Warehouse Security – What to Know
By: Kim Brown
Date Published: May 25, 2022
Warehouse security is a common need for commercial businesses. Thousands (and sometimes millions) of dollars of valuables are stored in the warehouse, so it is easy to see why securing the area is a top priority. Conversely, poor warehouse security can cause businesses to suffer significant losses in products and revenue.
Warehouse security isn’t just about protecting valuables – it takes people into account as well. Employees work better in an environment where they feel safe. There must be a way to curb unauthorized access.
What areas in a warehouse are most vulnerable?
While all-around warehouse security is paramount, certain areas tend to be more vulnerable than others. The gate and warehouse doors are major entry points that require special security. Securing entrances and exits goes a long way, but the professionals guarding these areas must have a way to protect themselves as well if they do end up in a dangerous situation.
Machinery and equipment need protecting, whether they are in or outside of the facility. These assets are necessary to keep operations running smoothly, so it’s best to take a proactive approach as opposed to having to react after something valuable has been stolen.
The value of effective warehouse security
A warehouse with poor security is an invitation to both internal and external opportunists. Intruders understand the value of a company’s warehouse, so you should anticipate their attack well before they launch it. Securing valuable assets is the most obvious advantage of a well-planned warehouse security system, but there are many more reasons why safeguarding your warehouse is paramount.
Peace of mind for staff
Employees are a key component of any successful business. As such, their safety should be a top priority. In the event of intruders gaining access, having professional security in place would help keep employees safe. Knowing that there are dependable security mechanisms in place lessens the need for workers to worry about their safety in their workplace. Instead, they can focus on their jobs and be productive.
Less internal theft
When you think of warehouse theft, it’s normal to think about strangers trying to infiltrate the facility. But breaches from internal sources also occur, and they can be more significant. Current employees can be a risk, but having the necessary security measures in place would deter potential theft attempts. That includes having cameras in the building and keeping some areas sealed off to those that don’t require access to certain places. The more access people have, the more likely those privileges will be misused.
Businesses with many employees may have a harder time monitoring people’s movements. This is a task that can be outsourced to professional security guards who are trained to monitor without appearing obvious or intrusive. These experts would be in charge of watching surveillance equipment and detecting suspicious behavior.
We want to avoid emergencies at all costs, but workplace leaders must plan for the worst and the unexpected. Having a dedicated emergency response system for your organization is a best practice, but for small businesses that have limited budgets, your warehouse security guards can take on this task. Security teams are made up of experts who are prepared to respond when others might panic.
Tools and technology will also help warn people about potentially dangerous situations. Equipment like carbon monoxide detectors or temperature sensors proactively helps keep people safe.
Of course, your employees should be trained for some situations, such as a warehouse fire, too. But sometimes, the situation on the ground may surpass their abilities.
Secures the company’s reputation
When companies take proper steps to finetune their warehouse security, they unconsciously protect the business’s image and reputation as well. Prioritizing safety and security is a big deal in a place where workplace hazards could occur almost anywhere. A safety-first mindset demonstrates professionalism and thoughtfulness.
Must-have tools for warehouse security
A top-tier warehouse security system would definitely have physical barriers that keep unauthorized access in check. If your company doesn’t use ID cards, keys, fobs or some other form of ID verification, you should consider an upgrade.
Experts recommend using separate areas for dispatching and receiving goods. Where possible, provide physical barriers between these two areas.
Install a barrier, such as a fence, around the exterior of the facility. Keep the gate locked if the warehouse closes for the evening. Some buildings may even keep the gate locked at all times and only allow access to authorized employees or visitors.
Warehouse security cameras perform two core functions. The physical presence is efficient in deterring ill-intentioned intruders. If there is an attack, the equipment provides evidence that managers or authorities can use. Ideally, you want warehouse cameras to:
- Be HD – a surveillance camera with high resolution is necessary
- Have night vision
- Pair with a mobile app so you can monitor footage
- Have a wide angle for optimal coverage
Life preservation equipment
Fire alarm systems, sprinklers, extinguishers and carbon monoxide detectors are legally required. These systems should be continually checked to ensure proper functionality.
Floods can also impact warehouses, so drains should also be monitored regularly. Install backup systems in the warehouse, such as water pumps, to minimize flood risk.
Physical security measures do not end with placing guards at exit/entrance points. An efficient patrol system would help many aspects of the business’s security processes. By conducting regular patrols, guards may see things that they wouldn’t otherwise, including malfunctioning equipment, unlocked doors, etc.
With a well-lit warehouse, you increase visibility, making everyone and everything easier to see.
A functioning alarm system is a necessary tool to help notify authorities of an ongoing incident. If intruders are aware of alarms in the warehouse, they would be less motivated to go on with their plan. If you have a silent alarm installed, it would help security arrive quickly at the scene before the culprits notice.
In order to reduce the chances of internal theft from occurring, run background checks on all staff and employees before you hire them. You could also set up an anonymous reporting system so that employees can report a coworker they believe is stealing without the fear of repercussion.
If your surveillance system does not provide automatic cloud backup, take the necessary step to ensure remote backup is in place. There are lots of services to choose from that offer real-time security footage backup. This is necessary because you never know when you’re going to need to review old footage.
Having strong doors at entry and exit points is commendable, but there are better ways to reinforce entryways. Consider investing in quality door screws and deadbolts to prevent intrusion attempts. Secure the warehouse’s windows with similar reinforcements, and ensure they are capable of handling harsh weather conditions.
An efficient warehouse security system requires a strategic approach. Rather than rely on archaic manual processes, protect your company’s assets by incorporating modern technological solutions as well. Educate your employees on emergency response techniques, and upgrade outdated security systems.