Winter Security Advice for Business Owners
As a business owner, keeping your business premises secure throughout the year is of the utmost importance, and should always be one of your top priorities – not only to avoid the stressful and costly repercussions of crimes, but also to protect your most important asset: your staff.
Why should you pay particular attention to your security features during the winter months? Well, with the onslaught of colder and more severe weather, you may find that your original security features – especially if they are a few years old – will suffer from general wear-and-tear at a quicker rate than they do during the fairer months.
It’s no surprise that the winter months tend to invite the highest number of break-ins and thefts nationwide, as the days get shorter and the nights get darker. As we approach the end of the year, now is the optimum time to check your business’s security and implement the necessary measures to safeguard your premises from opportunistic criminals.
Install Lighting Inside and Outside
Vacant-looking buildings with no security lighting are targets for would-be intruders, because they can easily remain undetected. There are numerous lighting fixtures you can install to ensure your premises are well-lit and combat the longer hours of darkness in the winter months.
Sensor-activated lighting can deter burglars from getting close to your premises. Ideally you will want to install lighting not only at the entrance to the building but also in the vulnerable areas of the premises – such as at the sides or back of the building, and the car park or loading bay.
Floodlighting can act as a permanent deterrent to crime, and can ensure your premises are always well-lit from the outside, but you may require permission from the council to install these types of fixtures.
You may also choose to fit ‘smart’ lighting, which operates on a timer so that you can keep the inside of the premises suitably lit even when they are vacant. This is especially beneficial over the seasonal period, when your premises are likely to go unoccupied for a stretch of days, a week, or even longer.
Safeguard Entrances and Exits
Extreme weather and drastic temperature changes can sometimes weaken the integrity of doors and locks, causing hinges and screws to loosen or rust, wooden frames to rot or disintegrate, and even result in the fit of a door warping incorrectly out of shape. All of these issues can reduce security significantly, so it is important to keep an eye out for early signs and then take the necessary measures to strengthen entrances and exits.
If you have large open windows, it is advisable to have shutters, grilles or window bars fitted, in order to prevent burglars shattering the glass as an entrance point into the building. This measure can also double up to obscure the view into the building, greatly limiting the visibility of any valuable pieces of equipment or stock that you have held inside the premises.
It is more and more common for businesses to install digital locks now – going ‘keyfree’ has multiple benefits, requires little maintenance, and can boost overall security by connecting to a full alarm system. Furthermore, many modern alarm systems are designed to directly contact a security firm if the alarm is activated by an intruder, and it can also hook up to your smartphone, which provides you with added peace of mind.
Routinely Examine Locks and Fastenings
It is good to get into the routine of checking the security features of your building. Assign time to regularly examine your locks and fastenings, and test the functioning of any electronic security you have in place (such as alarms, lighting and cameras).
You could hire a security expert to survey the premises if you are unsure of what exactly to look out for – contractors will be able to highlight any weak spots and advise you on the best security practices.
Making sure your business is secure during the winter months is essential. With technological and industrial advances it is now easier than ever to safeguard your building in order to prevent the threat of break-ins. Take the required steps to provide yourself and your employees with reassurance and avoid the negative impact of crime upon your business.
Kevin Lindeque is the Commercial Manager of SWS, a leading manufacturer of security solutions for businesses and residential homes, providing exterior shutters and grilles, industrial doors, and more