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Security at Hairdressing Salons [Hardfacts]


Although hairdressing salons and barbers shops are not generally regarded as being at high risk of suffering crime, it is nonetheless always prudent to ensure that an appropriate level of security is in place.

This Hardfacts outlines a range of general precautions that can be taken at such premises, with more detailed information on some particular topics mentioned  available in other Hardfacts.

Premises Security - Physical

The physical security of your building perimeter is an obvious first area for attention. ‘Hardfacts' 3017 Door & Window Security provides further information, but in general consider:


All premises will have at least one perimeter door which, if you are in shared building, may not be to outside but from your portion into a shared/common area. In any event consider:

Doors and frames should be in good condition, of good fit and well secured to the building structure. Glazing should be well secured i.e. no loose or perished putty and beading.

Timber doors should be of 'external grade' (a min thickness of 45mm/1 ¾ ''), with hardwood generally stronger than softwood. For PVCu or metal doors, especially if glazed, the manufacturer's intended use should be observed. Weaker doors, or weaker areas e.g. panels or glazing, can usually be improved by adding secondary plywood panels, steel sheet, bars, grilles or mesh.

Door Hanging
Inward opening doors can be improved by fitting a second lock, outward opening ones by fitting two hinge bolts.

If the glass installed is 'toughened' (despite its name, a safety not security material), security can be improved and still meet safety requirements, by replacing it with laminated glass. ‘Hardfacts' 3006: Security Glazing provides further information.

Locks and Padlocks
A huge range of door locks and padlocks are available, but in general for hinged single leaf doors consider:

  •  Timber doors - having a lock certified as meeting BS3621
  •  Metal doors - a pin cylinder operated mortise swing (MS) lock is common, but  security is often improved by fitting the door frame with a reinforced striking box and ensuing the cylinder lock, if of the 'Euro' profile type is snap resistant. 
  • PVCu doors - a 5 pin cylinder lock securing a system of (at least) 3 moving bolts provides reasonable security, but if the cylinder lock is of the 'Euro' profile type, check it is snap resistant.  
  • Any padlock should be a closed (rather than open) shackle type and securing a heavy-duty padbar (not a light hasp and staple).

Hinged Double Doors
These are usually adequately secured by:

  • The 1st leaf being secured at top and bottom by rebate bolts, key operated mortice rack bolts or surface mounted key lockable bolts
  • The 2nd leaf being secured as per a hinged single leaf door

Emergency (Fire) Exit Doors
These doors are often relatively weak but, subject to strict controls to ensure unlocking at all times when the premises are in use, extra visible security devices, e.g. bolts, or secondary protection (see below*) may be appropriate. If in doubt seek advice from the fire brigade or your insurers, and always record any such measures in your fire risk assessment.
*Detailed advice on this topic is available in a document published (as a free download) by The RISCAuthority, see


Most premises will have perimeter windows, so consider:

Condition and Glazing
The points mentioned for doors also apply to windows.

All accessible opening windows should be fitted with key lockable handles/window locks. Accessible windows are generally regarded as those that may easily be reached from the ground or adjacent single storey roofs, walls, ledges and large drain or soil pipes.

Fixed Barriers
Forced entry through windows can be greatly hindered by the installation of steel bars or grilles. These can be made to many designs, and it is wise to contact your insurers for advice before proceeding.

Roller shutters/grilles are a good form of protection to windows, or for that matter doors or a whole shop front.

Insurers Minimum Security Requirements

When insurance is sought against theft its provision may be conditional upon the premises providing a certain level of physical security, often termed ‘Minimum Security Requirements' (MSR's). MSR's tend to concentrate on the fitting and use of common locks on typical doors and windows and may vary according to the insurer, type of property, e.g. domestic or commercial, or the type of insurance contract.

Other Security Measures

Security is about more than just door/window locks. For example:

Site Occupancy
Maintain good relations with occupiers of any adjacent living accommodation, and ask them to contact you in the event of seeing anything amiss.

Lights left on within premises can aid natural surveillance by the public. Lights left on outside premises or activated by sensors will deter entry to yards, alleys or doorways.

Staff Procedures
Most security measures depend upon those charged with using them, so make sure staff understand the reasons for, and correct operation of, all your security provisions.

Other matters that may be worthy of attention include:

  • Electronic security
  • Target item security

Premises Security - Electronic

Given time and sufficient motivation to enter, almost any physical security measure can be overcome. With this in mind measures to deter and detect intruders by electronic means can be a very useful, for example:

Intruder Alarms
An audible alarm with at least one high level external sounder can act as a deterrent to forced entry, and otherwise limit the time an intruder would be prepared to stay in a premises.

However, it is preferable for an alarm to be connected to an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC), whose operators can notify premises keyholders and,  for qualifying systems the Police, in the event of any alarm activations.

If fitting an alarm the use of suppliers with NSI/SSAIB approval is advised, as this will ensure the alarm is installed, maintained and monitored to appropriate technical standards.

‘Hardfacts’ 3015: Intruder Alarms - Guidelines for Purchasers provides further information.

CCTV systems range from simple internal systems, e.g. viewing and recording activity in strategic areas, to remote monitored or local authority manned town/shopping centre systems.

Internal CCTV systems can help deter or capture evidence of theft, robbery, acts of vandalism or aggression, etc.

Monitored external systems can help capture thieves in action.  If you wish to rely on a system run by a third party, e.g. landlord or council, you should carefully check the coverage and operation of the scheme e.g. you may find cameras only cover part of you premises.

If fitting a CCTV system the use of suppliers with NSI/SSAIB approval is advised.

‘Hardfacts’ 3004: CCTV Systems - Guidelines for Purchasers provides further information.

Access Control
Staff working late in reduced numbers or young and inexperienced staff, can all be vulnerable to intimidation or robbery. Electronic access control locks and intercoms, coupled with attention to working arrangements/staff training, can help reduce such risks.

Security of Target Items
In addition to the foregoing, measures to specifically protect items often targeted by thieves can often be considered:

Cash is uniquely attractive to thieves, so:

  • If possible, cash should not be left at premises outside business hours.
  • For cash left at premises install a safe. Safe manufacturers will usually suggest a ‘Grade’ and/or related cash limit for their safes, ideally certified by an independent    test body. But in any event, the insurable limit should always be checked with any interested insurer.
  • To minimise the risk of damage to tills should a break-in occur, till drawers should be left empty and open outside business hours.

The risk of a cash robbery, whilst usually low, can be reduced by:

  •      Siting your cash tills carefully. A position next to the main door, or in an area infrequently manned, is not ideal.
  •      Installing a cash till drawer guard, which will reduce the chance of a cash snatch whilst the till is in use.
  •      Reducing the amount of cash at risk by regularly removing excess notes to another part of the premises or a safe.
  •      Cashing up in a locked room, or only when the premises are locked.

‘Hardfacts’ 3014: Cash Security provides further information.

Attraction to thieves can be reduced by:

  •      ‘Security marking’ i.e. applying a visible mark indicating ownership.
  •      Locating vital computers in locked rooms and/or by securing them with steel cables (cable ties), or in steel enclosures (entrapment devices).

Key Action Steps

  • Assess security risks and consider the adequacy of current security measures

  • Check whether any insurer MSR's apply; and if so that you either do comply, or that you have their agreement for any alternative arrangements

  • Use suitably accredited and competent providers for locks/safes, intruder alarm or CCTV system work. For example companies listed by the Master Locksmiths Association (MLA), National Security Inspectorate (NSI) or the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB).

  • Ensure personnel receive adequate initial and ongoing security training

  • By way of deterrent, display suitable signs advertising/warning of security measures

  • Ask your police crime reduction officer for advice

  • Seek your insurance company's approval or advice over proposed security changes and otherwise ensure that any insurer's security conditions are observed

  • Review security after any loss; if you fail to do so you are at high risk of a repeat incident

Sources of Further Information

Other Hardfacts in the Property Protection - Security Series, which are available in our ‘Knowledge Store' at

Master Locksmiths Association. Tel 01327 262255 or visit

National Security Inspectorate (NSI). Tel 0845 006 3003 or see

Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB). Tel 0191 296 3242 or see

British Security Industry Association (BSIA). Tel 0845 389 3889 or see

The RISCAuthority (the UK insurers' technical advice body). See

Selectamark Ltd. Tel 01689 860757 or see

Your local police Crime Prevention Unit.

European Certification Board - Safes (ECB-S). See

Next Steps

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Please Note
This document contains general information and guidance and is not and should not be relied on as specific advice. The document may not cover every risk, exposure or hazard that may arise and Aviva recommend that you obtain specific advice relevant to the circumstances. AVIVA accepts no responsibility or liability towards any person who may rely upon this document.

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