For any business, security is a top priority. Between physical and cyber threats, companies worldwide can encounter an issue at a moment’s notice. It’s always wise to have a security plan in place, especially when businesses have valuable equipment and tools to protect.
Those in the landscaping world know materials and supplies can cost thousands. To mitigate any possible risks, business owners should put guidelines in place. Here are a few ideas:
1. Control who has keys
It seems obvious, but many owners don’t think twice before they hand out keys to employees. That poses a risk for the company, as anyone can access secure areas whenever they want. Rather than hand out keys haphazardly, owners should have key control policies.
A key management system will ensure employees are responsible for the keys they receive. This trick also helps owners know where keys are at all times, so when a concern pops up, they can act quickly. Those who don’t want to create a master key system can consider smart locks.
Because smart locks are accessible from various devices, owners have a way to check on keys and locks wherever. This convenience does come with a price, since smart locks are at risk for cybersecurity breaches. Feel free to use a mix of physical and smart keys.
2. Keep expensive equipment out of sight
Did you know the cost of equipment theft totals more than $400 million annually? The saying “out of sight, out of mind” remains true. From leaf blowers to lawnmowers, landscapers have numerous tools to keep safe — and a secure, hidden spot works best.
Keep all valuable products locked in a specific area, such as a warehouse. This space shouldn’t have any open fencing or gates. If a potential burglar can’t see the items, they probably won’t stick around to find out what’s behind the closed doors.
Every business should have a security system with alarms. These setups are still the best ways to keep the property safe when owners or employees aren’t at work, as they provide a direct line to the police. Plus, security systems have cameras that add another layer of protection.
Furthermore, burglars are less likely to break into a business when they spot a security system. It can be a deterrent before they even step onto the property. Be sure to post a few signs around the building about the setup.
Note that wired security systems are the best option, as hackers can’t disrupt them as easily.
4. Add motion sensor lights
A lot of people like to leave their lights on to deter break-ins. It’s a common trick to switch on the living room light before bed, as a burglar would know someone was home. That’s also a method homeowners like to try when they go on vacation.
However, businesses may want to put lights on a timer or use motion sensor lights instead. These ideas can scare burglars away, so they won’t even try to break into the space. A property with additional security measures will fare better, so aim to pair the lights with other tricks.
Be sure to add motion sensor lights inside and outside equipment storage areas, which will also help employees see better when they pull out or return tools.
5. Keep track of visitors
At any given moment, various employees can be anywhere on the property. Plus, landscapers may sometimes need to meet with clients and customers at the actual business location. Because many people can come and go throughout the day, owners should keep track of them.
Have employees clock in and out when they arrive and leave.
Ask guests to sign in with contact information.
Track when employees take and return equipment and tools.
It’s also smart to keep a ledger of the vendors and suppliers that stop by the business. Because landscaping companies often receive deliveries, they might have different people come by throughout the week. Record who drops off the items as a security measure.
Because landscaping businesses have to protect valuable products, owners should take specific measures to ensure safety. From key control to storage tricks, landscapers can use many suggestions to keep their company secure. These ideas are a helpful way to start.
Evelyn Long is a writer and editor focused on home building and construction. She is the co-founder of Renovated, a web magazine for the home industry.