Brad Campbell: Five Ways to Safeguard Your Window Film Business

December 13th, 2023 by Guest Blogger

I was deeply saddened to learn about the tragic events involving Jesse Ortiz and Jaime Bravo at their Idaho tint shop. While I did not know them personally, the news of their violent encounter serves as a stark reminder of the vulnerability that businesses, including window film shops, may face. As we extend our condolences to the grieving families, it is essential to channel this collective sorrow into actionable steps for ensuring the safety of our own workplaces.

Brad Campbell

The specifics surrounding the incident on December 1 are still unclear, but it serves as a somber call to action for window film shop and corporate office owners alike. In this article, I aim to provide guidance on five effective strategies that business owners can implement to safeguard their spaces against potential threats. The focus is not only on preventative measures but also on preparing for and responding to unforeseen incidents.

1. Install Comprehensive Security Systems

To enhance the security of your window film shop or corporate office and protect against potential threats, consider investing in a robust security camera system. Strategically install surveillance cameras to monitor critical areas both inside and outside the premises. In situations where a customer or employee is visibly agitated and exhibiting aggressive behavior, close monitoring of their movements within and around the building is crucial. Detecting weapons and early signs of potential violence allows for the preemptive locking of doors, isolating a potential threat before they can act, and buying precious time for first responders to arrive.

2. Train Staff in Conflict Resolution and Emergency Response

Empower your employees with the essential skills to de-escalate conflicts and respond effectively in emergencies. Conduct regular training sessions focused on conflict resolution and emergency response protocols. Prepare your team to navigate potential threats by emphasizing the significance of maintaining composure and promptly calling 911 or seeking a manager’s assistance when required.

3. Implement Access-Control Measures

Regulate access to sensitive areas within your window film shop or corporate office by restricting entry to authorized personnel only. If you haven’t already added attached security film or fortified glazing, now is the time. Utilize electronic key card systems or security codes to manage access. This not only safeguards against external threats but also mitigates the risk of internal conflicts. While keeping rear and side doors secured during staff movement can be challenging, consider installing a perimeter fence with an electronic gate to prevent unauthorized access to the rear and side entrances. Additionally, creating a front lobby with a separate locked door to the main showroom can impede access or slow down an attacker, potentially buying crucial time during an emergency. While such measures might entail some remodeling, the investment in time gained can provide valuable options in emergency situations.

4. Have Emergency Protocols and Drills

In addition to training customer-facing staff as earlier mentioned, develop and communicate clear emergency protocols to all employees. Mark emergency exits prominently and conduct regular drills to ensure that everyone is familiar with evacuation procedures. Being well-prepared for emergencies can minimize confusion and enhance the safety of your workforce. When an incident begins, well-trained staff can better recognize a threat unfolding and react appropriately to maximize their chances of survival, and ideally, mitigate violence all together.

5. Cultivating Robust Partnerships with Law Enforcement

Develop positive and open lines of communication with local law enforcement to foster strong relationships. Extend invitations to officers for training sessions with your staff and ensure they are kept informed about any specific concerns or behavioral patterns that could pose a risk. Additionally, seek their guidance in connecting with professional emergency training experts for regular staff training sessions. Collaborating closely with law enforcement not only enhances the potential for a swift and effective response during incidents but also ensures they are familiar with your building’s layout ahead of emergencies, facilitating a more efficient response.

While the tragic events in Idaho are deeply distressing, we can honor the memory of Jessie Ortiz and Jaime Bravo by taking proactive steps to protect our own window film shops and corporate offices. It’s common for individuals to fall into “normalcy bias,” assuming that such incidents are isolated and could never affect them. While the likelihood may be low, treating preparedness as an insurance policy is paramount. We fervently hope for the best, but readiness ensures that we are equipped to face the worst if need be. By integrating preventative measures with thorough response strategies, we not only enhance the safety of our employees but also effectively reduce the risk of workplace violence in our environments.

Brad Campbell is founder and president of Riot Glass LLC and Campbell Window Film LLC based in Huntington Beach, Calif. Brad’s 35-year career in films and glass has been focused primarily on security and the fortification of government facilities, corporate buildings, and the homes of prominent individuals. Brad works directly with government entities such as General Services Administration (GSA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), private security contractors, and executive protection firms such as Gavin de Becker and Associates as a consultant and security glazing expert advisor. Brad is a firearms enthusiast training regularly with 30-year veteran LAPD SWAT trainer Scott Reitz at International Tactical Training Seminars.

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