Building security is something that all business owners should be concerned with, but as Christmas draws close, ensuring it takes top priority can fall to the bottom of a long to-do list. And yet, it’s a crucial time of year to stay alert for unwanted criminal activity. Empty buildings, dark nights and quiet streets are the perfect breeding ground for break-ins, opportunistic or otherwise.
To help keep you safe, we’ve created our 12 days of Christmas business security checklist. By working through each day at a time, you’ll stay ahead of security issues which may be looming.
That’s not all. As a trusted fire safety partner for businesses across the UK, we want to help you stay safe in this area too. Fire can be devastating but our comprehensive fire safety checklist has it covered.
If you need more information about security solutions or other services that we provide, call us today on 0800 0830131 or complete this short form and we will be in touch right away:
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Your Business Security Checklist
Day 1: An intruder alarm is your best friend at Christmas
Christmas is the perfect time for criminals to strike. Empty buildings and quiet streets make for an ideal hunting ground, so an intruder alarm is highly recommended.
That said, many businesses fall behind on their maintenance schedules, thinking they’ll get around to it later. Make sure your alarm is tested before your business closes at Christmas.
We also recommend that you check who has permission to operate your system. It might be a good idea to limit that list to key personnel only until the new year?
Day 2: Stay in control with access control
Access control is designed to allow people in but also to keep people out. This applies to visitors and to employees. The run-up to Christmas is busy and at times, chaotic, with extra deliveries taking place from unfamiliar delivery people. It’s the perfect time for an unannounced visitor to slip in under the radar.
What’s more, employee routines and working hours tend to be irregular, so it’s worth reviewing your access control policy.
If you have ANPR functionality in your access control system, it’s an effective method for tracking vehicles as they come and go.
Day 3: See what’s going on when you’re not there
Complementing your access control system, is the CCTV network. Technology advances mean you can sit and watch over your business premises from the comfort of your armchair, on a smart device.
Before you close, take a few moments to review the quality of your night-time CCTV footage. You may never have needed to review it before, so now’s the time to check.
Day 4: Secure your site with Site Secure
Site Secure is the ideal security system for unoccupied and vulnerable sites (which, at Christmas time, could be almost anyone). It’s a remote monitoring service which can also send brief video footage to your smart device if you require.
It’s the perfect solution if you’re looking for someone else to keep an eye on your business this Christmas, while you relax and enjoy the break with your loved ones.
Day 5: Who’s locking up?
Don’t leave this decision until the last day or you risk no-one knowing who is responsible. Have a run-through the week before Christmas and, if possible, ensure there’s more than one person in charge of the final lockdown.
It’s also worth briefing your monitoring service (see Day 4) of your comings and goings over the Christmas period so they are prepared for unexpected activity.
Day 6: Have you checked in with your keyholders?
Do you have named keyholders? If so, run through your Christmas arrangements with all staff well in advance. Keyholders must be contactable so check with them personally; don’t just assume. And, if someone is on holiday, they’ll need to be replaced.
Some employers pass this responsibility on to private security firms at Christmas. We think it’s worth considering as it gives everyone a break and avoids potential mix-ups during the party season.
Day 7: It pays to install good quality perimeter lighting
An excellent way to deter would-be criminals. Motion-sensor floodlights take all the fun out of have-a-go vandalism (and professional thieves don’t like them much, either…)!
Good-quality exterior lighting also boosts the quality of your security camera footage. Alternatively, you could opt for cameras with infra-red technology which capture all movements taking place under the cover of darkness.
Day 8: Fire alarm monitoring: a great way to stay in control
If fire were to break out while your premises are unoccupied, it might be hours before fire is detected. We don’t need to spell out how devastating this could be for your business.
Fire alarm monitoring puts the responsibility of fire or smoke detection into the hands of a third-party, professional monitoring station. They’ll alert you (or another named contact) if they spot anything suspicious and if necessary, they’ll also pass the information to the local emergency services.
Day 9: Avoid lone workers
It’s not a nice feeling being the only person at work while everyone else is making the most of their free time. Nor is it ideal for business security. Avoid the lone worker situation by shutting the office on a day when there are several people at work.
Day 10: Check you’re fully covered
Have you got appropriate insurance cover? Check your policies are in date and cover everything that might be required. Most importantly, are you meeting all your policy criteria? Insurers are notoriously careful about paying up; don’t let your start to the new year be an expensive one.
Day 11: Cancel unneeded delivery slots
It’s easy to forget about regular, scheduled deliveries which are extremely convenient during routine business hours. But during office shutdowns, with boxes gathering dust outside the door, you might as well be flying a large, red flag over your business premises announcing no-one’s there.
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, rearrange deliveries so that they take place when you’re back at work.
Day 12: Initiate a social media shut down
Social media is an ingenious way for criminals to assess the status of your business. Are you open or closed? Is everyone on holiday in the Caribbean or just around the corner keeping watch?
Don’t give too much away or be obvious that your business is unoccupied. Ask employees to be mindful about what they post, especially if it’s work related.
Clearly, it pays to be proactive about your business security throughout the year, but there’s no doubt that the festive season is particularly challenging. We’re confident that our safety and security tips will put you in the best possible position to protect your business until the new year.
Don’t forget, we’re security specialists, so if you’re looking for help or advice with an aspect of your building security, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help!
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