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The holidays will heighten the daily stresses that come with running your own business or storefront. At the end of a long month of holiday shopping, however, you’ll get to close those doors and take some well-earned time-off to spend with your family.

Have you thought about the security of your store and prepared to leave it unattended during your holiday break?

Like your home, an unattended storefront or business can be vulnerable to extreme weather, mechanical issues, vandalism, and burglaries. The following checklist offers some suggestions that will help keep your business and property safe and allow you to enjoy your time off!

  1. Arm Your Business Security Alarm System

Most reputable security companies offer 24/7 security services. This service can include fire, burglary, panic, medical and carbon monoxide monitoring, which means that when an alarm is triggered in the event of any of these emergencies, a security operator will assess the situation and send help.

Since you won’t be on the premises during the holiday closure, a good security alarm system will notify you of any disturbances and send help before significant damages occur on your property.

If you know the dates of your holiday closure ahead of time, you can contact your security alarm company and notify them of those details. This information will allow them to detect mechanical errors or suspicious activity more vigilantly.

  1. Check those locks once more!

Don’t take your locks for granted. Double-check that they are secure before you leave. Also take note of who has keys to the premises. Secure locks are your first line of defense from would-be burglars. If they find it difficult to access your business or store quickly, they will move on!

Ensure that your windows are secure as well with locking systems and make sure to close them again if they are opened when there are employees in the store.

  1. Lights & Cameras!

An inexpensive investment in the security of your store or business is the installation of lights. This feature will help enhance the quality of video surveillance. Most importantly, having the access-points of your store or business property prominently lit will deter intruders because they would prefer to operate under the shroud of darkness.

Along with a reliable security alarm system and monitoring services, your store or business property should be outfitted with surveillance cameras. Should your property be vandalized, damaged or subject to burglary, a camera documents the activity for the police and insurance companies.

Newer integrated systems will also allow you to remotely-monitor your property from a computer or mobile device. If a 24/7 monitoring system isn’t enough, the ability to check on your store directly will offer peace of mind.

  1. Store Business Information & Social Media

It’s a fine line between keeping your customers informed and announcing to criminals that your business or store will be unattended for a specific period of time. Make sure to discretely post your holiday hours but not to repeatedly announce that information over social media platforms.

  1. Keep the Property Maintained

If you’re not able to do this yourself, it might be helpful to have a trusted friend make sure that flyers and mail don’t accumulate on the front door of your store or business. This strategy is especially important if your store or business is located in a plaza or area where other businesses or stores will also be closing for the holidays. Remember, burglaries are crimes of opportunity!

If it snows in your area of the country, continue to keep the sidewalk around your property cleared. While it might be the responsibility of your local municipality to keep sidewalks cleared, you may want to continue maintenance even while you’re away to show would-be burglars that the property is frequented.

Also make sure that any deliveries are cancelled or rescheduled during the holidays. There’s no greater calling card to criminals that your property is vacant than large unattended shipments of inventory.

The last thing you need after a busy holiday season is to have your festivities interrupted by news of a break-in or malfunction on your property. Worse still, returning to your store or business in the New Year to find that your property has been burgled, vandalized or that there is significant property damage due to weather or malfunction.

Keep these tips in mind and you’re sure to enjoy the holidays even more with your family and friends.