Many businesses across the country are temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. What was once expected to last a few weeks has turned into months, leaving commercial properties vulnerable. Since staying out of the workplace remains the safest option, business owners are left wondering how to secure their businesses when closed.
Even as some states lift restrictions, employee and customer safety is paramount. A confirmed coronavirus case at your business could be grounds to close the premises yet again. If your company is still embracing telework or is considering reopening, knowing how to secure your business and keep employees healthy is crucial.
How to Protect Your Business When Closed
Whether you’re closing for safety concerns, at the end-of-season or even after hours, security risks are highest when you’re away. If you’re closed or operating on reduced hours, you need to keep your assets protected. While it’s possible to protect confidential documents or cash from the register by removing them from the premises, other items are more vulnerable. For many businesses, IT equipment or retail merchandise are significant company assets. These aren’t always easy to remove from the site, so you must find ways to keep the building secure during a temporary closure.
Robust security infrastructure is an excellent tool to secure your business when closed. You also need a way to monitor your business security system from home, which means implementing modern technology and cloud-based services. Some of the methods we recommend to our clients include:
1. Video Surveillance
If you use security cameras to monitor your business while you’re away, you can take some extra precautions when you close up shop. If you’ve already been closed for some time, it can be helpful to optimize your video monitoring for a period of absence.
Reposition cameras to point in the correct location. If you’ve been using some security cameras to monitor staff or prevent shoplifting, it might be helpful to reposition them to focus on your building’s perimeter. Since your team won’t be in the building, focusing on the threat from intruders is more critical. While you’re away from the office, periodically drop in on your video feed to make sure it’s still working
Many security cameras, including those from Wayne Alarm Systems, offer 24/7 monitoring and virtual tech support. That means you can deal with problems at your location without ever stepping foot in the office. Our security system is always watching, so the business you worked so hard to build is still safe. With cloud-based security feeds, you can view your business from your couch, on the beach or anywhere in the world. You can also pan, zoom and tilt to focus on the action. If you forget to reposition your cameras before you lock up, you can do so at any time.
2. Access Control Systems
If your building has an access control system, you should adjust the settings before you close. If you’re closed for an extended period, you can turn off access for all employees. If you’re operating under reduced hours, you can even restrict access so employees can only come in during business hours. You can also limit access to particular floors or rooms that house expensive equipment or sensitive data. That way, only the employees you trust can enter.
If your business is closed to all but essential employees, you can restrict access settings for telecommuters and adjust access for your onsite team to accommodate changes in operations. An access control system can send alerts when an employee accesses the building or a restricted room, so you can tune in on security footage from anywhere.
3. Alarm Systems
The best business closure security system will integrate video surveillance and access control with a monitored alarm system. If your business has alarms in place, test them to make sure they’re working. If your alarms are programmed to turn on during your off-hours, make sure they’re up-to-date with your new schedule. Reset them to reflect reduced hours or to stay on at all times. Make sure you enable notifications and review which alerts you want to receive in your absence.
Many alarms, including Wayne Alarm Systems solutions, monitor more than break-ins. They can detect motion, fire alarms, carbon monoxide and even temperature. With an integrated system, you can watch over every aspect of your business location at any time. When the office is completely shut down, you can turn down the climate control settings to save on overhead or turn on lights to deter intruders.
Reopening Your Business Safely After COVID-19
As you consider opening your business after a coronavirus-related closure, you’ll need to take measures to protect yourself, employees and customers. Be sure to follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and any state and local ordinances. The CDC offers a Resuming Business Toolkit with tips for safely reopening businesses after COVID.
Here are two ways you can enhance safety at your business:
Monitor and Enforce Social Distancing
Nearly everyone has heard the guidelines from the CDC to remain six feet apart. As the country reopens, and people get excited about returning to normal, it’s easy to forget to social distance. As a business owner, you might be held responsible for not enforcing social distancing if it impacts safety. Rearranging furniture, posting signs, adding floor decals and providing training can go a long way. If you need a way to enforce your rules when you aren’t watching, security cameras can be your second pair of eyes.
With cloud-based video monitoring, it’s easy to take a look at the next room over to make sure your employees remain a safe distance apart. You can even monitor virtually, meaning there’s one less person who needs to be in the office. Since the White House and the CDC have continued to recommend teleworking even as states reopen, moving security monitoring personnel off-premises is one way to reduce the number of employees in the office.
Your access control system can also play a role. Depending on the system you have, you may be able to restrict access beyond a set capacity limit. You may choose to allow only one or two people in the break room at once and use your access control system to enforce the rule.
Conduct Virtual Health Screenings and Temperature Checks
The CDC recommends daily health screenings to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. Health screeners should take safety measures to prevent transmission, such as social distancing or using physical barriers to separate the screener from the employees. If possible, conduct daily screenings remotely to limit contact between screeners and employees.
The process should include questioning, a visual inspection and a temperature check. Have screeners ask if the employee is experiencing any symptoms of the novel coronavirus.
The screener should then look for signs of fatigue. While there are many ways to check for fevers, onsite temperature monitoring with thermal cameras is one of the most reliable methods. It allows you to quickly screen visitors, customers and employees.
Our thermal video monitoring technology provides a quick, contactless solution. You’ll be alerted to any temperature concerns and can then stop symptomatic people from entering the building. You’ll keep your staff and customers most protected with this high-accuracy reading.
Contact Wayne Alarm Systems for Security Solutions in Massachusetts
Whether you’re on a temporary hiatus or a regularly scheduled closure, an integrated security system will protect your assets while you’re gone. When you return, reopen safely by taking measures like thermal camera monitoring to protect your team from COVID-19. Whatever you need to bring your security up to par, get your solutions from Wayne Alarm Systems. We offer custom solutions and a 5 Diamond monitoring center. We’re also a proud member of the Electronic Security Association. Let us be your eyes and ears while you’re away, and your health and safety partner when you return.
Contact us to learn more about our thermal camera systems or to upgrade your security systems.