Keeping your business safe this Christmas

Business owners across Somerset need to take extra precautions when leaving their premises empty for the Christmas break. Unfortunately, empty businesses are a magnet for criminal opportunists. Particularly in today’s economic climate, thefts are on the rise. Throughout the Christmas period, Watchful Eye Security will be fully operational on client sites and mobile welfare patrols.

Don’t overlook the basics

People often overlook the most basic things, which end up coming back to bite them when their business is left unoccupied. Making sure doors and windows are locked and sturdy and that alarm systems are still functioning are obvious but often forgotten steps that leave a site vulnerable.

Weather proofing
Cold weather can create numerous different problems for properties. Burst pipes being one of the greater risks. And one which can cause significant damage.

So, take steps to prevent your pipes from freezing before you close up.

Turn off your water. You can find guidance about locating your internal stop tap and how to turn it off on the WaterSafe website. You may also want to consider draining your water system
Your water pipes or any water tanks should be well insulated so do check that this is the case. If not, it may be something you consider addressing
Set the heating to a low level whilst you are away as this can help stop pipes inside from freezing
You can also visit the website for more advice on what to do if you think you have a frozen pipe, and what to do if you have a burst pipe.

Of course, cold weather isn’t the only risk that winter can bring, so you’ll want to take steps to guard against possible high winds, and wet weather whilst your premises are empty. We’ve previously put together a guide to flood risk planning and some tips for keeping your home and business safe in more unpredictable weather.

Focus on security
Empty properties can be attractive to thieves, especially during the winter with the darker evenings. So, it will be important to ensure your property is left secure.

Check all windows and doors are locked. And ensure that any gates or entry points are shut and locked
If you have CCTV on your property, then ensure that this in good working order and left active whilst your premises are empty. They can provide evidence in the event of a break in. And can also act as a deterrent to would be thieves.
If your property has an alarm, then do activate this

Leave a light on,

whether a small lamp or battery-operated light in order to save costs: this applies to the office and home when you are not there. Putting your lights on an automatic timer can help give the impression that the property is occupied

Don’t advertise on social media when you are out of the office. If you want to update clients and employees, you can email specific people instead of posting it online when it is available in the public domain.

Secure your equipment

Anything that’s portable or easily disconnected should be hidden away in a locked cupboard, secure room or externally stored. Phones, tablets, keyboards, laptops, monitors – if you can pick it up without any effort, so can a criminal.

For other at risk equipment that may be too much trouble to store, at least make sure that it isn’t visible through any windows, especially if you’re on the ground floor. Shutters or blinds will keep your valuable equipment hidden, and criminals are far less likely to take the risk of breaking in if they’re not sure what they’re going to get out of it. Taking such action will also help if the worst does happen and you need to demonstrate to your insurers that you took every precaution to protect your premises and your equipment.

Of course the most effective way of securing your premises and having peace of mind is to us our mobile security patrol service – details of which can be found here

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