Michael Fenton, GardaWorld security consultant with more than 40 years of experience and over 100 security risk assessments performed, shares tips to protect your stores and properties from post-NHL games riots.
Riots after sports games are not new. From Vancouver to Montreal, every city has experienced some sort of violent demonstrations from disappointed fans following the defeat of their favourite team. Particularly after NHL playoffs games.
Depending on the proximity of your store(s) to previous sensitive areas or to a sports facility hosting an important match, the severity of damage during previous riots, the overall security of your store and the value of your merchandise, you should consider taking some if not all the following precautions:
1. Check with your insurance company to ensure that damages/losses due to civic disturbances are covered by your insurance.
2. Consider your safety and the safety of your staff. If you plan on staying in the store, develop an escape plan or devise a safe shelter on-site to avoid confronting the rioters.
3. Drawing from our expertise, a better alternative to # 2 is to remove all inventory, computers, and valuable materials from sight on game days and, deploy two or more guards in the store. If possible, close before the end of the game.
4. Leave all interior and exterior lighting on.
5. Remove all goods and props from windows including mannequins as they are often seen by vandals as “trophies”.
6. Leave all cash registers open or remove them. Vandals will break open valuable cash registers even if they expect them to be empty.
7. Hide or preferably remove credit card machines. Vandals will either damage it, steal it or replace it with one of their own to capture transaction data.
8. Consider turning off the water to prevent vandals from for example plugging sinks and leaving the taps turned on.
Note: Do not turn off the water supply to any on-site/in-store fire sprinklers or on-site stand pipe or fire hydrants.
9. Remove anything from the store that vandals could find useful such as paint, flammable liquids or tools like sledge hammers, etc.
The race for the Stanley Cup is still running. Many deciding games are still to come and you should be very careful if you consider your commercial building to be at risk in case riots were to occur.
If you need specific recommendations about protecting your properties from post-NHL games, contact us today.