7 Step Security Survey

If you can reduce theft, vandalism and fraud by having an effective strategy in place, you will be able to reduce losses and increase your peace of mind.


You may want to carry out a survey because of recent crime in your area, or you may have already been targeted and want to secure your property.


A logical approach will help you consider all areas of your home or business, so that any improvements to security are more likely to be effective.


Good security and obvious attention to detail will help deter criminals.


Step 1


Preparation will give you an idea of what you will cover in the survey and give you more chance to identify effective measures to reduce the opportunities for crime.


Preparation should include:


  • What crime is already in the area?
  • Have you or anyone nearby been a victim of crime?
  • Is there a Business Watch or Neighbourhood Watch Scheme in the area?
  • What are the possible targets?
  • How high is the risk against those targets and what effect will it have? – consider all effects -  financial and:


Home:              Emotions

                        Loss of Information – paper or computer

                        Insurance implications

                        Treasured items


Business:          In addition…

Staff morale

                        Company image

                        Business Continuity

Step 2


Start with looking around your area, the streets, industrial estate, retail park, pedestrian walkways.


If the area is well maintained it will give the impression that it is cared for and that security measures are in place.


Look to see what might help a criminal – trees, walls, bushes to hide behind.


A well maintained area will increase the effort it will take to commit a crime and increase the risk of being caught in the act.


Step 3


Check our your boundaries.

Walk around the area, check for weak areas.

Make sure all the boundaries are secure and well maintained, especially where not clearly visible.

Entrances should be secured when frequent access is not required.


Consider what opportunities has a criminal got –


                                    To climb walls or fences, such as a bin

                                    Targets for arson such as bins or skips

                                    Accessible tools or materials to help break in

                                    Hiding places

                                    Areas of poor lighting and visibility from outside


Step 4


Look at the building, including walls, windows, doors, skylights and roof.  Include sheds, outside storage areas, garages, cellars and air vents.  Consider any gaps where a tool could be used to prise open an entry point or window.


Introduce measures that will put off potential criminals – the longer the criminal is visible from the outside and the more noise they make, the easier it is for them to be noticed.


Step 5


Consider your existing locking mechanisms – are they sufficient?


Doors fitted with locks tested to BS PAS 24 standard are normally fitted to high security doors for homes and businesses.  Doors should be fitted with a five-lever mortise lock tested to British Standard BS 3621.


Secure unattended external doors.

Check fire door mechanisms work correctly


Windows should have locks which are secured with a key


For businesses in medium to high risk areas, additional physical security can be added such as grills, shutters, mesh and hatch covers, reinforcing bars, laminated glass and tinted glass to reduce visibility of valuable items.


Step 6


Inside your premises, take account of your assets.  Take note of the make, model and serial number of equipment.  Consider security marking your equipment.


If possible, high value equipment, or equipment essential for a business, should be secured in a separate room with controlled access.


If there is an alarm fitted check that it works and that it is serviced regularly.  Consider who monitors it and who will respond to an alarm activation.


Step 7


When you have finished your survey you will be able to highlight any security risks, threats and possible targets.  You can then devise a plan which could involve adding additional lighting, cutting back hedges, increasing security to access points, setting up computer passwords, carrying equipment in the boot of the car, removing equipment from a vehicle overnight, making sure equipment is stored securely and doors are locked to the room containing the equipment.


Keep notes on your security survey and review it to make sure nothing has been left out.


Businesses also need to consider the control of stock, staff procedures, staff personal safety and staff confidentiality.


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The information contained in the Seven Point Guide to a Security Survey has been researched by Vanguard Surveillance and Security, derived from professional experience and specialist training from Security Industry Authority approved Training Providers.


This publication is intended as a Guide only.


Use of the Seven Point Guide to a Security Survey will help give a sound grounding to producing a security risk assessment and ultimately a security plan, which will assist to deter criminal activity to your property and business.


Vanguard Surveillance and Security conduct a more in-depth security survey and risk assessment as a matter of course to our potential clients, in line with our Health and Safety and Operating Procedures.