With Christmas quickly approaching, many offices are facing the question of how to safely secure your office over the Christmas break?
Over the festive period, you may decide that for an extended period, maybe from Christmas Eve to New Year's Eve, you will completely close your office space giving your employees a well-earned rest. If this is the case, your office will be empty for a prolonged period, unlike other times throughout the year. Whilst empty and not visited your office is at a higher risk of being burgled or damaged.
In this blog we explore 8 ways you can safely secure your premises over the Christmas break.
Hire a professional security service
Our first piece of advice is to hire a professional security service to help you manage and protect against the threats to your office over a prolonged period of vacancy. By hiring professionals, you instantly gain peace of mind knowing that if the worst was to happen, you are in the best position possible in resolving the issue quickly.
Below are some services you should consider:
- Mobile patrols – A qualified, mobile security guard that visits your premise on a scheduled basis.
- Key holding – Allowing a trusted company to hold spare keys to your office so they can attend the site in the case of an emergency.
- Alarm activations – Hiring a professional service to attend your site if any alarms are activated.
Install or test your Alarm System
If you have not got an alarm on your premises you should consider installing one as soon as possible. Alarms are perfect for vacated buildings as they alert the owner of any suspicious activity. Over the Christmas period, an alarm will offer your peace of mind that your office has not been broken into.
There are different types of alarms that you can install on your premises. Many alarm systems will come with a service provider who can manage the system for you. These service providers can attend the site, alert you as the owner and even alert the police.
If you have an alarm on site already it is wise that you test everything is working correctly. If needed, you should also update the emergency contacts to the right people within your office.
Install or test your CCTV
Similarly, to an alarm, you should install CCTV system if you do not have one. CCTV is a great addition to an office's security as it will protect personnel and property, as well as deterring thieves when the property is left vacant.
Due to data protection laws, you are legally required to display signs informing people that they are being filmed. These signs can be the difference between your office being targeted and not targeted for an organised burglary.
If you have CCTV on your premise already, run some test to make sure that all is recording how it is supposed to. Ensuring that all cameras are functional and that images are clear will help you identify any suspicious people around your office.
Install or test your security lighting
Security lighting is excellent for deterring criminals from your offices. If you have dark areas around your premise it is advised that you install security lighting that detects motion and lights up these areas.
Traditionally, criminals prefer to work in darkness as they have less chance of getting caught. By ensuring that all your office is lit up and easily visible with lighting will help deter thieves and make it harder to burgle your office.
Check your locks
When locking up your office for a long period of time, it is vital to check that all your locks are working correctly. If any are not functioning how they should be you may need to get a locksmith in to change them.
It is also important to consider if there is anyone who has access to open the locks that should not do. This may be an old employee or an external contractor.
It is now possible to install smart locks on your office to track who is coming and going. An example of this includes smart fobs and access cards. These types of systems leave an electronic audit trail that can be used to work out how criminals entered your offices.
Hide your valuables
Just like in domestic properties, many burglaries occur because they are tempted by what is on show. Over the Christmas break it is vital that you utilise lockers for your employees and ensure that their belongings are not left on show.
If possible remove laptops and screens that are visible from outside the building.
Start a “Business Watch” scheme
A “Business Watch” scheme is like a “Neighbourhood Watch” scheme. If able to, team up with offices in a similar location to your building and report suspicious activity at any time of the day. Each office will have different schedules and security. By sharing information, you increase the chances of catching a criminal.
A modern and easy way to do this is to create a WhatsApp group or a Social Media mage to share messages and information on.
Be social media smart
Although social media is an awesome free marketing tool that allows you to interact with your target audience, we advise being social media smart over the festive break and not advertising that your offices will be empty. Sophisticated criminals can use this information against you, knowing that you are an easier target than any other time of the year.
Unfortunately this means that you can not brag about your trip to the Bahamas from all the hard work throughout the year.
We hope that our tips have been helpful in preparing your office for the Christmas break. By taking these security precautions you can safely secure your office and have peace of minds that you have done all you can to deter criminals.