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How to ensure your personal safety when your business alarm is activated out of hours

Written by Sean Pennington, National Mobile Manager

How often do you get to the end of the day (or week), lock up and head home without giving the security of your business a second thought? After all, you’ve checked all the windows were shut, set the alarm and locked the door so it’s safe as houses right? Unfortunately not. Even the most securely locked premises are at risk when they’re unmanned. 

If you’re the person responsible for security and your alarms are activated out of hours, have you really considered your responsibilities? Will you have to visit your premises to determine exactly why the alarms are sounding?  And if so, what will you find when you get there?  In this blog we look at several possibilities for alarms being activated out of hours.  While it could be something as minor and trivial as a sudden gust of wind activating a sensor, it could also easily be something sinister and potentially dangerous.  You’ll need to have a plan in place for both.

Adverse weather conditions and flooding 

Climate change has resulted in abnormal weather patterns. Increased levels of rainfall, flood damage, and gale force winds all bring their own risks to property and can activate alarms in doing so.

Flooding can easily affect electrical circuits, cause drainage and sewerage systems to overflow and result in significant structural damage.  Similarly, adverse weather conditions can lead to burst pipes and unwanted rodents seeking refuge.

Fire

Although the majority of fires within commercial premises occur as a result of faulty electrics or overloading of circuits, unmanned properties are vulnerable to arson attacks. Fires can spread incredibly quickly, cause major damage and have severe financial repercussions.  It’s vital to respond to the threat of fire immediately.

Squatters

Unwanted intruders or squatters could easily activate alarms while gaining entry to your premises.  Having squatters in your premises leads to a range of issues, including criminal damage and theft - as well as the likelihood of exhibiting challenging behaviour if confronted.  Could you deal with this?     
Are you putting either yourself or your staff at risk?

Responding to out of hours alarm activation may bring its own dangers to personal safety. Questions you ought to ask in determining the risk here include:

  • Is your premises in an isolated area?  
  • Is it close to pubs, clubs or areas where large numbers of people may congregate?  
  • Do you consider the area safe enough to visit unaccompanied in the middle of the night? 

Health and Safety is an important element to bear in mind here.  Employers have a duty of care towards the health, safety, security and wellbeing of members of staff and legislation such as the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 must be fully complied with.

What can you do to mitigate risks and ensure staff are protected?

One of the best ways of mitigating the risks of attending out of hours alarm activations is to outsource to a third party provider. Such providers are trained to deal with the worst potential outcomes of an alarm activation and will liaise with key personnel within your business and external agencies (such as the police) when an alarm activation requires it. We'll also board up your property if there has been damage done - whether as a result of adverse weather conditions, or malicious intent. Combining alarm response services with regular mobile patrols of your premises also reduces the risk that your premises becomes a target for the unscrupulous.

We at Kingdom believe the peace of mind, reassurance and convenience of our comprehensive response solutions are priceless in comparison to the disadvantages, risks, inconvenience and stress involved in having to personally respond to out of hours alarm calls. We have many years of experience in providing an extensive key holding and emergency response service for a range of public and private sector organisations including government institutions, housing authority stock, commercial enterprises and manufacturing outlets.  It’s a completely bespoke offering, geared to your individual level of risk, size and the complexity of your premises. For more information, take a look at our keyholding and emergency response webpage or call 01744 815936 option 2.

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