A lot of businesses take time off at Christmas. And why shouldn’t they? Christmas is a time to enjoy yourself and take a little break from all of that hard work you’ve been putting in all year. However, while Christmas leave is great for stressed out employees, it can actually increase the risk of business theft.
Most people are aware that thieves thrive at Christmas – we’re all spending far too much money and stocking up on gifts which we leave laying about our homes, so it makes sense this is prime time for burglaries. But, what about businesses? A lot of people only think about home burglary and can overlook the risks that emerge from the abundance of vacated office spaces. According to Business Advice, 'the level of security maintained by many small business owners within the UK falls short of those robust safety measures required to ensure seamless survival throughout the festive season'.
Now that's pretty bad when you think about it: most offices contain expensive computers, most construction sites contain specialist tools, most shops have a stock room filled with goodies and at Christmas, there is no one there to watch over the building.
People need to take extra precautions at Christmas because burglars definitely haven’t overlooked the fact that most workplaces are empty during the holidays.
Here are some tips to keep your office safe over Christmas, so that you can enjoy yourself and actually relax!
You don’t want to leave anything that’s really valuable lying about. Of course, if you’re offices are huge and you have hundreds of computers, then off-site storage might not be the solution. But your fancy technology isn’t the only thing at risk of theft; confidential information and paperwork are also common targets. You should lock away any financial details or similar at an off-site storage facility if you want to protect your business and your clients.
Be Wary of Onlookers and Visitors
You don’t need to interrogate every single person who visits your workplace, just remain aware and look out for any suspicious behaviour. If you notice any new vehicles or people waiting outside your building, speak to your neighbours and see if they’ve noticed anything strange. Report any activity you think is of significance or have one of your security guards go over and speak to them.
Integrated CCTV Systems & Access Control
A security basic, cameras are your eyes when you’re not there. We combine CCTV with access control and door entry systems so that your offices are always safe and secure. Access control not only makes it harder for criminals to infiltrate your premises, but also logs who does access the site and where they go. This, alongside a comprehensive CCTV system, keeps you in control of your offices at all times. The mere presence of CCTV and access control systems will deter thieves from even attempting to steal from you; if your building looks like an impenetrable fortress, then they’ll probably choose an easier target.
We highlighted the benefits of employing on-site security guards to watch over your workplace during the holidays in our previous blog post, ‘Safety and Security Tips for Business in Winter’. But basically, having security guards means that your site is never left unattended and is therefore at less risk. It’s a simple and easy solution, find out more information about our SIA licensed services here.
Don’t Broadcast Holiday Plans on Social Media
This seems obvious, but a lot of businesses don’t even consider the risks that come with social media. You don’t want your employees posting information online about company holiday dates and the like because criminals can use this information; they’d love to know when you’re all going to be out of the office! Your employees probably won’t post anything like this anyway, but it’s best to be cautious. Give your staff guidelines as to what they can and can’t post in relation to the business, perhaps in the form of a company social media policy.
Install Alarms & Make Sure They’re Working
Every business should have intruder alarms installed and they should also check that they actually work! KM Security offer state of the art intruder alarms that will immediately alert you to any intrusion and will also help deter criminals. They detect intrusions as early as possible, making it harder for thieves to successfully infiltrate your offices.
But, what happens after the alarm sounds? Well, criminals are more likely to scatter and abandon their heist at the ringing of an alarm. Sadly, you can’t bank on this, which is why we offer to hook up your alarm to our security control systems. This way, we can provide an effective response service to any alarms should the need arise and you can enjoy your Christmas because you know your office is secure and is being looked after, even in the event of a burglary.
Use Timed Lights
Whilst lights don’t provide any direct protection, they can reduce the likelihood of theft and make it easier to identify any intruders. Firstly, there’s the old trick of using timed lights to mislead onlookers into thinking someone is in the building. This will put off criminals for obvious reasons. Secondly, lights make it more difficult to access a site unseen – again this will deter intruders. Thirdly, lights make it easier to identify intruders on CCTV, so in the unfortunate event that something does happen, you can take appropriate action.
Check Your Old-School Locks
Whilst we love and clearly advocate embracing state of the art security technology, we shouldn’t forget about the good ol’ lock and key! Before taking off for your Christmas festivities, check every single lock in your building and find out who has keys to which locks.
You want to take every precaution when leaving an office unattended and one unlocked door can do a lot of damage. Don’t leave keys in the building if no one is there; if someone gets passed the first hurdle but can’t locate keys to the rest of the building then they’ll find it much harder to steal from you.