Holidays are coming; holidays are coming.
As the instantly recognisable soundtrack of the infamous red truck is beginning to boom over our TVs, and the supermarkets start to adorn their shelves with all things glittery, it can only mean one thing. Christmas is nearly upon us again.
As many begin to count down to a few days off, this can also be a time of worry and disruption for business owners, especially if your business is closed for the festive holidays.
With crimes increasing by 20% over the Christmas period, it’s no surprise that you may be worried about leaving your property unattended. But you need not ruin your holiday season with worry, as we’re here to share our top tips on how to protect your business during the holiday season.
The weeks before you close:
- Make sure you are up-to-date with your fire alarm testing.
Top Tip: Not sure what your responsibilities are as the “Responsible Person” for fire safety at your business? Check out our recent blog to learn more.
- Organise a Fire Safety Audit to ensure your fire alarm system functions properly and is compliant with the latest regulation.
Top Tip: Christmas decorations are a great way to get in the holiday spirit; however, they often cause fires over the festive season. Always ensure to use non-flammable decorations in uncluttered areas and never leave Christmas lights unattended (especially overnight!)
- Review your out of hours protocol and confirm what happens if an alarm goes off – the last thing you want is the keyholder to the building to be away for the holiday season and have no access to the building!
Top Tip: No one wants to deal with a false fire alarm or intruder alarm during their Christmas dinner, and you shouldn’t have to. Working with a commercial security company like us, we can provide 24/7 monitoring and maintenance, including Christmas Day!
- Check your access control systems are working and that any locks and access prevention are working correctly.
Top Tip: Utilising Electronic Access Control Systems (EACS) such as keyfob entry or biometrics is a more secure option for securing your commercial building than using a traditional key.
- Plan who and when staff will be on site. It’s not uncommon for businesses to run on skeleton staff over the period between Christmas and New Year, but it’s essential to know who will be on-site and when.
Top Tip: Never allow just one staff member to be on-site on their own – try using a buddy system between departments if possible. And don’t forget to let your security company know of any changes to your operating hours!
- Check there are no obstructions to your CCTV cameras.
Top Tip: Items that block your cameras or decorations hung in front of them can cause false alarms and prevent your system from triggering in the event of an actual intruder.
On the last day before you close:
- Ensure all valuables are kept out of sight and in a safe place when possible and close all blinds to hide temptation. Where possible, take high-value items such as laptops home with you.
- Unplug anything that you can to reduce fire risk.
- Ensure all rubbish is disposed of and chemicals (including cleaning products) are stored correctly – this will help reduce the spread of a fire if the worst happens.
- Check all doors and windows are locked – don’t forget any outside gates too. If you were going to break in yourself, how would you get in?
- Ensure your fire alarm system is active and not turned off (not that your fire alarms should ever be turned off!)
- Ensure your intruder alarm is activated and CCTV cameras switched on.
- Turn on your outside lights- this makes it harder for any intruders to sneak by cameras.
- Don’t hide a spare set of keys under a rock or flower pot for someone else – always ensure a safe handover if necessary.
And finally, go home, pop up your stocking and leave out a mince pie ready for the only intruder we welcome down the chimney and enjoy a well-deserved break for Christmas!
If you’re worried about the commercial security of your business over the holiday season, or you’d like to arrange a free fire and security audit, contact us today.
Here at JKE Fire & Security, we are experts in keeping you and your business safe, providing everything from Fire Alarm Systems, CCTV & Intruder Alarms to Access Control.