Winter is most definitely upon us. You hear it in the rattling of the windowpanes, you can feel it in the heaviness of the darkened sky and the stillness of the hazy roads in the early morning, you’ll see it in the somber expressions of passersby huddled inside bulky scarves.
The icy chill in the air and the frigid winds at this time of year may send you running to your armchair with hot cocoa and fuzzy slippers. But before you escape to a warm corner to thaw your frozen fingertips, consider the ramifications of this season and how it can impact your business, and take a few necessary steps to ensure that all will not be lost. Learn more about commercial security in the winter months.
What Does Winter Mean for Businesses?
Let’s examine the effects of winter weather on commercial establishments. Every season brings with it changes that can threaten the security of a business. Any time there are changes in hours, employees, or routines of a business, security considerations need to shift to accommodate any gaps that can allow for unsafe action and ensure that the facility is properly protected at all times. During the winter, there are a few factors to consider.
Holidays tend to throw everything of- kilter, for many reasons.
The existence of holidays during this time of year, which means vacation days, which means fewer employees, or sometimes substitute employees who are unfamiliar with security procedures, can all pose a threat to a business. Sometimes a business will shut down completely for a holiday, and that can be an opportunity for burglars to take advantage of the vacant building.
Holiday parties, where strangers can be invited and can enter employee-only areas, can also be a danger for a business. The holiday spirit in general, can make employees lax about security procedures, such as posting confidential information on social media, and the like.
To avoid these issues, it is advisable to review security procedures and regulations with employees prior to the beginning of the season, and to decide what the rules will be regarding temporary employees, outsider invites to parties, and sharing information on social media.
Access control should be reviewed to ensure that temporary employees or holiday party visitors will not have access to restricted areas.
If the business will be vacant over the holidays, the necessary security measures should be enforced, such as leaving security lights on, making sure cctv cameras are working effectively and can be monitored round the clock, and that security forces can be automatically contacted in case of an intruder.
Winter fires are unfortunately very common. To make sure that your business will be saved in case of a fire, make sure that all smoke alarms are working properly, and that there are fire extinguishers all around the building. Fire drills are important; all employees should be clear on what to do in case of fire, all exits should be clearly marked and the building should be checked for fire hazards.
The changing of the clocks is another cause for concern during this time of year. Burglars generally await the cozy cover of a blanket of winter nightfall to make their move. Now that it is dark both at opening and closing times of the business, it is necessary to ensure that security lights are properly scheduled to go on for all hours of darkness, so that any intruders will be instantly and glaringly illuminated.
Sometimes bad weather can result in damage to the property, such as a storm which shatters a CCTV camera lens or ruins a warehouse roof. Or in the case of severe weather conditions, when there is a power outage, the security of the business can be seriously threatened. It’s necessary to have constant maintenance of security equipment to ensure that it is running optimally and being replaced if needed. Having a generator as a backup in case of power outages or frozen power lines is a good idea as well.
It’s important to consider employee safety, as well. Always shovel the paths around the building in the event of a snowstorm, and have emergency plans in place in case of power outages or dangerous weather conditions where employees will be trapped inside the building.
With the proper attention and care, all these issues can be dealt with, and this winter will be a safe and secure one. Oh, and don’t forget- get those fuzzy slippers. The armchair and hot cocoa still awaits.