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Ultimate Guide For Art Gallery Security Guarding - Fahrenheit Security

Updated: May 27

Art Gallery Security Guarding in London For High Value Assets and Articles With Fahrenheit Security

Fahrenheit Security is the leading provider of Art Gallery and Museum Security Guarding in London. In today's article we are giving you priceless information on how to implement a security guarding solution to best secure your art.

Fahrenheit Security's mission statement for Art Galleries in London

“To continuously add additional value to the art galleries security function, improve visitors’ experiences, safeguard staff, help conserve art and “protect history.”

How do you deal with security when displaying valuable pieces of art in a public space?

Key security guard service functions for art galleries to protect valuable pieces of art include but are not limited to:

  1. Initial set up and risk assessments (health and safety and security assessments)

  2. Induction and operative immersion

  3. On the job training

  4. External training

  5. Supervision and management

  6. Key performance indicators and service levels

  7. Risk management

  8. Observation & Reporting

  9. Intelligence Sharing

  10. Monitoring & Reassessment

Security guarding and invigilator requirements for art galleries are different from those for museums or other institutions that display art.

  • Art displays and shows often change on a quarterly basis, therefore the security of each exhibition requires a new security plan that takes in to consideration the value, desirability and associated risks.

  • Access and egress are to be monitored at all times with the works of art to be under constant supervision.

  • Insurance or lenders may require a higher level of security standard for special display works.

Galleries are particularly vulnerable to thefts, whether "grab and go" or more covert crimes. Security guards are present in very few London art galleries. Whether they do it or not, hanging works close to the entryway frequently invites theft. The gallery staff is frequently conversing on the phone or with a client while standing some distance from the entrance.

Risk Profile Of Your Current Art Exhibition - Fahrenheit Security

The nature of the threat is very much influenced by the attractiveness, value and portability of the collection, although your art galleries surroundings and any history of crime will also play a part. Over 40 Warhols have been stolen in 10 Years, the Stolen Art File lists a staggering total of 91 stolen Warhols, ranging from athletes to a series of cats drawn by the artist. Rarity and renown do not always protect objects from theft or attack, for example:

  1. The Cézanne painting stolen from the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford (Meticulously planned, out of hours rooftop burglary, used a fan to blow away the smoke cloak, took a total of 10 minutes, stolen to be sold on)

  2. The Constable sketches from a store at the Victoria and Albert Museum (Stolen from a restricted access area to be sold on.)

  3. The shotgun attack on the ‘Leonardo Cartoon’ in the National Gallery (An ex soldier, took aim from seven feet away and fired his shotgun at Leonardo’s cartoon. His bullet shattered the protective glass and made a six-inch hole in the work due to supposed political motives.)

  4. Tomato soup was thrown on Vincent van Gogh's Sunflowers at the National Gallery in London by protesters from Just Stop Oil. The picture was covered with glass when the anti-climate change protesters flung the liquid over it. Then, using glue, they attached themselves to the wall directly below the important piece of art that is housed in the National Gallery.

Gathering, assessing, implementing and reviewing Gallery Security

Before your security guard company can plan any improvements to the measures you currently use to protect the gallery and exhibitions, they need to have a clear understanding of your current situation regarding security from theft, fire and flood.

They would conduct the following assessments at your gallery pre, during and post exhibition:

The Environmental Visual Assessment for Art Galleries (EVA)

The purpose of the EVA is to:

  • Provide a snapshot in time of the physical aspects of the gallery inside and out.

  • Identify issues from the assessors viewpoint of concern from a fire, flood, or security perspective.

  • Provide physical evidence of things that may flag up that the gallery is vulnerable in some way.

  • Raising security awareness amongst staff and ensuring that it is maintained.

Security Audit for Art Galleries

  • A guide to auditing the procedural measures to protect the collections. It contains a security checklist of questions which prompt the assessor to check and record the findings from the audit.

Top Ideas For Art Gallery Security By Fahrenheit Security

  1. Each exhibition to be risk assessed prior and during, utilising threat analysis, intelligence platforms and EVA’s

  2. Subscription to the National Museum Security Group

  3. A post review to take place in order to facilitate continuous improvement and best practice

  4. Recommending manning levels per exhibition based on the positioning and pivot points of the security team in the gallery

  5. Pre-Exhibition commencement team induction and site walkaround

  6. Ongoing regular security team briefings on recent events and anticipated future works

  7. Regular supervisory visits to assess standards and compliance

  8. Scheduled contract management meetings with the Gallery Management

  9. A bespoke Fahrenheit Security management led site induction for any new starters

  10. A designated security supervisor in a multi-manned team at a slightly higher hourly rate

  11. Sick leave and contingency planning

  12. Key members of the team to be fire marshal trained and emergency first aid (if required)

  13. Training to extend across the entire security team. The training to be a development program which covers multiple modules that take into account possible situations of risks

  14. Table top drills to be held with security to practice events such as but not limited to: fire evacuation, first aid situation, suspicious activity, crime scene preservation, key control and other procedural checks

  15. A feedback mechanism to be in place for security operatives to express new ideas and ways of working

  16. Radio’s to be issued to the security team in order to incorporate them into our current network

Contact Fahrenheit Security for a free no obligation security guard quote. Fahrenheit Security are security professionals for gallery security guarding and museum security guarding.

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