Office workers decorating a christmas tree together

How to secure your business for Christmas    

12 December 2022    |    By: Nathan Bentley

Business owners and employees alike often count down the days to Christmas closure. For many, Christmas offers respite away from work and a chance to spend time with friends and family, enjoying everything that the festive season has to bring.

Before you close your doors for the festive period though, it’s very important that you consider how you will ensure your premises and property remains safe and secure over the Christmas period, especially if your premises is going to be vacated for several days or weeks. 

Don’t forget, criminals still operate during the festive season and often look for opportunities presented to them over Christmas. They may wish to make the most of empty offices, closed shops and unattended property. Therefore, securing your building and your assets whilst your business is closed is critical to ensure you don’t fall victim to theft.

By following these six simple steps, you can start to secure your property and help to minimise any risk presented by ill-intentioned people, or other issues which could occur during your Christmas closure. 

One of the most important things to do before closing your doors is to test all your security systems so you know they are working as they should. This includes door locks, CCTV, intruder alarms, fire alarms and other systems you have in place to secure the building. If your offices are managed by a management company, check with them to ensure they have made all the necessary checks to the security systems associated with your business or location.

If you’ve put up Christmas decorations, you should also ensure these won’t interfere with any of your security systems, for example, a Christmas tree could block the view of a security camera – take care when placing decorations to ensure that whilst you are closed, your security systems are able to work effectively. 

No, we don’t mean your PC, we mean any windows which are easily accessible and offer a view into your business premises! From the inside, windows offer fresh air, natural light and for some a stunning view, however, from the outside, they could offer a tantalising view for would-be thieves. Ensure that valuable items are stored away from windows or doors. You may be able to use blinds or shutters to improve security here and stop potential thieves from being able to use windows to get a good look at your business, or perhaps even to gain entry during your Christmas closure.
It goes without saying that some businesses may need to advertise Christmas closure hours. However, if you don’t have a good reason to do so, then keeping quiet about your closure time could act as a deterrent for potential thieves who won’t be able to use your advertised opening hours to calculate when the building or premises is unattended. You could use a message such as: ‘Contact us for Christmas Opening Hours’ or something similar, as this is a much more subtle way to confirm your premises closure, without overtly confirming when the space is unattended.

During the winter months, it’s advised that you leave heating systems on where possible to ensure that temperatures within your business premises remain at a safe level. Many modern heating systems will have anti-freeze settings which ensure the heating comes on occasionally to ensure any water pipes in the building don’t start to freeze. If this happens then you could be at risk of a burst pipe causing water damage or flooding to both your, and nearby properties. Ensuring the heating can come on and off during this period will help to protect your business from this risk.

In addition to this, you could install remote thermometers at your premises so you can check up on the temperature from time to time – that way if the temperature does start to drop, you can respond accordingly and can ensure you take steps to reduce the risk of a burst pipe. Many modern camera systems have built-in temperature sensors which can alert you if the temperature gets too high or too low.

You may need to leave some electronics plugged in (for example PCs which you need to access remotely) however there will be many items that won’t need power during your closure. Unplugging these items will ensure they are protected in the event of a power surge or a blackout and can also help to reduce the risk of a fire starting. It’s crucial that during your closure you don’t leave battery-powered items charging as this greatly increases the chance of a fire. Not only that though, charging items that don’t need to be charged is a waste of money, and could also damage the batteries inside them.

Now, you’re ready to close your doors for the Christmas break, you can almost taste the mulled wine. You’re excited to get home and start enjoying the festivities but before you do, please take a few minutes to double-check you’ve taken the correct steps to ensure your business premises are secure during your closure.

Check you’ve armed the relevant security systems, that you’ve removed valuable items and cash (and have put them in a secure place) and checked that you’ve locked all the windows and doors. Make sure the heating is set appropriately and take time to ensure you can remotely access any technology you need from home. By pausing just for a moment, you’ll have the best opportunity to do your due diligence and ensure you’ve done everything you need to secure your property and assets before going off to enjoy a well-deserved Christmas break.

Nathan Bentley
Article by
Nathan is a content writer at Premierline with over 5 years’ experience, specialising in news and current affairs which impact small businesses across various industries. Nathan is passionate about discussing topics that affect the workplace, covering everything from human resources, to emerging and disruptive technologies. In the past, Nathan has written for a number of different businesses, working within a wide range of industries from financial technology to hospitality and even men’s fashion.
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