When heading out to see your favorite singer perform live or watching your home sports team take on its rival, the safety of the venue you’re attending usually isn’t on your mind. These kinds of events are full of fun and entertainment, and the lively atmospheres only add to the excitement.
But recent tragedies, like those in Manchester and Paris, have shown that expansive, high-capacity environments can become targets for attacks. Stadiums and large venues are also vulnerable to a variety of other threats, such as severe weather, other natural disasters and violence, making the need for an emergency preparedness plan critical. But with so many people packed into such a large space, it can be difficult to thoroughly monitor activity and efficiently communicate to each and every individual in the event of an emergency. Breaking down each aspect involved in securing a large venue can lead to a comprehensive and effective solution.
Entrances (and Exits)
Since the first point where attendees come into contact with a venue is at the entrance, establishing a firm, expansive and layered security presence here is critical. There are oftentimes more than one door or gate available, making it important to ensure that each entry point is equally secured. A uniform and clear screening process should be in place for checking bags and personal items before attendees walk through metal detectors, and integrated access control systems can be used for seamless ticket reading and authorization. Additionally, procedures involving employees or stadium personnel gaining entry should be strict and fully vetted.
These entryways double as exits, making the end of a concert, show or game just as important as the beginning. Security shouldn’t be relaxed because an event is over; as the crowd files out, safety personnel should be on the lookout for the same warning signs that they search for as the crowd enters.
If an emergency does occur, it’s essential to have a management system in place to alert the staff and attendees about the situation and advise them of any specific instructions. This can be accomplished through real-time location system (RTLS) technology, which allows users to send messages to connected devices via SMS, chat or email. It’s unlikely that security personnel could reach every attendee verbally, so a platform that uses an item almost every person will have in their hand – their smartphone – will ensure notifications are received and can help facilitate a faster response.
With the volume of people entering, walking through and exiting an arena or large venue, on-site security guards may miss something important. Surveillance cameras, positioned both inside and outside, can be valuable tools when it comes to identifying potential dangers or finding a piece of information after the fact to help investigate an incident. Advancing technologies, such as video management software, IP capabilities and facial recognition features, can add even more layers of protection to the use of surveillance cameras in large venues.
Taking a layered, exhaustive approach to protecting staff, guests, athletes and performers in stadiums, arenas and large venues by using various pieces of the security puzzle can help ensure that an incident management plan will be effective and successful.
VuTeur’s internal real-time intelligence software (IRIS) uses RTLS technology, two-way communication and analytics in coordination with existing physical security systems, including access control and video surveillance, to these facilities achieve a sufficient emergency management plan. Real-time zone-based alerts and incident reporting transform smartphones into personal safety devices and improve safety and connectivity.