Secure your business and staff this festive season

With the festive season approaching and retail purchasing sure to increase in the coming weeks, Charnel Hattingh, National Marketing and Communications Manager Fidelity ADT, encourages business owners to brief their staff and be extra vigilant.

“At this time of year we do see incidents where criminals enter a business posing as a customers and then hold staff at gunpoint. This is why it is very important that businesses, as far as possible, ensure that there is some form of controlled access. A locked security gate can provide you with a vital few minutes to evaluate a situation before the suspects are actually in the premises. If you feel something is not right, don’t open the gate” she says.

Hattingh adds that business owners must regularly brief their staff on security and ensure that everyone is making a conscious effort to keep their workplace safe. Staff should carry panic buttons at all times and not hesitate to use them if they see something or someone suspicious.

“Ideally two people should be tasked with locking up the business and ensuring the premises is secure at the end of the day. It is also not advisable to withdraw large amounts of cash from the bank or keep large amounts of cash on the premises. Ensure you have a regular collection of your cash.”

Now is also the opportune moment to check your perimeter security and have any vulnerable areas reinforced, she adds. “Start with your fence, wall and gate. Check that there are no overhanging trees or bushes that could be used to climb into the property. Make sure your gate is secured so it can’t be lifted off the hinges or put into manual overdrive easily. We’d also highly recommend investing in beams that cover the outer perimeter. Beams provide an instant alert should intruders get through the perimeter security,” he says.

Just like residential properties, businesses should also test their alarm systems are in working order before the festive season hits. “If you suspect there is a fault, arrange for a technician to visit the site sooner rather than later.”

If you are closing up your business over the December break, ensure that the property is secured and alarms are set. “Make sure that the contact person on your business security profile is available should there be an alarm activation. You may also want to consider a guard to keep an eye on the property over the holiday. Make sure to book a guard early as it is a popular time for events.”

“Criminals will no doubt be doing their ‘shopping’ in the coming weeks. However, if all staff are vigilant and alert to potential risks, you can avoid becoming a statistic. Remember that criminals will take any gap to get onto your property. If you feel you could do with an expert opinion to assist in a security system check, have a professional risk assessment done by your security provider,” concludes Hattingh.