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Your Business, the Holidays, and Inadequate Security Issues: What You Need to Know

If you run a business, keep in mind that holiday time brings many new opportunities, but also additional risks. Many business owners do not consider inadequate security issues on their premises, but at this time of year, this is an important consideration. Unfortunately, holiday time can create a spate of crimes. Some people are desperate to raise funds while others respond to the stress of the holidays in violent, anti-social ways. You, of course, want to keep your employees, clients, and customers safe from harm. You also want to prevent inadequate security claims.

Inadequate security claims arise when the victim of a crime alleges that a property or business owner knew of security risks but failed to take adequate measures to prevent an attack. For example, if a series of muggings occur in a business parking lot, a new victim can bring an action against the business owners if attacked, alleging that the business owners knew of the risk through the previous attacks but failed to protect the victim from a similar attack.

There do not have to be a series of previous attacks for a victim to allege inadequate security issues. If there are security risks which were known to a business and the business failed to do something about these risks, the business may face an inadequate security risk suit if someone is injured as a result of these unaddressed risks. If a business parking lot is the site of a sexual assault, for example, the victim may launch an inadequate security case, even if there are no previous similar crimes in the area, if it can be proven that the business owners failed to provide good lighting or other security features which could have reasonably prevented the attack.

Business owners are not responsible for personally preventing any possible crime on their business premises, but they are expected to take reasonable steps to prevent crimes from taking place. If you are a business owner, you can prevent personal injury to your employees, customers, and clients — and prevent possible legal action — in a number of ways. One solution is to keep up to date with news for your area. If you notice that a number of businesses have been targeted or the number of crimes in your area is increasing during the holidays, increase security. Hire a temporary security company or additional personnel to keep your business safe.

As a business owner, you can also do an inventory of risks in your business. Are parking areas provided for customers and employees well-lit and safe? What current safety measures are in place and how effective are they? Are there additional steps you could take to make your business safer for all visitors and employees? There are companies that can run a security audit on your business to help pinpoint security flaws or risks in your business. These services can be a good investment.

Good communication is often key in preventing assaults, crimes, personal injury, and inadequate security claims. Communicate with your employees and customers and encourage them to share their concerns with you. Really listen. If employees tell you that the parking lot is badly lit and unsafe, that should get your focus at once. If there have been crimes in the area, encourage your employees to take steps to be safe. Inform your employees of safe options for getting home.