In an emergency during lockdown, who makes the best keyholder? Professional Security Guard or member of staff?

Apr 22, 2020 | Burglary, Commercial Security, Keyholding, Manufacturing, Office, Retail, Warehouse

It seems like the ideal solution. You need an authorised keyholder in case your alarm goes off. So you ask a member of staff who lives nearby to do it. If the alarm is activated, there is someone within easy reach of the premises. S/he can take the call from your monitoring station. Then go and check everything is OK.

But is it still such a good idea, especially during the lockdown?

Keyholder option 1 – Barbara from accounts

Hi, I’m Barbara.

I’m employed to do the accounts at my company. When we had our alarm system upgraded, my boss asked me if I would be a keyholder. I live closer to our premises than anyone else. It seemed like the obvious solution. So I agreed.

It wasn’t until I got home that I began to think about what it actually meant.

It wasn’t just holding a spare set of keys. I realised I would have to go in, if the alarm went off.

I never wanted to answer that call in the middle of the night. But I was happy to do so, at a push.

But as I thought about it…

I was terrified. If the worst happened, one night I would have to deal with an intruder.

So frightening. But I felt too awkward to say anything to my boss. So I prayed that I would never get that call.

This week everything changed.

Empty Premises - Office

Lockdown and Coronavirus changes everything

I had to put myself in quarantine because my husband is ill, so I CAN’T come out.

I called my boss but he’s ill too. So he can’t do it either.

What am I supposed to do now?

I called a friend for advice. She told me that her company uses a professional keyholding company. None of their employees has to worry about the burglar alarm or the fire alarm. It’s all taken care of by people who know what they are doing.

These professionals are ready to respond to an alarm instantly. They know what to do once they get to the premises. They have training, experience and colleagues to back them up. And they know who to call to make things secure if required. I mentioned it to my boss. And he’s taken the advice.

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Knowing that I will never again have to worry about getting a keyholder call is a huge relief?

I can focus on staying well and helping my husband to recover. My boss feels better about it too.

That peace of mind costs him very little. It’s less than the price of a bar of chocolate per day!

Our business is worth it.

What the boss thinks…

When we first had a burglar alarm, if someone tried to break in, the bell started ringing. The burglar got scared and ran away. After 20 minutes the bell would stop. And that was that. Simple and effective. To start with.

Then the devious sods got wise! They started to wait around. See that nobody was coming and carry on with their burglary…

So, after suffering like this a few times, we upgraded our bells-only alarm for a monitored system. And we had better protection. But we needed keyholders who could be alerted to check the property and reset the alarm.

Burglar caught on CCTV

It seemed obvious to choose members of staff who lived nearby. Your keyholder needs to get there. Fast! 20 minutes or something. So the closer the better!

But now, in these crazy times, it’s a bit of a problem.

What if Barbara from Accounts is sick or self-isolating?

Who will come to sort out our premises? And make sure it is secure?

Lockdown, sickness and the family…

Thinking about it, I realised something. She doesn’t even need to be sick. If a member of her family is ill, that’s enough… Barbara might be infectious.

She won’t want to be responsible for spreading the disease. Who does?

And sadly, it happened. Barbara’s husband developed symptoms.

This forced me to make a decision. So we now have a professional Security Company as keyholder. They have patrols throughout the night. So they are ready to attend in a jiffy.

It’s a weight off my mind. The last thing we need is the place left unsecure. We don’t want vandals getting in. Or more thieves…

It’ll make the insurance invalid.

So professional security is the way to go.

And a keyholder service is cheaper than you think. It’s about the same as a chocolate bar a day… WOW!

What a relief to know that’s one thing I DON’T have to worry about!

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I can’t believe I didn’t think about this before…

What I didn’t realise was how much danger I was putting the business in…

I had a ZOOM call with my brother-in-law the other day. He’s a lawyer. He mentioned Duty of Care to staff… I was shocked. Why hadn’t I thought about it before.

What if there was an incident. Barbara had rocked up with her rolling pin. And there were three burly burglars ransacking the place…

I’d never forgive myself if she had been hurt…

It doesn’t bear thinking about. Horrible.

But my brother-in-law explained more. It only gets worse. You leave yourself open. Liable for a Law Suit, because you didn’t take Duty of Care into account.

And I shudder to think how much that could end up costing. £10,000s or worse… and then solicitor fees on top. So scary…

When you think about the consequences… That professional security guarding service is more comforting than ever.

So glad I got it. It makes the lockdown slightly more bearable…

It’s more than the crime itself

Even if Barbara wasn’t hurt or confronted, the whole thing IS a terrifying, unwanted interruption.

At the very least you lose a day. If she’s there for several hours cleaning up. Organising window boarding. And repairs…

But if the worst happens. And she does encounter burly burglars… the stress and even PTSD. Who knows what will happen. Or how much time she’d need to recover…

Horrible. And the guilt…

And, of course there’s the Duty of Care issue, too.

No. I’m delighted I’ve done the right thing.

Keyholder option 2 – Bring in the Professionals

Find Professional Keyholding Services in Seconds
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When you use a professional security services company all your worries go away…

Staff are fully trained. The companies have back-up and relationships with local Police. It is the safest solution.

If an emergency happens they will save the day. A patrol vehicle will be at your premises and on the case within 20 minutes. Any time of day or night. They can make sure your property is made secure again.

Click the button. Property-Safety will match you up with a security services company to take care of your keyholding. All recommended companies are reliable, fully-licensed and accredited.

And better still, this professional keyholding service is more affordable than you think. It is less than £1 per day… That’s about the price of a bar of chocolate!

Click the button below. Answer a few quick questions. And we’ll match you with a fully accredited security company. They will call you back to discuss the best option for your premises.

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