Businesses across the country are slowly beginning to reopen after nationwide closures due to COVID-19
Under stay-home orders, many businesses were forced to close or to reevaluate their business models in order to stay open. Restaurants shifted to curbside and takeout service, while many bars were forced to close their doors. Retail establishments shifted to online servicing and, in some cases, to curbside pickup.
As a business owner, you know the importance of keeping your staff and customer’s health protected. However, the safety of your assets is important, too. If your business is preparing to reopen, you may be considering how to reassess your security needs. In this blog, I’m offering tips for ensuring the safety of your employees and customers as you reopen in a new environment.
Safety and Security Tips for Businesses
You may already have a plan in place to address health concerns, including social distancing and hygiene practices. But what about the long-term safety needs and the security of your business establishment? Many people are reconsidering all of the ways they move about in the world, beyond just the way they shop or eat out.
Looking into the future, you may also consider upgrading your physical facilities to ensure adequate safety for your staff, your customers, and your inventory. Here are a few examples of ways to enhance security at your business location prior to reopening:
1. Eliminate or transition away from high-touch surfaces in your building
Research suggests that the COVID-19 virus can survive up to 24 hours on surfaces. Consider the high-touch surfaces in your business. Door knobs, buttons, light switches, bathroom sinks, and more could potentially harbour the virus. Regularly sanitizing these areas helps reduce the likelihood of spread, and you should plan to put procedures in place to do just that. But what if you could transition or eliminate these surfaces altogether?
- Remove doorknobs. If you can, consider replacing traditional doorknobs with simple push/pull entries or hook knobs. You may even replace your doors entirely to eliminate the need to touch doors with your hands.
- Implement keyless entry. Rather than use master keys for employee entrances, consider a touch-free entry point instead. Using key cards and knobless doors, you can help eliminate a common high-touch surface.
- Use standalone card readers. While most major retail establishments use standalone card readers, many others may rely on built-in readers on the POS. Eliminate the need for person-to-person contact on debit and credit cards by choosing a card reader. At offices, similar card readers can be used to auto-unlock doors.
2. Ensure your insurance coverage is reinstated
In an effort to help businesses cope with closures due to shelter-in-place, many insurance companies offered temporary assistance. Your coverage may have impacted. Keep your inventory and your building safe by addressing any changes to your policies prior to reopening. This is a great time to negotiate pricing or additional coverage on your plan as well.
3. Examine your alarm or security system
Especially for businesses that offer products for sale, you may consider amplifying security when you reopen. In a new retail world where safety is at the top of everyone’s mind, ask how your business can be better protected. Some security aspects to consider include:
- Camera systems. Does your building have indoor or outdoor cameras? If not, you may consider installing them. Key areas include entries, the POS, and around highly valuable inventory.
- Panic devices. In the event of a break-in or other emergency, how safe would you and your staff feel? Consider installing or upgrading your exit devices, mortise locks, and alarm panic devices where applicable. If devices have not been in use for some time, it’s worth testing them out to ensure they still work as expected.
- Forced entry resistance. The best way to defend against break-ins is with a great offense. High security devices can help keep your facility protected.
- Replace locks. As you prepare to reopen, consider setting a clean slate by enhancing locks throughout your facility. This can help provide an additional layer of peace of mind for you, your staff, and your patrons.
4. Retrain your employees on safety measures
If employees have been away from the office for some time, it’s normal for them to lapse on regular security precautions. Everyone’s minds are preoccupied with mitigating risks of COVID-19. Support your employees and help give them peace of mind as they return to work by providing adequate training. Take the time to retrain your employees on regular safety measures including the handling of registers and high-priced goods, as well as interpersonal safety. If you plan to change locks or replace high-touch surfaces, make your employees aware of what has changed, and why.
5. Conduct a cybersecurity audit
Hackers may take advantage of cybersecurity vulnerabilities. If your business operates digitally in any function, conduct a vulnerability scan to identify areas where improvements are needed. This is especially true if your employees are working remotely. Some of the biggest areas of concern are email, and shared drives or files. Discourage employees from using their own devices for work projects and require additional layers of security for work files where possible.
By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be better prepared for a safe and secure return to work. Health security isn’t the only area to address as you prepare your reopening strategy. Keeping your building and inventory safe is critical, too. If you need help with tasks such as replacing locks, doors, and other security items, get in touch with Integrity Locksmithing. Give me a call at 705-653-8834 today and I’d be happy to assist you.
Integrity Locksmithing Havelock, Ontario
Integrity Locksmithing is a full-service, fully certified locksmith company. We offer a wide range of locksmith services to both residential and commercial customers. The owner, Randy Sayles, offers uniform cost-effective and professional lockout assistance. He also offers lock installation, and security solutions. In many cases, lock re-keying is the more affordable solution to having the locks changed in your home or business. Call Randy at 705-653-8834 or visit www.integritylocksmithing.ca to discuss your options today.