With the festive season fast approaching, and an avalanche of shoppers expected over the coming weeks and months, it’s natural you’d be looking into strengthening your security measures. Whether you’re locking down your offices ahead of an extended period of absence, or you’re gearing up for a an influx of customers, security is a crucial component of that.
As the UK’s #1 ACS-approved contractor, Churchill Support Services understand that better than most. Over our extensive history, we’ve built a stellar reputation for consummate, year-round security, and that’s especially true during difficult or busy times of the calendar.
With our latest guide, we’ll be sharing our insider tips and tricks on how best to secure your property over the Christmas period, as well as offering guidance on what you can do to ensure the complete safety of your property, customers and staff.
It goes without saying that Christmas is a pivotal time for many businesses, especially those in the retail and hospitality sectors. Sales of products alone are forecasted to bring in a staggering £84.9 billion for retailers, the highest in recent records, and a return to the numbers we saw prior to the pandemic.
Hospitality sees similar seasonal surges, with an estimated 1 in 10 families opting to take advantage of Britain’s myriad restaurants, pubs and eateries. It’s equally big business, too, with the British Beer and Pub Association estimating that over £2.3 billion will be taken in over the festive period.
Elsewhere, other sectors start to wind down, with many offices and manufacturing businesses closing their doors until the start of 2024. There’s a similar trend across retailers, too, with many now sacrificing a sliver of profits in favour of providing an additional day for workers to spend with their families.
While these paint entirely separate pictures of the festive season, they do share something crucial in common – effective security is absolutely paramount in ensuring a continued level of safety, and the protection of key assets.
Shoplifting and theft are the major concerns over Christmas and into the New Year, and for good reason. Crime statistics show that the festive season sees a substantial increase of all instances of theft, and especially so across electronics, alcohol and food, which is a huge concern for retailers countrywide, even in the safest areas of the UK.
Office theft also sees a definitive rise, as criminals and trespassers take advantage of the prolonged periods of closure and increasingly high-tech workspaces. Warehouses and distribution facilities are subject to similar risks, especially following what’s undoubtedly a highly active and fast-paced period.
All of this contributes towards the sustained and pressing need for effective and robust security that not only takes into consideration the additional pressures of the season, but that’s built with the unique circumstances of that business in mind.
Let’s look at how you can most effectively protect your business over the holidays, and how each of these measures forms a comprehensive service that keeps you safe.
We’ll count down our top tips on ensuring your business is as safe and secure as possible this winter, as well as why we’d recommend each of these options.
An integral part of any effective form of premises security, security personnel are an essential consideration for any business over the Christmas period, and into the new year. Expertly trained guards offer a multi-layered and complex way of ensuring your premises’ safety.
Strategically positioned officers provide one of the most effective deterrents to criminals and trespassers who’d seek to disrupt what you’ve worked so hard to protect. In fact, that’s something recent scientific research proved, showing a distinct reduction in criminal behaviour across public areas and premises.
That’s not all security officers do, though. There’s a full complement of duties that a security guard can undertake, which include:
Plus, in all of this, your officers will have site-specific training and expertise to ensure that they’re able to adapt to any specific health and safety protocols you need to adhere to, or regulations that need to be followed.
A more active version of the traditional security guarding presence, mobile patrols are an ideal accompaniment to your on-site guarding options. They’re a particularly essential consideration for those with larger sites or multiple buildings, such as holiday camps, storage facilities and manufacturing premises.
Comprehensively equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and vehicles for more expansive sites, mobile patrols are a crucial consideration over the festive period, especially if you’re looking to secure more expansive or complex sites.
With masterfully trained mobility security experts from a recognised provider, you’re always guaranteed both a rapid response, and the appropriate actions following any form of disturbance or issue.
Often going hand-in-hand with your site’s security personnel, CCTV is both a strong countermeasure when used alone, and as an ideal accompaniment to more physical measures of security like mobile patrols and security officers.
There’s a common misconception that CCTV is still stuck in the dark ages, with grainy, monochromatic images being the standard. That’s simply not true. Modern security monitoring takes advantage of sophisticated technology to ensure that you receive high-definition images, and a crystal-clear feed of exactly what’s happening on your site.
That’s in addition to cameras with complete PTZ (pan, tilt and zoom) functionality, which is fast becoming the gold standard for CCTV cameras and monitoring solutions. This not only allows for rapid, swivelling movement, as well as zooming in and out on the scene.
When coupled with your existing security protocols such as security officers, CCTV becomes a formidable tool in the arsenal of any site’s security measures. Footage can not only be used to dispatch a swift response to any issues, it can also be used as evidence in a courtroom setting, or in cases of false accusation.
While self-explanatory by nature, key holding offers far more benefit than it might originally seem. At its most basic, a good key holding service will keep a copy of your property’s keys at both a secure off-site location, and in a secure location on your site.
This not only ensures that your security provider always has access to your property should an incident occur, but that you’ll always have a way to get into your premises should you be unable to access it for whatever reason.
You’ll also be able to rely on your key holding package to remove any onus or pressure from your employees, as well as ensuring the safe passage of all your staff at key times of movement (such as the start and end of your working day).
While it can be painful to think about, there will undoubtedly be times throughout your time as a business owner where your alarm sounds. This is likely to be false activations for the most part, but the sinking feeling you feel when you know an alarm has sounded won’t change.
With an alarm response service from a professional, industry-leading security company, you’re guaranteed to receive a rapid yet appropriate response to any and all alarm activations. Response time is crucial in this too, and only the top providers will be able to offer a swift response time of as little as half an hour.
A round-the-clock security service pairs perfectly with this kind of service, offering complete responses to any alarm activation overnight, and throughout major holidays like Christmas and Ramadan.
Regardless of your business or premises, you’ll have areas that are off-limits, or that are only for staff usage. Whether that’s stockrooms in a supermarket, confidential file storage in an office, or integral machinery at your manufacturing plant, effective access control is a must-have.
That’s especially true over the festive period. Security is, as we’ve already seen, absolutely integral to enjoying a safe and incident-free Christmas and New Year, and access controls are a substantial part of that.
From advanced biometrics and facial recognition, to the more traditional options like fobs and badges, your access controls ensure that your property, people and assets are all kept safe during a busy business window.
Access controls, while one of the more high-tech options, also serve as an early warning system. If any unauthorised visitors try and enter, there’ll be an alert sent to your security’s control centre, and any necessary action can be deployed.
Often overlooked when it comes to securing your premises, the outer limits of your site are one of the most important areas you can strengthen, especially if you’ve got a property that’s particularly sprawling, or that runs a particularly high risk of trespassing (such as construction sites).
Upgrading or further reinforcing your fencing not only provides a more physical deterrent to any possible criminals, it’s also an indicator to any would-be intruders that you take your security seriously, and that you understand how best to deal with those potential threats.
That’s made even more effective with strong lighting solutions. Floodlights and motion sensors remove the cover of darkness from any potential thieves or trespassers, and can be a strong deterrent on their own.
Both fencing and lighting, when combined alongside some of the other security solutions we’ve discussed here, are exceptionally effective, and offer one of more understated options for securing your premises.
With our extensive and illustrious history in providing security services for a huge range of properties and premises throughout the year, you can rely on Churchill to offer a comprehensive and custom-built solution for your security.
With our industry-leading 24/7/365 Communications Centre, you’ve got a constant watchful eye over the entirety of your site, as well as expertly trained security professionals on-hand to swiftly deal with any issues or disturbances.
We tailormake every security solution, ensuring that what we provide for your Christmas security (and beyond) is exactly what you need for your premises, and the circumstances that make your business unique.
Whether you only need reinforced security over the festive period, or a completely redesigned security package to ensure the continued safety of your business and your people, Churchill are the ideal choice.
Get in touch with our expert operatives today, and receive your free, no obligation quote!