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Safety & Security Measures at a Sporting Event

If your calendar is already marked with the starting dates for the FIFA World Cup, the Winter Olympics and Paralympics, the Ice Hockey World Championship, or the Rugby League World Cup, or you are eager to attend a local high school athletic event, one of your main concerns or curiosities might be related to event security. What are the security protocols for the major or minor sports events? What are the associated risks? What do organizers do to improve access control? Do they work with off-duty police forces, professional security and locksmiths, and advanced security equipment? Let's find out!

Security at School Sporting Events

Unfortunately, there is a constantly growing number of violent incidents reported in US schools, campuses, and stadiums. The list of common school sporting event incidents oftentimes includes a series of shooting and stabbing attacks, riots, and assaults. Without a doubt, there is an increased need for better precautionary guidelines and practical solutions throughout the nation, along with enhanced communications from security and school officials.  With advanced security technologies in place and a sufficient number of surveillance staff members, small, mid-sized, and even larger school athletic events could run with zero incidents. The careful planning of the best security assessments and strategies together with flawless emergency plans are also mandatory for a successful sports event in the community. Here are a few essential steps all sporting event security plans should include:

Determine the Risks Associated With Your Eventsports event security crowd

Depending on the size and type of game day sports event, organizers need to carefully assess all the safety risks, hazards, and potential threats and tackle each of them individually. A high school or middle school game will usually attract a smaller number of participants. It will also incur fewer rivalries that may lead to unwanted incidents. This makes them “low safety risk” types of events that do not present any significant security concerns.  An important high school basketball or soccer game or tournament, on the other hand, will attract a larger and more passionate crowd, spark more heated competition and, therefore, ask for increased security measures. Ranging from decreased mobility and visibility to a large gathering of spectators usually by the thousands, the risk of gang members being present, or drug and alcohol consumption during the event because of poor adult supervision, there are numerous associated risks. Similarly, getting access to larger areas including the stadium, parking lot, school gyms with unattended locker rooms, or the school building if the exit doors are improperly secured with quality locks are additional risks worth mentioning here.

Nationwide and global sporting events also belong to the same category of high-risk events for similar reasons. Plus, the participation of officials, important public figures, NBA superstars, and other world-famous athletes, teams, and their staff force organizers to take even more precautionary measures to prevent security breaches.

Hire Professional Locksmiths & Security Companies

Expert locksmiths that specialize in commercial solutions and advanced security companies are faced with one-of-a-kind challenges when asked to join forces for a sporting event. Keeping all the attendees of a stadium safe asks for a lot of dedication from a variety of people, ranging from high-tech experts that can recommend, install, and maintain the most suitable surveillance cameras and gear to field officers, inspection guards, entrance screeners, dedicated commercial locksmiths that can install temporary gate locks, exit door handles, or digital locks for restricted access to certain areas. Digital technology and even criminal psychology experts are all part of the powerful teams that will determine the way an organization will handle, manage, and prevent significant threats during the event.

sporting event securityInvest in Advanced Security Equipment

While security is critical for any organization getting ready for an upcoming small, local or massive, global sporting event, there is also a fine line between the need to implement the most advanced security technologies and the need to protect human rights. While body scanners and other similarly invasive pieces of security equipment may be extremely helpful for securing the perimeter of sports events, privacy advocates will often times frown upon them. Nonetheless, given the increased risk of terrorist attacks, modern-day stadiums need to rely on advanced security solutions. Handheld tools for instant X-rays machines, walkthrough metal detectors, security drones, CCTV systems that can detect intruders, and even algorithms that can monitor the event's social media are robust security equipment items all major sporting events should be able to rely on. Without a doubt, all stadium security measures should correctly adapt to the reality of both big and small threats.

Maintain the Premises Secured and Locked Prior, During & After Game-Day

A large stadium or sports event venue consisting of several layers will require different security measures for each of the operating zones. The efficiency of these measures will determine the speed at which event attendees will be able to exit the premises in case of emergency, as well as the speed at which the law enforcement officers will be able to get in. With the help of proper surveillance CCTV systems, advanced gear, and foot patrol, the most vulnerable areas can be protected against direct threats.

Venues getting ready to host sports events require state-of-the-art master lock and key systems or digital locks for advanced access control prior to, during, and at the end of the games. It is also necessary to develop an evacuation plan based on the sections inside the stadium, the venue's capacity to host attendees in case of an attack, and the locations of all security staff members in order to prevent dangerous stampede incidents.

Final Thoughts

Local and international sports events require a lot of planning, security assessments, and the deployment of the best technologies, practices, and people in the security industry for a zero-incident game-day. Cooperation with security forces, expert locksmiths, and security companies, the right staff, attentive supervision, and the best emergency plans could all help identify and minimize the risks and guarantee a safe and well-organized sports event.