With the holidays quickly approaching, many business owners will be looking forward to shutting up shop for a few days, and spending quality time with loved ones. A word to the wise, however: property crimes like burglary, robbery and larceny peak during the holidays. Businesses left underprepared could fall victim to opportunistic thieves – no quicker way to ruin the holiday spirit!

With that in mind, here are Tech’s 5 tips for securing your business this holiday season:

1. Double (or Triple) Check Your Security Equipment
If your business will be empty for several days or more during the holiday period, be sure to run a full test of your security equipment in the days before, to ensure that if anything is malfunctioning, you catch it before it’s time to leave. Finally, make sure that somebody checks that equipment is operational before leaving, and ensure that no equipment is obstructed by festive decorations.

2. Be Social Media Savvy
In recent years, burglars have begun to use social media to target the homes of people who are out of town. Where businesses are concerned, thieves may also utilize information posted about special holiday hours or business closures during the holidays as well. Make sure that you aren’t posting information that could compromise your business’s security!

3. Cybersecurity is Security Too!
If you’re anything like us, you’ll be doing a fair bit of last-minute shopping for gifts online this season. Nearly everyone does, which is a large part of why cybercrime spikes during the holidays. Don’t let your business be subject to a breach! Make sure your employees are practicing good cybersecurity habits, like avoiding questionable vendors or risky links, and make sure your network is protected and your files are backed up.

4. Leave a Light On
If choosing between a house that appears occupied and one that is not, almost any thief would choose the one with nobody home. The same principle applies to businesses as well. Leaving the exterior of your business well lit, or using a timed cycle, has been demonstrated to be a potential deterrent against would-be burglars, making it one more layer of potential security keeping your business safe. 

5. Don’t forget about other safety concerns!
Thieves aren’t the only potential danger of the holiday season. Before you head out for a well-deserved vacation, make sure to check for any cluttered cords, unplug any unnecessary electronics and check for potential fire hazards. Be sure that the thermostat remains set to at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit as well, to prevent any freezing in the pipes. It’s good to get away from the office for a while, but good safety habits will help make sure it’s still in good shape when you come back.