Christmas is a time of year when your business faces heightened security threats, whether your business is open or not. So, we’ve put together some tips on how to make your company safer through the winter holidays.

1). Test Your Security Equipment

If your business will be closed for the holidays or will have different operating hours, then it’s a good idea to test your security equipment. It’s important to ensure everything is in working order before you leave. This means testing your security cameras, access control system, fire alarms, and more.

In addition, if you have a monitoring company, then this is also the time to let them know you’ll be away. If you have different operating hours, then alert them to this, too. One more thing—you may want to consider updating that call list—the one that’s called if you’re away from the company for the holidays or vacation. Don’t have a list? Now’s the very best to time create one!

Doing this at the beginning of the holiday season ensures you have time to fix any issues or make repairs. That way, when you leave for Christmas, you can rest assured your business is safe and protected while you’re away.

2). Keep Holiday Decorations from Obstructing Security Systems

This is a big one. Many companies decorate for the holidays. However, they sometimes place decorations and ornaments there they obstruct the existing security system.

To keep that from happening, check to make sure that no decorations are hanging near the security camera. Remember, too, that wind can cause them to move, which could also cover security cameras. In addition, keep all handing decorations out of view of any motion detectors. If they fall, these decorations can set off a false alarm.

One more issue—make sure that large holiday displays don’t create a hiding place for intruders. This is another common issue.

3). Conduct Background Checks

If you’re hiring seasonal employees, it’s always recommended that you conduct background checks. This is especially the case if you’re in the retail industry. It pays to take extra precautions at a time of the year when theft is a huge problem.

The reason is you want to make sure the potential employee is not a criminal. Next, if they pass the background check, then it’s time to train. When training these seasonal employees, only train them to do their job and nothing more. Don’t provide them with any additional information that could be used to make it easier to steal.

Finally, if seasonal employees require passcodes, be sure to follow the best practices for managing alarm panel codes. And these individuals are no longer employed, be sure to disable their pass codes.

4). What’s Visible Through the Windows?

Have you ever thought to look through your company’s windows before the holidays? You may want to add this to your list of things security issues to check.

The issue here is thieves will look through shop windows, office windows, and more. They’re look for anything that can be stolen. This can include products, equipment, and more. Anything near a window is a prime draw for thieves.

When something valuable is near the window, the thief only has to smash, grab, and run. They’ll be long gone before the police show up.

5). Pay Attention to Trash Disposal

This is another area that most businesses don’t consider an essential key to their security. The holidays are a time when businesses also receive gifts, more stock to sell, and more. The issue here is throwing away product shipping boxes that have labels affixed.

If you throw these items away, thieves will see what’s marked on the boxes, knowing these items could be inside your business. You’re letting them know exactly what may be waiting for them to grab inside.

So, before throwing shipping boxes away, remove their labels. Then remove other materials and shred the boxes. Then put everything that’s been shredded or destroyed into garbage bags. This will prevent thieves from knowing about the items you’ve received.

6). Don’t Leave Cash    

While this may seem obvious, it’s a step that can sometimes be forgotten when everyone’s rushing home for the holidays. Leaving cash behind is dangerous because no one will be watching over it while the business is closed.

Remember that thieves can easily remove cash boxes or even safes. So, make sure all cash has been removed before everyone goes on holiday.

7). Check on the Holiday Lights

Another thing that’s often forgotten is to make sure the business is well lit while you’re away for an extended period. This way, intruders are not able to hide or go unseen. Plus, they may not know if someone is really there or not. So, they won’t want to take the chance to enter your business in the first place.

It may not be possible to leave all the lights on; however, you can use timed lights to turn lights off and on in the business, or you can even use lights that have a motion detector. This way, your building will be lit and may make thieves unsure if someone’s really there or not.

8). Unplug Devices

Before you leave for the holidays, it’s always a good idea to go through your business and unplug anything that’s not required to be on or running. Someone may have forgotten to turn off a space heater, for instance.

Other things to consider are computers copiers, coffee makers, and more. If these are plugging in while you’re gone, they could be damaged by a power surge or outage.

10). Keep Pipes from Freezing and Bursting

This is another common problem, which can present a security issue. Pipes tend to freeze and burst in very low temperatures. Not only can lead to thousands of pounds in damage to your business, but it can also even leave your business open to a security threat.

To avoid this issue, then be sure to set the thermostat to at least 55 degrees F while your company’s closed. You may also want to consider turning off the water.

Another good idea is to invest in a low-temperature sensor which can let you know and your security system that the temp’s been too low inside. Some of these even allow you to adjust the temperature remotely via the Internet.

These are a few of the ways you can keep your business safe and protected from the bad guys over the Christmas holidays.