Security Planning For Bars And Nightclubs

Author: Brian Karas, Published on Jun 16, 2016

The shooting at Orlando's Pulse nightclub is raising questions among entertainment venue owners, and security professionals, about how to balance security at safety at these locations.

Inside, we provide suggestions and recommendations specific to these kinds of businesses, based on discussions we had with security consultants .

*** ******** ** *******'* ***** ********* ** ******* ********* ***** entertainment ***** ******, *** ******** *************, ***** *** ** ******* security ** ****** ** ***** *********.

******, ** ******* *********** *** *************** ******** ** ***** ***** of **********, ***** ** *********** ** *** **** ******** *********** .

[***************]

*******

**** *** ******** * ****** ********* ************** *** *** ********* key ***** **** *** ****** ** **** ** ***** *********:

  • ********* *** ***********, *** **********
  • ********* ** ******** ****** ******* ****
  • ******** ********
  • ********** ** *******
  • ******* **** ********* ********
  • ****** ***** ******
  • ******** ******** *****
  • ***** ****** **********
  • ****** **** *********

Situations *** *** ***********, *** **** *** **********

****** ******* ********** *** ******** ********** ************* *** *************. ** is ********** ** **** *** ******* **** ** ** * particular ******** **** ** ********.

***** *** ** ***** ** ****** *** ****** ** ** active *******, *** ** ****** ******** ********** ** ** ********** in ***** ******.

Active ******* **** - ********* ** ********

** * ***/*********, ********* *** ******** ** ** ****** ******** with *** ********, *** **** **** ** ******** *************** **** a ******** ****, ****** * ******** **** ** * ******** where ********* **** ****** **** ******* ******** ******. **** **** likely ****** ** ******* ***** *** *********, **** ********* *** employees ********** ** * ******** *****.

***** ****** ** ******* ******, *** ***** ***** ****** ** designed ** ******** ********* ** ** ****** *** ***** **** could ******* ****** **** ******* ******.

********* ******** ***** *** ****** ******* ******** **** ****** ****** minimum ************ *** **** *****. ***** ****** ***** ** ** many ***** ** ********, ******** ***** ******* ***** ****** ********* in *** **** ******** *** ******** *** **** *********.

******* ****** *** ****** ** ****, ** ********. **** ************* spaces **** ***** **** ********* **** ******* ********* *** ******* to **** *****. ***** *********, ** ********** ******** *** ** used ** ***** ** **** ********** *** **** ********* ****** to **** ***** ** **** ****** ***** ** ****.

Employee ********

"***, **** *****" ** ************** ** ****** ****** ******* *****, ***** ******* ** ****/********** ** ****. ********* ****** ** trained ** **** ** *********** ** ********.

********* ****** ** ******* ** ********* *** *********** ** * shooter. ***** ** *** **** **** *** ******** ** * shooter ***** ** *********** *******, **** *****, * ***** ***** of ******, *** ******* ******** *** **** ******** **** ******* at *****.

* ****** **** * ****** ** ***** **** *** **** multiple ****** ** *** **** **********. ********* ****** ** ** constant ***** *** *** ****** **** ****** *** ******** ******* of ****** *****, ** *** ****** ******** *** ******** ****** business ***** **** ***** ** ** ****** ** ******* ******** in *** ******, **********, ** ******* ** ** ***** *** a ****** ***** **** ****** *********. ************ ** ********* ****** be ******** ** *** ******* ** *****.

****** ****** ****** ** ********* **** *********, *** ** *********** with ***** ******, ** * ********* ******* ** **** *** nightclub ** ** *********.

******* ******** *** **** ***-****** ****** (******, ***.) **** ***** and ******** ** ****** ****** ** *********** ********* **** *** gunshots **** ***** *** **** ** *** ***********.

********* ****** **** ** ******* ** ***** ***** ******* ** help ****** ****** ******* *** *****.

Responding ** *******

************ *** ******* ****** ** **** ** ***** *** ***********.

******** ********* *** ** ****** ******* *** *** *******, *** should ****** ******* ** ****** **** ******** **** ** ******** if **** *** ** **.

** **** ***** ***** **** ******* *** *** ********* ******** personnel **** ****** ********, *** ********* *** ******** ** ** trained ** ****** ** ****** *******. *** ***** *******, ********* should ** *******, *** ********, **** ** **** *** ******** or **** * ******** ****** ********.

Dealing **** ********* ******** *** *******

********* **** **** ******* ******* ******** ***/** ******** ******* **** strobe ****** ** ****** *** **** ******* **** ******** ***** challenging.

*** ***** **** ***** **** ****** ** ************ *** **** overcome ****** **** ****** ******:

******** ****** ** ** ********** *** **** ** ******** ** areas **** ** *****/**** *********, ******** *****, ******/*********, ** ***** locations ***** "***** *****" ***** ******** ** *** *********. **** will **** ****** **** *** ***** **** ** ****** ***** of ******** ** ****** *** **** ******** ** ***** ***** in *****.

Camera ********* *********

*** ** *** ****** ** ************* ******, ***** ***** ** the ******** **** **** * **** ****** ******* ** ****** than * **** ****** ********** ** ****** ***. *** **** reason, ******** ******* *** ** ******** ** ** **** ** see **** ************ ***** ** ************ ******* ***********.

*****-****** *** *** ******/******* ******* *** ** ***** *** ***** locations.

******* ****** ** ****** ** *** ***** ***** ** ******* entering *** *****, *** ** **** ********* ** ******** ****/** a ****** **** *** ******* ***** ****.

*********** ******* ***** ********* ******* *******/******** ** ******* ******** *** *************.

Remote ***** ******

*** ******* *** ****** *** ***** ********** ** ** **** to **** *** ******** ** * ***** ****** ** ***** can ** ********. ****** ******* ** ***** ********* ****** ** configured *** *******-***** ****** ****** (** ********* *** **** *** special *******/**** *** ******* *****).

****** ****** ************ ****** ** ****** ********* ** ****** *********, and ** ***** *** ****** *** ***** *** ** ****** video ******** ****** ** ***-**** ** *** ****, ** **** the **** ****** *** *** ******** *** ** ****** ***** is *** ****** ****** ****** ** *****.

Securing ******** *****

*** **** ****** ** *** *** ** *********** ******* **** the ***** *********** *****, * ******* *** **** **** ** the ***** ******* ** *** *******, ** **** ***-***. *** this ****** ** *** ** ********* ** **** *** ****** large ******** ** ***** ****** ** ****** ********.

** ***** ** ****** **** ******** ***** ** *** ************ lost ** **********, ***** ****** ****** ** **** ** ******** trained *********** *** ***** *********. ** *** ***** *****/******* ** not *********** **** **** *******, **** ********** ********** *** ********** that ******** *** ********* *** ******, ** ******** *** ************ of *** ******* ********/****** *** ****** ********.

Using ****** **********

****** ***** ********** ******* *** ** * ******** ******** ** attack/hostage ******, *** ********* **** ** ******* ** *** ** the ****** *** **** **** * ********** ******* *** ******* access ** **** ***** *****.

*** ********** ***** *** ***** ******** *********** ** ****** *** first ********** ** ********* ****** *** ***** *** ****** ** do **.

********* *** ****** ********** ***** **** ** ** *********** ** advance, *** *** ********** ****** ***** ****** **** ** *** incident ************ *******, ***** *** ** ** ****** ** * panic ****** **** ** ********** ** ****** *** ********** ******** of ** ********* ********.

Common **** *********

*** **** ** *** **** *** *** ******** * ******** guide ********** *** ********* ******, ***** ****** ******* ******* ******* ** ********* ********.

**** *********** **** *** *****:

  • ** ** *********** **** ******** ****** ** ****** ********** *** establishment *** *** **** ** *** ****.
  • ** ***** ********* *** ****, ***** ****** ****** *** ***’** in ********** **** ************* ******. ***’*, **’*, *********, **********, ***. should *** ******* ******* ********* *** ****** ******** ** ***’**.
  • ******** ****** ****** ** ******* ** ********** ** **-******** ********* violent ********** *** ********* **********.
  • *** *** ** ** ******** ******** ** ******** ***********. ***** they ** *** ****** ***** **’* ***** **** ** ******* individual *** *** **** ********* ** ********* **** **’*, **** are ********* ******* ** ********* *** ** ******** *** *************.
  • **** ************* ****** **** * ****** ****** *** ****** ** it. (**** *** **** **** ** *** ** ********, ** all **** *** ********, ** ****** ******** *** *********, ** everyone ** ********.) **** ******* **** **** *******, *** ******** Commander *** *** ******** **** **** * ***** ** **** if *** ********* **** **** ******** *** ****, ** ******** was *****.
  • ** ** *********** **** ******** ******* *** ********** ******* ******* be ******* ** ***** ** *** ************* (**** ****** *** outside), ** *** ***** ***** *** ******* *** ******** *****
  • ****** **** ****** ** ******** ****** *** ******* *** ************* are ********** *** *********** ** ********.

* ******** ********** *** *********** ** ********** *** **** ******* a***** ** *** ********.

Comments (7)

NYC recommends *digital* cameras? Interesting.

Although it would slow down entry times, consideration could also be given to the use of an airlock system after pat down searching, operated from the inside and with BR glazing on the inner door. Unfortunately large queue's outside of public venues will remain vulnerable, although as stand-off detection technologies such as MiRTLE continue to mature they may provide a partial solution.

Obviously this level of mitigation comes at a price, both financially and operationally, but short of radical changes in US gun control (which will likely never happen) is the only real means of prevention.

Although it would slow down entry times, consideration could also be given to the use of an airlock system after pat down searching, operated from the inside and with BR glazing on the inner door.

Agreed, and I had some discussions around concepts like this, as well as separating the queue area at the door from the parking area by a large distance.

I also debated about adding a section on screening incoming guests through disguised metal detectors and other tactics that can be used by security personnel to do additional screening.

However, if you take security to this level it has a negative impact on people wanting to go to the club. There are certainly places in the world that airport-grade screening at a nightclub might not seem off-putting, but based on my own experiences in the US, UK, AUS, Caribbean, Macau, and Japan I think that using these kinds of tactics would be over the top and would drive customers away.

This report was meant to be a set of guidelines for the typical nightclub/bar, where the odds of anything happening are extremely low, but taking some precautionary measures can reduce the chances of being caught off-guard, and can reduce overall casualties.

I have to state very frankly, any professional who is still teaching Run Hide Fight (RHF) tactic as the best response in an active shooter situation should be fired. That tactic has been promoted as a one-side-fits-all solution and definitely is the wrong tactic in a crowded nighthclub/bar. I'm emphatic because real human lives are at stake.

RHF didn't work for any of the other mass shootings in the US or overseas. Historically, the evidence shows that mass killers stop killing when they are confronted by resistance (e.g. armed police or armed citizen). In the vast majority of those cases, the killer either was captured, killed, or commits suicide. In all cases, the killer no longer kills innocent people.

Isn't that the primary goal, to save lives as quickly as possible? At the Orlando club, the shooting started at 2:02am and the police tactical team didn't enter the building until 5:05am. Playing Hide and Seek with a shooter is not a wise game to play. If more of the club security personnel (besides just one single off duty officer) had been armed and trained, 49 people might still be alive.

Mass killers target 'gun free zones', soft targets, places where the likelihood of someone actually returning fire is extremely low. Mass killers fear failure. Ever notice you never see a mass killer walk in and attack a police station? The response active killers don't expect, is an armed person shooting back at them.

New York Nightlife's recommendations are pretty generic (dated 2011), though if a nightclub owner had no idea how to approach security, this is a good starting point. They recommended clubs to "consider the installation of a hard-wired (land-line) pulse dial analog telephone which will function during power failures." Not sure about NYC but many phone companies in California are removing their aging copper infrastructure and installing fiber to the house/business. Copper lines just are not being offered much anymore.

In summary (I'm sorry this was so long, I didn't intend to write an entire article!), we as a society need to recognize that teaching things like RHF to the general public is setting them up for failure. And in the case of active killers, that could mean death. Some recent articles not in favor of RHF are: “Run, Hide, Fight?”- Not Always the Best Active Killer Response and Why 'Run, Hide, Fight' is flawed

This is not just my opinion as a former military weapons instructor (7 years) and current firearms instructor (NRA and DoJ), but coincidentally, advice against the RHF tactic was recently presented just this month by my local police department at our neighborhood watch meeting.

Now...on a positive note;

the IPVM demonstration of how IR illuminators can overcome the effects of strobe lights in video images was excellent! Thank you for conceiving such a test, and sharing the results with us. Great job!

Did I just lose my IPVM membership over this post? :)

RHF didn't work for any of the other mass shootings in the US or overseas. Historically, the evidence shows that mass killers stop killing when they are confronted by resistance (e.g. armed police or armed citizen). In the vast majority of those cases, the killer either was captured, killed, or commits suicide. In all cases, the killer no longer kills innocent people.

I would tend to agree with "evidence shows that mass killers stop killing when they are confronted by resistance", but I would also say the average bar/nightclub employee, even one who is performing a security function, is not going to be well trained (or equipped) to neutralize a shooter.

You seem to disagree with RHF as it is referenced here, which is part of the "Employee Training" section, recommending that employees be trained to Run first, then hide if they can't exit, and lastly fight if left with no other option.

What is your alternative recommendation? You did not make that clear in your post. Are you suggesting bar/nightclub employees go direct to "fight" and attempt to engage/neutralize the shooter? If so, how?

RHF didn't work for any of the other mass shootings in the US or overseas. Historically, the evidence shows that mass killers stop killing when they are confronted by resistance (e.g. armed police or armed citizen). In the vast majority of those cases, the killer either was captured, killed, or commits suicide. In all cases, the killer no longer kills innocent people.

Maybe it should be changed to Run, Hide, Fight unless you have a gun.

Example of a person who actively intervened and stopped a shooter. Guy's a hero:

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Mobile Surveillance Trailers Guide on Jan 17, 2019
Putting cameras in a place for temporary surveillance where power and communications are not readily available can be complicated and expensive....
Testing Bandwidth Vs. Low Light on Jan 16, 2019
Nighttime bandwidth spikes are a major concern in video surveillance. Many calculate bandwidth as a single 24/7 number, but bit rates vary...
Access Control Records Maintenance Guide on Jan 16, 2019
Weeding out old entries, turning off unused credentials, and updating who carries which credentials is as important as to maintaining security as...
The False SCMP Story on Hikvision NYC AI on Jan 14, 2019
In the past week, one of Asia's largest publications, the South China Morning Post (SCMP), posted an article about "Chinese [facial recognition]...
Winter 2019 IP Networking Course on Jan 10, 2019
Today is the last day to register for the Winter 2019 IP Networking course. This is the only networking course designed specifically for video...
NTP / Network Time Guide For Video Surveillance on Jan 10, 2019
Inaccurate time can lead to missing or inadmissible video, yet this topic is often overlooked, with cameras and servers left defaulted,...
Managed Video Services UL 827B Examined on Jan 09, 2019
Historically, UL listings for central stations have been important, with UL 827 having widespread support. However, few central stations have...
UK: Private Video Surveillance Complaints Down Since GDPR on Jan 09, 2019
The arrival of the GDPR on May 25, 2018, brought fears the law would spark a massive increase in privacy complaints about security camera use....
Struggling ASCMA / Brinks Home Security Gets Stock Delisting Warning on Jan 08, 2019
Struggling Ascent Capital Group (NASDAQ: ASCMA) has disclosed a warning from NASDAQ that ASCMA faced delisting unless they reverse their downward...
2019 Video Surveillance Cameras Overview on Jan 07, 2019
Each year, IPVM summarizes the main advances and changes for video surveillance cameras, based on our industry-leading testing and...

Most Recent Industry Reports

The IP Camera Lock-In Trend: Meraki and Verkada on Jan 18, 2019
Open systems and interoperability have not only been big buzzwords over the past decade, but they have also become core features of video...
NYPD Refutes False SCMP Hikvision Story on Jan 18, 2019
The NYPD has refuted the SCMP Hikvision story, the Voice of America has reported. On January 11, 2018, the SCMP alleged that the NYPD was using...
Mobile Surveillance Trailers Guide on Jan 17, 2019
Putting cameras in a place for temporary surveillance where power and communications are not readily available can be complicated and expensive....
Exacq Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 17, 2019
Exacq favorability amongst integrators has declined sharply, in new IPVM statistics, compared to 2017 IPVM statistics for Exacq. Now, over 5 since...
Testing Bandwidth Vs. Low Light on Jan 16, 2019
Nighttime bandwidth spikes are a major concern in video surveillance. Many calculate bandwidth as a single 24/7 number, but bit rates vary...
Access Control Records Maintenance Guide on Jan 16, 2019
Weeding out old entries, turning off unused credentials, and updating who carries which credentials is as important as to maintaining security as...
UK Fines Security Firms For Illegal Direct Marketing on Jan 16, 2019
Two UK security firms have paid over $200,000 in fines for illegally making hundreds of thousands of calls to people registered on a government...
Access Control Cabling Tutorial on Jan 15, 2019
Access Control is only as reliable as its cables. While this aspect lacks the sexiness of other components, it remains a vital part of every...
Avigilon Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 15, 2019
Since IPVM's 2017 Avigilon favorability results, the company was acquired by Motorola and has shifted from being an aggressive startup to a more...
Gorilla Technology AI Provider, Raises $15 Million, Profiled on Jan 15, 2019
Gorilla Technology is a Taiwanese video analytics manufacturer that recently announced a $15 million investment from SBI Group, saying this...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact