The holidays are fast approaching, and we are all looking forward to a break and some cheer after an unusual year. All business owners (in both the public sector, such as schools, and private sector, like restaurants) know that long holiday breaks bring increased theft, vandalism, and trespassing. Small and large businesses alike know that this is the peak time for crime, no matter if they shut down or stay trading. In fact, SMEs are often at a greater risk than larger companies as they often have fewer backups and resources. This makes them easier targets. But there is a way to fight back against crime and increase your protection levels. Christmas is notorious for break ins, protect your business today with our security recommendations!
Install or Check Security Cameras
If you have CCTV cameras and security cameras, ensure they are highly visible with a sign indicating CCTV cameras are in place. This is an amazingly simple deterrent for most criminals – no one wants to get caught committing a crime on camera. It is important, prior to Christmas, that you ensure that your equipment is properly maintained and in good working order.
It is also important to maintain visibility throughout your store. Make sure you can see the front door and that there are no hidden areas. Ensure your shelves are positioned so no one can hide.
If you don’t have a CCTV security system, now is the time to get one. Professional security businesses, like Eversafe, provide unique CCTV solutions that work with your business needs. Out of the box solutions might not be able to cover your business properly. Eversafe can also integrate your new or existing cameras with other security systems to better protect your business.
Limit and Protect Entry Points
Access control is an important part of protecting your SME over Christmas. Limiting access to your business can reduce the likelihood of break ins and make it more difficult to get away with theft and vandalism. Restricting access and verifying visitor identities is a great way to improve security without much work on your behalf.
Christmas is notorious for break ins but also shop lifting! For stores, limit access to areas that are off limits to customers. You can also deter customers from entering your business with open bags, large tote bags, etc with greeters or signs restricting entry. You can give customers the option of taping their bag closed.
Access control systems can let you intricately customise how and where employees and visitors are allowed to access your site. From one door to hundreds, professionals like Eversafe can create unique access control systems for your business. You can limit who can enter different areas of your business based on employee and visitor access levels. Eversafe can also integrate your access control with alarm systems and CCTV so that you can track the movements, time and access point of criminals for use by authorities. Access control can also track who is in your building in the event of an emergency.
Test and Upgrade Your Systems
While Australian standards specify that security systems should be tested at least once a year, very few business owners do so. It is not uncommon for Eversafe technicians to find a security conscious business that put in security systems that were well ahead of their time 20 years ago but haven’t been updated in years. Criminals constantly work to overcome the latest technology, so you need to constantly update your systems. Don’t shut the barn door after the horse has bolted – updated your security system now, not after a break in. This is more important at Christmas than any other time of the year. Be proactive not reactive!
Protect Valuable Assets
This goes without saying, but it is important to protect your valuables and assets over Christmas (and all other times). If you are worried about valuable assets stored at your business then take extra precautions and lock them up more securely then your typically would. Money, expensive items and other valuables should be locked away, out of sight. Add extra barriers – like access control and alarms – to deter would-be criminals. It is important to deter grab-and-go criminals.
In stores, don’t leave cash registers or money unattended. And don’t count money or move it while customers are in the store.
It is important to have steps in place to protect your inventory. Evaluate daily transactions, review camera footage, validate voided or deleted sales. Clearly communicate company policy and protocols on theft and consistently enforce them when appropriate.
Change Up Patterns and Routines
Businesses are often cased by criminals before a crime takes place. They are looking for patterns and routines among you and your employees. So it is important to change up routines and discuss the necessity of this with your employees. Make bank drops frequently, with different employees, at different times, with different routes. Don’t make a routine that criminals can learn. As a result, you are working to protect both your employees and assets from criminal attacks.
Protect Your Employees
It is not just your assets that are vulnerable during the Christmas season. When an employee is by themselves, businesses are the most vulnerable to break ins. You should operate with at least two people for all shifts. The more the better. in stores this is especially necessary for closing and opening shifts.
Ensure you and your employees are always aware of your surroundings. Not only can you potentially stop a would-be break in but fresh eyes might be able to see potential security risks you have missed. Never hesitate to call security or the police if you see someone or something unusual on or near the business.
Finally, working out a code signal or word for employees to use when in duress. A simple, banal word choice or name can be used to immediately signal that assistance or the police are needed.
Identify Unique Risks to Your Business
No two businesses are the same. Your location, buildings, business type, access points, staff and local crime all contribute to a unique security challenge. This is why out of the box solutions simply do not protect businesses properly. Never think a criminal isn’t interested in stealing from your business. Cash and valuables aren’t the only reason for break ins. Computers, equipment, vehicles, and even customer information are all assets at criminal could target. There is a market for everything, even stolen timber. No matter what your business is, it is important to protect it.
Christmas is notorious for break ins and it is important to update or install security systems, now! Eversafe have over 20 years experience in security and CCTV solutions. Let us help you audit your site, update and integrate security systems or install a complete, custom solution for your business. We specialise in CCTV and integrated access control and alarm systems, ideal for SMEs and large businesses alike. Contact us today and protect your business over the Christmas period!