3 Ways to Prepare Your Retail Business for Peak Alarm Season
The warmer months mean more than just increased foot traffic and ripe conditions for business growth. For many, summer also signals peak alarm season, which can significantly impact employee productivity, business efficiencies and potentially even the safety and security of your facility.
Security alarm activity is highest in the month of June, with the busiest period of the year being May, June and July, according to Securitas Technology monitoring data.
This is followed by the second-busiest period in winter, with December and January topping the charts for most business alarm activity.
As we enter peak alarm season, there are a few simple things organizations can do to proactively prepare. Continue reading for our three tips:
1. Properly Train Your Staff
User error is the root cause of many alarms. The reality of “user error” typically boils down to training – or lack thereof. In the lead-up to the summer months, and around the festive winter season, a larger portion of the workforce are on temporary contracts due to busy consumer activity and subsequent higher foot traffic.
Busy periods are more incident-prone at the best of times, with heightened stress levels and a decrease in vigilance. However, temporary employees are much less likely to have proper security training, increasing the risk of poorly handled security threats and falsely triggered alarms.
To combat this, organizations should hold training sessions to cover important procedures.
Implementing a set routine can help to keep your business as secure as possible. Some behaviors to enforce include:
Disarming the system within the specified delay time period
Remembering your disarm codes
Closing all access points (doors, windows, etc.) prior to arming the system
Remembering to disarm your system when you are entering the building
Making sure no one else is in the building when you arm your system
Following these tips can help to reduce the number of alarms caused by user error and, in the long term, boost security measures at your facility.
2. Adapt Your Environment
Many alarms are also triggered by the environment – which can be anything ranging from stormy weather causing power outages to festive decorations blocking security sensors or drifting in front of motion detectors. Additionally, extremes in temperature can cause doors to expand and contract, which can trigger alarms.
Organizations should be cognizant of their environment and take steps to proactively prevent some common pitfalls. Perhaps the simplest to address is décor.
Whether your business is celebrating a summer sale or has put up winter holiday décor, here are a few important reminders:
Avoid hanging decorations near security cameras, especially outside where the wind could cause them to move and potentially cover the cameras.
Decorations inside your business shouldn’t be in the view of a motion detector, as they could trigger a false alarm if they fall. Helium balloons are notorious for tripping motion detectors as they sway from normal air movement in buildings.
Make sure that larger decorations outside don’t create blind spots in your security.
3. Maintain Your Security Technology
The final tip to prepare for peak alarm season is to properly maintain and service your security technology.
Contracting to have professional preventative maintenance and regular inspections can help to prevent false alarms as well as keep your system as functional as possible. Some steps that should be incorporated into this routine include:
Keeping your sensors clean
Tracking the battery level of your sensors
Ensuring your sensors are mounted correctly
Properly sealing all access points
Keeping an eye out for signs of faulty wiring
Additionally, organizations can partner with their security provider to learn more about the trends in their own monitoring data – for instance, during what days of the week or times of day their business experiences the most alarm activity – and how they can leverage those insights to proactively prevent alarms in the future.
Ultimately, following these tips can not only help improve staff productivity and business efficiencies, but better secure your facility during peak alarm season.
Learn more about how we can partner with you to help create a safer and more secure environment for your employees, customers and visitors.