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When it comes to security in your retail, offices or residential space, it’s no secret that there are a number of complex, and often expensive, solutions. The majority of adult consumers report feeling safe at shopping malls at any given point in time, yet retail experts agree that malls are, unfortunately, an easy target for violence, theft, and other crimes. However, these same experts also agree that retailers can’t change the shopping experience and ambience, for risk of losing shoppers. So what can you do?

Let’s explore a few ideas that are simple to implement and will enhance your building security, keeping your tenants and occupants safer.

Use technology to your advantage

In the case of an emergency, messaging and communication needs to be fast, provide real-time feedback, and be sent to the right people at the right time. This is where technologies like Mallcomm by Toolbox Group come into play. Our mobile and desktop platform allows you to set up templates to send different messages to different staff and member levels during an evacuation, and also use SMS and email backups for anyone who may not have the app installed. Further, our app allows you to continue the communication, even after an evacuation, to ensure that your entire staff is kept fully up to date.

By making some simple technology changes, you are showing your tenants that you care about their safety and well being. And this type of engagement goes a long way for tenant satisfaction and retention — a win-win for everyone.

Increased preparedness for emergency situations

In addition to the daily security of your building, you must also have plans in place for responding to a number of different emergency situations that may arise. Keep in mind that an emergency situation can have a number of different meanings.

Your tenants may need to shelter in place if and when severe weather strikes, for example. Depending on where you live, this could mean severe thunderstorms, hurricanes, wind, hail, lightning or tornadoes. No matter what the emergency, the key to their safety and survival can often hinge on having an effective plan in place before the storm arises.

Of course, emergency situations can apply to more than just weather. In the case of a fire, your tenants and occupants need to know how to safely and quickly exit the building. And, once outside, it’s important that everyone know the designated meeting location, so that a headcount can be performed to make sure that everyone got out safely.

Further, while no one likes to think about it, the sad reality is that an active shooter emergency plan is a necessity today. It’s hard enough to see these scenes of chaos and heartbreak unfold on a television screen, but imagine it happening where we work. Fortunately, lives may be saved when people know how to safely and appropriately respond. For an idea of where to start, check out the Active Shooter Emergency Action Plan Guide and Template provided by the US Department of Homeland Security.

In a recent real-life major security incident in a shopping mall using Mallcomm, the technology was instrumental in handling the incident and making retail staff feel safe.  In the lock-down staff were kept updated through the app, receiving instructions or simply updates, and were able to communicate with others to let them know they were ok.

In Safety, Communication is Key

When it comes down to it, in an emergency situation, the most important steps you can take to be prepared are having a sound plan and being able to effectively communicate with your tenants and occupants, to ensure that they understand the safety plan and that they are safe and okay. And while this may sound simple, those who have been in the situation before will tell you that it’s anything but.

The most glaring terrorist threat facing the United States today is primarily domestic in nature, reports Foreign Affairs. “Ubiquitous firearms, political polarization, images of the extensive apocalyptic violence tearing apart societies across the Middle East and North Africa, racism, and the rise of populism have combined with the power of online communications to drive up violence across the political spectrum.” But what does all of this mean? Simply put, that threats to public safety don’t always look like what we once thought. To keep your building and, more importantly, its occupants safe, you need to be hypervigilant when it comes to safety and security.

What if you had a platform that facilitated better communication throughout your building, whether for routine maintenance or in the case of an actual emergency? Mobile technology is transforming everything about the way we communicate today, in terms of speed, reliability, and even accountability in a critical situation.

To find out more about how your building can increase its safety protocol and technology, feel free to contact us today.