Almost half of small businesses say staff are more lax about security measures like closing windows, setting alarms and locking exit doors in the summer months, according to insurer Hiscox. Apparently workers are not as stringent about security measures as they would be in their own homes, and as a result, one in five business owners claimed to have arrived at work to discover that a window or exit has been left unlocked, or the alarm hasn’t been set. One might charitably assume that these momentary lapses in security awareness were down to the heat – but considering the pathetic excuse for a summer we’ve endured so far this year, we don’t think that excuse will quite cut it…
Sam Franks, Hiscox’s small business insurance head, said the summer is a ‘prime time’ for burglaries (as opposed to ‘sub-prime’ in the winter?). So small businesses need to take the necessary precautions to make sure they don't fall victim - like locking the windows, for instance. They also need to have business continuity plans in place just in case the worst does happen, he says. ‘Theft can have a number of devastating consequences to a small business; not least the impact of staff productivity and the loss of income while equipment and client data are restored,’ he warned. In other words, you don't want your staff sat around twiddling their thumbs while you wait for the replacement laptops to be delivered - particularly in the middle of a nasty recession.
As ever, the economic situation is making matters worse. Take the growing number of redundancies, for instance. Struggling companies that are forced to lay people off often fail to update their security arrangements afterwards; almost three quarters of respondents to the Hiscox survey admitted they don’t change locks or access codes when staff leave the company. OK, so the majority of these ex-employees probably won't want to come within a mile of your office, but those that do may not have much goodwill left towards you. So it still represents a potential security vulnerability, which means going to the trouble of changing locks and/ or entry codes is probably a good idea.
And since petty crime tends to go up in tough economic times, you've got all the more reason to be careful...
In today's bulletin:
Unemployment soars again on the Inglorious Twelfth
JLR and MG Rover - a tale of two car companies and one cabinet minister
TUI profits as holidaymakers hunt for bargains
Summer security provides window of opportunity
If I Had to Start Again: Gerald Ronson of Heron International