It’s well known that in the lead-up to Christmas, homeowners face an increased risk of burglary. But what about businesses?  It’s certainly a challenging time for retailers due to rising levels of shoplifting in the run up to Christmas. But they aren’t the only ones who need to give some thought to the security implications over the festive period. The unfortunate fact is many burglars will try to take advantage of commercial premises being left unoccupied for what could be several days over the Christmas period. With no one around it’s far easier to commit a crime and, to make matters even worse, it could be several days before anyone realises there’s been a break-in. It’s not just the threats posed by burglars that businesses need to be mindful of either. Arsonists may also take the opportunity to create trouble at a time when they know they are least likely to be observed. So what can you do to make life as difficult as possible for any criminal who might otherwise be thinking about targeting your building?
  • “Harden the target”
Essentially, this means making it as difficult as you can for burglars to enter your building by making the premises as secure as possible. It sounds obvious yet many opportunistic burglars will readily take advantage of a single poorly secured window. That’s all it takes. If your windows are not in the best condition, you can always consider installing dead-bolts. The same goes for all doors too. Look around the outside of your building just in case anything’s been left that will assist a criminal with breaking in. Consider nominating someone who’ll be responsible for carrying out a thorough check of your premises on the last day in. Think about any other deterrents you can put in place as well. If you have CCTV installed, make sure it’s functioning correctly and check that your signage is clearly visible. Ensure all external lighting is working properly too.
  • Store all valuables safely
Have you made arrangements for the safe storage of valuables? Obviously if items are portable, you can choose to remove them from the premises but if not, do you have somewhere that they can be locked away and securely stored? It’s understandable that in the rush to start the Christmas break, some items might be forgotten about so consider doing a checklist of high value items that must be stored away. It’s also wise to check that all computer systems have been backed up and make sure a copy of the data is stored off the premises/ remotely.
  • Check your alarm systems are working correctly
Hopefully you have been keeping up with the maintenance of your fire and intruder alarm systems but if not then get them serviced as soon as possible. One thing to consider, if you don’t already have them, is whether it’s worth getting monitored alarms installed. It might not be possible to organise that in time for this Christmas but the benefits apply all year round. It’s particularly important if your workplace is in a location where it’s likely no one would be around to react. If your intruder alarm sounds, it’s far less likely to scare off a burglar if they think no one will notice it. If it’s your fire alarm that’s gone off, then it could be too late to do much about it by the time you find out. A monitored alarm will send a signal through to an alarm receiving centre. They’ll then determine whether the alarm has been set off accidentally or if it’s genuine and requires attention. If genuine, the centre will contact the emergency services if appropriate, as well as you and/or other designated individuals, ensuring a prompt response. If you’d like some more guidance about ways to keep your workplace secure, you would be very welcome to get in touch with us for advice.