While this time of year sees many businesses winding down for the end of the year, it is important to remain vigilant in the face of crime, especially for those businesses who will leave their premises unoccupied during the holidays. Here are some tips and advice to keep your business secure at Christmas and avoid a festive headache.
1 – Establish a presence during closures
It is a sensible first step for businesses to assign keyholding duties to trusted staff members during periods of closure. You should decide in advance whether they will be required to visit only on an emergency basis or be asked to visit at various points through your closure to check for any problems. Even an infrequent presence could be enough to put off any would-be intruders who may be surveilling your property.
2 – Maintain standards during your wind-down
Understandably, the festive season often results in a more relaxed atmosphere at work. However, it is important that you don’t let your usual security standards slip. Your typical checks at the end of the day should still be carried out, and any guests such as at an office Christmas party should be logged and monitored. For sites that handle deliveries and pickups, the festive season can be the busiest period of the year, so it’s important to stay on your guard.
3 – Create a safety checklist
Nominate a member of staff to run thorough safety checks during your last day in the office. This should include but not be limited to checking perimeter security tools are working, turning off electric items to avoid fire risk, checking heating and temperature controls, and reviewing access points to ensure they are locked. It is important to do a trial run prior to your final day in the office, up to a few weeks in advance, so as to highlight any problems that may take a little time to amend.
4 – Avoid posting Christmas hours online if you are closed for a long period
While communicating your holiday hours to customers and clients is a good idea, you should avoid posting them on social media where criminals could take advantage. It only takes a simple search of Google or social media for criminals to find potential targets in their local area and begin to plan an intrusion. Instead, you should reach out directly to customers through email or phone, or post a holding message that asks clients to contact you via phone for details of your opening hours.
5 – Avoid a blackout
There’s no surer way to signal to intruders that a building is empty than turning out all the lights. You should consider timed lighting that will turn on at key hours and invest in triggered security lighting as deterrents. Criminals are much more likely to target premises with weak lighting and darkness to obscure their attempt at gaining access.
6 – Treat perimeter security as a priority
Perimeter security should not be left to the last minute. Establishing strong barriers and deterrents to crime should be high on your agenda the whole year-round. Tools like security gates, bollards, and barriers can be used to restrict access, as well as vehicular tools like road blockers and rising kerbs. You can also use access control equipment with turnstiles and barriers, enhanced with keypads, proximity cards, or intercoms to further reduce interior access.
7- Consider having manned security
Consider whether you should have manned security during the time you and your staff will be away from the business Manned security can work in tandem with your perimeter security measures to ensure the most effective and efficient level of protection for your site.
To find out more about how we can help with your business security needs, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no-obligation call and feasibility survey to assess your business needs.