Businesses across the country are being urged to be extra vigilant about security this Halloween as the celebration comes the day after the bank holiday weekend, which means that premises will be unoccupied longer than in recent years in the lead up to 31st October.
The warning comes from security specialists Netwatch who saw a 34% increase in activity nationally on client sites between noon and 6pm last October. “Because it is Halloween season at the end of October this timing pattern is different to the norm when we mainly see incidents happening late at night or early morning,” said Colin Hayes, Netwatch managing director for Ireland and UK.
Warehouses, construction sites, yards and unoccupied premises are particularly vulnerable, according to Netwatch.
A recent Netwatch survey carried out by Amárach Research found that 52% of business owners worry about the security of their premises when their premises are unoccupied. The same survey found that 64% (Dublin 64%, Leinster (excluding Dublin) 71%, Munster 60%, Connacht/Ulster 59%) of those surveyed in [insert region] had experienced some form of criminal activity in the past three years.
Mr Hayes said: “We know that Halloween can lead to potential pilfering of stock, damage to buildings or even injury to trespassers. This in turn gives rise to increasing insurance costs and other unwanted headaches.
“While the majority of incidents are minor, there are often serious incidents at Halloween which result in severe damage to businesses. We are urging all business owners to review their safety provision and ensure that all loose materials are secured prior to and during the Halloween period. A well-lit, secured area with no visible targets will deter most Halloween criminals.”
Netwatch has provided the following 6 security tips for businesses in order to prevent crime and keep premises safe during the Halloween period.
- Keep the perimeter well lit: Falls are a huge cause of injury on Halloween. Keeping lights on overnight will prevent accidents and deter vandals. Installing motion sensor floodlights will accomplish the same goals while conserving energy.
- Limit access to the property: Keep all entryways locked and be certain to secure windows. Control who holds keys.
- Review your current security plan: Test alarms and review your entire security system. Your system may not be as effective and efficient as newer systems currently on the market.
- Train employees to watch for unusual behaviour: Criminals tend to lurk or investigate an area before committing a crime. Teach your employees to watch out for suspicious behaviour and have a proactive plan to deal with these individuals.
- Celebrate safely: If your business is hosting a Halloween party, ensure that your fire protection system is effective and operating properly. Costumes and alcohol consumption can lead to an increase in fire hazards. Be certain that fire escapes are clearly marked, fire extinguishers are in the proper places, and do not hang any decorations from ceiling smoke detectors or sprinklers.
- When in doubt, contact your local fire station to request a review of your property.