The holiday season is peak season for travelling and entertainment. Unfortunately, for businesses who are keen to maximise a bumper spending season, it is also often peak season for criminals. This December, make sure your business is protected and prepared for any potential criminal attacks.
Typically, there is a spike in armed robberies over the holiday season as consumers tend to indulge in spending sprees and smaller businesses may be targeted because they are cash-intensive. Central business districts or city centres tend to attract more crime than shopping malls As a small business owner, you can take the following precautions to help keep your business safe this festive season:
- Use a safe with a drop-mechanism that allows you to safely make periodic drops during the day. This will help minimise the actual cash in your registers. There should be visible signs to indicate that you have a drop-safe on the premises and therefore do not have large amounts of cash.
- Vary the times and days when you schedule cash-in-transit pick-ups from your premises.
- Similarly, if you make deposits at the bank, vary the times and dates so that your banking behaviour is unpredictable.
- Install security cameras that are clearly visible as a deterrent.
- Install a silent alarm that can alert a security company quickly in the event of a robbery.
- Make sure you have adequate, bright lighting both outside and inside your business premises.
- Test your alarm system ahead of the holiday season rush to ensure that it is working properly and that the battery is in good working condition.
- Criminals tend to prefer to break-in to businesses at night, so it may be worth your time and money to hire a night security for the holidayseason.
- Train your employees in terms of what to do and appropriate actions to take in the event of an armed robbery. They should also be trained in terms of preventative action or precautions they can take to pre-empt a potential robbery.
- Have an emergency number on quick dial.
- Obtain your local sector police number from the nearest police station and keep on hand. Confirm this number at least once a month as these may change.
- Keep a list of emergency numbers eg. local police station, ambulance etc, which is visible to all staff.
When using private security services:
- The security guards should be rotated.
- Insist that guards are vetted on a regular basis.
- Use the services of reputable guarding companies.
- Ensure that the security company is registered with the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA).
Taking steps to pre-empt your business falling victim to crime is the smart, savvy thing to do this holiday season. Make sure you aren’t caught off-guard.