What To Consider When Purchasing Anti-Terrorism Physical Security

anti-terrorism physical security

Terrorism should never be too far from our minds as business owners, particularly for organisations that operate in sensitive fields. However, as evidenced by the Paris attacks and London bombing – terrorism can strike in any environment. Here we will look at how businesses can protect themselves, how civil environments can be adapted to protect civilians from attacks, as well as what to consider when choosing your physical security solutions.

Protecting businesses from terrorism

The threat of terrorism in the UK remains at a substantial level which means that an attack is perceived likely. For businesses, and particularly those that are deemed to be a high-value target, it is critical to employ strategies that can minimize the impact of any dreadful attempt to cause harm.

The first step in developing a strategy is to work with a perimeter security provider to undergo a risk assessment. This will help you determine which assets are most at threat, any perceived vulnerabilities and any steps that you can take to protect your operations.

For instance, a risk assessment might deep that your main entry point is the most vulnerable to vehicular attacks such as car bombings. To prevent this from happening, they may suggest a tried and tested combination of heavy-duty bollards, gates, and barriers – or road blockers, that could stop the vehicle in its tracks, before it arrives at your premises.

Protecting civilians from terrorism

In 2017, terrorists rented a large van and drove it down a busy street in Barcelona, Spain – killing 13 people and injuring hundreds more. To prevent these types of attacks, those in charge of civil architechture need to consider how they may limit vehicular access. For instance, they might choose to employ a robust system of bollards that can withstand high-speed impacts and shield pedestrians from a high-speed vehicular attack.

Equally, as evidenced by the Manchester Bombing attacks in 2017, terrorists may seek to infiltrate areas where large groups of people are gathered such as sporting arenas and music venues. To prevent this type of attack, bag searches should be conducted alongside scanning systems and tools like floor-to-ceiling turnstiles.

What to consider?

Businesses need to be able to balance their organisational duties and operational constraints with their need to shield themselves from terrorism and for planners to keep public spaces welcoming and friendly.

Heavy duty perimeter security equipment is by nature imposing and tough, this is to send a message to would-be criminals that their attempts to cause harm will be thwarted. However, by incorporating natural foliage like trees and bushes close by, you can retain a sense of calm and maintain your desired aesthetic for everyday visitors.

Different tools offer different options and often there are ways to adapt your anti-terrorism tools to your needs. For example, bollards can be chosen in a retractable form which means that you can sink them to the ground when required.

Gateway Automation can help businesses and organisations to protect their assets from serious crime with minimum disruption while maintaining safe and comfortable working environments for clients, contractors, customers and other highly important individuals. For a free no-obligation quotation and feasibility survey please contact Gateway Automation on 01522 682255. Alternatively, our brochure can be downloaded here: http://www.gatewayautomation.co.uk/brochure/.

3 Steps For A Successful Perimeter Security Strategy

perimeter security strategy

In uncertain economic periods, crime always booms, and businesses need to be prepared to protect themselves, not only in terms of their commercial outlook but also in their physical security. Let’s look at 3 steps for a successful perimeter security strategy that all businesses can implement.

Step one: risk assessments

The number one step in perimeter security preparation is to have a professional risk assessment. The old saying of “fail to prepare and you prepare to fail” rings true here and you must employ the advice of experts.

Rather than relying on guesswork to deter criminal activity, a risk assessment should deliver cold hard facts as to where any vulnerabilities lie and the steps and products that can help you to address them.

A good risk assessment should involve plenty of conversation to understand the needs, procedures and operational requirements of your business. It should look at the threats you face, the location of your business and the nature of the site, as well as geographical constraints and any other factors that might come into play.

Step two: integration and technological advances

No business is the same and it might be that you already employ some aspects of perimeter security at your site. If this is the case then you should consider how up-to-date your current defences are. Advances in technology mean that many traditional forms of defence including gates and barriers can be enhanced with access control equipment like fobs, keys, pin pads and even biometrics like fingerprint scanners. Equally, you might be able to take advantage of cutting-edge technology like automatic number plate recognition systems.

Step three: maintenance and repairs

Like anything in life, security equipment needs a little bit of TLC every now and then. After all, a faulty gate, turnstile or barrier will be of no use in protecting your business from crime.

Perimeter security tools can be impacted by weather conditions like wind, rain and snow and certain materials can naturally degrade over time. Equally, more technologically advanced equipment may need to be updated or given maintenance periodically.

Any security company that you work with should be able to not only tell you how best to maintain your perimeter security tools against the elements but also be able to come to aid quickly should more serious problems arise.

For example, if a vehicle were to crash into one of your gates and leave them unusable, your key barrier in preventing unauthorized access would be ineffective until you could arrange for an engineer to call out to you.

Whether your business runs from small retail premises or a large industrial site, Gateway Automation can help. We provide you with a free, no-obligation quotation and feasibility survey to assess your perimeter security equipment. We also offer a nationwide reactive call-out service to deal with any equipment issues and are proud to be Gate Safe accredited. Please contact us on 01522 682255 for more information

Why your company should consider turnstiles

turnstiles

Turnstiles – simple, effective, but often overlooked. They are a fundamental part of many successful large-scale sites such as sporting arenas, factories and airports, but equally at home in hotels, gyms and small business places. Let’s take a look at a few of the reasons that turnstiles never seem to go out of fashion when it comes to perimeter security measures.

1 – Security management

Turnstiles are often deployed at venues and facilities to manage access. Turnstiles can be full-height or waist height which means that they can be adapted to different circumstances – but generally, they retain the same end goal: to prevent unauthorized access and keep unwanted visitors out.

Turnstiles are tough, autonomous, and hard to breach. While full-height turnstiles offer a floor-to-ceiling system that is particularly difficult to exploit, even waist height turnstiles attract attention of passers by or security monitoring systems should someone attempt to bypass them.

2 – Cost effective solutions

Turnstiles can be a cost-saver for many businesses. Take a gym for example. Many gyms now offer 24-hour access to clients to meet the needs of those with unsociable work hours. By installing turnstiles that are operated through passes and fobs, they can reduce the need to employ staff on expensive nightly wages and instead rely on the physical barrier that turnstiles provide.

3 – Attendance measuring

Turnstiles are not only used to prevent admission, they can also be used to better facilitate and monitor it. By using turnstiles at sporting venues, receptions, or amusement parks – you can better monitor who and how many visitors attend your site each day and collect valuable data that can help you streamline your operations.

4 – Payment and sales

Turnstiles can be fitted with all manner of access control equipment and operated using fobs, keys, tickets and pin pads. For sites that are looking to reduce manpower costs, or those that operate outside of core hours, this can be a valuable tool for providing a seamless entry for customers.

5 – Visual deterrents

Perimeter security is as much about nuts and bolts effectiveness as psychological games. The steely imposing look of turnstiles sends a signal to criminals that entry will be difficult, and may have them asking questions about what further equipment you have in the interior of your property. Opportunistic by nature – many criminals will decide their time is better spent elsewhere.

How to choose the right turnstile for your business

If you’re interested in installing a turnstile at your premises then it’s important to seek professional and experienced advice.

To find out more about how physical security can benefit your business, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no-obligation quotation and feasibility survey to assess your perimeter security equipment.

How to Improve Hotel Security

Hotel Security

Generating upwards of £100 billion a year, the UK tourist industry sets the gold standard when it comes to hospitality. To maintain those high standards – attention has to be paid to the finest of details, from the smile at reception to the complimentary breakfasts and extra pillows.

However, an aspect of hotel operations that is often neglected is that of hotel security. Sometimes treated as an afterthought, many hotel operators decide against prioritizing safety and security until it becomes too late.

Crime and safety at hotels

While hotels can be a haven and safe space for weary travellers, they can also attract unsavoury elements of the criminal underbelly. Hotels are made to be welcoming environments, which means access can be all too easy for thieves looking to steal high-value goods from unsuspecting guests. Hotels may also be a victim of other common crimes like vandalism and violence and have their guests’ safety threatened by unwanted guests or trespassers.

How to maintain safety standards at hotels

One solution for hotels looking to deal with unwanted visitors is to employ manned guarding. However, this can prove to be a complicated solution. While having someone at the front door to check the ID cards of guests, or request reservation names can help stop intruders, it also creates an unfriendly atmosphere and guests may even be offended by being asked. In an age, where review sites like TripAdvisor can make or break reputations, it is important to find more nuanced solutions.

Access control equipment

One such solution is to opt instead for access control equipment. By providing all guests with key cards to access stairways and their rooms, you remove the need to check the credentials of each guest. Guests can be safe in the knowledge that their belongings are secure, intruders are unable to easily gain access to unathorized areas, and you avoid the risk of upsetting your patrons.

Of course, not all intruders will try to gain access to your hotel through the front door. Particularly at large hotels, or those that cater to business travellers, there can be many different entry and exit points. It is important to have access control equipment fitted for those areas too.

Hotel Parking

For hotels that have underground parking, security practices should extend there too. This may come in the form of barriers, bollards, or high-tech solutions like automatic number plate recognition systems. Guest vehicles can be a high prize for criminal gangs, and even if they are not stolen, they may be vandalised or goods taken from inside.

The risks to hotels are numerous and should not be underestimated. The best place to begin is with a thorough risk assessment that takes into account the nature of your operations and where you may be vulnerable.

Here at Gateway Automation, we can provide you with a free, no-obligation quotation and feasibility survey. We also offer a nationwide reactive call-out service to deal with any equipment issues and are proud to be Gate Safe accredited. Call us today on 01522 682255 for more information.

 

How to Secure Vacant Properties

vacant properties

Vacant properties can be like a moth to a flame when it comes to attracting criminal activity. Almost every city and town in the UK has unoccupied premises that have been blighted by vandalism, flytipping, and other nuisances. However, these crimes can often snowball – leading to serious criminal damage, theft of materials, and even arson. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the ways you can safeguard an empty property.

How to secure a property that is only vacant for a short period

Properties can become vacant for many reasons. While some may be awaiting sale for a long period, others may be simply closed for a short amount of time – such as for refurbishment.

When any property closes its doors, this typically results in less footfall around the site, which means a greater risk/reward ratio for would-be criminals as they are less likely to be caught in the act.

An easy way to avoid unwanted attention is to make it appear as if your site is occupied when it isn’t. This might be a case of using security or triggered lighting, making regular trips to your site, or avoiding posting information online about your closure.

How to secure a property that is vacant for a longer amount of time

For properties that are out of use for a longer amount of time – it pays to think carefully about your security planning and to keep up appearances.

Keeping your property well maintained by cutting grass and clearing away debris, and making regular visits to deal with postage are simple strategies that you can employ. You should also turn off gas, electric, and water supplies that could be abused by trespassers.

However, for most long-term vacancies, it pays to secure your boundaries in the strongest way possible. You can use anti-climb paint to warn of intruders, and install heavy-duty gates or barriers that make site access difficult both on foot or in a vehicle.

Criminal gangs have been known to target empty properties for theft of scrap metal and other precious materials. However, these gangs will rarely approach on foot, and as such restricting vehicular access should be high on your agenda. You can achieve this through tools like road blockers, as well as heavy-duty gates and barriers.

If you own a property that could become vacant soon then security planning should be high on your agenda. Here at Gateway Automation we regularly assess properties for risk making sure that they are adequately secured and recommending any ways that we think security could be improved. Call us today on 01522 682 255 to discuss how we can help to keep you safe

 

4 Signs your business premises needs perimeter protection

Signs your business premises needs perimeter protection

Almost every business owner out there knows that it pays to prepare for the worst. Whether investing in online security, insurance, or physical security protocols, it makes sense to act now rather than later and mitigate any unexpected problems that might occur.

If you’re unsure as to whether to make the commitment to a full perimeter security review and begin implementing tools like barriers, gates and turnstiles then here are four tell-tale signs that you need to act sooner rather than later.

1 – Crime in your area

One of the most common reasons that businesses turn to perimeter security providers is an upturn in crime locally. Crime begets crime and you’re more likely to be targeted if other businesses in your area have to.

If you’ve read reports of local crime against businesses or have noticed a surge change in crime figures, then you should already be building your defences.

2 – You’ve recently fallen victim to crime

Another common reason to invest in perimeter security measures is that a business has recently had a crime committed against them. In an ideal world, security measures are implemented pre-emptively, but this isn’t always the case. Criminals will often double back, or word will travel among underground networks highlighting a business as a “soft target”. For this reason, it’s imperative that businesses do a full post-mortem after an incident and work with a security provider to prevent future occurrences.

3 – You’ve noticed unusual things happening around your premises

Vigilance is one of the cornerstones of defending against crime. Both you and your employees need to be eagle-eyed when it comes to identifying anything unusual going on in and around your premises. Perhaps you’ve noticed strange vehicles driving at slow speeds around your site, unidentified people taking photographs, or you’ve had keys go missing. It often pays to listen to your gut, so act now and do a full review of your systems.

4 – You’ve found evidence of trespass

This does not apply to all businesses, but for many sites, especially those that are unoccupied – trespassing can be a real headache for property owners. Not only can trespass result in problems like littering, fly-tipping, damage to fixtures and fittings, and graffiti, but the more often it occurs the higher the chances of escalation to even more serious crimes like arson that can do permanent and lasting damage to your property. If you’ve found evidence of unauthorized visitors taking advantage of your property then you can’t afford to sit idly by.

It can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to deciding which security strategies are going to be most effective at a site, which is why it is important, to begin with a risk assessment. Here at Gateway Automation, we can provide you with a free, no-obligation quotation and feasibility survey to assess your perimeter security requirements. To find out more please contact Gateway Automation on 01522 682255.

Maintain your security solutions with these easy steps

maintaining security solutions

Most business operators are well aware of the risks of crime. While a great deal can be done to help businesses establish a formidable barrier against potential threats, it’s key that they factor in maintenance and repairs into their plans.

Just like with almost all big purchases or investments (for instance, cars or houses) there are going to be times when you will need to invest in the upkeep and fix any potential problems before they grow out of control.

While you may be reluctant to spend more money on repairs or maintenance, it pays to be proactive and nipping issues in the bud early on can mean that you may avoid having to replace expensive equipment later on down the line.

Step one – identify the risks

Security equipment- in particular those housed outdoors – are subject to several risks of which you need to be aware. By identifying what they are, you can then put in place actions and habits that can help you mitigate them effectively.

Weather conditions are a common culprit for equipment failure. High winds, heavy snow, and rainfall can all lead to problems. Windy conditions may dislodge or break parts while heavy snow and rainfall can lead to build-ups of grime and dirt that can reduce the effectiveness of your equipment.

Another common problem for outdoor security tools is traffic. If a vehicle clips or crashes into a security tool like a gate, bollard, or barrier then it may again reduce the effectiveness of a piece of equipment or break it entirely.

Step two – establish a plan

Once you have identified the risks, it becomes much easier to begin planning how you will deal with any problems, and prevent any issues from arising.

You should create a comprehensive overview of all of your measures and tools, the potential problems that could crop up, and how you will deal with them.

In practical terms, this might mean creating a regular schedule of cleaning, making sure that items are fixed and secure, and periodically reviewing their operational effectiveness.

You should outline who is responsible for maintenance and reporting, how often duties should be carried out, and find a way to log what has been discovered.

Step three: Work with a trusted provider

The last and final step that you should consider when it comes to maintenance is to establish a relationship with a trusted provider. Some small maintenance tasks like cleaning and tightening bolts can be carried out by you or your employees with little training. However, there may be times when bigger, more complex repairs are needed.

If you find yourself in this situation then you will be faced with the possibility of halting your operations and dealing with financial losses or leaving your business exposed to criminal threats due to faulty equipment.

This is why we offer a nationwide reactive callout service with engineer response times of 8 hours, 24 hours, 48 hours, and 7 days meaning that we can get to you quickly to repair any damage and keep your business safe and secure.

To find out more about our servicing and repairs options, please visit https://www.gatewayautomation.co.uk/servicing/repairs/ or contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no-obligation quotation and feasibility survey to assess your perimeter security needs.

The Importance of lighting when securing your business

lighting

It’s an undeniable fact that the majority of crimes against businesses take place in the dark hours of the night. When the sun goes down, the likelihood of a perpetrator infiltrating your facility and getting away without being caught vastly increase. However, there are steps that business owners can take to reduce those chances and make their sites a less appealing target for the criminal underbelly.

Making The Most of Security Lighting

Criminals will seek to take advantage of the cover of darkness. This is why it’s essential to make the most of security lighting and use it in a way that benefits any existing measures you may already have in place.

Visual Deterrent

Lighting can help in some significant ways. First of all, it sends a visual deterrent to criminals who may be approaching. A constant presence of lighting shows criminals that you are active and security-minded, while motion-triggered lighting may hamper them in their tracks, should they decide to test their luck and approach.

Enhance existing security

But to really make the most of security lighting, you should use it as an enhancement of your existing security features. In practice, this should mean installing lighting to showcase your arsenal of perimeter security tools. For instance by positioning your lighting to show a highly-secure gate, barrier, or road blocker.

When criminals weigh up whether to try their luck at a property, one of the biggest factors in their decision will be their perceived chances of a getaway. If you can effectively show them that their entry and escape will be difficult then you will likely balance the scales of justice back in your favour.

Should a criminal decide the attempt is still worth the risk, you can make their life more difficult by employing sophisticated internal security measures. This can be traffic restricting measures such as speed ramps, barriers, and bollards, or internal access control systems that prevent them from accessing specific areas easily.

Maintain security lighting

Like any security measure, lighting is only effective if it is properly maintained. You should have a regular programme of maintenance and a designated member of staff charged with overseeing duties like cleaning lighting, replacing bulbs, and calling in repairs when needed.

Here at Gateway Automation, we believe in a holistic approach to perimeter security. This is why it is important to conduct a risk assessment that takes into account the nature of your business, the challenges you face, and potential solutions that can protect you from criminal activities.

Gateway Automation provides a range of products to help businesses and individuals secure their sites. We also provide nationwide servicing and repairs to gates, barriers, and other perimeter security equipment. To find out more, please call us on 01522 682255.

Sliding Gates vs Swinging Gates

sliding gates vs swinging gates

When it comes to perimeter defences, the first thing that will likely jump to mind is the image of a security gate, and rightly so. Security gates are often the first line of defence for many businesses when it comes to keeping intruders away, establishing a strong perimeter, and sending out a message to criminals.

However, when planning defences for a site, or considering upgrading your existing measures, it’s important to think carefully about your needs and your site capabilities. Let’s take a look at two of the most popular options of gates and how they compare.

Swinging Gates

Swinging Gates are an excellent option for many businesses. As the name suggests they swing open and shut in a wide arc. Often priced cheaper than sliding gates, they typically don’t include motors or electronics. Swinging gates don’t require concrete work or steel beams, they are low maintenance and make little noise during operation. This means that they are well-suited to isolated or rural sites, or large expansive sites where access to the grid is more limited.

If considering swinging gates as a solution for your site, you should think carefully about the available space on your premises. Swinging gates need enough space to open internally and externally in a wide arc and so might not be suitable for some sites where space is at a premium. They might also be less suited if you have particular needs for high-tech upgrades such as access control equipment or other electronic support.

Sliding Gates

If you are looking for gates at a site where space is less readily available then sliding gates may be a more sensible solution. Rather than opening and closing in an arc, sliding gates slide in and out along a track or trackless cantilever system, which both employ less of a footprint.

Sliding gates are often seen in more commercially-led settings, entrances, and residential driveways. They can be employed on rough ground and even on sloping ground if required. They are a good choice if you operate in a setting that has high-wind speeds and other unpredictable weather factors.

Unlike swing gates, sliding gates can be upgraded with access control equipment such as electronic keys, cards, fingerprint biometric readers and intercoms. These additions will always make a site more secure, however, they do come with added costs.

Get in touch

Arranging effective perimeter security is not something that you should go at alone. No matter the size or nature of your business, we can provide you with a free, no-obligation quotation and feasibility survey to assess the security requirements of your organisation. For more information on any of the security options above, or for further advice on how to protect your business premises from criminals, please contact us here or call us on 01522 682 255.

 

Guide to access control equipment

access control equipment

Perimeter security should always encompass a variety of different methods and tools to enable complete protection. While commonly this will include traditional features like gates and barriers, there are a plethora of interesting and exciting new technologies that can be adopted into a holistic security plan for maximum protection against crime. Let’s take a look at some of the best access control equipment options currently available.

What is access control equipment?

Access control equipment is (as the name suggests) a range of tools that are designed to limit entry to specific areas or zones of a site. Modern access control equipment incorporates the latest technologies to provide protection and reassurance to business owners, their clients and their employees.

Let’s start with RFID readers as an example of an interesting new technology that can be integrated into perimeter security plans. An RFID reader is a network-connected device that can be fitted to your gates, or to specific areas of a building. A token is read by holding it within close proximity of the reader, this triggers the system to look up as to whether this individual should be allowed access or not. If access is granted a green light flashes, if not then a red light flashes. This can be especially useful if you are trying to reduce the need for manned guarding, or want to find a way to limit access to specific areas to specific staff.

A similar tool for this purpose is a radio receiver. Remotes can be assigned to a radio receiver unit which can be housed in the interior of your site, or the exterior where it is also well-suited due to its all-purpose weather coating. What’s more, you can operate the controls with your remote from a distance, enabling you to open gates or garage doors without having to manually do so.

Another slightly different use for access control equipment is safety. Photocells for instance can be used to prevent accidents with vehicles or pedestrians. Acting as infrared sensors, they can detect motion and prevent an automatic gate from closing on objects, vehicles, or people that are coming within proximity of the gate’s path.

LED traffic lights can also be used to upgrade your existing access control measures. Commonly utilised for traffic control applications such as loading bays, weighbridges and ports, they are used to safely signal access instructions to visitors to your site.

LED traffic lights might be used alongside an automatic barrier that is triggered by an illuminated keypad or even an intercom system. Intercom systems can also be used internally to block off sensitive internal areas, or areas that house important goods and information. They might also be used in traditional business or public sector settings to allow visitors to communicate with staff who can check credentials and ultimately grant access without having to leave their posts.

Finally, one high tech option for access coordination that has previously been the preserve of police forces and high-security institutions is that of ANPR systems. Adoption of this new technology in the private sector is increasing as businesses look for ways to facilitate free-flowing movement without compromising their own security protocols.

ANPR systems are effectively number-plate recognition systems that determine access by reading a registration plate. Gateway offers ANPR which is accompanied by access Guardian. This provides business owners with access to a specialist server holding details of white-listed or blacklisted vehicles. This enables them to control their automatic barrier and decide who can enter or leave their site. They also provide traffic monitoring allowing users to search records of up to 25,000 registration entries by date time and location, along with high-resolution photos of vehicles.

Get in touch

Arranging effective perimeter security is not something that you should go at alone. No matter the size or nature of your business, we can provide you with a free, no-obligation quotation and feasibility survey to assess the security requirements of your organisation. For more information on any of the security options above, or for further advice on how to protect your business premises from criminals, please contact us here or call us on 01522 682 255.