10 Tips to Improve The Security Of Your Warehouse
Deploying security systems for the warehouse and logistics category can seem daunting to anyone outside of the security industry.
Everything risk-related needs to be factored in, from theft prevention, access control, surveillance, fire and safety, to disaster recovery, data security and environmental monitoring. The days of the facilities manager simply contracting a single service provider or vendor (usually the lowest-quoted priced) for each risk category and hiring them to install and forget about it, are gone. “One throat to choke” is an expression we in the security business use to describe the advantages of working with a single integrator to handle everything security-related. That way, when something needs to be addressed or fixed, there is only “one throat to choke.”
As manufacturers, distributors and retailers look to optimize their supply-chain processes, warehouses are evolving into highly automated centers equipped with the latest, cutting edge technology. That’s why we’ve compiled the below list of the 10 most important warehouse security tips below. If you don’t currently have a professional system in place or you’ve outgrown you’re current system, use this list as a jumping-off point. We’ll begin with some practical advice:
1) Don’t rely on manual data entry practices
According to Motorola Solutions, with the technology available nowadays, it’s basically essential to use mobile computers with barcode scanners or RFID readers at the receiving dock of a warehouse in order to immediately identify products upon arrival. Motorola suggests that manual data entry simply takes up too much time today. The barcode scanners and RFID readers help get the product off the dock quickly and eliminate nearly all the errors associated with manual receiving, including identification, counting and data entry errors.
2) Have an emergency response plan in place
According to OSHA, employers should have an emergency plan that describes what is expected of employees in the event of an emergency. This plan should include provisions for emergency exit locations and evacuation procedures; procedures for accounting for all employees and visitors; and the location of fire extinguishers and other emergency equipment. Warehouse operations need a lockout/tagout program to prevent equipment from being accidentally energized, which can lead to employee injuries. Also, warehouse operations management should conduct a site hazard assessment to determine what personal protective equipment must be required based on the hazards present. They should also train warehouse employees on proper PPE selection, use and maintenance.
3) Communicate effectively and often
According to Inbound Logistics, clearly communicating your organizational goals and the necessary processes to achieve them is the key to effective warehousing operations. When managers fail to create an environment of effective communication, employee productivity suffers, resulting in high turnover and wasted resources.
4) Utilize Motion Detection
Motion detection is widely viewed as the backbone of your security system because it’s the feature that can detect when someone is on your premises when they shouldn’t be. By now, we all know that motion detectors go off when a sensor is tripped by movement. That sends a signal to your security system’s control panel, which then goes to the central monitoring center. A professional security system provider will have a central monitoring center that operates 24/7, ensuring that your warehouse is always protected.
5) Utilize Perimeter Protection
Perimeter protection is an extremely important aspect of warehouse security, especially if your warehouse has a large surrounding area. The bigger your yard, the more vulnerable your warehouse is as the points of entry are harder to properly secure. However, there are aspects of professional security that can address this issue,
“IP cameras, video verification systems, glassbreak detection and door protection are key elements of an optimal perimeter warehouse security system,” said Supreme technician Dan Weidenfeld. And his words of advice lead us into our next few points.
6) Utilize Glassbreak Detection
A glassbreak detector is a sensor used in electronic burglar alarms that detects if a panel of glass is shattered or broken. It uses a microphone that monitors any noise or vibrations coming from the glass, and if the vibrations exceed a certain threshold, the sensor will be triggered and your alarm provider’s central monitoring center will be notified.
This can come in handy for large warehouses with ground-level windows. Warehouses can be very large and it’s hard to keep tabs on every corner of the building without the proper equipment. With glassbreak detection, you can know when a ground level window has been compromised immediately.
7) Utilize Remote Notification Technology
Whether you’re looking to safeguard the exterior of your facility or secure high-traffic areas in your building, professional security companies offer remote notifications that go straight to your smartphone or email to let you know when important points of entry have been accessed.
Whether you’re at home on your couch or at the grocery store, you can check on the security of your warehouse wherever you get cell phone service or an internet connection.
8) Integrate Building Access Control into Your Security Plan
Electronic building access control technology is ideal for permitting and restricting access to your premises or secured areas within the premises. With a professional building access control plan in place, only people with permission can enter your premises. You can utilize a key card or key fob entrance plan to limit the points on entry into your warehouse.
Access control systems can be integrated into a number of other commercial security solutions, such as CCTV, for maximum effectiveness. With an electronic access control system in place, a business owner can easily control access to a facility or secured areas.
9) Integrate Environmental Control into Your Security Plan
Process and environmental monitoring is crucial for maximum protection of sensitive materials and operations. Environmental monitoring serves two very important purposes for your business: it can be a lifesaver in times of emergency and and it can also increase operational efficiency and control costs. Whether you have an office that needs air conditioning, heating systems needed to maintain temperature, or a critical refrigerated room, environmental control can provide you with added peace of mind. It can also keep track of run state, pressure, power and flooding and alert you to changes in any of the categories.
10) Regularly Test Your System
It’s important to regularly test your security system in order to ensure that everything is working properly. As the old saying goes, better safe than sorry, and the last thing a business owner wants is an investment that doesn’t pay off. Most professional security companies recommend a weekly testing of your alarm system. As far as day-to-day system maintenance and upkeep, there should be none “as long as the system is designed properly,” Weidenfeld said.
If these tips have been eye-opening, consider equipping your warehouse with a state-of-the-art security system from a professional security provider. Remember, “one throat to choke.” It could be the difference between a well-run, synchronized operation and costly chaos or even devastation.