Do you have business premises that will be completely shut down over Christmas?
What considerations do you need to take if you haven’t worked with a fire or security partner at all this year? This blog looks at the things you can do to minimise the risk of break in or fire damage over the festive period.
Make sure no one comes down the chimney tonight
First let’s talk about security. When it’s clear you are closed or the usual business activities are not happening there is an increase in the possibility of a burglary on your business premises. Here’s our tips on the various security elements you may have in place already.
Door access control
If you’ve got systems where you lock down the building completely and staff have codes or fobs for access control do you need additional security during the close down period? Just in case someone has dropped their fob in the car park or not dropped the catch on the number pad. Making sure your external doors are locked properly is a given but is it worth dropping the latch or locking internal doors too? We’d say yes if you have those locks.
Some newer door entry systems will allow you to lock the permissions of people or during certain time periods so no-one can get through them (or only selected people can). If you have that possibility it will add to the security of your site so do it on the close down day.
Right firstly, are they all working? It’s not the time to shrug your shoulders about the CCTV camera that’s been on the blink, not recording footage or worse just sitting there as a lump of plastic.
If you have working CCTV it will reduce the possibility of crime being committed on your premises. That’s a fact. In fact evidence suggests that reduction can be anywhere between 16 and 51 crimes prevented per 100 due to the usage of CCTV. It’s a deterrent but not if it’s clear your CCTV cameras are out of date, broken or not switched on.
Check them, make sure they are recording footage onto your server or cloud storage and that they cover all points where you might be vulnerable to break ins. No one likes their face on camera when they are doing something they shouldn’t, it’s that simple so make sure everything is in working order when it comes to your security cameras.
First let’s kick off with monitored alarms; have you checked what the Christmas opening times are i.e. will they continue to offer a 24/7 service desk for monitoring your alarm? It’s worth asking.
Are your phone numbers all up to date if you have a monitoring service contract in place? Pointless your provider trying to call the wrong person or the wrong phone number.
If you’ve got the latest tech like our intruder alarms, which is all managed through a mobile phone, who is managing that whilst the building is empty? If it’s your provider fine, if it’s one of the employees it must be discussed about expected check ins especially if the alarm goes off.
Finally make sure everything is working with your alarm; the codes are accurate, everyone knows the date and area where the alarm is set, the door and sensors are triggering properly (although don’t set the alarm off by accident!) and that all important ‘alarm is on’ sign can be seen (the light on any external boxes).
Keeping Christmas white
In this section we’re going to cover fire; no business owner wants to get the call from the fire brigade that the building is on fire. Nor do schools, colleges or other important buildings who’ll be ready to open again in the new year.
To prevent arson attacks really you need to have addressed your site security; the harder it is for someone to get onto your site the less likely it is you’ll be subjected to an attack.
In our HQ city of Derby there’s been schools and churches burnt to the ground during winter shut down times. It devastates the people who use the building daily and it effects the local community. The impact in Derby was enormous for these public buildings and the people. Security is key to keeping people out of your sites.
Your fire alarm system does an invaluable job; it’s essential that if you’ve been having false alarms or high maintenance demands this year you know that it’s in good working order before locking the building.
An alarm that’s not working effectively might not pick up a small fire which could turn into a raging inferno quickly in certain circumstances. If you’ve had issues, we’d urge you to ensure it’s in good working order before you leave; an electrical fault on equipment or machinery could happen during low or no usage.
A quick test of the fire alarm before shut down is an essential task to do; it will ensure the alarm is working and that the alerts are in place for the nominated person should your alarm be monitored by a service provider and it will only take 5 seconds of your time.
If you would like to remove the hassle of managing and monitoring your own fire and security systems please don’t hesitate in calling us on 0800 254 5645 or contact us here.