Regardless of the nature of your business, there is always a threat of crime against your employees, services, products or your premises.

According to the “2012 Commercial Victimisation Survey” published by the UK Government in June 2013, 46% of businesses in England and Wales have experienced some form of crime on their premises. Although many businesses rightly instruct their employees about the importance of protecting documents or cash, they sometimes underestimate physical security.

However, prioritising physical security and training employees about how to securely enter and leave the premises means that businesses are less vulnerable to crime in general.

Here are five top tips for keeping your businesses secure:

1. Reinforce your doors

Secure the doors on your premises, as burglars commonly enter a building through the door. Ensure doors are made from robust material like solid wood, or even fortified with steel sheets under the deadbolt or along the edges. Additionally, reinforce the doorframe with steel lining to prevent it from splitting if somebody attempts to break in. Deadbolts and door chains are additional security reinforcements.

However, it’s crucial to have an alarm. Many businesses invest in silent alarms, which secretly alert security or the police during a burglary. That way, the culprits are caught in the act.

It’s good practice to frequently change the code on your door alarm, so you can make sure only current employees are aware of it and able to enter the building. Finally, ensure employees understand that they should close and lock doors when they leave and that whoever is the last to leave should set the alarm.

2. Have you secured your windows?

It’s an obvious statement, but closing and locking the windows when leaving the building will reduce the risk of crime. Taking precautions, like ensuring window locks cannot opened when windows are broken or coating windows in burglar-resistant glazing will further minimise vulnerability.

3. Maintain your appearance

Have you heard of the broken window effect? It’s the theory that a building is more vulnerable to crime if it’s not kept in good condition. Whether you accept this theory or not, you cannot argue that it’s not a bad idea to maintain the exterior by keeping it clean, sufficiently lit and monitored by security cameras.

Ensure your employees understand the importance of disposing of rubbish properly and clearing up outside areas before leaving. Additionally, leave a few lights on inside the building during the night so that somebody can be seen if they manage to enter.

4. Use a professional security service

Businesses, particularly small ones, can benefit from using a professional security service. Facilities management company can of help. It’s not only true that security guards are trained to patrol the premises and identify criminal behaviour, but also, their presence prevents crime. Having a guard onsite is likely to deter burglars in the first place.

5 – Have a code of conduct

The most important tip of all is to encourage employees to practice security when they enter, and especially, exit the premises. Establish a code of conduct as part of their formal induction and on-going training, which emphasises security, including locking windows and doors, leaving lights on, clearing up outside areas and setting the alarm. Additionally, emphasise the importance of protecting company property or sensitive information when outside the company’s premises.

By taking time to implement these tips for security, you can reduce your company’s vulnerability to crime.