From fans rioting because their team just won the championship, to activist groups protesting for change, business owners in major metropolitan areas face the unfortunate reality of needing to be equipped to handle potentially violent situations from large groups of people.
Do Not Try to Reason with the Protestors/Rioters
It may tempting to try to explain to the protestors and rioters that you are an upstanding business owner (who might even agree with their team/platform), but this rarely ever works. Chances are that the fans who are out celebrating their team’s victory are under some kind of influence of either drugs or alcohol (or both), and the activists are focused solely on getting their message heard. This generally means that no one has time to listen to how much you care about the community, or how much you love the hometown team. When large groups are gathering to do potential harm to your business, we recommend getting inside or far away from your establishment.
Protect Your Windows
If your business is in a downtown area and has large windows, we advise to make sure that they are either shatter-proof, or that you have wood or metal panels to protect them against projectiles. For most businesses, the weakest security point are the windows (you probably have a good security system in place on your doors), and shattering windows is also a very satisfying/exciting activity for those caught up in a riot. By protecting your windows, you’ll reduce the incentive for protestors to go after your business, while shoring up overall security for your business.
Be Extra Cautious With Your Employees
Though you are paying your employees to work for you, you aren’t paying them to protect or secure your business. During a riot or protest, do NOT expect them to suddenly act as your security patrol. When you see or hear the first sign of trouble, it’s fine to ask your employees to help you security the building, but then immediately send them home. Without proper training and understanding security protocols, your employees acting as a security team could only make matters worse.
Hire a Security Service
The final piece of advice for protecting your business during a riot is to consider hiring a security service or patrol. Riots and protests are very fluid and unpredictable, which means that it’s hard for most business owners to figure out how exactly to handle them. Hiring experienced professionals who understand how to remain calm and professional during the most volatile events can ensure that your business doesn’t become one of the many targets you inevitably see on the news.
If you are a business owner in a major metropolitan area, contact us today to learn how we can help!