Thursday, February 21, 2013

Safety and Security Procedures For All To Follow

Before we get in to this topic I feel it is important to let the readers be aware of my background or experience in this subject and then discuss the topic at length. I do not have any prior military or defense personnel training. I have been training in authentic and traditional martial arts of various countries for the last 30 years. Authentic martial arts training is the training which used to be provided to soldiers or warriors back then training in them is very close to understanding real life attack situations. Besides my extensive martial arts background I have been closely associated with providing specialized security to a number of famous personalities like film stars, sports personalities and other V.I.P's. Have also been part of setting up secure facilities from overseeing and set up of CCTV's, secure  fencing, barricades and so on. Have selected and trained employees for QRT's ( Quick Response Teams) for companies and Hotels. A QRT is a group of employees of any company or Hotel that we train in basic safety and security procedures and they come in to action if ever an eventuality strikes. It could be anything as simple as a fire which the QRT will help in safe and orderly evacuation of the remaining staff and try to reduce loss of life and property till the respective authorities arrive to take over. I have extensive experience in the actual field and not in just theory. It makes a great difference from knowing theory and actually experiencing the situations in the field.

 Before moving ahead we would like to make it clear that this article does not wish to create heroes or vigilantes. We have lots of respect for the police and other authorities who go through a lot of hard work to ensure our safety. The article aims at making us more alert and responsible citizens who inform the authorities if they spot something wrong that could result in saving loss of life and property. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

In my personal opinion the most important factors for being safe and secure for yourself as well as people around you is being alert, use common sense, presence of mind, consistency, discipline and attention to details.  

We will look at all of them in detail. When we are on the road always be in the now. Do not let your mind be busy with your schedule for the day or be busy on the cell or listening to music. A mind not present in the now is less likely to catch or register vital details on the road eg - an attacker or mugger walking towards you or something out of place like a bag left on the road or some one fiddling with a junction box for electricity or the mode of transport you use daily takes a turn which it does not everyday etc. These details may sound very minor to us but when an eventuality strikes it is these details if noticed in advance could have saved the loss of life and property. So when you are on the road keep your mind on the road and observe all around you take things in. These are things that comes with practice but you could use few games that I use daily to keep me alert. When you are traveling to work daily try to remember the digits of a car license plate its colour and model. There is a good chance that you will see the same vehicles everyday to work, if you can remember them and spot them on the road shows you are getting more alert. Another game you could use is try remembering the vehicles and the numbers on the license plate that are parked in your lane or colony. The last 4 digits is enough this will help you notice vehicles that are not from your colony and if it just stays parked for more than a day without you seeing anyone approaching the vehicle it is the right time you contact the police to look into it. Another game would be to remember things in your surroundings simple things like how many speed breakers are there on the road to your house or how many garbage bins or spittoons are placed in the places you visit like your office or building in which your office is located and where they are placed and so on. Keeping track of such small detail in your surroundings will improve your ability to notice things that are out of place. 

Security is not only the duty of the few we appoint they are there to help us and protect us but it is the duty of all of us as citizens to help them in their duty by being alert and inform them. We need to be consistent and disciplined in our daily life. In our country it is common to see bags and pouches fixed to bikes. These are like sitting ducks for people who wish to create mischief or chaos. If you have a pouch or bag attached to your bike ensure that it has a good lock to it. So many times I have seen people leave their lunch boxes or bags hanging on the bike handle and they go to shops to buy stuff. When you ask them not to do that they argue and say it is their problem why am I bothered. It is important not to leave any thing unattended someone could slip something in which could cause severe loss to life and property. Moreover if we all are disciplined and do not leave stuff on our 2 wheelers then it would be easier to spot a two wheeler which has a bag left behind and that could go a long way in ensuring safety for all around us. We all need to be consistent. Security is not something that needs to be checked when something goes wrong and then after few days we are back to normal again becoming sitting ducks for those who wish to cause harm. Just two days back I was providing training to some people and we were training in self defense from an armed attack. I had my dummy 9mm gun which is a rubber gun block which is used to simulate a real gun attack and it looks realistic too. I received a call from a company who wanted me to come in to discuss with regards to a workshop. So I went to the companies premises with the dummy gun. The building where the company is located is very big and may be having close to few thousand people working in them. The security staff at the gate did not notice my gun did not check if I do have an appointment with the said office he just let me in by issuing a pass. Once on the premises I walked in to the building the metal detector went off when I crossed the door frame metal detector (DFMD) the guard did not bother to check or frisk me. The gun was just tucked in my pant and he did not even see that. Then I strolled around all the 3 blocks or buildings trying to locate where I had to go, No one stopped me or asked why I was roaming around. I even entered a few offices by mistake thinking that is where I had to go sadly the security staff there too did not stop me. This is why we need to be consistent. If an eventuality happens somewhere the next day the same security staff will be on high alert and frisk me many times but after a few days I will again be able to repeat an easy walk in to that premises unchecked. I will inform the company of the lapse of security on their premises and offer to help them to improve and perfect their security arrangements. It is not important how many hours we stay alert and focused people who wish to attack look for the few moments we lower our guard. Mind you a few moments is all it takes to create chaos and launch an attack.

It is virtually impossible to have the police and other authorities every where in the city or country but if we are all alert, disciplined, consistent, use common sense and presence of mind we all together can work to ensure safety and security for all of us and help the authorities to perform their duties better. If we are able to spot and report or inform the authorities of something that is out of place or suspicious then we are being a responsible citizen.

Another important aspect I have seen and faced many times in the field is not informing the security personnel of all the details necessary for e.g - If you have to provide an entourage security and you are not informed of the route or details or schedule it is a virtual  nightmare if you wish to provide good security. Without having all details in an eventuality there is no set plan of evacuation or alternate route etc in place. Do not hire security for show or to try to use them to display your status in society. Either you trust them completely or do not hire them at all.

I could go on and on with numerous details and aspects however if we all follow the above mentioned details all the time then we all will be working like a group of individuals who by being alert citizens are not only ensuring their safety but also securing the safety of all the people around us.

 Always remember it is the small details that are the most important.
                                                            BE ALERT ! BE SAFE!  

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