Christmas is a time for celebration and for enjoying quality time with friends and family, and at the end of a long year you deserve to savour every minute. Sadly, the festive period is also known to see an increase in crime rates, with opportunists recognising plenty of openings in which they can pounce. So here at React K9 we have put together a short guide to help get you prepared for Christmas and ensure your safety and security so you can enjoy the holidays like you deserve to.
Security at work
Many commercial businesses close down for a short shutdown over Christmas and New Year, so ensure that:
- You have a formal shutdown procedure where everything is turned off, checked and locked against a checklist.
- Check your CCTV system is working if you have one.
- Carry out alarm system maintenance to ensure the alarm will be effective while the buildings are empty.
- Consider employing temporary K9 security patrols to keep an eye on the premises while they are vacant.
If your business is still open and operating over the Christmas and New Year period, it is likely that you will only have a skeleton staff, or that you are working different hours. Changes to the norm like this can sometimes mean security procedures are forgotten or lapse in some way, so ensure all staff who are working are aware of security and safety procedures and that changes to staffing and working hours have no effect on the security of your business.
Security at home
Christmas time means lots of presents and lots of parties, but it is also Christmas time for opportunist thieves, so take heed of the following tips to keep your home and your belongings safe and secure:
- Keep your back door or patio doors locked at all times. Thieves know that families often congregate in other rooms and with the noise and partying it only takes a few seconds for them to open a back door, grab items such as presents, alcohol or car keys, and be off without anyone noticing.
- If you are visiting family overnight or for a few days, use lights on timers to mimic the idea that you are in the house as normal. You should also tell your neighbours that you are going away so they can keep an eye on your property.
- While presents are great and you often can’t wait to go on social media to tell your friends about the expensive jewellery, watch, smartphone or other gadget you have received, be aware that this information can reach people you don’t want it to, and they can quite easily work out where you live.
- Leaving the packaging for new phones, tablets or games consoles in your recycling is a dead giveaway for what is now in your house and is worth a lot of money and easily re-sellable for an opportunist thief. At this time of year criminals know to search through bins to see what might be available to them nearby, so avoid putting these boxes in your recycling.
Security while you are out
At Christmas time there are lots of work parties, friends’ gatherings and certainly lots of shopping to be done, but this also means the busy streets offer lots of opportunities for criminals. So:
- Keep a close eye on your bags, wallets, purse and phone while out shopping. The sheer number of people in shops and walking the streets make it very easy for a thief to strike undetected.
- Avoid going home from a night out on your own, and definitely avoid walking home. Criminals know this is a time where people are more vulnerable because they are more likely to have been drinking. Be prepared and have taxi numbers, and be aware that the taxis will be much busier, so maybe book one in advance.
- If you have taken the car into town shopping, avoid leaving newly-bought presents on the back seat or in the front where a thief might be able to see them.
Hopefully these tips and advice from React K9 will help you enjoy a trouble-free Christmas and New Year, and we look forward to hearing from you soon for all your canine security needs. Merry Christmas.