Security is a serious business, so when you’re hiring a third-party company to take care of things for you, you’ll want to be sure that you’re getting the very best. Not only do you need to know that you can trust them, but you should also check that they are fully up to the job, in order to keep your business totally safe and secure. Luckily, there’s an easy way that you can check for that- find out whether or not they have been officially accredited.

If a security contractor has been accredited by a professional body, then it’s a clear sign that they are a trustworthy, capable security provider. As well as checking that they are the real deal, this accreditation means that the company has to abide by a strict set of rules. Only the most capable of security companies qualify for SIA accreditation, so this really should be the first thing you look for when choosing a security contractor.

The SIA – or the Security Industry Authority, to give it its full name – is an independent organisation that reports directly to the Home Secretary. As the official regulator of the security industry, they are in charge of licensing every single private security firm- so they certainly know their stuff. As well as issuing standard licenses, though, they also have a voluntary scheme known as the Approved Contractor Scheme, or ACS, which sets apart the cream of the crop in the private security industry. It’s certainly a rigorous test since contractors need to be assessed against some 89 criteria of achievement. That means ACS approval shows that the company in question has a real track record of success – so you’ll know that their pitch isn’t just all talk and no action.

There are so many benefits to using an approved contractor, since only the cream of the crop reach this stage. With that accreditation under their belt, you can be sure that they only employ the most capable staff, and fully vet them before taking them on. What’s more, they also need to show a real dedication to high-level customer service, so approved contractors are guaranteed to go the extra mile to provide your business with the security service that you need. The SIA requires that their approved contractors offer customized services to suit each client’s needs, so it’s the smart choice for those looking for a tailored security service. Lastly, they are capable of working with the police and local community where necessary, to ensure that your business is always secure and under complete control.

So, how do you tell which contractors are SIA-approved? Well, that accreditation allows them to display the SIA logo on their website, as well as on their marketing materials. In addition, you can check the SIA database yourself. If you’d like to know more about what that accreditation means in practice, though, then the best thing to do is to simply ask the contractor – they will be able to tell you how their service can be of use to your business. It’s always worth asking private security contractors about what they have to offer- that way, you can be sure you’re teaming up with the perfect partner.

In today’s digital age, you might think that the majority of business-related crime takes place in cyberspace. However, real-world incidents still take place at an alarming rate – according to one report from last year, almost half of all small businesses in the UK had been the victim of crime in the previous two years. That figure is a clear sign that businesses remain tempting targets for criminals, and that something needs to be done to keep those businesses safe and secure.

Fortunately, though, businesses are taking steps to rectify this problem. That same report shows that a significant number of small businesses have made efforts to boost their security, either by installing a security system or upgrading their existing system. Naturally, that’s a big step towards increased security, and every little helps. However, there’s an extra step which could really bring enormous benefits to your business’ security – and that’s outsourcing your keyholding.

Think about it this way. If your business’ alarm goes off in the middle of the night, and you choose to handle your keyholding in-house, then the designated keyholder will need to go all the way to their workplace to check what’s up. Most of the time, incidents like this are just a false alarm, so there’s no harm done to your business. However, there are ramifications for the employee who had to get up and drive to work when they should have been in bed. When they get to work the next morning, they won’t be as alert as they should be, and therefore won’t be able to keep up the high standard of work you no doubt expect from them.

This is the best-case scenario if you handle your own keyholding. The worst case is that they really do stumble across a burglary – what then? It’s unlikely that they have been properly trained to deal with this sort of situation, and if they attempt to intervene themselves, they could end up seriously injured in the process.

They’re tired and grumpy in the morning, and not as efficient as usual, which is bad enough. But what if they’d arrived to find a burglary in process? Would they have been trained to deal with such an eventuality? How would you feel if they were injured trying to protect your property? No employer wants that on their conscience – and it highlights the fact that this approach to keyholding is worse than useless. Instead, maybe it’s time to think about outsourcing your keyholding to a dedicated alarm response company.

There are plenty of advantages to this approach. First and foremost, these outsourcing companies employ professional security guards who will know exactly what to do when an alarm goes off. They’ll immediately head to your business premises and conduct a thorough patrol of the property, inside and out, to ensure that everything is as it should be. What’s more, they also know how to liaise with the police properly, so that if the incident turns out to be the real deal, the perpetrators won’t get away scot-free.

The faster you act when an alarm goes off, the better chance you have of minimizing the damage to your business. If security shows up promptly, and are equipped to deal with any criminal misdeeds that they might find, then often criminals will panic and flee from the scene. What’s more, this approach also eliminates any risk to your employees, since they won’t have to put themselves in a potentially dangerous situation. As well as easing your conscience, this will show your staff that you genuinely care about them. Not only are you committed to keeping them safe, but you’re not subjecting them to sleepless nights- perfect!

Lastly, using an outsourced keyholding and alarm response service could actually save you money in the long run. The better protected your business is, the less of a risk you are to insurance companies. Many of them will therefore reward you with lower premiums, which may well cover the entire cost of outsourcing. So, there really is no excuse not to take a more professional approach to your business’ security, and hire the professionals to take care of things for you.