Tips for Personal Security in Public Venues
Electronic Security and Life Safety Industry Leaders: What the Experts Expect in Venue Security
IRVING, Texas (October 2, 2018) – Almost daily, consumers receive breaking news alerts about violence in public venues – whether it’s an active shooter, burglary or assault. This does not and should not stop you from going to a stadium for a football game, enjoying a concert at a music venue, going to a movie at the nearest theatre – or simply heading to the mall for a shopping spree. But it does point to the need for more consumer awareness and understanding of venue security.
To help educate consumers about venue security, the Electronic Security Association (ESA) recently interviewed three leading experts to answer the question: “What do the experts expect in venue security?”
Rich Henry, vice president of sales for Select Security which is headquartered in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, expects a police presence and immediately looks to seek what video cameras are in place to observe the crowd. “I also take a little different tact. I urge consumers to be aware of their surroundings and their own physical presence. Always maintain a confident posture. Criminals often seek out those who appear to be vulnerable.”
Rich Rosley, president of A-TECH Security in Albuquerque, New Mexico, takes a three-tier approach. “I always look for physical security first. I then note the access points – how is a venue funneling people in? Is it through multiple points of entry or a single point? Access points are especially critical in entertainment and sports arenas, because it gives you a feel for the level of security at the entrance.” On the third-tier, Rosley always makes note of the exits and establishes an exit strategy.
“I would say one of the most important elements in a venue is monitored video surveillance and that someone is actually monitoring the video feed. This, in essence, provides an early warning system if something or someone is out of p lace – and can help identify a security threat or other criminal activity.” says Jack Wapner, director of fire & security at Beacon Technologies in Nashville, Tennessee. “I also think security call boxes, such as the ones with a blue light often found in parking lots are critical. If you feel something is not quite right or witness criminal activity, you can quickly reach physical security.”
New Venue Security Technologies
In addition to situational awareness and video surveillance, there are new technologies coming to the market that can help provide consumers with an additional level of security.
If you are at a venue and see a wheeled robot – take notice. Through artificial intelligence (AI) technology, these robots are being used for security purposes. For example, when programmed with microphones and speakers, a robot can enable conversation between an event-goer and security operations to identify and address a security threat or concern. Robots can also be outfitted with sensors to detect weapons, bombs and other threats.
Additionally, there are systems that use weapons detection technologies. These security devices can be hidden in walls or ceilings located in areas of concern such as entryways. They scan people for concealed threats, but don’t provide images of a body like scanners used at airports helping to alleviate certain privacy concerns. Instead, they detect and provide images of items like guns, knives and explosives. This enables security personnel to determine if the item presents a threat and act accordingly.
As the electronic security and life safety industry continues to develop and deploy advanced technologies, all three ESA experts agree that it takes technology and people working together to detect and deter security threats.
For more information about venue security, visit Alarm.Org. Through Alarm.Org, ESA provides a wide range of information to help consumers and businesses make smart security and life safety decisions.
About the Electronic Security Association
Established in 1948, the Electronic Security Association (ESA) is the largest trade association in the United States representing the electronic security and life safety industry. Member companies install, integrate and monitor intrusion and fire detection, video surveillance and electronic access control systems for commercial, residential, industrial and governmental clients. In cooperation with an alliance of chapter associations, ESA provides technical and management training, government advocacy and delivers information, advice, tools, and services that members use to grow their businesses and prosper. Together, ESA member companies employ more than 500,000 industry professionals and serve more than 34 million residential and commercial clients.