By Lea Schneider

It seems to be getting darker earlier this year.

Of course, it isn’t any different than last year, but after the long summer days, the shortening days always seem to be a surprise.

At home, seasonal time changes are cues to perform necessary periodic tasks. For instance, the day the clock falls back an hour is the day to change your smoke detector batteries.

At your business, the arrival of darkness much earlier should also be a clue for you to look after the security of your company. Not only do you want to change those smoke detector batteries at work, but the autumn and spring time changes are a good reminder to do an all-around security check. Start with these tips.

Go Bright

Having darkness fall before the end of your business day becomes a safety concern for customers as well as you and your employees. Locking up and walking to your car takes on a heightened sense of awareness.

After dark, perform a lighting check-up. Are the entrances to your business well lit? Check to see parking areas also have lights. Make sure all bulbs are working and spotlights are focused in the correct direction. If it isn’t bright enough, add exterior lighting. Each location will have its own needs, but consider making changes such as installing dawn-to-dusk lights that automatically turn off and on. Or, install an LED security light that provides accent lighting from dusk to dawn, but has a motion detector to move to bright security lighting when motion is detected.

Make sure windows and displays are also well lit. Check to see if all aspects of your business signage are working properly. It’s also a good idea to have a routine for leaving on enough lighting so the inside of the property is not in total darkness.

Rip It Up

Catch up on shredding. Clear out files and documents that should have been shredded and take to a secure shredding service and create a regular routine so your business information and customer information is protected going forward. Subscribing to a regular shredding service or investing in your own shredder is a good idea for staying on track.

Stay Secure

Perform a key inventory. You should know who has a key to the building and where spare keys are located. If there is a possibility a key has been lost, copied or taken, then have the locks changed immediately. Spare keys should be protected much like you would cash.

Installing a professional security system can protect against break-ins and stop someone with a key that shouldn’t be there. The unauthorized key holder would also need to have the security code to disarm the system.

Be Cyber Savvy

Using seasonal time changes as a reminder is a good way to stay on top of computer issues. Have an IT expert make sure your computer system has all of the protection it needs.

Changing passwords often is a long-recommended security tip, but it can be hard to remember to do so. Use the change in time to remind you to change passwords. Remembering the new ones can also be difficult, so invest in a password manager. There are a number of apps you can use to help you keep track.

Count Your Change

It’s easy to get lax about cash if you run a small business. Dashing out the door to pick up things is a common occurrence. If you’ve been haphazard about handling cash purchases, this is the time to shore that up. Make it a practice to use your business’s credit or debit card for purchases. Limit the cash kept on hand and be sure to keep it locked up. Make it a firm practice to account for all cash with a receipt and settle up your petty cash drawer with your financial records monthly.

These common sense tasks are just the type we may forget when we are busy. Use the change in seasons as a perpetual reminder to review and update safety measures of all kinds.

Organization expert Lea Schneider has devised some unique reminders (like the autumnal turn-back-the-clocks change) to get and stay organized. Since the fall time change affects our lighting environment, it’s a terrific cue to think about your business lighting. If you are already researching LED lighting and want to view options, you can review a wide variety on Home Depot’s site.