Retailer Security Tips For Active Shooting Events
On March 22, one of the most shocking active shooting events occurred in our country.
Ten people were killed in the Soopers supermarket in Boulder, Colorado.
It was a tragic attack that no one could have seen coming. Supermarkets and retail stores are one of the last places people feel in danger.
But that's the sad reality we live in.
That's why even though you might feel safe at your store, it is critical to prepare for one of these events.
Today, we're going to look at three tips you can implement right now to improve your retailer security.
With just these in place, you will significantly reduce the chances of loss should an active shooting event occur on your premises.
Why Retail Security Needs to be Addressed
There are a bunch of problems that retailers face every day.
Which products to sell, how to get more customers, how to serve customers better, how to increase sales, how to keep good store employees, etc.
But one problem that too many in the retail industry don't address until it's too late is security.
And we're not talking about preventing theft or patching up digital security issues like data breaches.
We're talking about active shooting events.
We're talking about the lives of your employees and customers.
Here are two of the main reasons it's vital to work on better retail security:
1. Retail Stores Are a Common Target for Active Shooting Events
When we think of mass shootings, we often picture schools or churches as the targets.
However, store shootings are far more common.
According to the Washington Post, shootings in offices, retailers, restaurants, and other stores are more common than that in schools and churches.
Also, our inside numbers here at FCS show that there are lots (1/week) of security incidents in malls that require lockdown protocols.
This shows that this is not an issue that can just be brushed aside.
Active shooting events are now one of the primary security threats that stores need to address.
2. Lack of Retail Security Can be a Legal Nightmare
The potential loss of life should be enough to create better security policies already.
However, to give store owners another bump in the right direction, it's also good to know that if retailers fail to have a substantial plan against security threats, they're putting themselves at a considerable risk of massive lawsuits.
Yes, shoring up the security of your retail store can take time, effort, and money. But when you consider the lawsuits that you'd run into, you'll see why it's well worth it.
Nobody knows what the future holds. That's why business owners should future-proof their stores to prevent having to deal with lawsuits.
Security System Challenges In Retail
Having security cameras, video surveillance, and physical security (like a security guard), are great measures to take, of course.
However, you'll find that there are several challenges you'll run into.
- Ever-changing employees
- Random customers
- Security system costs
- Informing everyone on protocols
Let's have a closer look at each one.
Ever Changing Employees
It's tough to find someone who will work at a retailer forever.
Working as a cashier or helper is not something people do as a career.
As a result, your staff is going to be constantly changing as the years go by.
And as people leave, they may still have access to your retail store and cause security breaches.
This poses a real danger.
Not only for loss prevention, but if things end badly, they may have a personal grudge against someone in your store as well.
There's also a danger when hiring new employees.
That is why doing things like background checks is vital for your business. Without it, you may have the wrong person working for you!
We all want to provide great customer service to our customers.
That's why we welcome everyone into our stores with open arms.
Besides, almost everyone that comes in is well-meaning and might just buy from you.
However, this also presents a challenge in security.
Because what's stopping a psychopath from coming into your store?
We want the customer experience to be excellent, to make people feel at home.
That's why we can't put security guards to vet everyone that comes in heavily.
And unfortunately, there are no clear solutions for this problem.
That is why the best thing you can do is prepare for a bad customer that comes along.
Security System Costs
Just having end-to-end security policies is not enough.
You will also have to train the employees of your business and grab some security devices as well.
All of these will have some cost.
And things can get very expensive if you choose to get something that requires you to retrofit your store.
Ideally, the right equipment to secure your store will be light, easy to deploy, and not require any retrofitting.
Informing Everyone on Protocols
When an active shooting event occurs, panic is the most common reaction.
People run and shout without any clear plan on what to do.
This chaos can prove to be deadly.
Without coordination, things can get out of hand quickly.
That is why it is vital to train your employees.
But not only that, but you should also have leaflets around the store to inform people what to do in case of emergency.
The 3 Best Security Tips for Retail Security
Now that you know why preparing for an active shooter event is essential, let's take a look at three of the best tips you can apply to your store:
- Have a plan
- Give clear instructions
- Get a door security device
Let's have a closer look at each one.
Security Tips for Retailers #1: Have a Plan
When people go into panic mode, they do one of two things:
- Do something stupid that'll get them killed.
- Follow a safety routine that's drilled into their system thanks to training and practice.
Can you guess which one is better?
When you drill your employees on what to do in emergencies, they will know what to do when they arise.
Knowing what to do makes a huge difference. Instead of running around, these employees can save themselves and others as well.
That's why it is critical to have a plan.
One way you can do this is to go through ALICE training in your store.
ALICE - which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate - is a simple acronym to help people remember what to do when in panic mode.
You may also train your employees on the FBI's Run, Hide, Fight protocol.
According to the FBI, during an active shooter event, the best thing you can do is to run to safety.
Retailers should know that the farther away they are from the shooter, the safer they will be.
However, this does not mean that you should just run anywhere.
If you are unsure where the risk is, DO NOT run randomly. Only run to a place you KNOW is safe.
If you don't know where the shooter is, one of the better practices is to hide instead.
Find a safe place that's secure and closed off.
For most retailers, this will be the employee backroom.
Once you're in there, barricading the door is one of the best practices when you are in “hide” mode.
A good and sturdy door security device will enable retailers to safely protect themselves, their employees, and any customer in their store.
Hiding away until law enforcement arrives is a very safe way to deal with active shooting events.
If you're cornered...
… If you have your back against the wall and the shooter coming towards you...
… Your last resort is to fight.
Note, this is the absolute LAST option.
Retailers will be a lot safer if they choose to run or hide instead.
But if there's nothing else you can do, don't wait to be the next victim! Take the criminal head-on and fight back!
Security Tips for Retailers #2: Have Clear Instructions
It's one thing to have official safety protocols, and it's quite another to enforce it.
Make sure your business is proactive in training employees on the best practices for active shooters.
Another great thing is to have leaflets around the office on your lockdown procedure. This way, anyone on the spot during the incident will know how to protect themselves effectively.
Security Tips for Retailers #3: Get a Door Security Device
We already mentioned this above, but we can't stress it enough.
There is only so much retailers can do to protect their business during shooting events.
But one small thing that can make all the difference is having a door security device like the Rampart around.
With it, retailers can easily go into their back room and secure themselves there.
The Rampart is super easy to use, and takes only 2 seconds to set up.
This way, everyone can stay safe until law enforcement arrives on the scene to take care of the situation.
The Rampart: Your Best Protection in Times of Distress
Nobody knows what the future holds.
The only thing we can do is to prepare for it and take loss prevention actions.
One of the best ways you can do this for your business is to grab a door security bar that you know won't let you down: the Rampart.
Proudly manufactured in the USA from the highest quality materials, the Rampart is able to withstand up to 650 lbs of force.
So even if the intruder attempts to kick down your door, he won't be able to get in!
For more information on how you can get the Rampart for your retail business, visit our retail solutions page!Retail Solutions Buy the Rampart