Irish security firm offers advice to companies on how to protect their empty premises
WITH the vast majority of business premises now closed across the UK and Ireland, as a result of the COVID-19 ‘lockdown’, Irish security company Mercury Security & Facilities Management (MSFM) is offering tips to business owners on how best to ensure their property is protected during these exceptional times.
The outbreak of the Coronavirus, and the need for social distancing, has led to all but essential workers now working remotely from home which means that across the country, factories and offices, bars and restaurants, sports and leisure venues and a host of other buildings are now lying eerily empty.
As Ireland’s largest independent security provider and facilities management company with locations in Lisburn (Co Antrim), Dublin, Limerick and London, MSFM has reported a sharp increase in demand for security solutions to help business owners protect their empty properties during lockdown.
The company has experienced a huge 70% increase in demand across all of its key security services including CCTV and alarm systems, remote monitoring services, and the use of mobile patrol units:
- CCTV and Alarm Systems: the provision and installation of CCTV and alarm systems to act as powerful tools to help fight against crime, protect your property, and keep insurers happy.
- Remote Monitoring: MSFM can link into a company’s CCTV, Intruder and Fire Alarms to monitor remotely from its ARC command centre, thus ensuring appropriate Police response to alarm activations, the recording of evidence via visual confirmation, and importantly, the ability to engage live with intruders through audio systems - without the risk that comes with facing down intruders in person.
- Mobile Patrol Units: MSFM has increased its mobile units to proactively patrol premises and act as the first port of call in the event of a fire or intruder alarm activation.
As well as the security services it provides, Mercury’s facilities management division, launched in 2018, offers a specialised deep cleaning service, designed to eliminate COVID–19 and help organisations minimise risk to staff and visitors.
The company has also just launched the Mercury TC-1 thermal camera to enable the speedy detection of high body temperatures which may indicate the presence of a fever - one of the first vital symptoms displayed by carriers of the Coronavirus.
“We appreciate that this is an extremely challenging and worrying time for people at home and throughout the world,” said Mercury director Liam Cullen. “So at Mercury, our staff have been working around the clock to help businesses monitor and protect their empty premises remotely, removing the need for them to leave home, and thus ensuring they are not exposed and remain safe and healthy.
“In this time of uncertainty, it’s important that you protect your business and don't become a soft target for burglars who are very smart and make it their business to gain entry to your property,” he added.
To help companies ensure their property is as safe as possible during the COVID-19 Lockdown, Mercury Security & Facilities Management has compiled the following list of helpful tips:
Mercury’s Top 10 Tips to protect your property during lockdown
1) LOCK before you leave: It may sound simplistic but ensure that all doors, windows, fire exits and gates are locked. Fit restrictors on windows if possible as thieves can wriggle through any gap larger than a human head. Pinpoint any vulnerable areas and fix these.
2) TEST-ing time: Test your CCTV system, intruder alarm, fire and sprinkler systems and ensure they are all fully operational. Make sure cameras are well positioned to cover as much of your property, internally and externally, as possible.
3) Keeping an EYE on things: If you have serious security concerns, talk to a company like Mercury about having your premises remotely monitored. The Mercury Eye CCTV camera doubles up as an intruder alarm that is picked up by the company’s monitoring centre or on your mobile device. Should an alarm be activated or intrusion detected, the intruder can be engaged with a live audio challenge whilst we’re calling the police - or scared off without the risk that comes with facing down intruders in person. The camera can operate without wires, electricity or broadband.
4) See the LIGHT: Make sure your outdoor lighting is working and preferably on a sensor. Visible alarms that light up at night will make burglars think twice about targeting your house. Consider the use of timer switches to ensure sufficient lighting inside your premises.
5) Be WHEELIE careful: Burglars often use wheelie bins to help them get into properties, so ensure that they are stored away and not accessible.
6) Security is KEY: Ensure spare keys to your premises are not left inside but rather with dedicated key holders who can be contacted in times of emergency. Mercury is a dedicated key holder for many businesses across Ireland and the UK - compliant with and to BS 7984-1-:2016.
7) SAFE and secure: Ensure that no cash is left lying around on the premises overnight and consider moving high-value items and important documentation into a safe or secured location that can be monitored remotely.
8) Dif-FUSE the situation: Electrical equipment should be turned off and unplugged, and electrical systems isolated at the main fuse board, unless critical to the continued running of your business. Fire risks or burnable materials, such as old packaging or wooden pallets, should be moved off site.
9) Keep MOBILE: Empty premises should ideally be inspected once a week. Mercury’s Mobile Patrol Units proactively patrol premises and act as the first port of call in the event of a fire or intruder alarm activation. Mobile inspections may include the removal of any build-up of post, or any other action to minimise the risk that the property can be easily identified as being closed.
10) MARK your territory: Use an ultraviolet pen to mark items of value with your company name and address. This will help police to identify your property more easily if it's stolen. Try to make sure that larger desirable items can't easily be seen through windows.
For further information on Mercury services and how to protect your empty premises, email email@example.com call MSFM on +44 (0) 28 9262 0518.