Perimeters and building defences

Most businesses want their premises to give a good impression and may have been designed to entice customers, with products and eye-catching advertising on display.

Unfortunately, these efforts can also draw in thieves, arsonists and squatters, so approach it by putting security (and safety) before attractive aesthetics.

Measures required for each site will be unique – there may be limitations to what’s possible. For example, you can’t put a fence up on the pavement in front of a mid-terrace high street shop. On the other hand, additional measures may be needed if a specific vulnerability is identified, such as being located on an out-of-town industrial estate that is largely deserted at night, or where there is a high risk associated with unauthorised vehicles getting on the site.

Various types of perimeter and building defences are outlined below, but this isn’t an exhaustive list of what can or should be put in place.

  • Take a comprehensive approach to planning and installing security measures around your premises. For instance, there’s very little point in having a robust door when there’s a window that can be easily broken and climbed through.
  • Establish what permissions, if any, you might need to install or alter security measures – for example, you may need to consult with the local authority to ensure safety of the public and environment

    - You should check with neighbouring property owners before putting up installations along your site border, such as fence toppings that might overhang onto their land, or positioning detection devices that could potentially pick up images or sounds from their premises.
  • Get a number of quotes from reputable companies, ideally ones who are appointed installers for manufacturers and they’re registered with relevant industry bodies – try to see completed examples of their work (ideally of the type you are considering), along with testimonials.
  • Review and update your fire and health and safety risk assessments whenever your security measures change, or when planning for improvements or alterations to the systems and installations in place.

    - Have regard for legislative requirements in relation to life safety, e.g. Building Regulations and the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act.
Find information on regulations that you and your business may need to comply with.
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These risk topics should be considered alongside plans to develop perimeter and building defences: