Safety and Security Checklist for Special Events

FROM THE BEGINNING

__ Acknowledge that the safety and security of event attendees is your responsibility --morally and legally.  All other decisions should flow from this.

__ Be sure the registration form asks attendees to list an emergency contact

__ Determine need for special insurance to protect from liability for safety or security incidents and discuss with your insurance agent/broker.

__ Determine if the event will require additional access controls (e.g., name badges, tickets) and participate in the design of those materials and the plan to distribute them.

For international destinations:

__ Obtain travel information on international destinations from Department of State.

__ For unusual or high-risk international destinations, contact the U.S. embassy’s regional security officer for background and recommendations.

WHEN CHOOSING A VENUE AND SERVICE PROVIDERS

__ While security is not usually the primary concern in venue selection, it is important.  You should evaluate the security situation in and around your event venues before making a final decision.

__ Contact the local police department to obtain current crime statistics for the area.

__ Is the venue's staff is trained in CPR and first aid.

__ What security patrols does the venue provide, inside or outside the buildings?

__ Is the exterior (including parking areas) well-lit?

__ Determine if and how the venue security staff can support your event, as this will affect the requirements for and cost of hiring outside security contractors.

__ Confirm that labor contracts of venue employees, local unions, or state government employees will not expire during or leading up to your event.

__ Confirm that ancillary service providers (such as tour bus companies and off-site venues) have appropriate licenses and insurance

DEVELOPING YOUR CONTINGENCY PLAN

__ Discuss past safety issues and solicit recommendations from local police and the venue’s security director

__ Review the venue’s emergency action plan. Are you satisfied that the venue is properly equipped and the venue staff will be calm, helpful and professional should an emergency arise?

__ Gather information (contact numbers, hours, driving directions and distance to) available medical services in and around the event venues.

__ Find out estimated response times to the venue for ambulances, fire and police.

__ Design and implement an effective communication system that will support your emergency plans.

HIRING OUTSIDE SECURITY

__ Decide number and type of contract security personnel the event will require.

__ Decide if off-duty uniformed or plainclothes police officers are necessary.

AT THE VENUE BEFORE THE EVENT STARTS

__ Have special use rooms (such as VIP rooms and equipment storage rooms) re-keyed to limit access to authorized personnel.

__ Review list of other organizations holding events in the same venue before, during and after your event -- they could be competitors.

__ Arrange to rent appropriate security equipment, such as a paper shredder and locking files.

__ Include customized safety and security information in attendee welcome packets.

DURING THE EVENT

__ Hold regular briefings for supervisory personnel, addressing incidents or upcoming concerns.

__ Review timesheets of any contracted security daily.

__ Conduct walk-arounds of the event venue to check postings and other security arrangements.

__ Document any incidents thoroughly.

AFTER THE EVENT

__ Review any safety issues that arose during the event with event and security staff.  Was the contingency plan followed?  Did it work?  What changes, if any, would you recommend for the next event?


Information from Richard Werth of Event and Meeting Security Services www.eventsecurity.com was used, with permission, in the compilation of this checklist. Please address any questions to andy@proadvance.com or rpwerth@eventsecurity.com.