If you are closing your business over the festive season, there are certain security precautions you would be well advised to implement to ensure the safety of your business while you are away.
- Notify your alarm company that the business will be closed over a certain period and check in with the alarm company on your return.
- Let your alarm company know who to contact in case of an emergency and make sure that there are at least two emergency contact people.
- Cancel or suspend your newspaper subscription during the period that the business will be closed.
- Do a thorough check of the business for any potential fire hazards. Ensure newspapers are disposed of and all flammable materials are stored safely.
The final checks before you leave
- Switch off all your lights.
- Make sure the premises are locked up and secure – every window, bolt and security gate. Hide keys away.
- Test and then make sure that the alarm is switched on.
- Leave curtains and blinds open – nothing reveals that a building is unoccupied so much as curtains drawn during the day.
- Switch off your geyser to save electricity.
- Unplug electrical appliances (except your fridge) to protect them against power surges, which could not only damage appliances but also spark a fire.
You may be planning to host an end-of-year party, have a big sale to cash in on the festive season, or take on casual employees to help cope with the increased workload this holiday. With increased foot traffic in your store or business, you also need to be aware of the increased risks that present themselves. Use our list of top tips to make sure that you take the necessary precautions to avoid the usual “holiday hazards” this December:
- Host end-of-year parties out of the office to avoid any liability risk. Alcoholic beverages could pose risks. Employees or other attendees may become intoxicated and injure someone else, leaving you with a liability claim.
- Choose smart locations for any additional holiday displays and products. Be sure you are not covering up emergency exit signs, over-crowding aisle ways—anything that would make it difficult to get out in an emergency situation
- Make sure new employees are familiar with the layout of the building/premises and their responsibilities as well as the emergency exits.
- Train employees in proper use of equipment in the workplace. For example, when using a non-self-supporting ladder, which must lean against a wall or other support, be sure to position it at such an angle that the horizontal distance from the top support to the foot of the ladder is about 1/4 the working length of the ladder.
- Use extension cords properly (don’t string multiple cords together) to prevent trips and falls – and potential fire hazards. If you use extension cords outdoors, don’t let them get wet. And don’t overload your electrical sockets.
- Keep appropriate inventory on store shelves to prevent items toppling over onto customers.
Take a look here for more business advice from Santam.