You’ve invested a great deal of time, energy and money in your business premises and want to protect your livelihood as best you can. That said, burglars are cunning and make it their business to find ways to gain entry to your premises. But rest assured, we’ve got lots of advice on how to deter them.

Protect your business from the outside in

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1. A well-maintained exterior free of rubbish and graffiti will reduce the likelihood of your business being targeted by criminals. So try to remove any graffiti. If any appears on a nearby wall or structure, call the local council who will send their specialist team.

2. Identify areas that may be vulnerable to forced entry and have them made more secure.

3. Make sure any service doors are locked and secure when not in use.

4. Make sure you have a monitored alarm and that it’s fully operational. For advice and approved suppliers of alarms and CCTV, visit the National Security Inspectorate and the Security Systems Alarms Inspection Board.

5. Make sure your CCTV is operational, provides facial recognition as well as good quality images and covers any vulnerable areas. 24-hour digital CCTV is also highly recommended.

6. Make sure that wheelie bins are stored away as these can be climbed on to gain access to the building, especially via the first floor.

7. Make sure there is sufficient lighting around the premises, especially loading areas.

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8. Consider moving high-value goods away from display windows overnight.

9. Prune any overgrown bushes or nearby trees, as they can provide cover for anyone trying to hide from view.

10. Doors and windows are particularly vulnerable – use security-rated products to make them more burglar-resistant. For more details visit Secure by Design.

11. External shutters, although effective, may require planning approval. Use attack-resistant laminated glass in sturdy frames where possible. Alternatively, film can be applied to glass to make it more resilient.

12. Anti-ram raider bollards mounted externally can be used to protect frontages but may require planning approval.

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13. Try not to keep cash on the premises and always use a bolted-down safe with a time lock and anti-tamper sensors that trigger an alarm.

14. Make sure stockrooms are locked and, where possible, keep stock out of sight.

15. Smoke-generating devices that activate on unauthorised entry create a smokescreen and foil burglary. They're designed not to damage stock.

16. Make sure your keys are not left on the premises and that only designated staff have access. In case of emergency, make sure there’s a list of keyholders who can be contacted.

Online security

Your digital assets are just as much at risk as your physical ones. That’s why you need to protect them, especially if you’re a small business with everything on a laptop. For more advice on how to back up your electronic data and stay safe from online fraud, visit the London Digital Security Centre and our page on ecommerce, online and telephone fraud