Twelve days of Christmas security tips
Christmas is a time of peace and joy, but not for everyone! Unfortunately, it can prove to be an opportunistic time for thieves and burglars.
Keeping to the theme of the song, here’s our twelve top tips to keep your home/business safe and secure this Christmas...
...my true love said to me, “There is a fault on our security system”
Test all your security equipment
If your business will be closed for an extended period and will have different operating hours during the holiday season, be sure to test your fire alarms, security cameras, access control system and more, so you know they’re working and reporting properly.
By doing this at the beginning of the holiday season, you’ll allow for ample time to make any needed adjustments or repairs, so you can leave your business with peace of mind knowing that it’s protected. Also, make sure your monitoring provider is aware of your holiday hours and has an updated call list, should any alarms go off in your absence.
...my true love said to me, “Pack your bags, we are going away!”
Don’t advertise you are away for Christmas on social media
Social networking sites are fantastic for keeping in touch with friends and family, but it is also a place for opportunists. By openly advertising you are away – even if it’s just ‘checking in’ on Facebook - you place yourself at greater risk of a burglary.
...my true love said to me, “Have you locked the door?”
Make sure your premises are properly locked and your security system activated
While it’s normal procedure to lock up when leaving, if you will be gone for an extended period, go around every exterior door and window to make sure they’re locked and secured prior to departing.
If you have an access control system, be sure that any schedules set to automatically open doors on specific days and times are overridden during your absence, so the building is not unlocked and unattended during the holidays.
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...my true love said to me, “Have you emptied the bins?”
Pay close attention to how you dispose of your rubbish
During the Christmas period, it’s common for businesses to receive an influx in deliveries – whether it’s for additional stock to sell or gifts to provide employees and customers.
After emptying the shipping boxes, don’t just throw away the boxes and shipping labels in your bin. Since many of these boxes are marked with the original contents, it’s like an advertisement to burglars, letting them know what you may have inside.
Instead, take all shipping and contents labels off the boxes and shred them, then cut the boxes and put them in bin bags before placing them in the bin (or even better, take them to your nearest recycling facility!).
...my true love said to me, “Why isn’t the tree up?”
Ensure decorations don’t obstruct security systems
Many businesses put up decorations for the Christmas period. When doing so, it’s essential to take into consideration where you put them, so they don’t obstruct your security systems.
Make sure your decorations aren’t hanging near security cameras, especially outside where the wind could cause them to move and potentially cover the cameras.
Additionally, make sure that any hanging decorations inside your business aren’t in the view of a motion detector, as the decorations could cause a false alarm if they fell. Plus, make sure that larger decorations outside don’t create a hiding spot for intruders.
Finally, organise staff training to stop and re-set false alarms, this could save you money for an engineer call-out fee.
...my true love said to me, “We need more lights!”
Check more than the Christmas lights
It’s important that the inside and outside of your business is well-lit – especially when you’ll be gone for an extended period. This makes it harder for intruders to hide and go unseen and can also deter them from entering your premises altogether. You may also consider using timers that turn lights on and off at random – instead of scheduled intervals – so it gives the appearance that people are inside even when you’re closed.
...my true love said to me, “Don’t display too much in the window”
Be aware of what can be seen through the windows of your business.
When you’re closed during the holidays, be aware of what can be seen inside your business from the street. Try to move high value items away from windows and prying eyes. You don’t want to tempt ill-intentioned individuals and you certainly want to avoid a smash-and-grab which can often be more costly to fix than the value of the items stolen.
...my true love said to me, “Don’t leave the plug in!”
Unplug all unnecessary devices
Prior to leaving for Christmas, check the interior of your business and unplug anything that isn’t required to be on or running while you’re closed. It’s not uncommon for employees to leave space heaters plugged in during the winter months, but these should always be unplugged after use, especially when left unattended.
Also, consider unplugging electronics, such as computers, copiers, coffee makers and more, so that if an unexpected power outage/surge occurs, you’re not returning after the holiday break to electronics that are damaged or destroyed.
...my true love said to me, “We need to let the local businesses know we are away”
Ask local businesses to be on the lookout.
Even though you’re closed during the Christmas period, that doesn’t mean that other local businesses will follow suit. If you have a good relationship with your neighbouring businesses, consider telling them that your business will be closed, so they can keep an eye on your facility.
...my true love said to me, “We need to make the room cosy for Christmas!”
Candles can immediately add a cosy festive touch to your home during the Christmas period, but they should be used with care. Make sure candles are secured in metal holders that will not tip over and away from anything flammable.
Keep candles well away from decorations, dry, natural arrangements and electrical equipment.
...my true love said to me, “Help our pipes have burst!”
With the cold weather upon us, the risk of pipes freezing and bursting increases. Burst pipes can cause thousands of pounds in damages to your business, so take precautions to prevent this from occurring.
Set your thermostat to 14 C while your business is closed. Also, depending on your facility and where your business is located, you may want to turn off your water.
Make sure your roof and vulnerable pipes are insulated (foam tubing called lagging) and your boiler is serviced
You should also consider getting a low-temperature sensor that can notify you – possibly through your security system – when interior temperatures have dropped too low or installing a smart thermostat that you can adjust remotely while you’re away.
...my true love said to me, “Happy Christmas”
Following these 11 security tips will help you better secure your home or business, so you can enjoy all the fun of the Christmas season.
If you are looking for a security provider that can help you with your security during the Christmas period and beyond, please click below to have a STANLEY Security account manager contact you.
This Christmas might be a busy one, but it looks set to be a great one!
Season’s Greetings from STANLEY Security. Stay safe this Christmas and all the best to you in 2020.