Hot Tempers – Security On How To Diffuse An Angry Visitor

Diffusing Conflict

As the temperature heats up so do tempers. And when you add to that the increase in drinking during the summer months, security teams need to have a plan on how to diffuse conflict. In addition to how you secure the property, it is key to secure the reputation of the business, so remember that finding a conflict resolution is more important than pointing out that the disruptor is wrong. Here are a few tips we have learned over the years to diffuse a visitor to your store or business who is acting out in anger:

  1. If either person is being physical, contact authorities first. You may need the backup. Also move everyone else away from the aggression if possible.
  2. If the person is angry because you or your employee are wrong, quickly admit it. Take responsibility. Ask them what you can do to make up for the error. Even if you’re not wrong, give the person the benefit of the doubt for their misunderstanding. If there is some consideration or way you can improve their experience make it happen.
  3. Do not allow the person to be verbally abusive to you or your customers. Firmly, but calmly state that “You are very angry and I think you are saying things that you don’t mean and you are disturbing our other visitors with your words”. Then ask them to leave. If they refuse, contact authorities.
  4. Remain calm and respectful. Don’t meet conflict with conflict. The best way to de-escalate a situation is speak slowly and calmly and ask the question “Can I help?” and then just listen. Be respectful and don’t interrupt. Let them voice their feelings. Then if possible, repeat back to them what you heard them say, not to validate their opinion, but to make sure you understand their point of view.
  5. Never say “you’re wrong to an angry person.” In fact, imagine yourself in their shoes and give them the same respect you would give a good friend. Try hard to look for areas of agreement and build on them. Remember that agreement, is your objective, not determining wrong and right.
  6. Ask an objective witness how the conflict began. Ask the question “Do you know why he/she is so upset?”. Many times even the store clerk or bartender can explain the anger, but does not have a solution to the problem. Words like “I understand why you are angry, it sounds like you did not know their closing hours when you ordered”. Then you can help them resolve the conflict by vocalizing both of their concerns and showing that everyone is being reasonable.
  7. State your policy at the property. There should be a noise or conflict policy that authorizes you enforce conflicts when they threaten the peace and safety of the people on your property. If an employee feels threatened, you have the right to ask the person to leave. Provide them the information to file a complaint putting them back in control and giving them an alternative that they perceive as power.
  8. If you feel anger is escalating, walk the parties away from any crowds to discuss their needs. The more people that get involved with the conflict the less you will be able to control the situation. If they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs it can get very loud and confrontational so you want to move to a place where there are fewer people should the angry person act out. Remember your first responsibility is to keep the public safe.
  9. Contact authorities. If the person is just being noisy and refuses to hold it down or be reasonable, let them know you are contacting authorities. Be firm that it is your company’s policy and you must comply. Most people, particularly those that are under the influence want to avoid police contact. If there are two or more of you, that person should let authorities know that you are experiencing a conflict and need their help. Nothing breaks up a conflict faster than the local police.
  10. Write down the incident and details of what occurred and what was said. Make sure that you document everything in case you are asked to explain it to your employer or a court later.

South Bay Security is the local security authority of the South Bay providing patrolling, security and safety programs for residents and businesses in cities from El Segundo to Long Beach. Their experience has helped their staff diffuse many difficult security situations. They specialize in protecting their clients’ properties, while upholding the respect and dignity of their clients and their employees, as well as the public.  For more information on their mobile security or full service, contact them at 310-539-3505 or by email. Set up a time to review your security needs and address concerns. South Bay Security is located in the Rolling Hills Plaza where they also provide the security, as well as at many other South Bay locations. Visit their website at: southbaysecurity.com.

How To Handle a Lost Child At Your Business

Children get lost every day. So, chances are that eventually it will happen at your business or event. Here’s some tips to help train your staff to handle a lost child and how to deal with parents missing their child:

If you find a lost child:

1. Get involved if you see a child who appears to be lost, approach them and ask if you can help them find their parents.

2. Wait with the child until help arrives.

3. Comfort the child but avoid physically touching him or her. Offer to call their parents or to help find them.

4. Ask the child if he or she knows the location his or her parent/guardian. Ask if they have a cell phone number of their parents or another friend.

5. Give the child something to do that will help them take their mind off their missing parents (coloring or reading book, pens and paper, TV or a video or cartoon).

6. Remain in the immediate location, and do not take the child elsewhere. Do not place the child in your vehicle and drive to a different location to seek help.

7. Alert mall security and or police to report the child is found.

8. Do not let anyone remove the child without proving they are the child’s guardian with a photo ID (take a copy) and confirm with the child that the person is their parent or guardian.

Child found at mallParents reporting a lost child:

1. If a parents reports a lost child, immediately ask your staff to help find them within your establishment. Quickly check any dangerous areas of your workplace (near appliances, a pool, sauna, roof or height access).

2. Keep the parent calm and let them know the steps you have in place to help them locate their child.

3. Ask the parents to provide a recent photo or description of what the child looks like and/or what they are wearing.

3. Contact local security and the local police with the description as soon as possible.

4. Ask the parent if the child has a cell phone and/or if they have the phone accessible through find my phone technology. Ask if they had a plan with the child on where to regroup at your location.

5. Suggest the parent or a contact go to their car and monitor it as the child may try to return to the car.  Alert your garage security to be on watch for them.

6. See if you can network with other shops or neighbors who can help find the child or look within their premises.

South Bay Security is the local security authority of the South Bay providing patrolling, security and safety programs for residents and businesses in cities from El Segundo to Long Beach. They specialize in protecting their clients’ properties, while upholding the respect and dignity of their clients and their employees, as well as the public.  For more information on their mobile security or full service, contact them at 310-539-3505 or by email. Set up a time to review your security needs and address concerns. South Bay Security is located in the Rolling Hills Plaza where they also provide the security, as well as at many other South Bay locations. Visit their website at: southbaysecurity.com.

Security Tips: Suspicious Package, Explosion or Bomb Threat

A suspicious-looking box, package, object or container in or near your work area may be a bomb or explosive material. Or a bomb sound or explosion goes off while you are at work, what do you do? Here are a few tips to help your staff prepare for either situation:

If There Is A Suspicious Package:

  1. Do not handle or touch the object.
  2. Move to a safe area and call 911 immediately.
  3. Evacuate anyone in the vacinity of the package.
  4. Use a telephone in a safe area.
  5. Do not operate any power switch and do not activate the fire alarm.

If There Is An Explosion:

  1. Take cover under sturdy furniture, or leave the building you cannot reach 911 for advice.
  2. From a separate space, Dial 911 and do as advised.
  3. Stay away from windows.
  4. Assume there may be another device.
  5. Direct customers and employees to evacuate if indicated by responders or 911.
  6. Keep everyone calm, speak in a confident voice to avoid panic.
  7. Do not light matches.
  8. Move well away from the site of the hazard to a safe location.
  9. Use stairs only; do not use elevators.

If You Receive A Bomb Threat:

  1. Call 911 and follow their advice.
  2. Stay calm and try to keep your voice calm.
  3. Pay close attention to details. Talk to the caller to obtain as much information as possible, listen to any background conversation or noise.
  4. Take notes on all you hear and any nams. Ask questions if possible.
  5. Evacuate ASAP.

If you are told by emergency responders to evacuate the building, follow the evacuation tips above with the following additional steps:

  1. Check your work area for unfamiliar items. Do not touch suspicious items; report them to campus authorities.
  2. Take personal belongings when you leave only if not urgent-get out!
  3. Leave doors and windows open; do not turn light switches on or off.
  4. Use stairs only; do not use elevators.
  5. Move well away from the building and follow instructions of emergency responders.
  6. Determine with 911 if you should lock the doors.

South Bay Security is the local security authority of the South Bay providing patrolling, security and safety programs for residents and businesses in cities from El Segundo to Long Beach. Our security guards are trained for emergencies.  We specialize in protecting property, while upholding the respect and dignity of your clients, employees and the public.  For more information on our mobile security or full service, contact us at 310-539-3505 or by email. Set up a time to review your security needs. South Bay Security is located in the Rolling Hills Plaza where we also provide the security. Visit their website at: southbaysecurity.com.

5 Tips to Handle Heated Crowds Better Than United Airlines

conflict without violence

More and more we are seeing confrontations at businesses, malls, in traffic, and on the streets. Often the key in handling them without hurting your company reputation is to listen— particularly to your customers. Imagine if United Airlines had listened to the first person who asked them to not eject a customer from their flight. The situation could have been handled so much better by acknowledging they had a point and finding another solution. Here are a few steps your company can take to make sure that your team does better.

  1. Stop and listen to your customer and the public’s concerns.
  2. Find another alternative and seek a win-win solution.
  3. Sometimes an objective observer can find a better solution. In the case of United Airlines and the person they ejected from their seat, it would have been better to explain their crew shortage honestly and offer more money for a ticket.
  4. Offer empathy. Listen to the complaint and repeat it back to them in an empathetic and understanding way. As you do so, actually pretend it was you or someone you care about with the complaint and you will likely find a solution that addresses their concerns. Most times we just want to feel heard.
  5. Teach your staff when to contact a manager especially if something is escalating at your property.
  6. Give your staff the authority to solve problems on the front line and make company policy clear on when it’s okay to be physical (imminent danger) or not.
  7. Express your concerns so that onlookers can hear and understand your issues and observer your company being professional, reasonable and helpful. If they only hear from the person complaining your company looks like the problem.
  8. Always try to resolve issues verbally and be friendly and professional-never physically.
  9. Respectful conversation trumps aggression every time. It calms everyone and the company looks better.

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South Bay Security is the local security authority of the South Bay providing patrolling, security and safety programs for residents and businesses in cities from El Segundo to Long Beach. They specialize in protecting their clients’ properties, while upholding the respect and dignity of their clients and their employees, as well as the public.  For more information on their mobile security or full service, contact them at 310-539-3505 or by email. Set up a time to review your security needs and address concerns. South Bay Security is located in the Rolling Hills Plaza where they also provide the security, as well as at many other South Bay locations. Visit their website at: southbaysecurity.com.

Crowd Control Tips for Events

How can you be sure your next event is safe and under control? Southbay Security has some tips for you and of course we can help if you need security for your next event. The best experience for your company is a safe experience for your attendees; which means that keeping crowds in control creates a successful event and public relations.

  • Make sure your team knows what to do in the case of fire, fights, burglary or violence.
  • Have a rapid notification system. Arm your staff with the right phone numbers, text numbers, Twitter or Facebook message or police response team contact to get help ASAP. Use technology to get the word out for a safe exit.
  • Keep everyone calm. Any time there is a crowd they can get riled up based on politics, comments, and peer pressure. So train your staff to take a deep breath and calm the group down as much as possible.
  • Do an event briefing alerting your staff to the hour by hour agenda so they can be prepared & not surprised.
  • Do a follow-up and ask your team to improve your plan over time.
  • Before & during your event, ask your staff what they would do in the event of a shooter, fire, fight, or other actions that happen in a crowd. Educate them.
  • Have a team plan to get resources where they need to be in minutes.
  • Keep your team in touch with each other. Remember that when there are crowds, there is confusion and some criminals know how to work it. Make sure someone is assigned to your front desk or cash register and your inventory. By assigning responsibility to keep an eye on those at all times, distraction techniques will not work.
  • Shut down any aggressive behavior right away. It has a way of accelerating if you do not make your rules clear and provide physical support to enforce those rules if people choose to ignore your rules. Don’t hesitate to call in the authorities. Make sure they know about your event in advance.
  • Remember that the area outside your venue is also your concern. If your crowd expands to the sidewalks and the property of others, you can be held liable. Don’t let that happen, make sure you have security to monitor outside your venue.
  • Have adequate, trained staff during and after events. If your event ends at 5pm, do not abandon your employees or property until that crowd disburses. Don’t try to save an hour of security cost and end up paying for injured attendees, broken windows, or damaged property.

Crowd Security

South Bay Security is the local security authority of the South Bay providing patrolling, security and safety programs for residents and businesses in cities from El Segundo to Long Beach. They specialize in protecting their clients’ properties, while upholding the respect and dignity of their clients and their employees, as well as the public.  For more information on their mobile security or full service, contact them at 310-539-3505 or by email. Set up a time to review your security needs and address concerns. South Bay Security is located in the Rolling Hills Plaza where they also provide the security, as well as at many other South Bay locations. Visit their website at: southbaysecurity.com.