Security News & Tips

(COVID-19): Crime Prevention Advice on Vacant Home & Retail Premises

Many businesses have had to close their premises to prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). An Garda Síochána and the Irish Security Industry Association give the following advice to keep retail premises secure at this time:

• Ensure all entrance points to the building are protected with the best security solution, locks and bolts. If there are roller shutters, ancillary locking devices such as Shutter Locking Ram posts or Ground Locks should be used.

• We would advise the removal and banking of cash from premises for businesses closing for extended periods. If you are keeping cash on site ensure your cash-safe is insurance rated for the appropriate amount.

• Limit the amount of cash stored on the premises or in ATM’s.
• Consideration should be given to building a strong room/ Cash Office, where the safe, intruder panel & CCTV Recorder should be located.
• Use lighting to draw attention and deter criminals from approaching entrances.
• Routinely check the perimeter of your premises and inform Gardaí by telephone if you notice anything suspicious.
• To allow for an appropriate response to a breach of security ensure that your alarm system is monitored by an Alarm Receiving Centre.
• Periodically test your premises alarm system with your Alarm Receiving Centre.
• You must only employ the services of a Private Security Authority (PSA) licenced alarm company to install and maintain electronic security systems, ensuring that the intruder alarm system is serviced at least twice a year.
• Dual path intruder alarm signalling should be employed and connected to an Alarm Receiving Centre via, IP, GSM (Grade 3 or 4) or Radio backup.
• Ensure that your alarm has adequate coverage, particularly in voids above ceilings, where Point to Point beams may be employed.
• Vulnerable areas such as Cash Offices and where the intruder panel is located should have secondary devices to ensure a verified alarm is received by the monitoring centre.
• If possible, install CCTV cameras which can be remotely monitored by an Alarm Receiving Centre and allow for the appropriate response should an incident occur.
• Leave tills empty and open when not in use.
• If CCTV is in use, ensure that signage is in place and complies with the requirements of GDPR.
• Look for Garda assistance when attending to an alarm and consider employing the services of a Professional, Licensed Key-Holding Company.
If you are a business that is trading during this time, ensure HSE guidelines on social distancing are being adhered to. Ensure staff are keeping to agreed till limits and that you have effective cash management in place, with trusted staff lodging cash regularly. The Retail Security Guide is available for download on the Garda website

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Crime Prevention Advice on Vacant Houses

As our country responds to the threat of Coronavirus (COVID-19) some homes may become vacant should sole owner/ occupiers become hospitalised. Whilst adhering to current HSE advice on social distancing, where possible family, friends or neighbours should:

• Conduct frequent checks of the property at different times of the day to note any signs of trespassing or interference.
• Ensure the burglar alarm is set and working.
• Secure all doors and windows with deadbolt locks.
• Install timers on internal lights and motion detectors on external lights to make the house appear occupied and offer natural surveillance of the property.
• Ensure that the building doesn’t look neglected. Cut the grass and hedges regularly.
• Remove rubbish from inside the building and around the perimeter.
• Report any suspicious activity by telephone to local Gardaí.
• Inform the local Garda station about the premises being vacant to afford passing attention on patrols.
• Put measures in place to protect empty buildings against arson, theft and vandalism.
• Avoid the build-up of post and unsolicited mail by arranging ‘mail minder’ service with An Post to retain post for collection and place a ‘No Junk Mail’ sign on letter-box.

Landlords and Owners of Vacant Property should:

• Keep a check on their vacant residences and know what property they have. Many scrap metal related crimes are difficult to solve because people are often unable to narrow down a time-frame when the crime actually occurred.
• Don’t leave items, such as ladders and tools, unsecured around the residence. Keep property secured and out of sight from opportunist thieves.
• Use security lighting around your residence and storage buildings and ensure shrubs do not obscure light fixtures.
• Consider installing fencing or security bars around heating and air conditioning units to prevent theft and damage to these items.
• If you have vacant residences, keep them secured and check them frequently for any signs of tampering. Ask neighbours to call Gardaí if they see anyone suspicious on the property.
• Record serial numbers, or apply your own numbers to items that could be stolen from your residence. If there are no serial numbers, apply your own number to these items and keep them. Photograph items around your residence that could be targets for potential thieves. This can be of tremendous assistance to Gardaí investigating these cases.
• Don’t leave vehicles unlocked. Automotive batteries are potential targets for scrap metal thieves. Catalytic converters are easily stolen from vehicles; park vehicles in well-lit areas and keep a check on them.
• If you see suspicious individuals or vehicles in your neighbourhood, call the Gardaí and try to get registration numbers and descriptions.

Contact ESP Security today for more information with regard to home and business security alarms systems, alarm repairs and alarm servicing. 

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