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Premises liability: Addressing vulnerabilities at clubs and bars

Clubs, bars and other locations serve alcohol and are prone to having guests who use drugs or who get intoxicated. Premises liability laws can be applied in these cases when the facility isn't taking the right steps to protect its patrons.

There are some things bars and clubs need to do to protect themselves from premises liability claims. For example, if you're injured in a club that was not checking people at the door for concealed weapons and are later shot, you may have a case against the facility. While some people are allowed to carry concealed weapons by law, when alcohol or other substances are located at the club or bar, it's dangerous and illegal to have those weapons present.

What about things like fake IDs or how to deal with an active shooter? Knowing how to eliminate the threat of an active shooter to patrons is important. One premises liability consulting firm suggests that companies take a course on dealing with active shooters and implement a policy for the workplace. Knowing how to handle a potentially dangerous situation early on by preventing weapons from getting into the bar or club and then knowing how to disarm a violent situation if one occurs is key to helping prevent injuries.

Security protocols also need to be tightened. Metal detection devices may need to be implemented, and pat-downs could be required. The staff should also know that music should stop in an emergency situation, helping people focus on the problem and become more aware of the problem faster. By taking the time to learn the basics for tightening security and dealing with breaches, the facility can be safer for everyone.

Source: CNBC, "Bars, clubs need to address these vulnerabilities: Security experts," Sarah Whitten, June 13, 2016

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