Protests have always been part of the American way of life – from the Boston Tea Party to the Civil Rights demonstrations of the 1960s. While the vast majority of protests are peaceful and well-managed, some can get out of hand. And you can’t account for individuals or organizations who will take advantage of the distraction of the protests to carry out their own nefarious actions. If your business is located along an avenue where protests are common, it’s only sensible to be proactive in preventing or at least mitigating the risk of damage.
Here are a few quick tips to protect your business during protests.
Pay Attention to News and Social Media
In most towns and cities, permits are required for large gatherings, so protests are not a surprise. Keep an eye on media coverage and social chatter to know what’s happening, what time it’s scheduled to start and the route the demonstrators plan to walk.
Communicate with Law Enforcement
Local police will know what is coming on the day of protests and have a plan in place to keep the peace. Call the non-emergency number to find out what information they can share with the general public, such as how large a crowd is expected and if there have been threats of violence. If they can’t tell you much, check their website or social media accounts as well.
Remove Valuables From Plain Sight
Remember that often the biggest dangers come from opportunists. People who have nothing to do with the protests can still take advantage of the distraction. If a passerby sees a high-value item, the cover provided by the commotion of the protest may be too much to resist.
Adjust your Business Hours
Even if the protest is unlikely to be violent, it can interfere with the ability of businesses is along the march route to do regular business. For example, customers or employees may have difficulty accessing your building because of crowds. It may just make sense to close early or open late rather than attempting to do business in the duration.
Consider Closing for the Day
If your business is in a high-risk area, closing may be the wisest decision. Personal safety is more important than property damage. If you do decide to remain open, have an emergency evacuation or shelter-in-place plan and communicate it to employees or residents.
Talk to your Insurance Provider
Your insurance professional can update your coverage if needed and share some best practices or recommendations specific to your business to follow. A bit of foresight is better than finding out later that damage wasn’t covered because of something you did or failed to do.
Boost your Security
Conduct a security audit or contact a professional who can do it for you. If your business has security gates, use them. Install cameras on the interior and exterior of your business. It will not only discourage people from entering your place of business but if crimes are committed, it can help to catch the right people.
You can add to your security team if protests are an ongoing issue. If it’s only an occasional worry, add guards on the days when protests are expected. Remote monitoring is a cost-effective option.
Contact BOS Security Today
If you want to know how you can protect your business during a protest, contact the experts at BOS Security today.