In the wake of the explosions at the Boston Marathon, safety experts offer a reminder that there are steps that can be taken to protect yourself and your staff at an event or in a crowd.
For those who find themselves in crowded areas, Signal 88 Security Vice President of Franchise Standards Tim Conahan points to three keys to safety: Be prepared, follow directions and stay aware.
“These are simple ways to ensure you stay as safe as possible,” said Conahan. “With so many factors out of your control, take a few seconds to do what you can.”
Signal 88 Security draws on its experience overseeing security services for events, such as concerts, athletic events, NASCAR and Tough Mudder runs to provide several personal security recommendations.
Be prepared before a large event and coordinate with others where you would meet if separated. Mentally rehearsing how you would react if you were confronted by an act of violence, such as an explosion or active shooter, can help.
“Decide what objects you would choose for the best cover,” said Conahan. “If there is no cover, determine your next step. Run, hide or fight!”
Follow directions when you arrive at a crowded place and help maintain order by parking in designated spaces or as directed. Don’t ignore signs or barricades, which are often placed to control a crowd. Once you’re part of the crowd, stay safest by following its flow rather than going against it. Conahan also recommends taking a bathroom break before getting in a long line.
Stay aware and get in the habit of scanning a room, event center or concert hall for the nearest emergency exit when you arrive in case you need to escape quickly. Watch out for signs of trouble, such as those around you suddenly turning in the same direction and the noise level increases. Additionally, if you see someone put down a bag and walk away, notify security personnel, law enforcement or the event organizer immediately.
In case of emergency, if you find yourself in a situation, such as the explosions at the Boston Marathon, leave the area immediately. Leaving will reduce your risk of further injury and allows first-responders to properly assist other victims.
Use these keys to safety to be ready the next time you’re part of a crowd. Signal 88 Security stresses that while it’s important to be responsible for your own safety, by following these guidelines there is no reason to live in fear. If you ever do feel uncomfortable or threatened, Conahan simply says: “Go home.”
Founded in 2003 by former law enforcement professionals, Signal 88 Security provides a wide variety of technologically enabled and advanced security services to public and private sector clients through more than 100 branch offices nationwide. The company offers site and risk assessments, video monitoring and patrolling, and enhanced patrol services. Signal 88 Security specializes in business and commercial security as well as security for apartment complexes, home owner associations, shopping centers, events and more.