Business urged to review security and protect business sites as unwanted activity expected to jump at Halloween
Each year security specialists Netwatch can see a 40% to 50% increase in unwanted activity at business sites during the Halloween period, when compared with other months of the year. They expect similar activity in the coming week.
Between 6pm and midnight is when intruders usually like to get to work, with the weekend proving the most popular days. However, security breaches recorded by Netwatch in October 2020 were more evenly spread over every day of the week, whilst 6pm and midnight remained the most popular time to strike.
There was a 15% increase in security incidents in 2020 compared to the previous year, with warehouses and building sites experiencing the highest increase in security breaches.
Colin Hayes, Head of Business for Netwatch said, “Many of us associate Halloween with fun games and festive traditions, but it can also prove difficult for emergency services dealing with bonfires, fireworks, anti-social behaviour and other public order related issues.
“With this comes added stress and worry for those protecting business premises as it 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.
“It can also be an expensive time for business owners. Along with intentional criminal activity, there will always be an element of bonfire material collection from sites. Warehouses, construction sites, yards and unoccupied premises are particularly vulnerable.
“While the majority of incidents are minor, there are often serious incidents each 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 over the Halloween period. A well-lit, locked and secured area with no visible targets will deter most Halloween criminals.”
Netwatch has provided the following 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 of 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.
A typical scene in late October as youths attempt to access a site which contained pallets and other building materials. In this case, Gardaí were called and the youths subsequently fled the scene.