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Security at Home – Protecting the New Office

Set up ajaz
13 September 2021
 

Homeworking is far from a new concept, but the pandemic has encouraged many companies to stick with reducing their communal office commitments. With this comes reduced overheads but added responsibility to address individual working circumstances – where once there was a single property to protect, now there are multiple workstations to keep secure.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is unequivocal in their view that employers have the same responsibility towards home workers as they do to other staff, including the duty not to charge for things done or provided in accordance with their specific requirements. There are already increasing legal cases around home working, so it is clear that FMs must take action to put in place strong policies for a hybrid workplace that prioritises the safety of their employees and the company property that those people are using.

Stephen Roberts from CMD Ltd discussed with us last year how companies need to equip their teams to make working from home a permanent solution, foreseeing how this would develop in 2021 and beyond. 



Maintaining Data and Technology 

 

"A burglary takes place every 106 seconds in the UK"


– The Office for National Statistics

 

If a homeworker can access confidential company data, an employer needs to make them aware that such data must not be shared with or chanced upon by anyone else – including the homeworker’s family and friends. Also, additional security methods might be required, such as passwords or two-stage authentication. This may not be enough in every case, as the relaxed atmosphere of the home does not automatically engage a level of vigilance with properly shutting machines down and locking away important documents.

If any equipment is provided to a homeworker, it needs to be clarified whether the company insurance policy covers that equipment when being used in a home environment. If it doesn’t, there is a possibility that the employer will have to pay for a replacement in the event that the equipment is lost or stolen. Insurance premiums will of course go up if there are instances of theft due to the products being kept in an accessible place. Security systems however can help to reduce insurance premiums if declared. After a year of financial hardship for many, opportunists will be aware that workers are returning to the office and engaging with hybrid models – potentially leaving freshly kitted-out garden rooms or extensions susceptible to burglary. 

A burglary takes place every 106 seconds in the UK. The Office for National Statistics puts the average cost of a residential burglary in the UK at £3,030, and more than one-third of that is the emotional cost to victims – which makes sense when you consider that someone is home during 58 per cent of burglaries. This illustrates that even when people are present in their homes more, if the general criminal consensus is that there are more office-based valuables kept at residential properties in 2021, it is a risk worth considering and investing in. Will Hardie, Sales Director at Security Assured said, “it’s important to us that people feel protected and that is backed up practically in their homes, which is why we have chosen to offer a product that is versatile, can be implemented with visual cues as a deterrent, and puts the control into the hands of the resident.”

Their Rest Assured system is a monitored domestic or small premises intruder alarm. Other than the hub, which requires a fused spur providing constant power, the kit is wireless, so there is no need for cables to be run through your home. A 24/7 monitoring centre is connected to an app on the user’s mobile phone or chosen device, informing the first responder of any suspicious activity. With specifications gathered in advance, installation can be completed in most cases within half a day, making it a very convenient arrangement. Unlike some other installers, Security Assured are NSI Gold accredited - as therefore are their products - which means that they can provide you with a certificate of compliance that could reflect favourably on your insurance premiums.

“We install a commercial Grade 2 product, which differs from a residential system in that it has the potential for enlisting a police response in the monitoring subscription,” said Will. “That’s ideal for facilities managers looking for a professional security service, rather than solely relying on the employees to deal with the danger and theft of company property and data.“

 

Inspection and Appropriate Installations

 

In response to the increase in home working in the UK, inspections of home offices are being carried out to help companies follow through on their duty of care. On top of considerations for an employee’s productivity and health facilitation, there needs to be a unique assessment for how best to guard the space. Thankfully, the latter can be considered by many staff themselves with the correct guidance, leaving the company to simply collate and provide the details to installers. Self-employed individuals or those without company cover will also be able to assess their own requirements and achieve optimum peace of mind with their property. 


Optimising For Your Space
 

Security Assured have produced the perfect media for this task. Their short video shows how to create a suitable setup by adapting their Rest Assured package.
 

 


The Ajax starter kit costs £499 including VAT and installation, and has been independently reviewed by PSI magazine – they complimented "a wide range of detectors and simple set-up" as well as "good access to diagnostic information for monitoring purposes coupled with relatively straightforward battery changing". The system that they scored at 9.5 out of 10 includes the following:

  • One Hub
  • One door contact – these are to be mounted to all external doors of the property and will trigger an alert if a door is opened when the alarm is set.
  • Two motion sensors – these passive infrared detectors are pet-friendly.
  • One internal siren
  • One external siren
  • A certificate of compliance for home insurance purposes
  • An easy to use app for your smartphone or tablet

If you or your employees' assessments suggest a coverage extending the range of these elements, you can add as many extras to the package as necessary or desired. Once the kit is installed, a monthly subscription of £30 per month or £36 per month with police response per installation will provide you with:

  • 24/7 remote monitoring by our receiving centre
  • First responder contacting
  • Police response (optional)
  • 24/7 service line
  • An annual health check

For FMs and organisations looking to roll out a comprehensive security service across their remote workforce, Security Assured will be able to quote reasonable deals for multiple installations and collective monitoring. Find out more about them and get in touch now on their partner page.

Picture: the ajax set up in a home.

Article written by Bailey Sparkes | Published 13 September 2021

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