In the week ahead, thousands of businesses across the country will be preparing to close the office for Christmas. Even those still running throughout the festive period are likely to be doing so with skeleton staff. With fewer people around, your site becomes more vulnerable. So, before you pop on the out of office and reach for the door, Annette Daniel shares five quick tips to help keep your business safe this Christmas.
- Start early.
You would not believe the number of calls we get on Christmas Eve as business owners lock up fully and put on their alarms for what might be the first time all year. Your intruder alarm should already be maintained, but please set and check your alarm now, before you are planning to close for Christmas. That way, if they aren’t working properly, you can avoid having to wait for an engineer when you should be at home waiting for Santa.
At the darkest time of year, it is especially important to install and maintain your lighting. Smart lighting that is linked to your security can be a clever way to ensure that the right lighting comes on when needed, without anyone needing to touch a button. What’s more, smart lighting will keep you in control, keep you looking after our environment and could save you money on your utility bills as well as keeping you, your staff and your business safe.
If you have CCTV cameras in use, please double check all your cameras are working and visible on the monitor. It might sound obvious, just just make sure they’re looking at what they should be looking at. Perhaps you’ve made some changes to your site this year and a camera is no longer pointing where it needs to, or something is obscuring the view. If you haven’t already, consider remote monitoring either by a remote monitoring centre or via a smart device. If you already have your cameras monitored, make sure the remote monitoring centre can see everything it needs to, and no cameras have been isolated from repeat false alarms.
Over the Christmas break it is far more likely that you will have staff coming to the site on their own, with few or no other colleagues around. What protection do you have in place to keep them safe? If there is no one on reception, is there some access control in place to stop intruders coming through to restricted areas? With more flexible working patterns over Christmas, will your access control allow staff to enter when they want to come in, and only enter where they need to be? If you already have access control, this could be as simple as updating your software to ensure all the data is correct. Double check your process and ensure your access control reflects that.
- Fire Alarm
You do not want to think about a fire alarm going off at Christmas. Even giving your fire alarm panel a quick check a day or two before closing to ensure there are no faults showing on the panel can save you time on return visits back to the office due to false alarms. While you’re on, make sure all areas are clean and dust free to avoid causing a false alarm. To reduce fire risks, ensure all kettles, toasters, and anything else that’s not required over the holidays are turned off. Don’t forget to remove Christmas decorations if possible or at least ensure all Christmas lights are switched off.
Merry Christmas from all of us at Oracle Vision! We hope you have a fantastic Christmas and all the best for a successful, happy and healthy 2021.