Pre-holiday checklist to help secure your business

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Pre-holiday checklist to help secure your business

Here are five ways to reduce the chances of coming back to a nasty surprise after the holiday break.

Giving your business a holiday break? Founder of security monitoring centre Calamity Daniel Lewkovitz is offering a number of tips to help secure your business over the holidays.

Here’s our paraphrased and annotated version of his tips.

1. Identify the risks faced by your business

The risk of theft is generally apparent, so you probably don't leave cash or valuables on the premises. But there are other threats. What's your stock worth? Could you cope if it was damaged by fire or flood, or in the case of perishables ruined if the freezers or cool room stopped working for any reason. Monitored alarms can reduce those risks. And what about your important data such as accounting or customer records? Is it safely stored in the cloud? Do you have a current, off-premises backup? The cost of such measures is small compared with your potential losses.

2. Protect workers wherever they roam

Most businesses address workplace health and safety issues, but don't always take into consideration employees who work off-premises. And if a key employee is injured during their own time, that can have a serious impact on business operations. Lewkovitz points out that Calamity's Fearless mobile safety app is a useful way for employers to provide lone worker protection. In addition, staff can use it when they're off-duty, knowing that if they get in trouble or fail to check-in they can still summon help from a 24/7 monitored service, paid for by their employer.

3. Test your security system

Lewkovitz reckons only a minority of businesses comply with the Australian Standards specification that security systems should be tested at least once a year. If you don't know your system is working, how can you rely on it?

4. Upgrade your security before something bad happens

Remember the saying about shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted? The right time to install a security system is before you're robbed.

5. Plan for a safe, secure 2017

If January is a quiet time for your business, you probably take the opportunity to plan for the year ahead. Include safety and security in that process, get specialist assistance where appropriate, and be sure to include your staff: if they own it they will implement it.

Lewkovitz also offers the following quick tips:

  • Is it time to consider replacing locks and keys with auditable electronic access control?
  • If you have a monitored alarm system, use the ASIAL website to check that your security company has a 'graded' monitoring centre. If not, take your business elsewhere.
  • Transparent window films can improve security without affecting aesthetics.
  • Switch to IP (internet-based) monitoring of alarms instead of costly, insecure phone-based monitoring.
  • Make sure your staff are all aware of their responsibilities under the business's security policies and procedures.
  • Remote video monitoring can achieve the same or better results than traditional patrols, often at significantly lower cost.
  • Are your smoke detectors due for replacement (that is, ten or more years old)? Are they monitored?
  • Does your insurance policy cover your current list of assets and operating environment?
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