Security and Safety Tips

Security Tips for Protecting Buildings During Public Demonstrations and Outdoor Eating Venues

To help prepare for the evolving set of challenges we face concerning buildings and restaurants’ security and safety, here are some tips to consider per the Department of Homeland Security. Although there are no credible or imminent threats, buildings and restaurants should consider implementing protective measures to reduce the risk of harm.

Protecting Buildings During Public Demonstrations 
To mitigate potentially adverse effects when individuals commit unlawful acts during or concurrent with public demonstrations, building managers and operators should consider:

  • Closing their business for the day
  • Identifying scheduled local demonstrations and adjusting business hours
  • Maintaining emergency plans that include evacuation and shelter-in-place procedures
  • If businesses are tenants, working with building owners on security preparations, to include shutting down power, water, and ventilation
  • Removing valuables from plain view and increasing the visual security of your business to deter a criminal act
  • Establishing perimeters around the facility to restrict access
  • Within the perimeter, removing items that could be thrown through windows and locking trash receptacles
  • Blocking access to non-window openings such as mechanical vents to prevent forcible entry
  • Securing and monitoring emergency exit doors
  • Purchasing general liability and property insurance to cover loss, damage, or theft
  • Avoiding the obstruction or provocation of protesters
  • Ensuring closed-circuit television cameras are operable and the facility is properly lighted
  • Hiring security guards and increasing security presence during demonstrations

Protecting Customers in Outdoor Eating Venues
An increasing number of restaurants and other eateries use sidewalks, parking lots, and streets to expand outdoor seating to accommodate social distancing guidelines following the COVID-19 outbreak. Here are some cost-effective mitigation methods to protect outdoor venues:

  • Using commercial barriers to block roads and promenades
  • Setting up temporary bollards and speedbumps
  • Reducing seating capacity to limit crowd size
  • Using natural barriers, like trees and planters
  • Implementing a layered approach to security, in which concentric circles of barriers surround the venue
  • Increasing law enforcement presence during peak pedestrian hours
  • Securing sidewalks as well as streets

Suspicious Behavior Indicators Near Outdoor Eating Venues
Restaurant employees and management should be vigilant of suspicious individuals and report suspicious behavior that may include:

  • Individuals loitering in an unauthorized area where vehicles are parked or serviced
  • Individuals loitering, parking, or standing in the same area over multiple days with no reasonable explanation
  • Individuals attempting to gain information about the operations and security of areas where large crowds gather
  • Vehicles with altered or fraudulent tags lingering near or among crowds

As always, if you “See Something, Say Something.” For life-threatening emergencies, call 911. To report suspicious activity, call 855-RPRT-2-S4 (855-777-8274).
This post was repurposed from the Department of Homeland, Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency.

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