For many shopping mall administration teams, controlling the substantial rise in-store traffic during the holidays can be challenging. Making shopping experience pleasing for their visitors, ensuring crowd control, identifying fishy behaviors, and quickly defusing possible incidents are among the foremost priorities of a shopping mall security program.
Even amid the Covid-19 pandemic, a big increase in shopping numbers is still expected during special occasions, if to a lesser extent than in most other years. And it’s not easy to provide security for a crowd of this size. This makes it an ideal time to invest more in the security service of your shopping center and to implement some more security practices to ensure better security. Although threats that shopping mall personnel typically face are not severe, it is still vital that they are trained to take proper conduct in high-risk situations to ensure everyone’s safety.
So, to help you with that, we are sharing five practices to improve the security of shopping malls that you can apply.
Make Sure Shopping Mall Security, As Well As Personnel, Are Properly Trained
All of your shopping mall personnel includes valet staff to staff at information desks and janitorial workers, and even everyone who works at a retail store. These people are obviously, not going to have the security responsibility to the same extent as specialized security personnel has, but they still should have the knowledge of:
- How to move the cash securely
- How to screen the area to look for any threats
- Circumstances in which they should be alarmed and let know the Security staff of potential threats
- How to address visitors’ questions
- How to report suspicious or unusual activities to the mall security team
Have A Strategy For Opening And Closing
Since shopping mall hours are set, it is easy for those with wicked purposes to scale and surveil the mall and its operations, including the arrival and leaving time of the staff and security.
Around Black Friday, it is possible to have a crowd waiting to enter the store at the opening, and it can also become difficult to get people out of the stores at closing. Maintain the times of opening and closing as much as you can, and have employees earlier on-site to ensure preparation for opening. This will allow your staff to settle in, inspect and finish preparing their workspace for the busy day ahead. So when the shopping mall opens, the staff will be mentally prepared to detect potential perpetrators and monitor the crowd.
Also, place security personnel at the entrances to make sure people get in the premises in a safe and orderly manner. And during the closing, visitors should be informed of the closing time in advance and evacuate as quickly as possible. Have clear and bold signs placed on all walkways and doors so visitors can easily find their ways out.
Have Specific Security Procedures Planned For The Busy Season
The craze of the holiday season requires additional security to ensure the safety of visitors, staff, and the mall. This includes going through emergency procedures and equipment protocols. Have a meeting with all of your employees to communicate and discuss vital safety and security issues.
- Make sure there are adequate and operational radios and flashlight
- Review all procedures to report suspicious activity, including visitors who constantly looks at the security camera or stroll the restricted areas
- Take measures to increase the team’s alertness
- Emphasize the importance of rapid emergency response
- In order to keep potential criminals from predicting the patrol routes, plan alternating patrol routes
Deploy Additional Guards
The first line of defense of the shopping mall is the security guards. During the busy season, deploy more additional security guards to patrol the premises if needed. They are more capable of looking out for suspicious activities, and they are also trained to quickly address any security risks.
Bringing more security guards on special occasions will enable your mall’s security team to:
- Patrol the entire mall premise before it is opened to the public
- Have one additional security guard personnel during mall opening hours
- Have two more security patrol guards – one patrolling the common areas of the mall such as parking, washroom, etc., and the position the other at the food court.
- Cast another additional guard for outside patrols and an hourly check of the mechanical rooms and roof door.
- After closing, station guards at the entrance of your shopping mall to make sure no one can re-enter
Focus on high-risk areas
Washrooms are private places, and this nature makes them desirable to potential criminals; therefore, it is important to keep an eye on the washrooms.
Garbage bins are also high-risk areas as they can be potential storage for stolen goods, suspicious packages, weapons, and explosives. To prevent criminals from using garbage bin for their purposes:
- Use clear plastic bags for they are easy to search
- Have security guards visually check waste containers for any criminal packages
- Empty all waste bins prior to closing time
Underground parking and other parking structures also should be monitored closely by the shopping mall security team.
These five important security tips can help you increase the shopping mall security during the special season. However, there is still a lot more you can do to ensure better security for shopping mall.
You should put these tips into practice very seriously, and you should also make sure that your teams are well-informed and following the practices.