Running a nightclub can be a wonderful experience. Not only is it a great way to make an honest living, but it also allows you to meet and mingle with others from your community and to establish a fun and exciting place in your city or town. However, there are a lot of things that you have to worry about as a nightclub owner, and crime is one of them.
If you are thinking about opening up a nightclub or haven’t really experienced any issues in your existing nightclub yet, you might be wondering what kind of problems you might have to deal with as a nightclub owner. Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that can happen within the walls of a nightclub that can be dangerous or costly. Luckily, following a few security precautions can help ensure that your nightclub is as safe and crime-free as possible.
Know What to Watch For
In order for you to cut down on and prevent crime, you have to know what to watch for. There are countless things that can go wrong in a nightclub atmosphere, but there are a few common things that you should watch out for.
First of all, it is imperative to watch out for intoxicated individuals. Although it is certainly natural that your patrons will want to drink a bit while they are patronizing your club, you can get in a lot of trouble if your bartenders over serve your customers, your customers drive away from the nightclub while they are drunk or if underage customers drink while they are inside your club or patronize your club after they have been drinking. Therefore, it is essential for all of your staff members to work together in order to keep an eye out for those who are drinking too much, acting unruly or serving drinks to minors or consuming alcohol if they aren’t old enough to do so.
Along with watching out for drinking, you do have to watch out for violence. Some people go to a nightclub looking to start a fight with someone, and others simply don’t know how to handle themselves after an evening of drinking. It is important to keep your eye out for people who want to fight or people who try to attack others. Unfortunately, sexual assault and other similar types of crimes have to be watched out for as well.
Although the safety of your patrons and everyone inside your nightclub should be the first priority, they aren’t the only types of crimes and issues that you have to look out for. It is also important to make sure that no one is stealing from you, vandalizing your property or committing other similar crimes inside or around your nightclub.
You can’t forget about crimes like drug use, drug dealing or prostitution in a nightclub setting either. Although it might not be pleasant to think about, a lot of people think that nightclubs are the perfect places to conduct this type of business. Since you obviously don’t want to earn the wrong reputation for your club, get in trouble with the law or have other related issues at your place of business, it is important for you to keep an eye out for this type of behavior so that you can put a stop to it quickly if it does occur on your premises.
Watch Your Doors
Installing security cameras near all of the entrances and exits to your nightclub can help you keep the entire club safe. Since it is certainly much easier to keep rowdy and unruly people or others who might cause trouble in your club out than it is to prevent them from committing crimes or becoming a nuisance once they make it through the doors, proper security at all entrances and exits is imperative.
Keeping cameras at all of your doors is a good way to help ensure that you are keeping a close eye on everyone who enters and exits the club. Someone can monitor all of the cameras in your club from one location and can look out for individuals who shouldn’t be entering the club while keeping an eye on other things. Your surveillance footage will also work as proof if someone gets into your club and commits a crime or if a crime is committed after your doors are closed for the evening.
You shouldn’t simply rely on cameras at your club’s doors, however. Having trained staff members at the door is an essential in any type of nightclub atmosphere. These staff members should check the identification cards of everyone who enters the premises, and they should make sure that no underage drinkers or overly intoxicated individuals enter the club. They should also try to keep an eye out for individuals who they think they might need to monitor later on in the evening.
Keep An Eye on the Dance Floor
A lot of things can happen on the dance floor in a nightclub. Not only can the dance floor be a fun place for your patrons to really let loose and have a good time at your club, but it can also be the scene of a crime if you aren’t vigilant. People often get in fights on dance floors in clubs that aren’t properly monitored, and even an innocent bystander could get caught up in the violence in the wrong type of situation. Sexual assault and other similar types of crimes should also be carefully watched for, and it is also important for you to realize that the dance floor is often the area where people attempt to share their alcohol with minors.
Since many dance floors have interesting lighting situations, it is important for you to pay special attention to the type of cameras that you purchase for your dance floor. Make sure that your cameras will be able to capture good video footage when the dance floor gets dark or when flashing or strobe lights are going off, and also ensure that every square inch of your dance floor is being monitored by at least one camera.
Monitor the Bar Area
Since the bar will probably be one of the busier locations in your nightclub, it is important that you don’t forget to keep it properly covered with security cameras. You can watch out for heavily intoxicated individuals or those who attempt to drink when they shouldn’t — such as if they are underage — and you can look out for other crimes as well.
For instance, your bar is more than likely a place where you keep a large majority of your proceeds for the evening. Whether you have a cash register in place or if your bartenders and waitstaff keep the money on them while they are working, it is important for you to keep an eye on your money. You never know when someone might attempt to snatch a bit of money for more drinks or simply to take off, and you could lose out on a lot of profits that way. Someone could also get injured during a robbery.
If your nightclub has a VIP lounge or other similar type of area for certain guests, you might feel as if these patrons deserve a bit more privacy. Although you might be tempted not to monitor these areas, it would be a bad idea not to. Many people realize that VIP lounges and other similar areas in nightclubs aren’t under the same level of scrutiny and surveillance as other parts of the club, so they often use these areas as their locations of committing crimes. Therefore, it is important for you to keep these areas under as tight of surveillance as any other area of your club. If you want to, you can look for discreet cameras that still capture good footage.
Don’t Forget the Parking Lot
When it comes to a nightclub, the parking lot isn’t just a place where patrons park their vehicles. It can become the scene of a lot of crimes if you aren’t careful, but keeping your parking lot under close video surveillance can be a wonderful way to cut down on crime.
First of all, you have to think about the types of crimes that can be committed in your parking lot. For instance, a lot of people attempt to drink alcohol in their vehicles or elsewhere in the parking lot before entering the nightclub — they might do so in order to save money or to get away with drinking when they are too young or too intoxicated. This is against the law and should be carefully watched for. Others think that they can get away with using drugs prior to entering the club if they do it in their vehicles or elsewhere in the parking lot, but putting up plenty of surveillance cameras can help deter and cut down on this type of behavior.
Violence can occur in nightclub parking lots as well. It can be more difficult for your staff members to monitor who enters and exits your parking lot, leaving it more prone to fights and other acts of violence. More serious violent crimes can also occur if you aren’t careful.
Lastly, you have to think about the types of vandalism that can occur in parking lots. Patrons or other people from the community can attempt to break into or steal cars that are in the parking lot and vandalism against your property or the vehicles in your parking lot can occur as well.
Another important reason to keep surveillance cameras in the parking lot is so that you will have evidence of the people who were around your club every night. This can help you determine who is causing problems or who has committed a crime in or around your club, and it can also provide local authorities with the proof that they need in the event that one of these crimes occurs.
Use Other Forms of Security
Although surveillance cameras are excellent tools for keeping your nightclub free of crime, it is important for you to use other methods of security in conjunction with your cameras in order to keep your nightclub as safe and secure as possible. By using a combination of security-related equipment, you can maximize your nightclub’s security, which can help you keep yourself, your employees and all of your patrons safe, and it can also help cut down on legal issues or expenses that are related to crimes.
First of all, well-trained staff members are an essential for any nightclub. It is important that your bar staff is aware of signs of crimes to look out for, when not to serve alcohol to customers and how to keep themselves and your registers safe from robberies. It is also important that other staff members know how to look out for overly intoxicated or suspicious individuals and how to handle various situations if they arise. By making sure that your employees are well-trained and providing them with the resources that they need in order to run your bar safely and efficiently, you can help drastically to cut down on crime while making employees, customers and others feel safe in and around your bar.
Next, you should look at the other security-related equipment that is available on the market. Simple things like bright lights in your parking lot can help deter crime, and these types of additions don’t cost a lot of money. Installing a burglar alarm is a good way to cut down on crimes that could occur after your nightclub is closed for the evening, and you can opt for a burglar alarm that is monitored by a professional surveillance system company for maximum safety and security.
Lastly, make sure that you and your staff members are always alert. Your surveillance equipment won’t do a lot of good if you don’t use it, so make sure to keep your eye out for crime at all times in order to keep your nightclub as safe as possible.