7 Tips for Staying Safe at Public Events

When was the last time you attended a large public event? Sporting events, parades and rallies, concerts and even grilled cheese fests are commonplace events that draw huge crowds. As an attendee, you have most likely wondered what you would do in the event of an emergency.

Although the only surefire way to stay safe at public events is to avoid them altogether, that is not a reality for most people. Unless you are willing to forgo spending quality time with friends and family, enjoying yourself and celebrating your hobbies, it’s better to figure out how to protect yourself when emergencies happen in public places.

Research suggests that it is relatively rare for catastrophes to occur at public events. Many of the things we commonly do every day, like driving, are much more likely to cause injury or even death. However, tragic incidents at public events are widely covered in media and draw attention all around the world. Mass shootings, fires, vehicular attacks and structural failure are just some of the unfortunate occurrences we hear about in the news.

How can we protect ourselves and our loved ones from these kinds of threats? What strategies can help us stay safe at crowded public events? How can we protect others from harm?

7 Tips on How to Stay Safe at Public Events

Be alert at all times.

It might seem like common sense, but your ability to stay alert can mean the difference between an enjoyable event and a catastrophe. Sure, a music festival may be a time to let loose and relax; however, that doesn’t mean you should stop being aware of your surroundings.

Be on the lookout for suspicious behavior or people, especially look for unaccompanied bags or packages that appear out of place. If someone seems fidgety or nervous, follow your intuition and alert the nearest security guard or event staff. Avoid being overly occupied with your smartphone because this distracts you from what is happening in your environment.

Wear the proper footwear and clothing.

If an emergency were to happen and you needed to evacuate the premises, you’ll be thankful that you wore sturdy shoes. Options like flip-flops and high heels do not provide the traction and stability required if you needed to run or if you were involved in a stampede situation. Instead, choose sturdy boots or sneakers that will not fall off and cause an ankle injury.

Similarly, choose clothing that is appropriate for the weather. If there were an emergency situation that prevented you from leaving the premises, you want to be sure that you were protected from the elements. Loose, flowing and long clothing may look cool, but can be a potential hazard in an emergency evacuation or stampede. These items of clothing can easily be stepped on, grabbed or torn, causing you to fall or worse.

Stay hydrated and limit alcohol.

Many of these public events involve the consumption of alcohol. While it is perfectly acceptable to enjoy a few adult beverages at a music festival, concert or sporting event, event attendees must limit their alcohol. Dehydration is common at large events, especially those that take place outdoors. Plus, copious amounts of alcohol can cause people to lower their inhibitions, significantly increasing the possibility of fights or other unruly behavior.

If you are drinking alcohol at a public event, be sure to pace yourself and drink plenty of water. Not only will this help you prevent dehydration and illness, it will help you to maintain an awareness of your surroundings and react appropriately in the event of an emergency.

Keep your phone charged.

Most of us have smartphones these days, and we rely on them to do just about everything. No matter where you stand on the constant use of smartphones in our culture, they certainly serve a purpose when it comes to safety. Before attending a large public event, be sure that your cell phone is completely charged. You may even want to bring a charger for long and multi-day events. Assuming you have cell service, a charged smartphone can be a critical tool in communicating with family and law enforcement.

Tell others where you will be.

When attending a large public event, be sure to tell your family and friends where you will be and for how long. If an unfortunate tragedy does occur, it will be helpful for family and first responders to know who was in attendance. We can share our location using our smartphones, so our loved ones can know where we are at all times. When attending a large event or a multi-day music festival, this can be a critical strategy for staying safe.

Create a plan.

Chances are you’re attending a public event with other people. Before you go, research the venue. Have an understanding of the layout of the property and the location of all exits. You may also want to review the safety procedures for the event beforehand. It is also beneficial to create an emergency plan with your group, so everyone knows what to do if they get separated or an emergency occurs.

Remain calm and follow your intuition.

No matter what kind of emergency you are facing, it is essential that you stay calm. Do your best to take deep breaths. This will help you to think clearly and make the right choices based on the situation at hand. If something feels off, trust your intuition and contact your nearest security guard or event official. It is better to be safe than sorry.

With the spring season just around the corner, more and more people will be attending large events. Hopefully, these tips can help you enjoy yourself while avoiding a tragedy. 

When you need security personnel who aim higher

Call Off Duty Officers, Inc. to find out how we can serve your business.

Off Duty Officers, Inc. provides armed and unarmed, off duty law enforcement and security personnel for both short- and long-term assignments. Contact us for an instant

Our experience means your safety.

Does Your Event Need Security Guards?

If you are planning an event, you must prepare for anything. Any time large groups of people gather, there is a higher risk of a security threat. Many event operators focus on all of the other components of an event, leaving security to the end. And unfortunately, that often means that security gets a small percentage of the budget.

However, event security needs to be taken seriously. Professional security companies can provide services that give event managers the peace of mind that they are giving attendees the best possible experience without compromising their security. No matter what type of event you are planning, a qualified event security team will help ensure the safety of your guests and other valuable assets.

Does Your Event Need Security?

Not every event requires security guards on the premises. Medium to large events, and especially those with high-profile guests, would benefit from on-site security personnel. Some of the most common events where security guards are present include:

  • Political rallies
  • Concerts
  • Festivals
  • Trade shows
  • Red carpets
  • Weddings
  • Corporate events
  • Grand openings

To determine if security guards are necessary for your next event, you must first identify your risks. Some events naturally pose a higher risk than others. For example, an intimate family wedding likely poses less of a risk than a trade show showcasing valuable merchandise. Event operators are encouraged to assess their level of risk by considering some of the following questions:

  • Will there be high-profile guests at the event?
  • Is the individual or organization hosting the event high-profile?
  • Do you expect protestors or unruly guests?
  • Will alcohol be served?
  • Will there be media in attendance?
  • Does the event venue pose any specific security vulnerabilities?

5 Tips for Keeping Your Event Safe

Keep security visible.

Security guards are trained to combat threats, but their primary objective is to prevent threats in the first place. Security personnel should be highly visible and make their presence known in an appropriate way throughout the event. Not only does this increase feelings of safety for guests, but it deters criminals from even attempting to perpetrate a crime.

Screen your staff.

It’s an unfortunate reality that many crimes occur at the hands of staff or those with valid access to an event. Event operators must choose their vendors wisely by requiring background checks, referrals and in-person interviews to ensure that all staff on the premises is trustworthy and professional. Event producers should also empower their staff members to be on the lookout for suspicious behavior among their fellow workers and to report it to the event manager immediately.  

Maintain strict security checkpoints.

Security checkpoints at your event allow you to screen guests for unwanted items and potentially dangerous weapons and drugs. It also acts as a central location where all those who are attempting to enter the venue must show valid credentials for access, such as a ticket or staff identification. Security checkpoints also deter those who are not credentialed from attempting to enter the premises. Ideally, the checkpoint should be a distance away from the main entrance to allow space to subdue a trespasser before they can enter the venue.

Have a clear plan for emergencies.

If an emergency does occur, there should be a clear emergency plan in place. The plan should be communicated to all staff members, so everyone is aware of what to do in the event of a medical, fire or other emergency. The plan should cover topics such as evacuation, active shooter situations and fire events. It should also provide contact information for event managers and emergency police and medical personnel.

Hire professional security guards.

While any kind of security is better than none, professional security guards from a reputable security company can significantly reduce the risk of a security threat during your event. Experienced guards have the skills and training to deter crime, identify vulnerabilities in your security plan, identify suspicious items or behaviors and act if a perpetrator is attempting a crime.

Event Security Services–Off Duty Officers

For over 25 years, Off Duty Officers has been providing premier event security services for customers across the nation. Our highly trained and experienced off duty military and law enforcement personnel can be deployed to your event when and where you need them. At Off Duty Officers, we have been trusted by event producers to keep their guests safe and to protect valuable merchandise and intellectual property.

If you are hosting an event and think you may need professional security guards, do not hesitate to contact Off Duty Officers today. Our team is standing by to educate you on our services and help you identify your level of risk. We look forward to serving you!

When you need security personnel who aim higher

Call Off Duty Officers, Inc. to find out how we can serve your business.

Off Duty Officers, Inc. provides armed and unarmed, off duty law enforcement and security personnel for both short- and long-term assignments. Contact us for an instant

Our experience means your safety.

Case Study: Super Bowl Security Considerations

With Super Bowl LIV just over two weeks away, many sports fans are beginning to prepare for the biggest football game of the season. For event producers, preparation began months earlier with the management of all of the logistics and security that such a massive event requires.  

This year’s event will take place in Miami, Florida at the Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday, February 2. Like any significant sporting event of this caliber, security is of the utmost concern. Not only are there crowds of people descending on the area for the game and other special events, there are many a-list celebrities, executives and high-profile people who will be in the city for the festivities.

Security will be tight to ensure the safety of everyone who visits the city of Miami for the big game. Have you ever wondered what it takes to keep an event as large as the Super Bowl safe and secure? Read on to learn about security measures that help keep sporting events like this protected from threats.

Security Considerations for Super Bowl LIV

Event producers understand that events like the Super Bowl have unique security considerations. Therefore, it is their priority to identify potential security threats and take measures to prevent the worst from occurring. In the 2018 game, for example, the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee set aside $5 million for public safety and an additional $1 million to repay the state for deploying their national guard. In addition to private security personnel and the national guard, up to forty state and federal agencies were also involved in preparing for a safe Super Bowl event that year.

Some of the most pressing security issues for a sporting event such as the Super Bowl can include:

  1. Access control
  2. Crowd management
  3. Inspecting people and bags
  4. Terrorism

In addition to some of the typical security concerns for a large sporting event, Super Bowl LIV presents some additional challenges when it comes to safety and security.

The Super Bowl is not a one-day event.

While many people think of it as just another football game, the reality is that the Super Bowl includes many events throughout the city leading up to game day. Beginning on the weekend before the game, Miami will host a variety of fan and media events at locations throughout the city, including the Miami Beach Convention Center, Bayfront Park, Marlins Park, American Airlines Arena and Hard Rock Stadium. Each venue and event will have its own unique security concerns based on their locations, layouts and the types of events that will take place.

Access control is key to protecting people and property.

To help ensure that everyone entering the stadium is ticketed and credentialed, security guards will be hired to expedite the entry and inspection process. There are strict limits to the size and types of bags that are allowed inside the venue. Further, guards and other security personnel will have the critical task of screening all guests for potentially hazardous and illegal items, including alcohol, drugs, weapons, drones, explosives and laser pointers.

More than just a football game, the Super Bowl also consists of a halftime show.

A considerable part of the Super Bowl event is the halftime show. This year, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira will be headlining. Although the concert itself is far shorter than a typical live music event, it does not mean that the planning and logistics of pulling it off are easy.

Event staff has about 6 minutes to set up the stage after the end of the first half. With the sheer number of staff, fans and gear that enter the area in such a short period, security to maintain the safety of people and valuable equipment is a challenge. Plus, with such high-profile performers in the vicinity, there is always the risk that an overzealous fan or someone seeking attention could attempt to access the area and do harm.

The venue is in close proximity to waterways.

With Miami being close to vast waterways such as the Biscayne Bay, there are additional threats that must be considered by the city and event producers. The Coast Guard may be tasked with providing extra security in these waterways to prevent terrorist attacks or other threats before, during or after the game.

Security Guard Services – Off Duty Officers

If you have the opportunity to attend an amazing sporting event like the Super Bowl, it is necessary to recognize the time, energy and money that goes in to securing the event and creating a safe environment for guests and players as well as the residents of the host city. Super Bowl LIV, like all other big sporting events, has its own set of unique security challenges. In addition to the state and federal agencies that will be providing security planning and assistance, security guards will play a significant role on the ground in keeping people safe and responding to threats as they occur.

Do you need professional security guards for your next sporting event? Contact Off Duty Officers today to learn more about our services and find out how our highly trained and experienced guards can help you keep your next event secure.

When you need security personnel who aim higher

Call Off Duty Officers, Inc. to find out how we can serve your business.

Off Duty Officers, Inc. provides armed and unarmed, off duty law enforcement and security personnel for both short- and long-term assignments. Contact us for an instant

Our experience means your safety.

How To Stay Safe at Large Special Events

Today, special event security is more important than ever before. There have been a number of disturbing tragedies at large events over the recent years, including the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 and the Las Vegas shooting at a country music festival in 2017. Large crowds have become targets for those who want to wreak havoc and execute a violent attack in a public setting. 

Event organizers have a vital task on their hands. They need to be more aware than ever before of potential security threats to their guests and employees at large events. Organizers need to seek the best special event security company to help them cover their bases and provide the protection, safety and peace of mind that event attendees need and deserve. 

The Risks of Large Crowds 

Large gatherings and events like concerts, outdoor music festivals, sporting events, rallies or speeches can be full of energy, fun and community. They can also pose serious risks to the safety of those in attendance. Some of the most common risks associated with large crowds include: 

  • Theft
  • Assault 
  • Weapons
  • Bombs
  • Unruly event attendees
  • Surging crowds leading to trampling or crushing 
  • Malfunctioning or collapse of equipment or structures

Before attending a large event, you should consider how you would protect yourself from the common threats listed above. It might not seem that an individual could do much to stop a crowd. Although you might not be able to prevent a stampede or surging crowd, you can arm yourself with the knowledge to protect yourself and help others to do the same. 

How to Stay Safe in a Large Crowd

Research the Event Beforehand 

Do your homework before attending a large event. Go to the event webpage or forum to read through the FAQs. Research the layout of the event, including the location of all entrances and exits. Identify which security measures event organizers have put in place and learn what items you can and cannot bring into the event. 

If you are attending with others, research a meeting point in case anyone gets separated from the group and cell phone service is spotty.

Stay Aware and Focused 

Large events like concerts or festivals are great places to unwind. However, they can also be places where the use of substances like drugs and alcohol can be prevalent. In order to stay safe, it’s important to stay aware of your surroundings and of suspicious behavior, and to changes in the crowd dynamic. When you are alert and aware, you’re less likely to become the victim of an assault. 

Be Alert to Suspicious Behavior 

Large crowds can seem like moving organisms with minds of their own. With all that business, it can be difficult to see when someone is acting strangely. Large events with immense crowds attract people who want to steal or do harm to others. Be on the lookout for behavior that seems atypical. Some examples of suspicious behavior include:

  • Surveillance of groups or individuals
  • Overdressing for the weather
  • A large or out of place backpack or other bag 
  • The use of binoculars unnecessarily
  • Lingering in or near restricted or VIP areas
  • Taking photos of people they do not know 

Be Patient with Others 

Large groups are often breeding grounds for pushing, shoving or otherwise rowdy social behavior. Adding in alcohol can often exacerbate the issue and create an environment of people who may test your patience. Although the unruly behavior of others may be annoying or even dangerous, it is important to handle them with patience in order to avoid a potentially violent physical altercation. 

If there is someone who should be removed from the premises, it is better to find your nearest professional security guard to handle the issue than to attempt to take control of the matter of yourself.

Dress Smart and Be Prepared 

A well-run event will have an impeccable exit security strategy for their guests at the end of the event. However, this does not always go as planned. Be ready for a lengthy exit line or for a surging rush of the crowd. Be prepared for changing weather and be sure to keep your mobile device charged in the event of an emergency. Have water and any medications you may need on hand.

Why Your Special Event Needs Off Duty Officers 

Off Duty Officers has over 25 years of experience providing professional private security guards for large events such as concerts, festivals, trade shows, political speeches and conventions. Our team of highly trained and skilled security personnel is made up of off-duty and retired law enforcement and military personnel. The experience that they bring to your event is second to none.

If you are an event organizer, the security of your attendees is your number one priority. Ensure that you are providing them with the utmost safety and security available by partnering with Off Duty Officers for your professional private event security needs. Our team is available to help you explore the security threats for your event and identify the most comprehensive security program that will meet your needs and your budget.

Contact Off Duty Officers today for your free quote and to get started in securing your private event.

When you need security personnel who aim higher

Call Off Duty Officers, Inc. to find out how we can serve your business.

Off Duty Officers, Inc. provides armed and unarmed, off duty law enforcement and security personnel for both short- and long-term assignments. Contact us for an instant

Our experience means your safety.