Merchants – Follow These 8 Black Friday Tips and No One Gets Hurt

Merchant's Guide to Black Friday Safety

As a merchant, Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year. Shoppers throughout America look forward to the day. They plan which stores to hit and whether to camp out to catch the best sales. We’ve even heard of some people having Thanksgiving dinner at storefronts to get a head start on the lines. The buzz is exciting, but without proper store planning, the day can spiral out of control. We want to make sure that doesn’t happen to you! So, we came up with 8 tips for retailers to keep stores safe and frictionless during the busiest day of the year.

 

  1. Make online shopping irresistible. Cyber Monday doesn’t have to be the only online shopping day. You can be certain that people are shopping and looking for sales online on Black Friday too. Take this opportunity to boost online sales and reduce foot traffic at your store. Making for shorter lines, easier management of customers, and less congested aisle ways. In general, making the store safer for everyone.

 

  1. Set up a long and well-designed queue. Don’t let people mob up at the door right before opening time. A large moving crowd of people is much more dangerous than a line where only a few people can move at a time. Use stanchions to design one long line with a clear entrance. This also creates a feeling of fairness. When people line up on a first come first serve basis, they can relax knowing that they’ll get in when it’s their turn. When there’s no clear line, people feel the need to claim their space. They become aggravated when other people try to move in front of them. This can lead to arguments and, sometimes, physical aggression.

 

  1. Keep people happy. This is actually a fun way to connect with your customers and keep everyone in the best mood. Offer snacks, pass out blankets or even give them games to play. Irritated customers can become aggressive. Keep people polite and happy by reducing the things that annoy them, like being hungry or cold. Ask a few employees to come early to chat with customers and pass out goodies.

 

  1. Maintain your fire code capacity. Whatever you do, do not overcrowd your store. Shoppers are already frenzied about finding the best deals and the items they want. People can get hurt when a shop has gone over a safe capacity. This sounds obvious, but often the staff doesn’t know the store’s capacity or have a way to count people as they enter. Dedicate an employee or security guard to manning the door using a handheld tally counter.

 

  1. Organize your store well and offer a map. Create a map of your store pointing out the locations of all the sales and featured items. Hand out the map while people are still waiting in line. This gives customers a way to pass the time in line and makes their actions much more streamlined in the store. You want to get customers in and out as fast as possible. Organize your store in a logical way and offer direction to keep customers calm and happy.

 

  1. Train your staff. Start with ensuring that your staff is well trained in handling a normal day at work. They need to have the basics down before taking on a Black Friday sale. From there, train them to handle angry customers and to manage crowds. No matter how well you organize your store or design a flawless queue, sometimes people get mad. Your staff will need to know how to diffuse the situation. Go through possible scenarios and teach them proper steps for handling frustrated people. Also, make sure your team can manage and direct large crowds. Place staff members near the door and at checkout lines to direct people. This reduces confusion and helps depopulate crowded spaces.

 

  1. Take care of your staff. Your employees work hard on Black Friday, often arriving early and working late. You need them to make the day successful. But also, their attitudes have a direct effect on customer attitudes. A disgruntled employee can be hard to work with and upset customers in the store. While happy employees often keep other people happy by smiling and being joyful. Help your staff’s energy stay high by keeping them well fed. Bring breakfast and snacks and provide lunch if you can. Start their shift off well by giving them each a gift bag when they arrive with gift cards and other treats. Also, make sure to give them breaks often and to say thank you, a lot!

 

  1. Hire a security guard. At the end of the day, your staff shouldn’t be dealing with security issues. You need all your employees on hand to run your store properly. A security guard doesn’t need to know how to ring someone up or tell anyone where to find the 65” TV. They are only there to keep the peace, which makes everyone feel safer. They help enforce the rules and monitor the line, entry, and customer flow. If a customer does become a threat, security guards are well trained to handle the situation.

 

Black Friday doesn’t have to be painful! Make sure to have fun and plan ahead.

If you need security guards for your store on Black Friday, contact info@weinsteinsecurity.com. If you’re interested in joining our security team, please visit https://weinsteinsecurity.com/employment/.

A Thank You to Those that Ran Toward the Fire

It’s hard to breathe a sigh of relief when the air is still filled with smoke in Napa and Sonoma Valley. Tension has run high since late Sunday night on October 8th, 2017, when the most destructive fire in California history swept through the North Bay Area. But, we choose to lift our heads and give thanks.

Countless residents woke abruptly to pounding on their doors accompanied by a quick and stern shout to evacuate. For many, that saved their lives. Sudden fires such as this one bring on a series of split-second movements. You grab what matters, which for the most part is anything with a heartbeat, and you get to safety as quickly as possible. But some people ran in the opposite direction, they ran toward the flames. It’s to those that chose to fight for the protection of our community that we owe the deepest and most heartfelt thank you.

First responders rushed to our towns from across the country to fight the fires. They slept in tents for 2-3 hours at a time and spent their waking hours closest to the flames. The response we saw from these men and women is humbling. The devastation would have been far greater without them and we cannot thank them enough for their bravery.

We are in awe at how our community members came together during this event. Many darted next door and woke their neighbors even when their own lives were at risk. Some stood guard with hoses and put out sparks as they landed, saving homes, people, and animals. Throughout this past week, people have opened their doors, cooked hot meals for strangers, and donated valuable resources. We are grateful to be a part of this strong North Bay Area community.

We are also filled with immense pride and gratitude for our employees. Many of which still showed up to work in the midst of disaster. Some had even been evacuated themselves yet chose to protect others. The dedication and selflessness we saw this week from our team are profound. Our guards checked on homes and businesses and went above and beyond to support the community in any way they could.

Many of us are still returning to our homes hoping for the best as evacuation notices are lifted. Our thoughts are with those that have suffered losses. We received a surge in service requests this week from the community, which we, unfortunately, could not fulfill all due to bandwidth. We will continue to protect, serve, and support our community in any way we can as we navigate our recovery as a whole. We invite anyone that wishes to join us in our efforts to apply now for a security guard position. From what we saw this week, we can promise that you will be joining a steadfast and extraordinary team of people.

Thank you to all for your love, support, and courage.

The 8 Best Burglar Deterrents Ever

There are many high-tech security options out there, but don’t underestimate these tried and true methods. Here are our top 8 ways to ward off unwanted late night visitors to your business building.

  1. Use motion Lights. Motion sensing lights flood a small area with bright light when movement is detected. The abrupt change in lighting calls attention to the area and startles a burglar.
  2. Parking lots should have good lighting. Keep parking lots and the surrounding areas well lit to make it hard for trespassers to hide or sleep.
  3. Keep garbage cans and dumpsters locked. Eliminate dumpster access to anyone not affiliated with your business. Locking up the trash keeps scavengers searching for food or other discarded items away from your property.
  4. Keep your property free of debris. A maintained property sends the signal that it is well cared for and most likely supervised. Intruders prefer neglected spaces where they won’t be bothered or removed from the property.
  5. Trim bushes as a deterrent for people trying to hide or sleep. Transient individuals look for areas hidden from view and that provide shelter. By keeping the bushes trimmed you’ll remove these secluded areas.
  6. Janitors need to keep doors locked while cleaning the offices. Late night cleaning crews make themselves and your building an easy target if doors are left unlocked while they work. Intruders can easily sneak into the building unnoticed through the front door.
  7. Install security cameras. No one wants to be filmed while committing a crime. Security cameras around your property add an extra risk factor for burglars. A camera is also useful for identifying a criminal if a crime is committed.
  8. Hire a security officer. This is the most effective burglar deterrent available. The presence of a security officer signals to intruders that they are entering a highly monitored area, making your business less approachable. Security officers will also escort trespassers off the property when necessary.

It’s always smarter to be proactive than reactive when it comes to the security of your property and the safety of your employees.

One Shocking Trait that Makes Security Guards Great at Their Jobs

The security guard you want protecting you and your family is calm and often quiet.

Surprised? People often assume security guards are aggressive and loud. But, that isn’t true of the best guardians, who are often quiet, but observant.

While there are many qualities you might want in your neighborhood custodian, calm is at the top of our list. Here’s why it should be at the top of yours too.

When details matter, guards need to communicate them quick and accurately. Yet, high levels of adrenaline can cause forgetfulness in threatening situations. Guards trained to be calm in adrenaline provoking situations notice more details. Reporting them fast and correct to fellow security guards and law enforcement. Their swift communication shortens the time it takes for backup to arrive and prevents other problems from occurring.

Calmness is critical in times of action, too. Calm security guards keep composure, diffusing a situation instead of antagonizing an intruder. With this skill, they have greater management over the situation. Their aim is to maintain safety, catching a criminal is secondary. They are cautious at every step and think before they act. Even a few moments of reserve help guards make the right decisions and mistakes are avoided. Calmer guards also recall their training when they need it. They follow essential protocol instead of reacting rogue when energized and fearful. We train our security professionals to handle any situation in an effective and safe way. We know they use it on duty.

Most importantly, calm guards give you a sense of safety in times of both peace and panic. Aggressive security guards can make you feel fearful and anxious. A guard’s role is to defend you when situations arise, but also to give you a sense of protection daily. You should never feel like danger is around the corner, you should feel that it’s prevented. When trouble does arise, their calm demeanor is comforting. You’ll be reassured that all proper steps were taken and that you’re now safe.

At Weinstein Security, calmness is non-negotiable. The men and women that protect our communities must possess it.

Security Guards Are In Demand!

Have you ever considered becoming a private security guard? If you’ve ever wondered about the job before, you may have also wondered if it’s a reliable career choice- are security guards really in demand? The answer is yes! Not only can the job be extremely rewarding, but the demand continues to increase with no signs of stopping. More and more businesses and private property owners are discovering that having safety and security needs met is invaluable, and in many cases hiring a guard service can even boost business! Some reasons why security guards are in demand are:

  • Private security presence gives people peace of mind. Knowing that someone is posted specifically to keep an eye out for trouble means less time worrying!
  • Security guards are an excellent deterrent; people are way less likely to commit crimes or cause trouble if they see guards posted. By simply being present at a location, a security guard can be preventing burglaries, shoplifting, vandalism and other crimes.
  • In the workplace, employees can be more productive with the added sense of security brought by guards, and in turn, can provide better customer service.
  • For businesses that operate at night, guards can ensure that the parking lots are safe and that employees feel secure when walking to their cars, collecting carts or assisting customers.
  • Security guards provide customer service, giving directions, escorting or assisting customers, which makes them extremely valuable at event venues.
  • While having security cameras in place is a great deterrent, posting guards is more effective, as issues can be dealt with instantly, in real time.
  • Issues can be dealt with proactively, rather than reactively, minimizing the amount of trouble, time and resources for everyone.

These are just a few reasons why there’s job security in the private security world. If you’re interested in learning more about what it’s like to be a security guard, check out this post! If you believe that being a security officer is a good fit for you, then please contact us. Weinstein Security is hiring for Security Guard Services in Sonoma and Napa Counties.

 

 

 

 

Avoiding Distractions While Driving

Distracted driving is an activity that claims thousands of lives yearly, and the sad thing is it’s easily preventable. Eating, texting, talking, or fiddling with the radio are all examples of distracted driving; anything that takes your eyes and attention off the road. Driving is something most of us do every day, so it becomes like second nature; sometimes that makes it easy to slip into unsafe habits. Here at Weinstein, our security guards drive daily through Sonoma, Marin, and Napa counties, and safety is one of our primary concerns. Together we can help make the North Bay’s roads safer for everyone!

One of the best places to start with distracted driving prevention is before you even get in the car. Put on your makeup, brush your hair, and eat before you even get in the vehicle, so you won’t be tempted to do these while driving. Adjust your mirrors, GPS, seats, etc first thing when you get in the car before you even start moving. Bundle up anything that might be loose and could roll around in your car, so that you don’t have to reach down to grab anything. Always keep in mind that having children or pets in the car can lead to distractions; simply being aware of this can help you stay more focused!

The advent of cellphones has been especially tricky in terms of distracted driving, as many people feel the urge to respond to texts and calls as soon as they happen. It’s important to remember that reading or sending a text requires you to take your eyes off the road for a minimum of 5 seconds, which can be potentially very dangerous, especially at higher speeds. One of the great things about cell phones is that you can easily get back to people at your convenience; always wait until you’re parked and finished driving before returning calls and texts! If you have trouble ignoring your phone while driving, turn it off until you get to your destination.

Being tired is also a type of distracted driving; the more tired you are, the slower your response time tends to be. Even if you feel awake enough to be driving, it’s important to be extra cautious; reducing your speed and allowing room between vehicles will allow you extra time to avoid any potential mishaps that may happen on the road. If you’re feeling so tired that you’re having trouble keeping your eyes open, pull into a rest stop or over to the side of the road for a bit until you feel more alert. Studies have shown impulse control goes down when you’re tired, so being tired can actually make it harder for you to ignore your phone if it rings! Just remember that no phone call or text is worth any kind of injury- to you or others. Practicing safe, alert driving is a great way to contribute to the safety of our community! 

Curious About Becoming a Security Guard?

 Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a security guard? Due to Movies and T.V., you may have some misconceptions about what the job is like from day to day. The media often tends to portray the job as either boring or dangerous; we’d like to offer a little information about what a career in private security is really like!

The idea that working in security is boring may depend on the type of person you are. We definitely don’t find it boring! One great things about the job is that you’re not stuck at a desk all day; you’ll often have ample opportunity to be moving around and getting fresh air. If you enjoy people, but worry about having a solitary job, you may be happy to learn that much of your day will often be dedicated to interacting with the public; greeting people, giving assistance, and sometimes politely but sternly requesting people leave the property or stop activities they might be doing. For example, if you’re stationed at a construction site, you may be asking people not to trespass.

Other things you may be doing is patrolling properties in a car or on foot, particularly during night shifts.  One of the great things about working for our company is we are happy to change up your guard posts if you’re the type of person who enjoys a change of pace and scenery!  Due to the fact that security guards often work alone, this is a great, low stress position for people who enjoy working by themselves and don’t want to be micro managed.

The second misconception is that the job is dangerous. All of the sites we send our guards to are very safe, and do not require any self-defense or weapons training.  We only employ unarmed guards, so you won’t be carrying weapons.  While  some guard companies employ armed guards, we don’t use aggressive techniques. You’ll be able to make a citizen’s arrest if needed, but our clients prefer guard services that require common sense and communication skills.  If you see any criminal activity, such as a burglary, your job is to keep your distance and call the police.   

If you believe that being a security officer is a good fit for you then please contact us. Weinstein Security is hiring for Security Guard Services in Sonoma and Napa Counties.

 

Brush Up On Pedestrian Safety

Spring is in the air; the sun is shining and everything is green- a perfect time to spend more time outside and walking.  With more people out and about, it’s a perfect time to review pedestrian safety!  We all know pedestrians have the right of way, and that motorists need to be aware of them; however, it’s equally important as a pedestrian to practice defensive walking. Defensive walking means being aware of your surroundings at all times and eliminating risks while doing so.  Brush up on some defensive tips, and then get out there and enjoy some beautiful weather!

  1. When walking, make sure to always cross the street in designated crossing areas, and always follow the walk/don’t walk signals rather than the traffic signals.  Make sure you still pay attention to traffic while you’re crossing- don’t assume cars will follow the traffic signals.     
  2. Walk on the sidewalk whenever possible. If there is no sidewalk, it’s safest to walk facing oncoming traffic, so you can easily see the cars and what they’re doing.
  3. Always wear bright or reflective clothing and bring a flashlight when going for night walks to increase your visibility.
  4. Avoid using your phone or other devices while walking.  Devices are distracting and take the focus off what’s going on around you, greatly increasing the risk of getting injured.
  5. Make eye contact with drivers when crossing busy streets- this lets you know they see you and makes the driver more aware that you are crossing.  
  6. Avoid wearing hats or hoods that obscure your vision.  Make sure you’re able to see any obstacles that you may encounter!
  7. Be cautious when walking near driveways; it can be hard for drivers to see when they’re backing out of the driveway.  If someone is backing out, it’s safest to stop and allow them to go, rather than assume they see you.

February is Safety Awareness Month

February is Safety Awareness month, so we’re sharing our favorite safety & security tips.  What does safety actually mean?  Safety is both being physically safe from harm and also the act of avoiding situations with recognized hazards to keep yourself safe.  Practicing good safety starts at home, so always be sure to be aware of potential hazards in your daily life.  Review these great tips, and visit our other posts for more detailed information on these topics!

1. Be careful when walking to your car at night; stay in lit areas, walk with others, and always be aware of your surroundings.

2. Utilize your phone as a safety tool; make sure you have all your emergency contact info programmed into your phone so it’s quick and easy to access.

3. Be cautious and trust your gut when dealing with people through online services; always agree to meet in public places, and only exchange goods, services, or money in person.  

4. Check your fire and carbon monoxide detectors regularly to make sure they’re working, and be sure to replace the batteries as needed.

5. Make sure light bulbs are the correct wattage for the lamp you’re using them in- incorrect wattage is the number one reason for electrical fires!

6. Create an emergency kit for your car in case you break down and have to wait awhile for help to arrive; water, snacks, a first aid kit, and matches are a great start.  Check the blog for more great ideas.

7. Periodically revisit emergency contact lists and meeting areas with your child to make sure they know what to do in case of emergencies.

8. If you’re going hiking, make a trip plan for your family members saying where you’re going and when you expect to be back; if you’re not home when you’re expected, they’ll have some information on where to look for you.

9. Never leave cooking food unattended; fires can start quickly, particularly if grease is involved!  Being present physically and mentally while cooking will ensure you’re able to react quickly if something does catch on fire.

 

Carbon Monoxide Awareness Month

January is carbon monoxide awareness month, and for good reason; there are more carbon monoxide deaths this month than any other time of the year.  The cold weather causes more people to use heat sources such as gas furnaces, generators, and propane, and perhaps unsurprisingly, carbon monoxide deaths are higher in states where winters are very cold.  Carbon monoxide is the byproduct of fuels that haven’t burned completely, and is an odorless, colorless gas that can easily go unnoticed; it’s often referred to as “the silent killer”.  Even the symptoms of poisoning (headaches, nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath or confusion) can be overlooked or mistaken for other illnesses, such as the flu.  Make sure you and your family stay safe while warm this winter with these tips!Install at least one carbon monoxide detector in a central location in the house and test it monthly.  For optimal safety, it’s a good idea to have several throughout the house that communicate with each other.

1. When installing detectors, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions for placement and height requirements.

2. Replace your detectors as needed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

3. Don’t use your gas stove to heat the house.

4. Have your chimney, furnace, and heating vents inspected and serviced annually.

5. Don’t warm up your vehicle inside a garage, even if the door is open.  Cars produce a lot of carbon monoxide, and keeping it in the enclosed area is risky.  Move your car outside the garage as soon as you start it up, and warm it up outside.

6. Only use generators, furnaces, and grills outside and in a well-ventilated area away from doors, windows and vents to prevent gas from seeping into the house.

7. If you live in a place that snows, make sure all vents to dryers, fireplaces, and furnaces aren’t blocked by snow or ice; likewise, make sure your car’s tailpipe is clear of snow as well!

8. Check with your local fire department where to call if your alarm sounds, and keep the number handy- just in case!

9. If your alarm sounds, immediately go outside or near an open door or window and make sure everyone else in the house does as well.  Call the phone number you received from the fire department, and wait outside until they’ve inspected and cleared your house.

10. Make sure you’re aware of the symptoms of poisoning. If at any point you feel unwell, and suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, get outside ASAP!  It’s always better to error on the side of caution. Call emergency personnel to check both you and your house out, and don’t go back into the house until it’s clear.