4 Ways to Step Up Security at Holiday Events

As the holiday season approaches, your organization is likely gearing up for Christmas programs and other seasonal activities. These events tend to draw a lot of nonmembers, and while it's important to make guests feel welcome, you don't want to roll out the welcome mat for thieves.

The best way to prevent theft is to include security in your event-planning conversations, says Tom Strong, senior loss control manager at GuideOne Insurance. "Preparation is key," Strong says. "If you have a plan to control the situation, there will be a better outcome." Assemble and train a team of trustworthy volunteers, then put the following security safeguards in place:

1. Establish a presence. Strong recommends that volunteers wear matching T-shirts in an eye-catching color so attendees will know who to ask for help – and so potential thieves will know they're being watched. "Physical presence is a big deterrent," Strong says.

2. Watch the doors. Only unlock entrances you know you'll use. When you're carrying items in and out of the building before and after the event, have a volunteer monitor the door to prevent someone from sneaking in. Make sure the building is locked when you leave.

3. Call attention to approved areas. Close off and lock up areas of the building that are off-limits, and "use signage to point guests in the right direction," Strong says. Assign a volunteer to monitor the building during the event in case someone gets lost or ventures where they shouldn't be.

4. Secure valuables. Collect money in tamper-proof bags, and deposit or lock up cash immediately after the event based on your organization's money-handling procedures.

Taking these precautions will help ensure your holiday events are as joyful as you intended for everyone involved – the event planners, volunteers and attendees.

Filed under Nonprofit Religious Organizations Small Business
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© 2022 The GuideOne Center for Risk Management, LLC. All rights reserved. This material is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to give specific legal or risk management advice, nor are any suggested checklists or action plans intended to include or address all possible risk management exposures or solutions. You are encouraged to retain your own expert consultants and legal advisors in order to develop a risk management plan specific to your own activities.