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Keeping Safe this Holiday Season

How to Keep Yourself Safe This Holiday Season

The Stats
During the holiday season, Americans are going to spend between $943 and $960 billion dollars in the months of November and December. Last year, this accounted for 27% of total retail sales in the United States. A lot of money is moved during the holiday season. Consumers know it. Businesses know it. Criminals know it. Stores will generally experience an increased and sustained number of customers inside their stores creating larger than usual crowds. This type of environment is a perfect opportunity for thieves to take advantage. It’s a lot harder for staff to see something be slipped into a bag or attend to an alarm going off when there’s a line of people out the door and more keep coming and going until closing time.

Why Good Security Matters
At a local outlet mall on Black Friday, there were enough people shopping to cause traffics jams in the walkways and the stores were even more crowded. That is the typical scene during the busiest shopping day of the year. To make matters worse, security was incredibly light. There were more officers outside the outlet mall directing traffic than there were patrolling inside the mall. There were enough customers packed inside one store that specializes in high-end clothing to make a fire marshal do back flips. As I entered with my own items that I purchased from a different store, the door scanners began to beep furiously and not a single person (customer or employee), paid me any mind. The door scanner was malfunctioning, but even if it wasn’t, how could a busy employee respond to every single buzz? As the minutes passed by, I began to keep a tally of how many times the alarms buzzed. I lost count somewhere around twenty. There is no telling how many of the alarms were genuine. The store did not have enough employees to watch it, and there was no security present.

When we left the mall, I could not help but imagine the things they needed to do differently. Some of them seemed so simple I could not understand why they weren’t already in place. Security Officers to monitor alarms would have been a great start. Security officers on specific posts combined with security patrols could have alleviated a lot of the stress that the broken alarm must have been causing the employees whose paycheck relies on their store not losing thousands of dollars in stolen merchandise.

As this was a walkable outdoor outlet mall with wide alleyways for foot traffic, technology, like a Stationary Surveillance Unit, could have been used to keep an eye on key points throughout the mall. Combine that with several Mobile Surveillance Units to watch over the parking lot, and consumer confidence along with their shopping experience would increase tremendously. It would also help reduce stress on non-security staff as well as law enforcement officers who are trying to keep eyes on everything but just can’t — as was the case there.

Taking just a few of these proactive steps can help deter thieves and violence significantly. It also helps ensure patrons keep coming back and encourages them to tell everyone how safe they felt while shopping, which helps communities who rely on these malls for their holiday shopping. On the inverse, they’ll also tell everyone how unsafe they felt when these security measures aren’t put into place. Just like I am now.

Security isn’t an expense, it’s an investment, and you should always invest wisely.

Protecting your customers and yourself during this season is incredibly important to ensure that consumers can stay safe while purchasing the gifts they want to give to their loved ones. There are many options available for businesses to do just that.

Why a Layered Security System Works
In the case of malls with rouge alarms and huge crowds, a layered security system that combines both physical and remote security usually works the best — although applying even just one system can be a huge benefit. Because of the size of the crowds and indoor locales, having a layered security system is imperative to achieving a successful security program. The more layers of security you add to your security program, the higher the success rate will be. Security Engineers provides uniformed officers along with integrated security solutions such as Mobile Surveillance Units and Remote Monitoring — all of which work together cohesively.

Crowds and crime come from every direction. Because of this, you need a Mobile Surveillance Unit that can put eyes in every direction. Security Engineers’ units have 4 HD Day/Night cameras as well as a 180°-degree radar that is perfect for keeping an eye on the premises after hours. It also has blue flashing LED lights as a deterrent and a talk down speaker used to communicate with criminals caught in the act. Coupling MSUs with Remote Monitoring helps ensure that the proper authorities are alerted when the unit sees something.

While Mobile Surveillance Units are good at keeping eyes in the sky, they can’t go inside stores. That is where the layering comes in. Security Officers can hold post and make patrols to ensure a store doesn’t have to worry when their alarms are going off nonstop. Having a presence like that can be enough to deter criminals. Thieves and career criminals are in it to make a quick buck. When they see that their easy target is no longer naïve, most criminals will move on in search of the easy & quick buck and somewhere far away from the cameras and well-trained security professionals.

When customers feel safe, they are more likely to stay inside stores, spend more money, and return to that store. During the holiday season stress levels are already high — why make them higher by taking your business somewhere you don’t feel safe? 

The Bottom Line
The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year. The crowds are huge — people and stores are vulnerable — and thieves know it. Don’t let your security system become overwhelmed — layer it with Security Officers, Mobile Surveillance Units, Remote Monitoring, and Security Cameras instead.

For more information about how Security Engineers can help keep your business safe and secure or for a free security evaluation, please fill out the quote request form on our website or contact our sales team at [email protected] and someone from our team will reach out to you as soon as possible. We hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a safe holiday season.