Why Is Key Holding and Alarm Response Vital for Retail Firms?


As England and other areas of the United Kingdom head into another national lockdown, it’s never been more important that retail businesses protect their interests. Of all sectors affected by the Covid-19 virus, the high street is certainly right up there. Restrictions regarding social distancing rules and face coverings have significantly impacted the shopping experience at retail premises. As for the lockdowns that come and go, there is nothing more damaging than a business having to close their doors.

These are challenging times for the industry, but there is light at the end of the tunnel and in the meantime, it’s important that businesses continue to adapt to the ever-evolving situation. A national lockdown for non-essential businesses should not mean that you stop protecting the interests of your business. Whether you temporarily close or continue to operate a click-to-collect service, the security of your premises is still paramount. Thieves have been known to increase their criminal activity during lockdown as this is when premises are left vacant and vulnerable. In what is already a difficult period, you do not want to sustain loss of valuable items or pay for damages, or even have to deal with the consequences of losing sensitive information such as customer or employee data.

Stage Event Security is a specialist security firm based in Ipswich, Suffolk. They know all about the importance of adapting in these challenging times while the country continues to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. There was a time not too long ago when Stage were providing security for large-scale events, festivals and nightclubs. However, due to the virus, in 2020 they were forced to adapt to the current situation. This mean adjusting their priorities to focus on other areas of keeping businesses safe and secure. While events are not operating, businesses are always in needing of security solutions, such as key holding and alarm response.

In this article, Stage Event Security will explain a bit about what key holding and alarm response is, and why it is important for retail firms.

What Is Key Holding & Alarm Response?

Key holding and alarm response are two separate services with their own benefits, but they do both go hand in hand and are most effective when used together. First of all, key holding is where a security firm will be appointed as a designated keyholder. This means that the professional security firm will have access to a set of keys to a business site and that the keys will be safely stored. The keys will then be readily available should they ever be needed. One example of this is if an employee were to lose or misplace their keys and needed to access the premises. Businesses can rest assured that they won’t get locked out of their workplace. It also means that if a security incident arises, the security team can be the first to attend and are able to access the site. Once they have been used, the keys will then be returned to a safe storage place. Other responsibilities of a keyholder may also include opening and closing at the beginning and end of the day, carrying out site surveys, or completing emergency repairs.

As for alarm response, the clue is in the name! This is where a security team will be able to respond to an alarm activation. As soon as an alarm is triggered, they will be immediately notified and can deal with the situation in a timely fashion. Using their skills and expertise, the security personnel will first of all be able to assess why the alarm was triggered and ensure it is deactivated, reducing disruption to neighbours. They can then act appropriately to bring the situation to a close, such as apprehending intruders and alerting emergency services. The team will then only leave the area when they are confident it is safe. Alarms work for both deterring criminals and triggering a security response. Most break-ins take place during the twilight hours, so it’s vital that an alarm system is in place and monitored by a 24/7 security team.

Why Are These Two Security Services Important?

As a retail firm, you should aim to implement adequate security measures to safeguard your business. A break-in or other type of security breach can lead to a range of financial consequences for your business, including damaged reputation, concerned employees and disrupted operating hours, alongside the most obvious damages that we mentioned earlier. This should be the case whether during lockdown or not. Most retail stores are not open all hours, so criminals may target them at night when staff have closed up for the day. Chances are there will be valuable items, sensitive information and cash stored on-site. Failure to get your security right, such as a slow reaction or sloppy damage control, may mean that criminals escape with valuable items and that you are unable to re-open for a period of time.

It should be quite obvious to see why it’s essential to recruit a dedicated security firm to manage your security. It reduces the burden on your shoulders, keeps yourself and your employees out of harm’s way, and ensures that security matters are only dealt by those with expert security knowledge and experience. In terms of the two services we have pinpointed in this article, alarm response is about highlighting an ongoing situation while key holding is about making sure they a response team can access the site to deal with the situation. They are both two crucial services that work most effectively when used together.

These services allow your retail premises to be secured at all hours. It protects finances and valuables from criminals and prevents your business from losing revenue and trust. It also means that you, as a store manager, don’t have to deal with the stress of a task you are not an expert in. Likewise, employees don’t have to attend a situation that may be dangerous to them, nor will their productivity be affected by an early wake up call. You also don’t have to worry about managing internal key holders and the security complications of multiple people having access, especially if you have trust issues with certain members of staff.

Of course, we should not lose sight of the fact that a threat to your business is not always the result of another person. Burglaries can happen, but so can fires, floods and other natural disasters. It is always best for your business that everything is investigated and if needed, rectified as soon as possible to control damage and get you back up and running swiftly.

Credit: Stage Event Security