Most people enjoy the different holiday seasons and extended breaks from their work lives. Unfortunately, thieves enjoy these times of the year, too. According to the FBI, thieves prefer holidays because people leave their homes and businesses for trips. Don’t let your business become one of their victims.

As a business owner, keep your business safe from theft and holiday-related chaos. Read on to learn about ways you can deter thieves.

Prevent Employee Theft and Promote Employee Safety

Employee theft during holidays and long weekends is an important issue. There are multiple factors that contribute to this phenomenon, and ways you can mitigate them.

  • In December, there is an overstock of merchandise because of increased sales volume. The increased inventory and disorganization of busy stores means employees have more opportunities to stealthily steal merchandise. Thus, be especially wary of theft.
  • Validate voided sales, review return policies and thoroughly communicate store policies on theft.
  • Many stores will hire new staff before busy holiday seasons or weekends. The new staff is not only less trustworthy (because they haven’t worked for very long), but also more likely to make dangerous mistakes. Be extra cautious in the onboarding process and go over safety details carefully.
  • Rely on surveillance cameras to watch your store for theft by employees or customers.
  • Hire new staff well in advance of expected busy times, so they are practiced before the business picks up.

Don’t Go Over the Top With Displays

Decorating your business for holidays, extended weekends, and seasonal changes can liven up your store and excite shoppers. However, there are certain factors to consider when adding festive spirit to your business.

  • Be careful with lights, as they can become a fire hazard if not used properly.
  • Be cautious about displays inhibiting carts and walkways—this can also become a fire hazard.
  • Place displays in areas that don’t inhibit the view of surveillance cameras. If you don’t have cameras, look into your options.
  • Cameras, especially coupled with listening devices, have shown to reduce crime and help police follow up when it does occur.

Update Security Systems

Shoplifters will take advantage of closed stores during holiday hours because they tend to steal when the store is busy or when there is little to no employee supervision. Be proactive by updating your security system’s automatic features with the new hours and with any updates from your provider. This will ensure your business is safe from the moment you leave to the moment you return the next day.

Aspects of a good security system include:

  • Hosted video solutions.
  • Mobile solutions.
  • Access control.
  • Energy management.
  • Monitored burglar/fire/carbon monoxide alarms.

With tools like these synced up to your new store hours, you are less likely to have issues.