SAFETY AND SECURITY…While news of terrorist attacks, security threats and cyber attacks have become commonplace, private clubs must be proactive in providing a safe and secure environment members desire and

expect. Clubs are designed to provide comfortable, drop in and out, home-away-from-home environments for members but often lack the funding and foresight to keep up with necessary changes in security.

“Creating a sense of security is clearly part of hospitality; people can’t be comfortable and threatened at the same time,” Frank Vain of The McMahon Group, a club facilities planning firm, stated in a recent issue of the company’s Club Trends. Vain went on to say that while security measures can present a feeling of protection, it can also be a reminder of the bad things that can occur. “The trick is making members feel secure but not intimidated,” he explained.

Vain shared trends and recommendations for clubs as they pertain to security measures and practices:

• Security gates are becoming increasingly common at freestanding clubs. “Even unmanned gatehouses can reduce intrusions or crime without adding personnel costs. Fully automated gates with code entry can pre- vent unauthorized traffic through the grounds,” he said.

• Cameras and electronic surveillance are increasingly available and should be mounted at all main access points.

• Building strong human resources protocols is also an essential component to security. This includes run- ning background checks on all hires, conducting regular training exercises and practicing emergency pre- paredness drills.

• Protecting club, employee and member data can be accomplished by incorporating the latest cyber security technology to reduce threats. Have cyber insurance and a response plan in place if a breech does occur.

“Threats come in all shapes and sizes. Clubs that have been through an event cite how valuable their plan- ning proved at the time of the crisis. Every club needs to plan and create a secure and safe environment for its members,” Vain concluded.

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