Unless your business runs 24/7, there will be workers tasked with locking up at the end of the working day.
Some people see this as a chore to be carried out as quickly as possible. This attitude, however, fails to understand the possibility of something being overlooked, leading to a fire, burglary, water damage or another destructive incident.
Key actions for closing time
Make sure you have appointed a sufficient number of trained, dependable, competent workers to thoroughly check the buildings and grounds before they are left unattended. Record the training provided.
- Support this by providing a checklist, tailored to the needs of your business and premises.
- For safety and security reasons, avoid having one person lock up on their own.
Assign an employee to tell security staff if anyone is going to be there after hours, and to pass on any relevant information regarding the safety and security of the site.
Discourage using lifts after the end of the normal working day, even if they have emergency telephones with an off-site contact.
Ensure it’s not possible for someone to be accidentally locked inside a building (and not able to get out).
Confirm that, if you have an intruder alarm or remotely monitored fire detection systems, all members of your staff involved in securing the premises have received training on common causes of false alarms, so that they can be aware of these when making their checks.
Provide secure internal areas where attractive goods or materials and portable equipment can be secured outside business hours.
Take care with important keys. If they can’t be removed from the premises, make sure they’re locked in a suitable safe or high grade security key cabinet.
Keys for safes need to be removed from site when the premises are closed for business. Similarly, in motor trade premises, don’t keep the keys to gates and security posts in the same safe or key cabinet as any vehicle keys.
Put procedures in place ensuring any chemicals, flammable liquids or similar hazardous materials used in the workplace are put away in safe storage areas before the end of the day.
Avoid leaving vulnerable goods and materials on the floor that could be damaged by water in the event of a burst water pipe, storm or flood. Make sure that such goods are returned to shelves or placed on pallets or similar.
Have procedures in place to prevent faulty equipment being used the next day by someone who isn’t aware of the problem.
Make sure the grounds, yards, car parks, etc. have sufficient lighting so people can move around safely when its dark and check regularly for slip and trip hazards, such as uneven or unstable surfaces and pot holes.
Make certain that, if building or other works have been in progress during the day which meant that fire alarm detectors or other fire safety equipment had to be isolated, covered up or otherwise impaired, there’s a procedure in place that will restore the system or equipment as soon as it’s safe to do so.
Check for signs of fire or smoke (where safe to do so) in areas where hot work (i.e. welding) has taken place, as well as each room adjoining, above and below it. Make sure this is done when the work ends and at intervals afterwards – for at least one hour after. A formal hot work permit system is recommended to control this type of activity.
- If you have machines, equipment or processes running and operating while there’s no assigned competent person on the premises, ensure your insurance brokers are aware of this so they can discuss this fact with the relevant insurance companies.
There are various products and services available via our preferred supplier scheme for Allianz Commercial policyholders that can prove useful for the everyday tasks that are required to safeguard your business.