In his latest blog for Infologue.com, David Ward of Ward Security discusses the importance of ensuring clients have adequate festive security in place. David writes: “Nobody wants to have their Christmas ruined by a call-out should an alarm be triggered at their place of work. This becomes even more of a problem if they’ve enjoyed a glass of wine or two with family and friends. They certainly shouldn’t drive if they have, so that will mean getting somebody else to drive them, or an expensive taxi ride.
“These unwanted complications can be avoided by ensuring there is adequate and professional security in place that offers a keyholding and alarm response service. This low cost service gives facilities and office manager piece of mind and lets them relax to enjoy their Christmas break.
“If clients already have out-of-hours keyholding and alarm response as part of a contract, they should be reminded to double-check that it covers bank holidays. They may need to add additional hours.
“It’s also worth reminding clients of simple steps to help ensure their Christmas isn’t ruined by a call from the police following a break in or unforeseen emergency at site, for example:
“1. Ensuring staff don’t overlook security in their pre-Christmas excitement. With the final week before Christmas typically very busy, it is easy to forget the basics. Staff should be reminded to be security aware and managers should think about scheduling a mandatory time when all staff conduct a final security check of the site to ensure doors and windows are closed and locked.
“2. Giving the appearance of occupation can be a useful deterrent. The use of timed lights, semi-open blinds and arranging for third parties such as cleaners to make regular visits to the property can help. Also removing articles of value, both internal and external, which can draw attention to the building. It is also good practice to schedule somebody to collect any post, which can be a clear sign to potential intruders that the building is vacant.
“3. If they have an intruder alarm make sure the keyholder details are up to date and the alarm receiving centre or helpdesk has an updated list of approved contractors.
“4. Ensure the keyholding company and contracting staff are fully aware of locations of key items like stopcocks, gas and electricity supply and other essential services. This is very important if there is an incident such as a burst pipe or fire caused by intruders. Giving contractors this vital (but often overlooked) information could be invaluable if there is an incident and managers are not available to attend the scene.
“5. If they do not have an intruder alarm or fire protection system, offer to install a Wireless Intruder Detection System for the Christmas period which can be rented on a weekly basis and can be easily installed and set to report back to a control room to ensure premises are monitored. This WIDS system can tie in to the keyholding service to give a better level of security cover.
“6. If a business or organisation doesn’t currently employ a security company then it may be a good investment to consider booking temporary security staff to cover on a short term contract basis. A proper risk assessment of your site should be conducted, no matter how small it is, and they should receive a breakdown of the operations procedure that shows who is on site, when, and detailing any planned activity.
“Crucially, it is important they don’t leave security until the last minute as security companies and their staff are already booking in their additional Christmas work. The closer it gets to the Christmas period, the harder it will be to find a good quality service provider”.