5 Security Tips On How Building Owners Can Prepare Their Properties For Winter

Winter is coming… What does that mean for your building’s security? 

As cooler weather approaches, it’s important to ensure your building and your tenants are prepared for the drop in temperatures. 

When it comes to the protection of your property, employees, and customers, the winter season presents its own set of unique problems. Colder temps can make travel dangerous and force unexpected company closures. The winter also brings holiday travel and vacation time, which can put your business in danger of theft, vandalism, and other crimes. 

So how do you make sure you have all of your boxes checked to create a safe and secure building environment this winter? Keep reading to find out!

  1. Prevent Winter Injuries

Did you know that 20% of slips and falls that occur in parking lots result in lost time from work? During the wintertime, snow begins to fall and the ground begins to freeze, creating a high risk for slip-and-fall accidents. It’s crucial that you keep your surrounding areas such as sidewalks and parking lots clear of snow. 

Although the clearing of snow will create a path for your tenants, employees, etc., the icy ground will still be there. 

Review these safety precautions with your employees to ensure they stay as safe as possible to avoid the risk of injury. 

  • Never walk with your hands in your pockets. Having your hands unavailable could result in a serious injury. Having your hands free from your pockets will allow you to better break your fall, avoiding serious head injuries. 
  • Wear the proper shoes. Stray away from wearing leather sole shoes, as they can be very dangerous when you’re attempting to tread over the icy sidewalks. Rubber soles provide the most grip for these conditions. 
  • Be cautious. If the ground before you looks questionable, test it out before committing to a full stride, and if available always use handrails. 

Taking these extra precautions and being aware of your surroundings will help decrease the chances of serious injuries. 

  1. Ensure Proper Lighting

During the winter months, the sun sets a lot earlier in the day, making more room for the dark. Ensuring you invest in proper lighting will diminish your chances of crimes in and around your building as it acts as a natural deterrent for burglars. 

Assess the outside of your building to make sure you have adequate lighting around your entire building. 

Buildings that appear to be vacant, because of their lack of lighting, are the number one targets for intruders. And the extended dark days and nights mean more opportunities for crimes to take place.

Having good indoor lighting can also be beneficial for keeping crimes from occurring. It also gives a good view of any intruders that may have entered your building.

  1. Check all entrances, including windows. 

Extreme weather conditions and drastic drops in temperatures can sometimes compromise the integrity of doors, windows, and locks. These issues can result in a reduced amount of security and invite unwanted intruders. 

Ensure the integrity of your building can withstand these changes in temperature before they happen. Take a walk around your property and inspect all locks, hinges, structures, and windows. Make sure there is no sign of rust or decay and take any necessary measures to keep them secure.

  1. Have a backup generator

As stated above, extreme temperatures such as heavy snowstorms can affect the integrity of your building, but they can also cause power outages. Having a power outage without a backup generator could leave your building at risk and compromise your building security. 

A backup generator will give you peace of mind in case of emergencies, keeping your lights, electronics, and security systems fully operational. 

  1. Install a Security System

The most important way you can keep your building free of crime is by installing a security system.

Any business, no matter the season, should always have an operational security system in place. 

The more security in place on your property, the less likely you are to be targeted by criminals looking to intrude. When setting up your security cameras, make sure you have all areas of your building, including both indoor and outdoor areas. 

Today there are plenty of options for security systems that allow the owners to access remotely. This is especially helpful for holidays away from your building and when the weather doesn’t allow for travel. 

If you need a security system, visit https://americansecurity.com/#products to see our solutions. Our team will meet with you and assess your security needs to find a solution that works best for you. 

Our services include CCTV, Virtual Doorman, Building Security Solutions, Building Intercom Systems, Commercial Security Cameras, and NYC Fire Code Compliance.

If you have any questions, contact us today. 

Thanksgiving Dinner Safety Tips

Did you know that Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires? According to the National Fire Protection Association, 1,630 home cooking fires were reported on Thanksgiving in 2018 alone! In most instances, the kitchen was left unattended while food was cooking.

At American Security, we believe there is no margin for error when it comes to life safety. Here are our top kitchen fire safety tips to keep in mind this Thanksgiving: 

  1. Never leave the stove unattended. If you are cooking anything— frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food— make sure to supervise the food. If you are going to leave the kitchen, turn off the stove. Often, fires can start in an instant. If you’re not there to manage it, you put your house at serious risk.
  2. Keep the cooking space clean. If anything surrounding the cooking area is highly combustible, you make the potential for a fire much more dangerous. When cooking this Thanksgiving, make sure to keep the cooking area tidy and free of combustible materials like papers, packaging, flammable liquids, oven mitts, towels, or anything else.
  3. Keep children out of the kitchen as much as you can. Children tend to be clumsy and move things around. The kitchen is full of potentially dangerous apparatus that should only be operated by adults. To ensure the kitchen is at its lowest risk for burning and fire potential, make it a kid-free zone!
  4. Don’t let pot handles stick out. If you have food cooking on the stove, make sure all pot handles are turned inward towards the back of the stove and out of the way of traffic. This makes them less likely to be run into or improperly grabbed by any children that might roam the kitchen.
  5. Practice traditional fire safety. That’s right! Teach the household the importance of stop, drop, and roll! Additionally, keep a fire extinguisher on hand and consider investing in a fire-smothering blanket or prepping your house for easy access around cooking time for the holidays. It’s better to be safe than sorry. 
  6. Dress for kitchen safety. Loose-fitting clothing is a fire hazard! Don’t risk catching aflame and make sure to wear form-fitting clothing and close-toed shoes when cooking in the kitchen, especially where there are open flames present. 
  7. Don’t drink and cook! Around the holidays, it’s traditional to get festive and have a drink or two. Make sure to stay sober when you are cooking and preparing meals, and save the drinking for later. Using kitchen appliances while inebriated is a huge fire safety risk.

If you’re a building manager in NYC, you might find it helpful to share these tips with your tenants. You’ll also need to ensure that in the event of a fire, your building is fire-code compliant and that your ARCS system is properly installed.

If you live in an apartment make sure you follow these apartment-specific fire safety tips: 

  • Make sure each unit has a smoke alarm that works.
  • Each apartment should have a carbon monoxide detector. (Fire code dictates a detector within 15 feet of the doorway to a sleeping area).
  • Throw away frayed or damaged electric cords that may pose a fire risk.
  • Prohibiting the use of highly flammable materials being stored in apartments like gasoline or high quantities of ethanol.
  • Keeping space heaters away from combustible materials.
  • Keeping the fire escape window easy to access.
  • Make sure building stairways are clear for fires!

This Thanksgiving, the team at American Security encourages families everywhere to enjoy the holidays safely. Follow these tips to practice utmost fire safety in the home and prevent getting burned. 

Looking for tangible fire solutions in your building? Check out our fire safety solutions here. To learn more about our CCTV, Virtual Doorman, Building Security, and full-service security systems, please contact us