By Nigel Hilton
We live in an age of protests.
Given the current occupant of the White House, it is perhaps unsurprising that protests are seemingly a weekly event. People are protesting in defense of the current status quo; others are protesting against the government and its politics. This is a situation that is unlikely to change over the next four years.
It’s hard to disagree that anyone has the right to protest; in fact, it’s considered to be a fundamental human right.
However you feel about the cause of a planned protest, as a business owner, you’re probably more than a little nervous. If you hear that there’s a protest or march planned that will incorporate your business location, your mind probably fills with worrying images. You think of what cities have a tendency to look like in the aftermath of protests; destruction, graffiti along shopfronts, and general chaos that takes several days to recover from.
While we all accept the democratic right to protest, that doesn’t mean that you have to just sit idly by and wonder if your business premises are going to be in good shape the next morning. Here are a few useful preventative steps you can take, to ensure democracy has the chance to be heard without your business premises suffering for it.
1) Protect From Graffiti
Graffiti is an absolute pain to remove, even when it’s relatively fresh. No business owner wants to see their premises covered in various scrawlings; it’s not quite the welcome environment you might hope your customers will experience!
As in most cases, prevention of graffiti is better than the cure. Use anti graffiti film to cover windows and shop frontage; this film should also offer some measure of protection should anyone try to scrape the glass itself. If someone should graffiti on the film, you can remove it and replace as you see fit– far quicker and more effective than having to replace glass.
2) Remove Expensive Equipment
If a protest becomes a riot — unlikely but possible — there is always the chance that your premises might be breached. If this does happen, then you’re going to want to ensure that your most valuable assets are protected. Remove as many computers as you possibly can, as well as your most valuable stock items from the shop floor. You can either take these home with you for the duration of the protest, or lock them in a storage cupboard.
3) Check Your Security System
Talking of locks, the best way to prevent your premises from being breached is to check your security system is working as it should. If it hasn’t been tested in over a year, then call the company who installed your locks and cameras– they can visit just to check everything is in good working order.
Remember: Not all protests and marches turn violent or destructive, so there’s a good chance the measures you have put in place will never be tested. If, however, you prefer the peace of mind the above can afford you, then there’s no harm in taking the steps you deem necessary to achieve that.