While summer is when crime usually peaks for the year, something about the holidays seems to draw burglars and thieves out. While the season is a time of joy, it’s also a time for business owners to exercise extra caution to protect themselves, staff, customers, property, and assets.
With the holidays rapidly approaching, now’s the perfect time to start planning ahead to ensure your business is safe and secure. Below are some easy tips to keep in mind and implement as the end of year starts to draw near.
Go Over Safety Procedures with Employees
Every employee, no matter how long they’ve been with your company, can use a refresher on company policies from time to time. The calm before the holiday rush is a great time to revisit your safety and security protocols to ensure everyone is following best practices. Be sure that each staff member knows how to properly lock up and store valuables, how to arm the security system, how to properly lock all doors, how to turn on security lights, and what to do incase of a security emergency.
Properly Vet Seasonal Employees
If you need to hire extra help during the holiday season to keep up with demand, it’s important not to rush your hiring decisions. No matter how badly you may need extra help, it’s worth taking the time to ensure you’re hiring trustworthy help.
Most seasonal employees will likely be honest and upstanding citizens, but you never know when malicious actors may try to slip through the cracks to take advantage of rushed and laxed hiring procedures during this time of year. Be sure to conduct interviews to get a gut feeling about a potential new hire, and always be sure to perform a background check to look for any red flags.
Don’t provide seasonal employees with more access or information than they need. If you need to give them a way to open or close your location, provide them with a temporary key code or temporary biometric access that you can revoke when their employment ends.
To prevent loss, ensure you properly train all seasonal hires so they know the correct procedures to take to minimize loss. Additionally, teach them how to properly deal with shoplifters to help prevent theft while staying within the laws.
Keep Valuables Out of Sight
While setting up window displays can help draw in potential shoppers, it’s important you don’t reveal more than necessary–especially after hours. If possible, strategically place the valuables inside your building so that they can’t be seen by people passing by. At night, close blinds or cover windows until open. This won’t stop people from entering and scouting your business during regular hours, but it will make your business a less interesting target to would-be criminals passing by in the night. This is especially important if you plan on closing for several days at a time to celebrate the holidays.
More than Just Christmas Lights
Christmas lights and decorations are a great way to show some holiday spirit, and they can help add appeal to your store and attract more interest. However, holiday lights aren’t the only lighting you should be focused on.
Be sure to turn on bright outside lights as you lock up for the night to make your business less appealing to burglars. Criminals love the cover of darkness, and are much less likely to attempt a break-in if they don’t have the cover of darkness to make their job easier.
Set your lights on timers to give the appearance that someone is in your store, even if you’re out of town visiting friends and family.
Every night before leaving, ensure all windows and doors are locked. Do a sweep to ensure there are no lingering customers (or opportunistic thieves) before exiting the building. This may seem unnecessary, but if your location gets busy it can be easy to lose track of everyone that was in the store near closing.
If you aren’t personally closing the store, ensure you’ve trained your employees in charge of closing to sweep for lingering visitors and double-check all doors and windows on their way out.
This is even more crucial if you’re going to be closed for several days–the last thing you want is an unlocked door a criminal can easily enter through to help themselves to your inventory and assets.
Team Up With Your Neighbors
Let your neighbors know when you’ll be closed and ask them if they can keep an eye on your building while you’re away. Find out when they plan on being closed and offer to keep watch for them if you’ll be around while they’re away. While most businesses will likely be closed on Thanksgiving day and Christmas day, some will celebrate different holidays. This allows for opportunities to watch each other’s business and help reduce the chances of burglaries.
Take Care of Your Security System
You should test you security equipment several times a year to ensure everything is functioning properly, and the days leading up to the holiday season are a great time to perform some tests. Check to ensure your burglar alarm is properly functioning, and check to ensure all video cameras are properly recording and streaming/storing security footage.
Also be sure to test fire alarms, and verify your access control systems are working properly if you have any installed on the premises.
Doing these tests well before the holidays actually start gives you the time you need to fix any issues or upgrade your system. If you’re missing access control, security cameras, security lighting, or other crucial components of an effective security system, now’s the perfect time to have this equipment installed or upgraded.
If you’re looking to ensure your business is protected and ready for the upcoming holiday season or you know you need to install or upgrade security equipment, contact 3D Security today to discuss your needs and goals. We’ll work with you to create and implement a custom security solution that you can count on for the holidays and beyond.