Small steps in everyday security practise can lead to big moves in protecting against terror threats or risk. Risk assessments and counter-terrorism policies are commonplace within many businesses, but some fall short by failing to instil routine awareness into workplace security culture. Reinforcing these good housekeeping safety opportunities makes it easier for any anomalies to be noticed by staff and help reduce the number of false alarms.

These are 12 steps teams can be mindful of, increasing workplace Counter Terrorism security awareness, without the need for specific CT training.

12 good housekeeping practises for counter-terrorism in your business

1) Doors & windows

Ensuring windows are locked securely at the end of the day, and ensuring doors close behind you after passing to minimise tailgaters. External doors should also be well lit, and any broken bulbs should be reported. All external doors and windows should be fitted with quality locks and reinforced where possible, with a quality alarm system connected to alert of any intrusions or breeches of security.

2) Lighting

People within a workplace should be responsible for consistently checking bulbs are working and reporting accordingly if not. It should also be noted if their positioning leaves dark corners which may not be picked up on by cameras – particularly pertinent in large open planned spaces, or complex layouts.

3) Alarms

Participating in regular checks and tests, reporting any abnormalities in alarm function. Alarm testing schedules should be adhered to and monitored to ensure all team members are aware of the correct action protocol when it sounds, and become familiar with the sound against other warning systems, e.g. fire.


Cooperation in the building and work areas being monitored, reporting any issues for maintenance or repositioning. CCTV is only beneficial to a business if it remains unobstructed and well-lit. Employees should be vigilant in ensuring clear CCTV monitoring can happen consistently and effectively.

5) Access & egress

Entrances and exits should be fit with access cards or PIN verification. Responsibility rests on employees to not forget their access card, to keep it safe, report rapidly if lost or damaged, and not disclose the PIN verification number to any parties outside of the organisation.

6) Visitors

All visitors to an organisation should be issued with a visitor badge, signed in and out for monitoring and should be escorted around the site by a verified team member. Any visitor to should always be able to be accounted for.

7) Screening

Randomised searches, especially in high-risk businesses, are encouraged. Employees should be willing and compliant in participation and ensure they are vigilant in the items they carry in and out of the business, with organisations having the right to refuse entry to anyone not being willing.

8) Locking unoccupied spaces

All employees within a building can easily ensure unoccupied rooms, storage spaces, cupboard and other potential hiding places are locked when not in use. This will further support the efficiency and efficacy of patrols conducted by building managers and security teams.

9) Keeping tidy

Removing refuse and unwanted items from public and communal spaces and keeping areas clear and tidy helps the workforce to easily identify when an object may suspicious and a cause for alarm. These spaces include exits and entrances to buildings, reception areas, stairways, lifts, bathrooms, storerooms, and corridors.

10) Reception & public spaces

Reception areas, public spaces and entrances can often become cluttered with plants, furniture and other interior design features. Keeping these to a minimum helps CCTV cameras and lighting to have optimal visibility, as well as reducing the potential hiding places for any devices. Maintaining a consistent layout in these spaces also helps the workforce to easily identify if anything has been moved and may be a cause for alarm.

11) Remove litter

Ensuring all refuse is regularly removed from the building not only reduces fire hazards but limits a hiding place for devices or other suspicious items. Using clear bin bags helps give reassurance and transparency in employee behaviour.

12) Cyber

Following policy and guidance for email and data, especially when anything needs to be taken off-site. Encrypted devices should be used, e.g., USBs to protect a site from any sort of cyber-attack.

These are simple everyday tasks which all team members can be responsible for or aware of in a pledge to keep your business premises safe; making security awareness part of workplace culture as a standard. We also highly recommend all relevant team members to complete ACT Awareness e-learning, which is FREE to access HERE.

You may also enjoy our previous blog in our Counter-Terrorism series; ‘The impacts of Coronavirus on Counter-Terrorism’.


CPNI – Protecting Against Terrorism

Gov.UK – Good Housekeeping

Asset Protection Group – Counter-Terrorism Planning; Why it’s necessary


The Institute of Risk Management.