However you’re spending the festive period, the chances are you’ll be aiming to spend as little of it as possible in the office. With many businesses making the decision to close completely between Christmas and the New Year, this means more and more offices could be left empty for almost a fortnight.
An empty property at Christmas can be a magnet to burglars, but if you follow our 6 tips, you can help to make your business premises more secure. Letting you relax and enjoy the holiday without worrying about work.
1. Arrange a security audit
Before you close your business for Christmas get a commercial locksmith to give your premises the once over to make sure it is secure. A security audit from a locksmith will look at your current locks and security devices and assess whether they’re fit for the job.
If the locks at your property are unsuitable or ineffective, a locksmith will be able to recommend suitable replacements or upgrades; and install them for you.
They may also be able to give you more general tips for improving your office security based on their experience of attending break-ins for commercial customers.
2. Store valuables safely
If you keep cash on site you undoubtedly take steps to keep it secure, However sometimes businesses forget about other easy to steal items such as laptops. Employees may want to get a complete break from work over the holiday and leave work laptops out of temptations way, in the office. If they do make sure they don’t leave them out on desks, but rather lock them away in desk drawers.
Alternatively, if you have space, you can fit a secure lock onto a shared cupboard, and transfer any valuables into there.
3. Don’t forget cyber security
If employees are intending to work from home for some of the time over Christmas and the New Year, take the time to remind them of the importance of maintaining cyber security at all times.
Research by CybSafe showed that a third of UK SMEs had experienced a data breach that could be directly attributed to remote working. As well as not having antivirus software, some employees where accessing work systems via insecure Wi-Fi networks, such as those in coffee shops or airports. If you do have employees that work away from the office, make sure they only ever connect their laptops via a secure network.
4. Fit light timers
Your office may already have some type of smart lighting system designed to turn off lights when there is no-one in the office. For larger offices within a block these make absolute sense.
If you are a smaller business though and maybe have an office of only 1 or 2 rooms, you could consider fitting light times that give the appearance that there is somebody in the building. As burglars target empty properties, giving the impression that someone is on site could act as a deterrent.
5. Lock up properly securely
OK, this does sound like a bit of a no brainer. However the fact remains, it doesn’t matter how good the locks you have fitted at your office, if you don’t use them properly they won’t be any use.
Every time you close up, make sure that you check all the locks around the office. If you have more than one room it can be surprisingly easy to forget about a window, a back entrance or fire exit, particularly if they are not regularly used. Even if you ask employees to lock doors and windows at the end of the day. You should take ultimate responsibility for double-checking, or have a process in place to ensure there is accountability.
Finally if you intend to allow employees to independently access the workplace over the Christmas period, it is vital that you stress how important it is for them to secure the premises when they leave.
6. Get to know your local emergency locksmith
We’ve already recommended that you ask a qualified locksmith to carry out a security an audit. When you do, ask them about the emergency locksmith service that they offer. While no one wants to think about the worst happening, if you are contacted to let you know that your office has been broken into, having the details of an emergency locksmith to hand will save you a lot of stress.
When deciding which emergency locksmith to use you should check that they are able to get to your business premises quickly, that they are available across the Christmas and New Year period. An emergency locksmith will be able to attend any break in and make sure that your property is secure. They’ll be able to replace or repair any damaged or broken locks quickly and efficiently.
If you’re in the Midlands, why not request a free security audit (or keep the details handy for emergency callouts) from 24hourlocksmith.org.uk, they cover Northamptonshire, Warwickshire through to Nottinghamshire.
However long you’re shutting up shop for over Christmas, make yours more peaceful by making your workplace secure in advance.