Netwatch Offers Five Tips for Business Owners to Thwart Halloween Vandalism

Remote Surveillance Company Helps Prevent Commercial Property Tricks during Night of Treats

According to The Boston Globe’s “Crime and Punishment” blog written by James Alan Fox, Halloween night has the highest rate of violent crime victimization of any night during the year. The evening violent crime count (homicide, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault) on October 31 is roughly 50 percent higher than any other day of the year, and twice the day-to-day average. The most popular trick-or-treating hours, 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., are also the most popular time for violent crimes. Netwatch USA, a full-service remote video surveillance company with expertise combating vandalism and commercial property damage across four continents, today announced five tips for business owners to combat tricksters during what should be a night full of treats.

“Holidays are always a time to exercise extra safety measures,” said former Boston Police Commissioner and Netwatch board member Kathleen O’Toole. “Most jurisdictions experience significant spikes in crime rates on January 1st, July 4th and October 31st.  By taking appropriate measures, business owners can enhance safety, prevent crime and reduce calls to the police on Halloween night; not only protecting their assets, but also freeing up officers to address other incidents and threats.”

In order to deter neighborhood vandals, Netwatch has developed the following list of tips to keep businesses safe:

  • Keep the perimeter well lit. According to the National Safety Council, falls are the leading cause of injury on Halloween.  Keeping lights on overnight will prevent accidents and deter vandals.  Installing motion sensor flood lights will accomplish the same goals while conserving energy.
  • Limit access to the property. Unless you’re a business that is staying open and passing out treats, keep all entryways locked and be certain to secure windows. Control who holds keys and scratch off serial numbers on padlocks to ensure that more keys are not made. Keep trash bins and outdoor equipment in well lit areas.
  • Review your current security plan. Test alarms regularly and review your entire security system at least once a year.  Your system may not be as effective and efficient as newer systems currently on the market.
  • Leave the cash register out in the open. It may seem counterintuitive, but if your business will be closed on Halloween, leave it well-lit inside with the cash register visible and open so it can be easily monitored and, in the unfortunate case that a burglar does make it inside, the cash register will remain undamaged.
  • Celebrate safely. If your business is hosting a Halloween party, ensure that your fire protection system is effective and operating properly.  Costumes and alcohol consumption can lead to an increase of fire hazards.  Be certain that fire escapes are clearly marked, fire extinguishers are in the proper places, and do not hang any decorations from ceiling sprinklers. When in doubt, contact your local fire department to request a review of your property.

“Unfortunately, pranks go hand in hand with Halloween, but by thinking defensively, business owners can quell potentially serious and expensive acts of vandalism,” said David Walsh, Netwatch CEO. “Revelers must choose between fun and engaging in malicious behavior. By taking some simple steps to prevent vandalism and using extra caution, we can ensure that everyone remains safe during these times of celebration.”

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