Designing and implementing a distribution centre security programme begins with understanding all the potential threats. Security can be breached by both internal and external elements of your business. Whilst trust in your workforce is paramount, there is some truth in the idea that your employees sometimes pose a threat to the warehouse security, together with the ever-present threat of external intruders and vandals.
Internal breaches of security can be committed by your employees or acquaintances known to your organisation. These might include truck drivers who deliver goods to the warehouse or temporary warehouse workers used sporadically over time, possibly when larger contracts arrive. Workers such as this often move between jobs regularly so are difficult to trace once they have moved on, and without the necessary security procedures in place, it can be difficult to prove wrongdoing.
The other type security breach involves professional burglars that target your business specifically. Sometimes these burglars have an in-house accomplice and at other times they invade the premises and escape with your goods. Both events are painful, expensive and disheartening. Unfortunately, a relaxed security design, system and protocol enables these types of criminal to have an easy ride.
In this article, we will be looking at ways to sure up your warehouse security with immediate effect.
Securing Your Warehouse
There are a number of things that potential criminals do not like: light, imaging (CCTV), and difficult access that causes noise or triggers alarms. If your warehouse has an integrated system that is supported with proper space planning, secured cages and observation points, your bottom line is going to reflect your diligence.
Securing your inventory requires a sound design and investment in the interior and exterior security of the warehouse. Integrated security systems are most effective, and can incorporate a number of elements. What you invest up front will come back to positively impact your bottom line many times over, especially if a diligent approach is maintained over years.
12 Steps For Your Warehouse Security Upgrade
Step 1 – The first place to begin upgrading your warehouse security is to secure access points to present a formidable defence against burglary.
Security steel doors and fire exit doors are the logical first investment. A properly installed steel security door presents the invading burglar with a serious deterrent that requires noise to open and is extremely difficult to prize open.
Step 2 – A loud alarm system with police response is always completely necessary. Loud, because if the intruders gain entry, you want it to be an uncomfortable experience in the premises. We recommend Klaxon Master Blasters to boost the output of your alarm to 127db:
Remember to install as many door contacts as possible! If your security doors are under attack, a sensitive door-contact should set off the alarm, and deter the attacker before continuing on with their attempted break in.
Step 3 – Install steel gates at all loading docks that are left open between shipments. This will prevent the observer from simply wandering into the warehouse when workers are not around or when warehouse personnel are busy unload or packing at other gates. Never leave portals to the warehouse open and unattended. A collapsible gate is a great line of defence.
Step 4 – Securing your high-end products in steel cages is an excellent way to protect your most valuable inventory. If you have a warehouse manager, place his or her observation desk with a plain, unobstructed view of the most valuable cages.
Step 5 – Move employee parking areas away from the shipping and receiving doors. If the inpidual is going to steal items, make them carry the goods across a longer area to their parking area. Eliminate the quick grab scenario, and this will make your goods less of a target.
Step 6 – One of the biggest deterrents to warehouse theft is installing video recorders prominently throughout the facility. Advise employees of their presence and post logos from the provider on all exits and entrances. Every warehouse should have interior and exterior video recording capabilities.
Step 7 –Install floodlights around the perimeter of the building. Take the cover of darkness away from the intruder and you are substantially lowering your risk.
Step 8 – Keep the surrounding property in good shape. Trim bushes and trees in efforts to eliminate potential lurking places.
Step 9 – Never leave inventory sitting alone on a loading dock. Move received goods into the warehouse, away from the loading dock for distribution. When loading, keep packaged goods in a loading area but away from the loading dock.
Step 10 – Seriously consider electronic or biometric access control systems. These systems create a highly accountable audit trail. Make sure that all the valuable merchandise is secured with these systems.
Step 11 – Define employee and non-employee entrances and exits. Direct all personnel that want to enter the building. By eliminating shortcuts, and managing your incoming and outgoing traffic, you are greatly reducing your risk of theft.
Step 12 – In many warehouses, there are restricted areas where each employee must be accompanied by another in order to work in certain space. Anything that increases accountability will reduce your risk.
One of the biggest challenges for warehouse managers is security. Be realistic about where your security threats are greatest. Following these basic guidelines will ensure that your distribution centre is not targeted by thieves, and that your workforce is confident that they will not be confronted with the consequences of crime.
For more information about protecting warehouses from crime, get in touch with us by calling 01384 220 050 or email us: [email protected]