Large scale events such as music festivals, sporting events and arena shows present some of the biggest security challenges we have to overcome. The more people there are, the higher the risk that a criminal element or an emergency situation can cause panic, property damage, injury and – tragically – even death.
Advance security planning is what makes the difference between running an event that becomes a cherished memory for your thousands of guests versus finding yourself responsible for a disaster.
Here are our top tips for keeping large-scale events safe and secure.
Amongst the chaos of people, equipment and vehicles constantly coming and going during the set up and teardown of an event, it’s easy for valuables to end up in the hands of opportunistic criminals.
Events are especially vulnerable when partially built stages and tents are left overnight, with vehicles packed with expensive audiovisual equipment often parked on site.
If you’ve planned your event’s schedule down to the minute, the last thing you want is to turn up in the morning to discover that your equipment has been stolen or your site has been vandalised.
Make sure that in addition to your security and emergency procedures plan, you have a security team in place to monitor the site and provide immediate response during your set up and tear down.
Static guarding, mobile patrols, portable floodlights and mobile CCTV allow you to set up a robust, high-tech security system at short notice.
During large, crowded events, emergency services can have difficulties reaching someone in need of medical attention. If someone is injured during a football game, for example, they will need to receive immediate first aid before being escorted somewhere where they can be safely treated.
A delay of just a few minutes can make all the difference in a life or death situation, so it’s important that you have first-aid trained security guards positioned throughout the site who can provide vital care as soon as possible.
As part of your security plan, you should have all first aid kits and emergency exits mapped out and checked before the event so that there isn’t any confusion or disruption during a medical emergency.
There’s also the risk of violence in large scale events where tensions can run high, in which cases security guards will have to both diffuse the situation and provide first aid for anyone who is injured – which is why first aid trained security guards are far more useful in such events than a steward.
One of the most important steps in keeping your event safe is securing the perimeter. The larger this perimeter is, the more difficult a site is to secure, especially in outdoor sites where temporary boundaries are set up.
In music festivals, for example, the perimeter can be miles long, providing ample opportunity for people to exploit vulnerabilities to sneak in or bring in prohibited items which wouldn’t have made it past the bag check.
Manned security is unpractical when guarding such large spaces, so you’re better off using mobile patrols who can cover a large area and respond rapidly to any security breaches.
Advances in CCTV technology have also allowed for the deployment of internet-connected mobile CCTV towers, which can provide live monitoring of any weak points in your perimeter and immediate response to any breaches by on-site security.
Alcohol, drugs and weapons can quickly turn an event into a disaster, especially in tightly packed crowds where panic and confusion can be even more dangerous than whatever prohibited items caused the incident.
Bag checks should only be performed by vetted and trained SIA-licensed security guards who are familiar with the strict procedures for security searches, especially if there is a need for pat-downs of guests as well.
To speed up the process in large-scale events, you may want your event security staff to be equipped with handheld or full-body metal detectors. Sniffer dogs are also recommended in events where there is a high risk of drug use.
Is an upcoming event going to put the safety of thousands of guests in your hands?
Give our award-winning customer services team a call now on 0800 772 3786 to learn more about our event security services.
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