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How You Can Reopen Safely On April 12th

On the 12th of April, it will finally be time for shops to open up again, however, it’s still a key priority to remain safe and healthy at all times. There are a range of measures that shops can put in place for reopening that will allow them to operate safely, from Covid-19 measures, to security.

Effective Covid-19 Measures Should Be In Place

Unfortunately, Covid-19 isn’t going anywhere, which means that shops and businesses must ensure they are still operating as safely as possible in regard to preventing spreading of the virus. This can be done in a range of ways including:

Distancing Marshals who can actively ensure that people are keeping a safe distance from each other and prevent too many people from entering the building all at once.

Signage on walls, at tills and on the floor that will help customers to understand where they can go, and where they should stand in queues to avoid getting to close to one another.

People flow systems that will help to count the number of people within the building and only let new people enter when there is sufficient space.

Security Should Remain A Focus

Whilst keeping customers safe from Covid-19 will be the main priority when reopening, security should still remain a focus for shops and high street businesses. Data has shown that anti-social crimes – including causing harm to others, causing damage, and getting rowdy – have been on the rise during the pandemic, and so it is extremely important to protect yourself against this increased likelihood of incidents occurring.

CCTV systems are one of the most effective ways to do so. They are able to record all areas of the building, and in turn will capture any event that may happen. Footage can then be used as evidence in order to justify the incident. CCTV cameras also act as a great visual deterrent, reducing the risk of something happening in the first place.

Security Guards are a physical measure to help deter, prevent and deal with any crime or anti-social behaviour. Professional security officers are able to work with shops to create an extremely safe environment, as they are able to deal with any incidents as soon as they occur, often preventing situations from escalating.

What’s more is that they can act as social distancing marshals too, fulfilling two important roles – shop security and Covid-19 protection.

By implementing effective measures like those outlined in this article, shops and high street businesses can remain secure and Covid-safe when reopening on April 12th. Without additional action taken, these businesses are putting themselves at risk to losses due to crime, or fines for not behaving safely during a worldwide pandemic.

Key Holding & Alarm Response – Is your building secure over weekends and holidays?

With Easter Weekend and the school holidays coming up, it’s crucial that your school, college or building is safely secured. The way you can ensure this is by working with a company that can be entrusted to hold your keys and deal with alarm incidents.

Especially now in 2021, where the pandemic has fuelled criminal activity, putting vulnerable buildings at more risk than ever.

Besides safeguarding the keys, trained Response Officers will be the first to react whenever an alarm goes off within your building.

Reasons To Consider Key Holding:

Aegis Security offer affordable protection for your business

For less than £1 a day, you can use a professional key holding service that will assure you that they will be quick to respond and provide you with peace of mind. Any alarms, be they legitimate or false, will be dealt with professionally and effectively.

To secure your school over weekends, holidays, and other times when it could be useful, find out more about Aegis Security’s Key holding services today.

How K9 Dog Security Keeps Construction Sites Safe

Construction sites are often targeted for criminal activity in the UK, mainly for theft and vandalism. As there are often no security or prevention measures in place to deter unauthorised personnel, it makes these sites a popular target, with the UK construction industry losing over £800 million per year from theft and vandalism alone. Effective security measures, including K9 dog units, are a great way to reduce and even eliminate this risk in many circumstances.

 

Construction sites are a major security risk

The UK construction industry is a major target for theft and vandalism, due to the regularly unprotected access to materials, machinery and equipment. According to a survey carried out by the Chartered Institute of Building, around 92% of all construction sites suffer from some kind of theft, and over 2 million acts of vandalism are reported each year.

This drastically raises costs to construction companies in the form of damage repair costs, equipment replacement, increased insurance policies and even a loss of business resulting from serious incidents.

 

K9 Dog Handling will help to keep your construction site safe

Specialist security dog units who have been professionally trained are able to effectively deal with incidents on construction sites. Working in combination with alarm systems, K9 dog units can be dispatched rapidly after any alarm trip or sign that somebody has unlawfully accessed the site. Once they arrive, they will complete a full search of the site until they have established that no intruder is present.

If, however, there is a trespasser within the site perimeter, the K9 unit will be able to quickly detect and locate them. From there, security guards can detain the criminal until the police arrive to deal with them. Often, this rapid response will prevent the criminal escaping with any stolen goods or machinery, eliminating the large costs that they may have otherwise caused.

 

Aegis Security Can protect your construction site

At Aegis Security, we know how important it is for construction companies to be able to provide reliable, affordable services to their clients, which is only made harder by theft and vandalism. We can provide fully trained K9 units, along with a range of additional security measures that will help to keep your site safe and secure at all times.

Whether you would like security guards present during the day, CCTV cameras and alarm systems to cover the site at night, or K9 units that are ready around-the-clock to search and secure your perimeter, Aegis Security can provide you with highly trained, professional solutions that will minimise criminal activity and reduce the costs for your construction company.

5 New Security Technologies That Have Developed From The Pandemic

The pandemic has forced change to our lives in a great deal of ways and in how we operate on a daily basis. This has brought about the need for rapid changes in technology in order to continue living safely and as normally as possible. The security industry, like many others, has seen many new technologies develop as a result of Covid-19. Here, we’re going to take a look at five new security tech developments that have been fuelled by the pandemic.

 

Touchless Access Control Systems

Touchless access control first gained traction during the Ebola outbreak in 2013, in order to reduce the need for touching buttons or handles. The tech was fairly limited due to how new it was, but with the rise of Covid-19 came increased needs for such technology. As a result, touchless access control systems are now more useful and more effective than ever – they’ve been developed for use on doors, barriers, gates and even in elevators.

On top of their endless range of uses, usability issues have been improved to make them safer and more secure with manual override options and contactless key card and biometrics security.

 

Face Recognition With Built-in Mask Detection

Facial recognition detectors have become a popular method of access security thanks to their speed, ease of use and high level of secureness. However, with everyone now wearing face masks, it’s prevented many of these systems from working as effectively (without the need to remove masks), creating a new development in the technology.

There are now sensors that can use facial recognition, with masks on – allowing people to safely enter buildings with less risk of spreading germs. What’s more is that these sensors can detect whether or not somebody is wearing a mask and can deny them access if they are not following mask wearing rules.

 

Hybrid Surveillance & thermal camera systems

The use of thermal imaging cameras has increased during the pandemic as they have been a useful way to check body temperatures of those entering the building. Thanks to this, thermal imaging and CCTV technology is improving rapidly, with some solutions combining the two for ultimate surveillance.

The most recent thermal imaging IP camera systems can utilise regular HD video recording during the day, and advanced thermal imaging at night that allows the camera to see in total darkness. Due to their high thermal sensitivity, they can see through rain, fog and snow, and even offer early fire detection that could help to save lives.

 

WIFI Occupancy Monitoring For Social Distancing

Social distancing and people flow have become important focuses when monitoring buildings since the outbreak of Covid-19. New developments can now use sensors to measure real-time occupancy, using Wi-Fi probes from mobile devices.

The sensors can then measure the presence and flow of people in a given space, with the ability to notify team members when numbers exceed what is allowed. The range of the sensors can fit to almost any sized area up to 300,000 square feet.

 

Advanced Video Analytics Software

New advanced video analytics software, like that from BriefCam, now allows for in-depth remote video review by security professionals. This is hugely beneficial during the pandemic as it allows for quick, effective CCTV response with less need for security staff to congregate. With a huge range of features, including multi-camera search, face recognition, real-time alerts, and one-click case creation, the software greatly improves CCTV system efficiency.

What’s more is that the software allows users to extract quantifiable and qualitative data, such as the number of men, women, children and cars, or the size and colour of the vehicles. This allows for deeper security analysis and can improve the effectiveness of standard CCTV systems.

 

As a result of Covid-19, many changes have come about quickly, including in the security industry. We’ve gone through just a few of the tech developments but there are many others that we’ve seen as a result of recent events. What do you think of the new tech that we’re starting to see? Are you optimistic that they will bring about positive change to security as a whole?

Facilities Management Tips For Reducing Costs

As a business, you’re always looking to cut costs wherever possible, especially in times like these where saving has become even more important. One way to reduce costs is by optimising your facility to require less heating and energy costs. Let’s take a look at a few ways to do so.

 

Switch to LEDs

Lighting is a huge cost for any business with a building, as they usually need to remain on for the duration of the workday and because the sheer quantity needed to light a large area. In fact, lighting can account for up to 40% of all electricity costs for some businesses!

If your business doesn’t yet use LED bulbs in all lighting fixtures, you should strongly consider making the switch – LEDs save up to 86% on electricity costs over an older filament bulb. On top of that, they will typically last around 50 times longer than a filament bulb, meaning you won’t have to replace them as often.

Upgrade your windows

Another effective way to reduce your longer-term building costs as a business is to ensure that all windows are updated and provide you with maximum efficiency. Although they may seem like a minor issue that’s not worth spending money on, having newer double-glazed windows can save you hundreds if not thousands of pounds per year (depending on the size of your business) in energy costs.

Modern windows are double-glazed and will often come with a “window film” coating that will further reduce heat loss. If all windows are new and efficient, then your building will remain warmer, whilst spending less to heat it as the warm air will remain inside for much longer.

Check your roofing

The roof of your building is another way in which energy efficiency can be drastically worsened, or improved. There are several ways in which a good quality, new roof will keep your building extremely well insulated. As your roof ages, it will lose these abilities and will in turn cost your business more.

Whether it’s insulation within the roof becoming old and less efficient, roof ventilation becoming blocked, or roof shingles being outdated and less efficient at keeping out wind, an old roof will cost your business considerable amounts in energy costs. By getting your roof upgraded or replaced entirely, you’ll save lots in the long run.

Seal your air ducts

Air ducts are what transport air from your HVAC system all around your building. Over time, they experience a lot of stress and pressure causing them to slowly wear out. In particular, the sealing can become damaged or come loose, allowing air to leak.

Having air ducts resealed so that no air escapes has been shown to reduce HVAC energy consumption costs by up to 20%. Not only will you reduce costs but you’ll be able to heat or cool your building much more effectively in future.

 

If you require any Facilities Management services to help you upgrade your facility and reduce your costs in the long run, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

How to keep your business’s data secure in 2021

Your data is one of the most important aspects to your business, especially in 2021 with so many digital aspects and software being a part of every organisation. Unfortunately, with that, the likelihood of data breaches is constantly increasing, so businesses must do ever more to protect their data. Here are a few ways to step up your security, both physical and cyber, in order to keep your business’s digital brain safe and secure.

 

Physical security

There are a range of physical security measures that businesses can put in place that will prevent any unauthorised access to servers or computers that might be holding confidential information.

General Building Security

The first measure to take is to make sure your building’s external security is up to date and effective. This includes testing or installing CCTV systems, implementing security guards and using smart locks on all entrances to the building.

By doing this, you’ll make it very difficult for unauthorised personnel to even enter the premise, let alone breach any data!

Server Room Security

Another physical measure that you can implement to keep your business data secure is to add server room security, including things like locks and CCTV monitoring.

Adding a smart lock system for entry to your server room can prevent people from entering who shouldn’t, as well as alerting any breaches or failed attempts to gain entry.

Server Rack Locking

Just as it sounds, server rack locking is when you lock access to the individual server racks within your server room. This provides yet another layer that will make it that much harder to access.

To lock your server racks, you can use secure cabinets with either a standard physical padlock, or by using a smart lock system that requires either a fingerprint or ID card to allow access.

By using a combination of all of these security measures, you’ll create a layered system that will be extremely hard to breach. This can also be applied to any other secure areas that your business may have.

 

Cyber Security

Data and software can’t just be secured with physical methods – it requires layers of cyber security too. By using both in combination, you’ll ensure that all important digital information is kept completely secure at all times. Here are some cyber security measures you can take:

Staff training

Especially in times when many staff members are working from home, it’s very important that staff are trained to protect online details. This includes training them on how to login and logout effectively, which cyber security programs to use and how to write secure passwords.

Regular updates to password protection

Passwords are what keep people from accessing certain areas, so the weaker they are, the more likely it is for unauthorised people to be able to access those areas. By regularly updating passwords and the software that uses them, you’ll make unauthorised access very difficult.

All passwords should be random and secure so that they are harder to guess or stumble upon.

Layered security

Finally, a simple yet effective method of preventing access to precious business data is to layer your cyber security. This means that you create individual areas for different steps of the access path, each one with a separate login.

This means that anyone who wants to access your data will have to break 3 or 4 layers and passwords, instead of only 1 or 2.

 

By using a combination of all of these tips, your business can maintain a high level of protection for all business data and online information. In an age when cyber-crime is at an all-time high, it should remain a priority for all businesses.

Keeping Your Business Safe In The Next Lockdown

It’s that time again – businesses will have to adjust to the rules of yet another lockdown. Buildings and offices are likely to be empty, upping the need for effective remote monitoring and security deterrence. Those businesses who continue to work will need to reinstate effective Covid-19 measures to make sure they’re operating safely. Let’s take a look at what businesses can do to stay safe, no matter what.

Why do businesses need to up security during a lockdown?

During the lockdown, it’s likely that many businesses will move back to operating from home – if they weren’t already doing so. That leaves offices and buildings more vulnerable to crime, especially if there are no visible security measures in place.

Studies have shown that the majority of burglaries that take place are in fact impulsive, often occurring when somebody notices unguarded valuables or a lack of security. With less or no people in the building to deter events like this, it becomes even more of a risk to businesses.

Which security measures can safely help out during a lockdown?

Remote CCTV

Remote CCTV monitoring is one of the best ways to prevent and deal with any incidents during lockdown. By implementing a system of cameras around the property, with sufficient signage, businesses will be able to deter the majority of criminals.

What’s also great about remote CCTV monitoring is that it captures everything that happened in high-definition video, allowing businesses to deal with any unfortunate events more effectively. As they can be monitored from anywhere, nobody has to be on-site at any point to make the most of the cameras – the perfect solution during a stay-at-home lockdown.

Mobile Patrols

Mobile patrols are another great way to have an eye kept on your business whilst away. Security patrols in high-profiled cars will be able to regularly inspect the building without getting in the way and without increasing the contact between groups of staff. Security vehicles and officers will deter crime and make sure that everything is in order when no other staff can.

Key Holding

As we’ve mentioned before, key holding for businesses is one of the best ways to ensure that any on-site activities or incidents can be seen to rapidly when there is nobody around. Alarm response officers will be able to reach any site within 20 minutes of an alarm trip, no matter the time or day of the week. From there, they’ll be able to analyse the situation and create reports on any false alarms, break-ins or damages.

Businesses who will continue at work

For any businesses who’ll continue to work during the lockdown, safety measures will be extremely important. Maintaining a healthy and safe working environment is paramount as the pandemic continues to worsen, so there are certain systems that should be implemented to help businesses achieve this.

Thermal Imaging Systems

If you are a large organisation, operating with large numbers of staff, then it’s important to make sure that everyone is healthy when entering the workplace in order to avoid a large breakout. A great way for businesses to do this is to use thermal imaging systems at entrances to the building. This will allow staff to enter quickly whilst taking temperature checks to reduce the likelihood of somebody carrying Covid-19 entering the building.

Automated People Flow Control Systems

Another key issue that businesses and offices have to consider is the number of people in each room. In order to work as safely as possible, staff should be able to keep a distance between them and not have to work face-to-face. By introducing automated people counting systems, rooms can easily be filled with a suitable number of people, without becoming overcrowded.

 

By using a range of sufficient measures during lockdown, all businesses can remain safe and secure. Whether moving to a work from home system, or remaining in the building, there are suitable measures that can help to operate as best as possible.

Making Your Facility Strong And Safe For The Winter

Although it definitely feels like winter has hit, it has only just officially begun. With shorter days and adverse weather, your business, school or organisation should ensure that it remains safe and sound. In this short guide, we’ll tell you what checks to do and how you can make sure that your building is ready for the winter season.

Security Checks

With a higher liklihood of frosts, rain and strong winds, it’s essential that your grounds’ physical security measures – such as gates, fences and padlocks – are all in top condition going into winter.

If anything is rusted or old, it will weaken the metal and allow for easier breaches. Although break-ins aren’t a regular occurrence, they do increase with winter’s shorter, darker days, so it’s best to be extra careful. Strong locks, secure gates and sturdy fences will help to make sure your building is protected – not only against crime but against the weather too.

Weather-proofing your building

As we mentioned, the weather during the winter months tends to be its worst; stronger winds, more rainfall, potential snow and icy frosts are all more common. To make sure that your building is prepped and ready, you should carry out a small check of key areas that could cause you problems in the winter.

Are all windows sealed properly and can they shut nice and tightly? Do your doors have proper seals? Is your roof free of any gaps or holes that could cause a leak? Making sure that your building has no potential leak hazards before going into winter can save you from huge problems and costs further down the line where weather could worsen small problems.

Check (And Upgrade) Your Lighting

Lighting has a huge range of benefits when it’s done properly. New, modern and efficient lighting can reduce your electricity costs, improve the happiness of staff or workers, improve workplace safety, reduce crime and even increase productivity!

Within your building, setting up the correct lights has been shown to improve the moods of workers! Not only can this make them generally happier, but it can lead to improved productivity for you.

Outside lights can also help by improving visibility during darker winter days. In carparks and busy entranceways this will allow people to see further, reducing the likelihood of workplace accidents and injuries. Outdoor lighting can also deter break-ins, especially when combined with CCTV systems, as burglars will be more visible in the footage, as well as to people nearby.

Using Effective Security Measures

According to the Office for National Statistics, burglaries are more likely to occur in winter and the build-up to Christmas. Your business should make sure that it is safe and protected against any attempts to gain unauthorised entry by checking for, installing or improving effective security measures.

These include CCTV systems, smart locks, security alarms and security guards. Depending on the size and attractiveness of your business, you should use a combination of these measures to ensure that the building remains safe at all times. Using advanced technologies to keep your building under surveillance and locked will deter and prevent any break-in attempts.

 

By using these tips, checking your facility and improving any measures that may need it, you can make sure that your building remains safe during winter. Not only will you be protected against crime, but against severe weather and potential workplace accidents.

How Black Friday Affects Shop Security

Black Friday is the single busiest shopping day of the year. Shops become overcrowded with people who are in a rush to find their favourite products. Although the tradition started in America, it soon made its way to the UK, where now, shoppers spend over £2.5 billion in stores on the day alone. With so much chaos, it’s not a huge surprise that Black Friday can take a toll on a business’s security.

How Black Friday Impacts Shops And High Street Businesses

Being the busiest day of the year for shops, with the most customers and chaos, it allows an opportunity for criminals to take advantage. Often, there are huge numbers of shoppers, with very few security guards and a lack of effective CCTV cameras to act as a deterrent and capture any unfortunate incidents. This allows criminals an easier opportunity to get away with theft and damaging of goods.

Each year in London alone, the police deal with over 3.5k incidents of theft on Black Friday, with many more suspected of going completely unnoticed. This can lead to huge losses for shops and high street businesses who may end up having expensive items stolen or damaged on the day.

On top of this, the sheer mania of people rushing to find their favourite products or snatch the best deals can lead to a sharp rise in the number of objects, products or store features being damaged or broken. This again leads to losses for businesses who only want to make the most of a big day.

This year, there’s also an extra element: Covid-19. Businesses and shops will have to pay extremely close attention to the numbers of people entering their building, as well as making sure everyone is wearing a mask and acting safely. On top of the normal stress, this will add an extra layer for high street businesses to deal with on Black Friday 2020.

What Measures Can Businesses Put In Place To Remain Safe & Secure?

Manned Security Guards

By placing a suitable amount of security guards in front of and throughout your store, criminals will be less likely to steal in the first place. What’s more is that it will be far easier to catch them if someone does still try to take anything.

CCTV Systems

CCTV cameras act as another deterrent to those who may have considered stealing from you. The knowledge that you will have captured them on camera and may be able to track them down is often enough to put someone off trying to steal. You’ll also be able to record footage of any deliberate damages that may occur during the event, safeguarding you against even more unnecessary costs.

Social Distancing Marshals

This year will be different to most with the strict rules in place due to Covid-19. Businesses could face up to £10,000 fines if they do not adhere to government rules. By implementing social distancing marshals, it will become much easier to regulate the number of people in your shop and will help to prevent it from becoming quickly overcrowded and unsafe.

Covid-19 Signage

Due to the constant changing in rules, it can often be confusing for everyone to understand which of them apply at certain times. In order to avoid this confusion and maintain a safe, legal environment on Black Friday, your business must make sure that there’s sufficient signage, instructing people what they can’t and what they must do in order to comply with your and the government’s rules.

 

With proper measures in place, businesses can ensure that they’re ready to deal with the intensity of Black Friday and hopefully reduce the risks of theft and damage.

The Environment Bill 2020 – What It Means For Businesses

Over the next seven days, it’s Sustainability Awareness Week. With that, we thought we’d share with you some information on the Environment Bill 2020 and what it might mean for businesses in the coming years.

What is The Environment Bill 2020?

The Government are currently passing a new policy paper through Parliament, which sets out to develop legally binding targets on air quality, water, waste and biodiversity in the UK. It aims to bring urgent action that will help to meet targets that have been set out in the 25 Year Environment Plan, helping us to cut emissions and create a green economy. The targets laid out by the bill will be subject to public consultation and will be legally binding for businesses and organisations, creating a strong target-delivering mechanism.

What could the bill mean for businesses?

Although the bill is new and we don’t know a great deal of specifics, we do know some factors and the likely effects they will have on businesses and facilities management in the future. Firstly, businesses will get their say on the proposed targets. Once the framework of targets has been laid out – which is expected to be early 2022 – businesses and communities will be allowed to share their views and responses on them. This will be a great opportunity to voice opinions and share any criticisms that could benefit the bill, so businesses should keep an eye out for when it’s open.

What we also know is that there will be a range of targets for each of the priority areas (air quality, water, waste and biodiversity), including at least one long-term target for each. This means that businesses will have to focus on every area in order to comply and reach the goals that have been set. Emissions will have to be limited, pollutants will have to be reduced, waste management will need to be revised and improved. With effective and timely planning, these targets will be easy to meet and will ultimately help our economy and create a new, more sustainable future.

Finally, we know that the targets are going to be legally binding. This means that businesses and organisations will have to stick to them and attain certain levels of sustainability by a certain point in time. Although this could lead to financial punishments if they’re not achieved, this should create a positive urgency that will help our economy to become greener. Businesses who excel may even receive awards and of course, it won’t hurt to stand out for doing good for the economy of the country!

How can Aegis help businesses to reach environmental targets?

As with all new laws and targets, new challenges will arise that businesses will have to plan for and overcome. Given that these targets will be legally binding, it’s essential that all businesses are able to stick to goals and reach the final outcome. That’s where we can help. As an experienced facilities management provider, we know what it takes to become more sustainable.

Our waste management service can help your business to reduce waste and streamline your processes to become more sustainable. By reducing the waste that your business creates, and by recycling more, you’ll be well on your way to achieving targets set out in the main focus areas including waste, water and biodiversity! Although the specific targets have not yet been set, and it may be a while before they’re known, by getting a head start early on, your business will be left with less, if not nothing left to do after they’ve been announced, in order to reach the legally binding outcomes.

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