The office we be closed from the 24th of December over the Christmas period and we will re-open on the 2nd of January.
We’ll have a skeleton staff in the office on Monday 24th December until 1pm, after which the office will be closed until Wednesday 2nd January. Please leave us a message and we’ll be able to deal with your inquiry as soon as we return to the office.
If you need emergency assistance with your fire or security systems during this time and you have a current contract, our out-of-hours response team will continue to operate as normal over Christmas and the New Year. Just call 01865 782 444 and you’ll be connected to someone who can help.
Thank you from all of us at Chris Lewis Fire and Security have a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year!
Increase the safety of your business, clients and staff in the real world
Today we are often told that we live in a digital world and with that comes the increasing risk of online crime. Clearly, cyber security is a threat and one should be taken extremely seriously. However, it would be a mistake to do so at the expense of physical security. Our life isn’t just online, we live in the real world and criminals pose just a threat to our physical property and they do to our digital assets.
Hopefully you have passwords and anti-virus software and firewalls to keep all your digital details secure, but how safe are your buildings, assets and paper documents? By protecting your business in the real world, as well as against cyber criminals, you can keep all aspects of your business and life more secure.
Benefit from better security
The correct layers of security won’t just make your business more secure, it will also enhance the legitimacy of your enterprise. Your staff and clients will see the efforts you go to keep them safe and will value it. What’s more, a company that invests in security is saying to the world that you take your business, staff and clients seriously and want to protect them.
How secure is your business?
Could anyone just walk in off the street and enter your business? If so, how far would they get without being stopped or questioned? If an unwanted visitor did enter your building and commit a crime, would you be able to discover the identity of that person? Would you be able to present any evidence to the police?
The most secure buildings have a security system which is made up of layer upon layer of different measures that work together to make sure all aspects of the business are protected.
- Perimeter security
One of the best ways to keep your business secure is to make sure criminals can’t even get near the building. Perimeter security includes barriers, bollards, road blocks and security gates. As well as being a strong deterrent, perimeter security enables you to protect your whole site not just your building.
When combined with an intruder alert solution, such as a perimeter intruder detection system (PIDS), it is a robust way to prevent and detect unwanted access to your site.
Another strong deterrent against crime, CCTV can prevent crime as well as record criminal actions. Modern HD CCTV can be wired or wireless and is far easier to monitor, record and store than ever before as management is enhanced from home or anywhere in the world via phone pc or tablet. To take it a step further, CCTV Analytics can be employed. This can include technologies such as license plate recognition (LPNR) and even facial recognition – to alert you of specific unwanted individuals. Your CCTV should be installed by an expert, a good security surveyor will know the best places to locate cameras for optimum coverage and protection.
- Access Control
You should be able to control who can gain entry to your premises, and once inside, regulate accessibility to parts of your business. When a commercial premise has multiple employees and customers who need freedom of movement, it is time to think past a lock and key solution.
Video intercoms are a useful way to see, as well as hear, who wishes to enter your property. Access control tags can also be used – and it is a good idea to make sure employees’ and visitors’ entry only allow them access to the areas that they need to be in. Photo ID cards are also a good way to quickly check a person is permitted on site. Of course, IDs and swipe cards can be lost or stolen, for higher level access control, biometric or fingerprint recognition gives enhanced entry security.
- Talk to your team about security
Employees need to understand the importance of security so you can work together to protect your assets and each other. Devise a clear set of easy to follow security procedures and communicate the policies to all staff.
Warn your team about common methods of breaching security, such as tailgating (people following legitimate entry). Everyone should be aware and reminded to stay observant, this way staff can make sure they don’t allow an unauthorised visitor into a restricted area or have their pass code observed by a bystander.
- Practice what you preach
Set a good example of best practice security. Make sure any access codes you have are changed regularly and don’t forget to change or remove them when a member of staff leaves your employment. If you’ve invested time and money in security – don’t forget to keep your systems maintained. Most security systems work best when checked and serviced regularly.
And finally, make sure you close the windows and remember to turn on your intruder alarm when you leave the building!
About Chris Lewis Fire and Security
Chris Lewis Fire and Security is an experienced and award-winning company with a team skilled in designing and installing fire and security systems for commercial offices, retailers and licensed premises. We cover anything from access control gates to CCTV systems, and everything in-between. Why not call us now and get your free security audit.
Talk to us about an integrated fire and security system
To find out more about how to protect your business, upgrade your system or maintain it, get in touch or call us on 01865 782 444.
Education security: How to select the right installers for your establishment’s needs
Unless you have received a personal recommendation, choosing a security company can
seem daunting. Educational buildings come with a long list of specific safety needs and requirements. Searching on the internet can present you with a wide choice of companies, all seeming to provide what you want.
So how do you decide which one to choose?
Your success in making the right choice depends on two key activities: thoroughly researching what functions and service you will get in return for your investment, and correctly assessing the expertise and professionalism of the company you choose. Here are the top ten criteria you need to investigate along with the questions you need to ask to be confident of making an informed decision.
1 Reputation: How long have you been in business?
A company that has been in business for some time will be well-tested and have a relatively large customer base. It is also more likely to be able to weather a difficult economic climate and less likely to fold leaving you to repeat your selection process or write-off any of your investment. Can the company tell you how many customers it has? Can it provide you with customer testimonials? A fully-accredited company also shows that a company is able to meet industry standards, look out for ECA, NSI gold and FSA badges.
2 Product knowledge: What product ranges do you use?
Products and technologies are constantly changing. Try to establish how knowledgeable your prospective security company is, what product options and choices are available to you, and how the company embraces new technologies. Ask what areas of security it covers – alarms, access control, CCTV, and so on, and be confident that they can meet any future requirements you may have.
3 Customer-centric advice: How do you decide what is best for me?
A company that sees itself as a trusted advisor should help you decide what’s right for you and not try to impose a one-size- fits-all solution – the right solution might not necessarily have all the features that are available. Make sure when you receive your estimate that the company has really listened to your requirements and taken into account your budget and any other constraints you have stipulated.
As a school or college your installation will have to take into Ofsted regulations as well as the Data Protection Act and the Home Office guidelines. The installer you select to carry out your security project needs to understand all legislation that goes along with it. If your school is in a listed building, you might want to deal with an installer that has experience working in this kind of environment and understands the challenges it may present.
4 Breadth of service: What sort of ongoing customer care do you provide?
Regular maintenance of your security system will ensure peace of mind and should avoid the need for expensive emergency call-outs. Reputable companies will offer a range of service levels to suit your budget and the system being installed. They should be able to offer a committed date and time for maintenance visits. Ask whether there is a dedicated customer service function and find out how they handle customer calls out of office hours – do you have to call a mobile number or is there seamless continuity of service via a landline? Will they come out at weekends? Do they guarantee 24/7 support 365 days a year?
5 Tailored security: Can you offer a system design service in-house?
If you have more complex security requirements, you will probably want to choose a security company with a specialist design team, experienced in producing bespoke solutions. These specialists should also be able to advise you on legal requirements (such as privacy issues related to CCTV), and health and safety issues. The better companies will be able to create CAD (Computer-Aided Design) drawings so that you can properly visualise the final installation and can accurately assess the impact and viability of different options.
Chris Lewis Fire and Security have worked on some of the most important educational buildings in the country. Based in Oxford, we have have built up a strong relationship with the University of Oxford and the colleges network. Recent examples of working in partnership with then on security projects include the new Investcorp Building at St Antony’s College, Balliol College and Pembroke College.
See more of the work we have have done with educational buildings in our case studies.
If you are a school and and need advice with fire or security protection get in touch today
What you need to know to keep your organisation safe and secure this season
The festive period can be a profitable time of year for many businesses, but it often means a break from work too. If you want to relax over winter, take our advice and follow these tips to protecting your premises.
Erode the cover of darkness
Dark winter nights can provide burglars with perfect cover to scope your premises. Install security lighting around your building to prevent intruders from going unnoticed to passers-by or use motion-activated lighting to deter trespassers. Consider integrating CCTV cameras to your security system so you can record surveillance footage if activity is detected around your property’s perimeter or your intruder alarm is activated.
Tag your assets
For a burglar, an office, school or warehouse left empty for any length of time is an attractive target. Make sure assets that can be easily carried are marked, to facilitate easy identification and recovery in the event of a burglary. UV marker pens provide a simple and effective way to label your property with your postcode.
Lock-down and minimise risk
If you’re lucky enough to shut up shop over Christmas, spend a little extra time doing a safety check around your premises before you lock up. Switch off lights, computers, monitors, photocopiers, etc, unplug all unnecessary electrical items, check CCTV cameras are working properly, and test your fire and intruder alarms. If staff members do need to come in to work over the break, make sure they know how to disable and reset the alarm, and who to call in an emergency.
Don’t advertise your business
This is quite possibly the one time of year when you don’t want to advertise your business. A clear view of easy-to-carry computer and audio visual equipment can provide the perfect incentive for a thief to attempt a break-in. Close blinds and window dressings on ground floor windows to deter prowlers, and if that’s not possible, move high-value portable equipment so it’s out of sight.
Get notified if there’s a problem
If there was any kind of incident at your workplace over the festive period, you’d probably want to know about it quickly so you could assess the damage and prevent significant loss. Alarm monitoring ranges from simple text messaging to full-blown police response, so invest in a method that gives complete peace of mind and allows you focus on having a very merry Christmas!
As Oxfordshire’s largest independent fire and security installers we are ideally placed to offer the right system for your business. With experience, excellent customer service and innovative products, we have everything you need to stay safe. Get in touch today
Burglaries surge after the clocks go back. Chris Lewis Fire and Security have some top tips to keep your home safe over the coming months.
Data shows that theft insurance claims increase by around 38%* once British Summer Time ends. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help prevent being part of this statistic and a victim of crime.
- Burglars don’t tend to target homes that are occupied so use timers for lights and turn radios on if you are out of the house overnight.
- Always draw your curtains at night and make sure valuable items cannot be easily seen from outside.
- Visible burglar alarms and security lighting are great deterrents – just make sure your alarms are switched on when you’re out and your security lights don’t disturb your neighbours.
- Get a professional maintenance check and test your security lighting, motion sensors or CCTV cameras on a regular basis. Bad weather can damage outdoor equipment, and you may not notice until it’s too late.
- Remember, if a burglar does get into your home then handbags, wallets, and house or car keys are obvious targets. Don’t leave them in a prominent position such as at the bottom of the stairs, and keep your keys safely out of sight.
- Make sure garden tools, ladders or anything else that could be used to break into your home are not left lying around. Garden walls, fencing, trees and shrubs may all help a thief break in without being seen.
- Chain-link fencing, trellises and prickly shrubs all help deter burglars.
- UPVC doors must be fitted with a three-point multi-locking system, while patio doors should be fitted with top and bottom key-operated bolts.
- Neighbourhood Watch and other ‘watch’ schemes are an excellent way for communities to fight burglary. You’ll find some home insurance policies give you a discount if you live in a Neighbourhood Watch area.
- Unfortunately elderly people can be vulnerable, so consider getting elderly relatives a personal alarm.
When the nights draw in it’s more important than ever to make sure your home is properly secure. If you want to relax over winter, take our advice and follow these tips to protect your home this winter.
If you would like to find out anymore about the products mentioned here or how we can help you protect your home this winter, please get in touch today
*Statistic from data collected by the Co-operative Insurance Group.