Special Event Security for Condos
By: Phillip Livingston
Date Published: March 25, 2021
Some condos have spacious party or multipurpose rooms so that residents don’t have to try and squeeze 20 people into a 250-foot living room space. However, many condos also place rules and restrictions on these rooms to ensure that the shared property is used in a reasonable and responsible manner.
For example, condo bylaws may enforce time restrictions, require a safety deposit, or security guards for parties of more than 20 people. These bylaws will vary from building to building depending on the community’s individual needs, and past experiences.
While these additional rules and costs can be frustrating for residents, they do help ensure that parties don’t get out of hand or disturb other residents. Boards and property managers understand that investing in quality private security is money well spent. Guards not only help create a safe environment for guests and residents who live in the condo building, they also offer peace of mind. Having a guard present reduces a guest’s willingness to carry out unsanctioned behaviour, which in turn can keep the space safe from vandalism.
Guards who are hired to fill this role must be prepared for the unexpected, quick to identify potential issues before they become serious problems, and capable of defusing situations between people who may be angry or intoxicated. People come to parties to have a good time, but we’ve all been to a party that ended badly.
To ensure your guards are able to perform at their best, give them the training, tools and resources they will need to thrive in an unfamiliar (and sometimes unpredictable) environment.
The most common private party problems
Party guards can anticipate having to resolve the following issues at least once when providing their services to a private condo party:
- Uninvited guests
- Intoxicated guests
- Guests carrying an unauthorized weapon
These are the recurring issues that security companies will want to prepare their party guards for. When trying to generate new business, make it clear that your team specializes in handling these types of issues when working a private event.
Number of guards needed for a private event
Condos that require residents to hire security for private events hosted in the party room will generally have predetermined rules about the guests to guard ratio. However, if the condo asks for your recommendations, you can use these guidelines to provide a satisfactory answer to the board or property manager.
300 to 50 people
Condos that allow for hundreds of guests should ask for a team of guards to attend. The guards need to be able to handle situations that involve multiple guests. Typically, you’ll need about 4 to 8 security guards to ensure security for 50 to 300 guests.
50 to 25 people
50 guests don’t qualify as a large crowd, but it may be difficult for just 1 guard to manage an event with a group that size. 2 guards can safely manage most parties with 50 or fewer people. 1 guard may be sufficient for 34 or fewer people.
Less than 25 people
Private condo parties consisting of fewer than 25 guests will need to hire only 1 security guard for the event. Depending on the nature of the party, there may not even be a need for a guard. A child’s birthday party, for example, should be completely okay without security.
General security tips for events
Some events will be uneventful, while others will require significantly more involvement from your guards. Either way, you can share these tips with them to ensure each event ends well:
Become familiar with emergency exits and procedures
Every condo has emergency exits, fire alarms and fire extinguishers. Be familiar with where these things are, as well as any important emergency procedures. By coming in at least 15 minutes early, you can ask the front desk or guard on duty about procedures and exits, and still get to your post on time.
It doesn’t hurt to be familiar with the party room rules, either. By knowing the rules, you can help ensure attendees are complying with them.
Complete a pre-inspection of the room
Document any and all noticeable deficiencies, damage, etc. that you find in the event space before the party begins. This way, the host is not held liable for any damage that was already there.
Ensure to screen each guest
Guards should be aware of the maximum number of guests that are permitted to be in the party room at one time, and the number of guests expected to be at the party. Ideally, the condo will ask the party host to forward a guest list so that the guard knows exactly who is supposed to be in attendance. Make sure that each guest gives you their name before they enter the party room, and that their name appears on the list. If alcohol is being consumed at the party, you may have to verify that guests are of legal drinking age as well.
Feel free to update the list as guests come and go. By having accurate numbers, you are aware of how many people are in the party room at any given time. It also makes it easier for you to identify uninvited guests.
Finally, you may need to keep an eye out for signs of weapons or other suspicious items. If you find something that could cause harm to other partygoers, you can seize the item or ask the guest to leave the building.
Do not stay in the party room
This might sound counterintuitive, but do not stand in the room with guests for the entire event. Your goal is not to intimidate guests, but your continuous presence may make them feel like they can’t do much of anything. Instead, check with the host periodically and make sure the event is going well. You can do a quick sweep of the place when you’re inside, but don’t linger for too long.
Complete an inspection when the party is done
Once the guests have left and the host has cleaned up, do a final inspection to ensure there aren’t any new dents, tears or holes. Make sure to document your findings.
Condo buildings may require security for private parties to ensure events do not become disruptive or destructive. Event guards must find a balance between keeping the peace without becoming an overbearing presence. Party guards must be adaptable, proactive, and quick thinkers. Even though most private condo parties will go off without a hitch, party guards should be prepared for the unexpected.