking about these considerations can help you decide exactly which gates are suitable for the site, leaving you with peace of mind that your site will remain secure and protected from vandalism, theft and more.

What's Next?
For more information on how Gateway Automation can help keep your premises secure, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no-obligation quotation and feasibility survey to assess your perimeter security equipment.