What are the surprises clubs should avoid this Christmas?

As Christmas approaches, Club Insure offers advice on burglar alarms and general security. Winter is a high point for theft and petty damages; keep your club protected with these security recommendations. Indeed, many of our recommendations can have an impact on your insurance policies.

What Alarm Systems Will Protect Your Club?

The physical, emotional and financial impact a burglary can cause significant harm to the survival of small businesses and clubs. Burglaries and break-ins are difficult to recover from and will affect your insurance.

Having an adequate alarm system installed and adhering to basic security advice can effectively deter any thieves or petty criminals intent on harm.

Alarm systems offer two forms of protection; deterence and detection. In the event of an intrusion, most basic alarm systems will trigger an audible or visual alarm. However this can be improved; for better protection, many insurers insist upon a monitored alarm system. A monitored alarm ssystem not only reacts with a physical alarm, but it will also notify emergency responders of the situation.

How to choose the right monitored alarm system for my club?

A searching for alarm companies will bring up thousands of results, this can be overwhelming and discouraging. At Club Insure, we suggest the following six steps to help ease your search:

1. Establish what type of alarm your Insurance Company requires or recommends – This can be done by contacting them, reading their information or talking to your broker. At Club Insure we only work with the best insurers and have over 20 years’ experience offering advice to clubs. Contact us if you are worried your insurer may require a specific alarm.

2. Seek professional advice – This could be from local professionals, nationwide security companies or the police. Checking out their information should provide valuable guidance on the best solutions and installation of alarms.

3. Find a company with certified employees – various training courses are available throughout the UK designed to educate people in fitting and maintaining alarm systems. Yet, at Club Insure we recommend contacting a professional to install and maintain your security alarms. At the very least a qualified electrician should be contacted to help assist with the installation.

4. Evaluate work history – Reviews and past work history are ideal ways of ascertaining whether an alarm manufacturer is credible or their products’ reliable. Do a little research before purchasing equipment or buying installation services.

5. Organise meetings with potential companies – If you have a large area to cover with your monitored system, perhaps interlinking buildings, then a consultation is key. Security recommendations is regularly include in a building inspection. 

6. Learn how to use your system properly – ensure all necessary staff are trained in setting the alarm; regular tests should be carried out. It is vital that your staff recognise whether the alarm is set properly or not.

Please note: The Alarm system must be used and operational whenever the property is vacant. If there is a fault with the alarm, then the property must not be left unoccupied. This could have significant consequences for your insurance. 

How to protect a club’s cash reserves?

  • Minimise the amount of cash you keep on the premises
  • Leave the till open and empty after cashing up
  • Make frequent pick-ups of money from tills and make regular bank deposits – employees in charge of making bank deposits should always be alert for strangers lingering at the bank. If in doubt, do not make the deposit while a suspicious person is in the area.
  • Always ensure that any money in transit to the bank or elsewehere is accompanied by the relevant number of able bodied persons as required by your Insurance Policy.
  • Install a good quality safe – be sure it is fireproof and securely anchored. It should be kept in plain view; and the combination should be changed when an employee who had access leaves your business. 
    For insurance policy purposes, the keys to the safe must be removed for the premises when outside of businesses hours, or placed within a strongroom or lockbox with those keys removed from the premises.

What security measure are essential for clubs?

  • Upgrade the security on your doors – deadbolt locks are an inexpensive way to keep intruders out of your workplace and many insurers require this as standard on all external doors and shutters.
  • A more advanced way to secure your business is through an electronic access control system – This system will provide a record of who opened or attempted to open every door
  • Padlocks, if used, should be close-shackle with matching locking bars. Remember to remove serial numbers from your lock to prevent unauthorised keys from being made
  • Windows should have secure locks and ideally burglar-resistant glass – if absolutely necessary consider installing metal grates
  • Always use interior and exterior lighting – installing and using motion sensor lighting is an inexpensive way to deter crime at your business.
  • Utilise CCTV – criminal activity can be deterred by placing video surveillance cameras in plain view. Remember, you can only place video surveillance cameras in public areas.
  • Adapt a key control policy – your business may be vulnerable to theft if you are unsure who has access to your building. Make sure the keys to your venue cannot be duplicated without your permission. Document the names of employees who have company keys or access cards.
  • Create a visitor access policy – it is important to know who is coming into your business. If possible, have each visitor sign in and acquire a visitor’s badge.
  • Keep expensive/attractive items away from entrances.
  • Ensure that alarm codes are reviewed regularly and particularly when a member of your staff leaves your employ. Many alarms can be set to give each individual a different access code. This makes it is very clear who has operated the alarm at any given time.
  • Be aware of suspicious strangers loitering in or near your place of business. Take particular notice of people who loiter during the opening and closing times of your business.
  • Try not to work alone. Studies indicate that the presence of several employees deter criminal activity.

Once you are satisfied that you have robust procedures in place this will give you the peace of mind to enjoy the festive season.

It’s Club Insure’s mission to safeguard the success and prosperity of our local clubs. We believe under our protection, clubs will get the best insurance for the best premium. But don’t take our word for it, read what our clients have to say here.

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