Security Tips for the Festive Season

The holiday season is peak time for travelling and entertainment. Unfortunately, for businesses who are keen to maximise a bumper spending season, it is also often peak season for criminals.

The holiday season is peak time for travelling and entertainment. Unfortunately, for businesses who are keen to maximise a bumper spending season, it is also often peak season for criminals. This December, make sure your business is protected and prepared for any potential criminal attacks.

Typically, there is a spike in armed robberies over the holiday season as consumers tend to indulge. So, by spotting danger zones in and around your business premises, you can better prepare for any damages to your business. It is crucial to inspect your building from top to bottom before the season begins.

Avoid break-ins and theft
Criminals have a way of gaining access via the most unexpected places, so the less opportunity you provide for entry, the better. It is vital for your security company to do an updated security audit to help you identify weaknesses in your physical surroundings. This is particularly important if your premises are located in a shopping mall, or a building with shared access.

Here are some areas to check or reinforce, to make your premises less attractive to opportunistic crime:

Lighting
Be sure to light up all points of entry, including the roof. Good lighting eliminates shadows, which burglars use for cover. Consider motion sensor lights or floodlights and leave lights on inside, just as you would do at home.

Locks
You want the very best locks to secure doors, windows, skylights and other openings. Change locks regularly and use deadbolts where you can. Of course, no lock is completely burglar-proof, but the longer criminals struggle to get in, the longer you have to take action.

Windows and doors
Check for signs of any structural weakness – criminals think nothing of lifting a security gate or forcing open burglar bars with a crow bar. Window frames shouldn’t be loose, and window glass should offer good visibility during the day, so that your employees can see if someone is skulking around outside. In areas where you keep cash or valuable stock, cover windows with burglar-resistant glass, bars or wire mesh. Keep your expensive merchandise away from the windows – toward the centre of your store.

Parking lot
You’ll want to keep your customers safe when they’re walking to their cars, so ensure suitable lighting and CCTV cameras are installed. If necessary – ensure extra security patrols over the holiday season.

Alarm system
Inspect your alarm system and educate your staff on the proper use of the system – where panic buttons are located, how to arm the alarm when they leave, and important phone numbers to know. Post warnings in clear view that your business is being monitored 24/7.

Protect your business from flooding and bad weather
In some parts of South Africa, December is a very wet month so to avoid damages from hail or flooding, regularly clear all gutters and storm water drains. Protect valuable machinery and stock by raising it off the floor, unplugging machines when not in use, and investing in sandbags to put in front of door openings.

Prevent fires
When everyone is on leave, boxes and packaging materials may pile up and create a fire risk. Remind staff to keep exits clear. Install a smoke alarm and be sure to have plenty of working fire extinguishers on hand.

Security doesn’t take a holiday
It’s all about creating a safe, secure environment for your business. One that affords peace of mind to employees and clients alike. Which is why preventative security solutions essential for any business at any time of year.

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