Safety of Your Texas Business During Large Scale Events
July 1, 2014
When your city sponsors or allows a large attraction in your city, it could pose security risks to your organization. The risks associated with large events do not simply include the obvious risks from the event crowd. For example, during large events, there are a plethora of risks related to the distraction that such an event causes or the strain on city wide resources. Additionally, many organizations take the opportunity to engage in the activities themselves or piggy back with the activity by sponsoring their own events. Whether your city’s attraction is larger or small and regardless of whether your organization’s participation is active or passive, you must consider the security ramifications that any large event has on your organization’s safety.
Obviously, the risks associated with any event are specific to your business, your location, and the event. For example, locations physically distant from the site of the event have a very different type and level of exposure than locations at the parameter of the event itself. The topics below are just a few of the very high level issues that any company should explore when contemplating the risks that an event may pose to the businesses in the community. Although some organizations may have the security personnel to fully explore the complete range of security risks, others will necessarily need to consult with external security experts to flush out the particular risks that any event poses to your organization.
It is important to be aware of all the ways that an event participant, or a troublemaker, could access your facility. For example, do you require all guests and visitors to sign-in and wear name badges? If your organization does not have a system for keeping track of all the individuals on the premises under normal standards, it is not practical to expect that the organizational culture will protect it from intruders during special events. If public access is a point of vulnerability for your organization, it may be appropriate to set up temporary barriers to add additional security during a large event. One method of deterrence is a receptionist desk that is constantly monitored. Even if the desk is only a temporary one, a receptionist can create the appearance and perception that the company is diligently aware of individuals who come and go. Your security expert can also advise you about other methods that can create the perception of high security with very minimum expense.
Vendors probably access your organization all the time. Unfortunately, many organizations become so familiar with their vendor’s representatives that they do not monitor their activities within the building. Sadly enough, most organizational crimes are crimes of opportunity meaning that, but for the fact that something was unguarded, the crime would not have been committed. Also unfortunate is the fact that many vendor representatives are involved in these crimes of opportunity. During a large event, there may be so much commotion that opportunities for crime are prevalent and opportunists, including those working for your vendors, may take the opportunity to perpetrate crimes. In addition, vendors are often forced to ramp up their staff to accommodate increased needs and, because they are in a pinch, they may not scrutinize the qualifications or backgrounds of added workers. As such, it is particularly important to monitor the access and activities of vendors during large events. Further, it is important to communicate with your vendors in advance of a large event to notify them your organization expects all its vendors to maintain the level of personnel originally contemplated. Vendor management is another area where your security expert can help guide your organization to the most appropriate and cost effective techniques in preparation for a large scale event.
When a large event has been planned, it makes perfect sense to improve and re-educate employees about safety training. For example, some organizations review their CPR and life safety training one week before a large public event. Large events are also a good time to create, renew, and practice emergency drills. Even just practicing such skills and drills can give employees the level of confidence to remain calm and rational during an actual emergency. The announcement of a large public event is the perfect time for your security team to address all aspects of your organization’s physical well-being and the involvement of personnel is also critical to ensuring the security of your organization.
Many organizations have security personnel on site at all times and the decision to extend or increase coverage during large events is simplistic. Most organizations, however, do not employ security personnel and the decision to utilize a guard is a daunting one. The decision to employing plain-clothed, armed, or unarmed personnel could be expensive and requires strategy. A professional security management team can assist you in selecting the placement and type of personnel needed, if any personnel are required at all.
As mentioned, the topics above are only intended to superficially discuss the elements that all businesses should contemplate when preparing for a large scale event. Your organizations’ safety strategy should be customized and cost effective in relation to your organization and the event contemplated. Organizations should not hesitate to reach out to external experts to provide or supplement their internal security expertise because, when there is a large scale event, it is paramount to provide their company and their employees with the best opportunity to safely maximize the opportunities of a large scale event.