Whether you run a tennis club, a youth club or a historical society, you need to ensure that the building you use and the contents within it are safe and secure.
Clubs come in all shapes and sizes, so the use and size of a club's premises, and value of equipment stored in it, can vary widely from organisation to organisation. Whether you run a social group in a shared occupancy building or are responsible for a club with a purpose-built club-house, there are some standard measures you can take to minimise the risk of theft or malicious damage.
Carry out an assessment of your risks
Conduct a thorough assessment of your premises and identify any vulnerabilities. The risk level of the property and its contents will depend on its location and what it's being used for, therefore it's important to assess all of your assets. Factors to consider include:
- Any equipment kept at the property and how it's stored
- The number of people with access to the property
- The security systems already in place
- The crime rate in the area
- The type of crime reported in the area
- Whether money or sensitive information is kept on the premises overnight
- The number of entrances, exits and windows
It's important not to focus solely on the valuable assets your club holds. A building and its contents should be reviewed in their entirety. It may be necessary to take a series of different actions to mitigate the risk, depending on what is identified in your assessment.
Consider your physical security options
The security you put in place and how much you spend should be appropriate to the type of club you run, the items you hold and the location in which you are based. The solutions you implement will depend on the issues identified in your initial assessment. While many club budgets probably won't stretch to state-of-the-art monitored-CCTV or hi-tech signalling systems, there are still effective security measures you can take.
For example, having good quality deadlocks for doors and installing burglar alarms and/or security lighting. If your clubhouse has land as well as property (e.g. a tennis or cricket club), installing security fencing around the perimeter is a useful deterrent.
Thieves are known for targeting external storage units, so if you store items in a lock-up, or container, make sure you have considered the quality of your locks. You should also consider the security of money if your organisation holds any on the premises.
Safes are a crucial and simple way to keep money safe. All safes come with a cash carrying limit, which shouldn't be exceeded, so make sure you understand its limit before leaving money on the premises.
Understand the role people play
Remember, even if you have the best security system in the world, your efforts could all be in vain if the person responsible for closing up your club premises at the end of the day forgets to lock a door or window.
Therefore it is important that all club employees, members and volunteers have a clear understanding of what the security measures are and what their own personal responsibilities are. People measures you could implement include:
- Minimising the risk of unlawful break-ins by limiting the number of people who have access to keys and alarm codes
- Reducing the risk of theft by employees by carrying out thorough background checks and identifying any previous criminal history
- Asking members to sign in and out regularly used items, such as sports or camera equipment, so that you can keep track of their whereabouts and reduce the risk of theft
Remember to take the time to read your insurance policy wording to understand what situations will be covered if you experience damage to your premises or theft of your equipment, and any preventative measures that you need to put in place
Understand your insurance needs
No matter how vigilant you are, opportunistic thieves and malicious individuals may still steal from or damage your property, so it's important to have adequate insurance cover in place. Questions to consider when thinking about insurance are:
- What is the building made of?
- What physical measures are in place to protect the property?
- Are you the sole occupant or do you share the building with others?
- What items are stored there and how are they secured?
- Do you have any outbuildings and how are they secured?
- Do you store any specific high-value items on-site?
It's also important to ensure your policy is kept up to date, particularly if your club circumstances change. For example, if you buy a new piece of expensive equipment, or you build an extension or outbuilding for storage.
Posted by Dale Morris. Posted In : Club Security