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Blog 28.11.16

Protecting Your Property This Holiday Season

It’s approaching holiday season again and although it might be ‘the most wonderful time of the year’ for some, it can mean property security problems for others. With assets left unattended for long periods this time of year, the chance of break-ins, potentially resulting in illegal raves, are higher than ever – up by 14% in the year to April 2015.

With so much else to think about throughout the holiday season, arranging security can often be at the bottom of a property manager’s to-do-list making it a last minute chore. This results in very little time to enact a coherent plan, or even worse to form a security plan at all.

Unfortunately, Christmas time isn’t the only high risk holiday break and illegal raves are not the only concern; large scale fly tipping and squatters are also frequent during other key festive periods such as Halloween, New Year’s Eve and the long summer holidays. Whereas fly tipping and residential squatting are prosecutable criminal offences, commercial property squatting is considered a civil matter requiring costly legal action to resolve.

To mitigate the risk of a disturbed Christmas dinner it is essential to ensure that the correct precautions are in place; the same rules apply regardless of the season. Below are the necessary steps to take to protect your property this winter:

Step 1: Get your property professionally assessed to get a series of protection recommendations and timely measures put in place that are appropriate to the property at the time.

Step 2: Physical security measures: ensure that access and vulnerable points are reinforced and protected. This could include using concrete blocks, boarding, shuttering on windows and steel doors, or enhanced locks and other security hardware.

Step 3: Temporary systems security measures: quickly and inexpensively installed and later removed once holidays are over. These measures provide the ability to monitor and record key access points or points of break-in vulnerability, as well as catch trespassers on camera which can provide required evidence for enforcement action or eviction. Such measures are retrospective, they won’t prevent an incident, simply record it and alert you that it has happened. Supporting manned measures are required.

Step 4: Manned security measures: any physical measures can be breached with determined effort, and systems simply report, so for any valuable asset it is necessary to have manned measures in place to offer rapid and reactive responses, with the capability to address and solve problems as they occur.

Obviously no measures are fully guaranteed physical measures can prevent, systems detect, and manned measures can respond so for best efficiency, it is recommended to blend appropriate services together. 

Problems such as trespass tipping and unlawful occupations like squat raves during holiday periods can be overcome successfully using a coherent security provision. A coordinated response can be decisive, if using a defined escalation procedure with accurate reporting, reinforced by correctly gathered evidence, and supported by both client and police liaison.

However, the identifiable factor resulting in success is early detection and a rapid reaction by those at the incident; it is critical to not leave security matters to the last minute and allow enough time to develop an appropriate, coherent level of protection. Although more prominent at this peak time of year when suppliers hit their capacity, it should be emphasized that this isn’t just a seasonal matter. Each properties’ needs change over time, so an audit of the appropriateness of current protection provisions should be carried out as and when needed. Ensure there is enough time to secure the best and most appropriate solutions ahead of high risk times of year, such as the holidays.

To address your own security provisions for the upcoming holiday period, get in touch with Vigilance Properties today and enjoy a restive festive season!

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