Let’s talk electronic security systems. As the Christmas break approaches, many businesses will be shutting down for an extended period. Other businesses, like retailers or restaurants are going to be super busy. Both instances need consideration when it comes to fire and security. It’s not a good idea to ever leave your premises vulnerable to burglary, vandalism, or fire damage. What are our top tips to help you minimise the risks and keep your business safe during Christmas?
Security Measures for when you are having a shut down
- Door access control: Don’t think that just because you have got door access control systems that everything is going to be secure with your doors. Make sure that you lock all external doors and also any internal ones where possible. Consider using a door entry system that allows you to lock down permissions during the shutdown period so even if your entry fob is dropped in the car park after the Christmas do it can’t be used.
- CCTV cameras: Check that all CCTV cameras are working and recording footage clearly. Ensure that they cover all vulnerable areas of your premises for when your every day activity stops for a period of time.
- Intruder alarms: If you have a monitored alarm, check with your provider to confirm that they will continue to provide 24/7 monitoring during the shutdown period. Make sure all phone numbers are up to date and that someone is designated to respond to alarm triggers should they happen.
Not security but still things you should think about are doing perimeter checks; make sure no one can get in through gaps in fences. Look barriers in the closed position and ensure your gates are firmly closed. If there is security lighting on your premises don’t be tempted to turn it off because the better lit a place the less likely unwanted visitors will occur. Oh and make sure no one has had a window open in their office!
Fire Prevention for closed businesses
- Site security: The harder it is for someone to access your site, the less likely it is that you will be targeted by arsonists. They won’t spend lots of time trying to scale a high fence or enter a site where CCTV is clearly switched on.
- Fire alarms: Ensure that your fire alarm system is in good working order. Test the alarm before shutting down your premises; this is critical as an activity (don’t forget to log it to). If you haven’t completed a test and fire does break out then your insurer may find a way not to pay out if your alarm has not activated properly.
Here’s some top tips from the fire service; never mind your Christmas tree lights confirming to standards (important stuff!) make sure the last person leaving TURNS THEM OFF!!!
For those businesses remaining open
Retailers let’s focus on you first, crime rises during this time of year, shoplifting is reported as a massive issue for the sector. Electronic security systems won’t completely eliminate this but it’s good practise to:
- CCTV: Make sure there are no blind spots within your shop or centre where illegal activity can take place. Think about how CCTV works with your physical security team; can alerts of repeat or known offenders be shared to their phones for example? And finally make sure your CCTV footage is being recorded and is available to share with the police as they will ask you for it when you report shoplifting activity.
- ANPR: It’s a good idea to use ANPR in your car parks if you’re close to somewhere like a city centre or busy outlet and don’t want your customers to be inconvenienced. It’s a good idea for those shopping centres already using ANPR to do a check with a security van.
- Intercoms: Make sure your intercoms are working properly so that when delivery drivers arrive they can get on site as quickly as possible so the shelves can be restocked ready for the next deluge of shoppers.
- Panic alarms: If you have shoplifting happening in your centre or chain of shops make sure your panic alarms are in good working order so your staff can alert if violent behaviours are happening.
It’s better to be secure than sorry this time of year, no business owner or management team wants to deal with fire destroying premises or theft of goods or equipment happening over the festive period. That’s where electronic security systems and good fire systems help with peace of mind.
Happy Christmas from the JKE fire and security team.