A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and this also applies to the security of your home or business. Security surveys are crucial during the installation and maintenance of a security system, since they can identify potential weak links in the chain, and alert owners to potential threats so that remedial action can be taken before it’s too late.
What is a security survey?
A security survey is simply an inspection by a qualified inspector of your home or business premises, to take stock of valuable assets, isolate threats and potential threats to the security of your home or business and to ensure that your security system is functioning in top form.
These surveys can take from as little as half an hour to the better part of an afternoon, depending on the size and scope of the survey. Whether you’ve just installed a burglar alarm system, or require yearly or semi-yearly inspections, security surveys are the best way to protect your property and assets from unwanted intrusion such as burglary.
Why you need a security survey
Homeowners should request a security survey on at least two occasions: when they first move into a new home and install a new burglar alarm system, and; every six months to every year to ensure that the alarm system functions properly. Ordinary burglars may be deterred from attempting burglary when an alarm system is present, but a savvy (or extremely patient) burglar can identify flaws and circumvent alarm systems over time. Security surveys can prompt reprogramming or calibration of alarm systems, so that burglars will be discouraged from attempting burglary altogether.
Business owners also stand to benefit from security surveys, no matter whether they’re located in a residential neighbourhood or on a high street. Businesses without a robust security system can be attractive to thieves and burglars alike, given that valuable assets can be accessed whilst the business is closed and the owners are away or sound asleep on the premises.
Whatever the case, you need a security survey to reduce and minimise the cost of any damage or theft, to keep inhabitants or employees safe, and to have peace of mind after the doors have been closed for the night.
What to look for in a security survey
Security surveys should always include an assessment and analysis of your existing alarm system, but there are many other considerations that may not immediately come to mind, such as:
- Lighting: is the property sufficiently well-lit? If so, do your lights dim in the evening or are there dark corners whereby a burglar can attempt to enter unseen?
- Doors and Windows: assuming your doors and windows are equipped with locks as they should be, are the locks of sufficient quality? Are the locks changed regularly (i.e. after employees are terminated or after a tenant has vacated a flat)?
- Cameras: does your property require CCTV monitoring? If so, is the connection to your television or PC functioning as intended and is the sight triangle sufficient to see what’s going on at all times?
- Valuable assets: where do you keep your valuables? Should a burglar enter, will they be able to quickly grab your valuables and leave, or have you taken precautions to safeguard them in such an event?
- Security marking: do your goods/products/valuables require marking in the event of theft? Second-hand black markets for ill-gotten goods can be lucrative, and it can be difficult for police to track down, recover and return assets if they haven’t been marked.
- Garages and sheds: gardening tools, pliers, and other such equipment usually belong in a shed, but they can also be used to break into your home or business. Ensure that all such tools are under lock and key or are out of sight.
- Gardens and/or fencing: gardens and fences create natural barriers that can deter burglars and thieves. Although fences can often be climbed with ease, doing so will often make enough noise to alert neighbours.
How security surveys keep you safe
As with many products, burglar alarm systems range widely in terms of cost and quality, but generally, you get what you pay for. Buyer beware: even the best alarm system will do no good if you’ve neglected to install it properly, or if it leaves behind weak spots whereby burglars can enter unnoticed.
This is where security surveys pay dividends. With a short site visit, an inspector can take stock of your valuables, your existing alarm system, and the security needs of your property and provide bespoke solutions, as well as advice to enable you to make the best use of the alarm system you’ve got installed.
Furthermore, security surveys can provide ongoing quality of life maintenance for alarm systems, to ensure that they’re still working as intended years after installation as well as calibrating motion sensors, replacing or repairing lock and key systems, and much more.
Security survey checklist
A few things you may wish to look for during a security survey include:
- If you’ve got an audible alarm, is the sound appropriate for your neighbourhood?
- Is the alarm system prominently displayed so that burglars are deterred from attempting a burglary?
- Which alarm system(s) are approved by your insurance company?
- Is the alarm properly calibrated or is it sending false alarms?
- Is your property well-lit even at night?
- Are some lights left on at dark to give the impression that someone’s home?
- Do doors and windows have locks on them, and if so, do they meet British Standards?
- Is your door equipped with a ‘spy hole’ or other means of seeing out without being noticed?
- If you’re using CCTV or video cameras to monitor the premises, are they connected to your television, PC, or smartphone?
- Does your alarm system come with motion detection, and if so, can you be notified via smartphone whenever motion is detected?
- Are your valuables located far enough away from doors and windows?
- Are your valuables stored in a safe or other form of strongbox?
- Is your post able to be collected easily? It could be easy for thieves, too, leading to identity fraud.
- Are your valuables/products/goods securely marked for police identification? If they cannot easily be tagged, have them photographed for easy identification later.
- Is your garage or shed securely locked?
- Does your garage or shed have its own alarm system?
- Is your home surrounded by grass, soil, or gravel? Gravel is noisy and is thus a simple deterrent.
- Is your home or business surrounded by a fence or other form of barrier?
- Is someone (i.e. neighbour, friend) responsible for looking after your property whilst you’re away?
- Have you notified any strangers that you’re going on holiday? This could encourage burglary whilst you’re away.
- Has your business experienced high employee turnover? This could mean that ex-employees have the opportunity to copy keys and enter the property.
These questions come directly from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Home Security Survey Self-Assessment Checklist, and make for a good start to a thorough home or business security survey.
How locksmiths can help with security surveys
Locksmiths in the UK are capable of assisting homeowners and business owners alike with the installation and maintenance of alarm systems, including the all-important security surveys that should accompany these tasks. Consequently, you should endeavour to find a locksmith in your postcode that is familiar with security surveys, and has the experience to understand what a burglar would potentially look for, and how to prevent burglary from happening.
Wherever you live in the UK, finding a quality locksmith near you doesn’t need to be time-consuming. Browse the online marketplace of reputable locksmiths at Rated Locksmiths to find a locksmith in your postcode. Our services include locksmiths familiar with alarm systems and security surveys to keep your home and business safe and sound.