Crowd control is a public security practice where large crowds are managed to prevent the outbreak of crowd crushes, affray, fights involving drunk and disorderly people or riots. Crowd crushes in particular can cause many hundreds of fatalities. Crowd control can involve privately hired security guards as well as police officers. Crowd control is often used at large, public gatherings like street fairs, music festivals, stadiums and public demonstrations.
Materials such as stanchions, crowd control barriers, fences and decals painted on the ground can be used to direct a crowd. Keeping the crowd comfortable and relaxed is also essential, so things like awnings, cooling fans (in hot weather), and entertainment are sometimes used as well. For controlling riots and demonstrations, see riot control.
Specific products that are used to implement line management and public guidance in high traffic areas include retractable barriers, belt systems (which incorporate a stanchion post and the retractable tape) and wall mount systems (also incorporating a retractable belt but are surface mounted). Post and rope systems are also popular, especially in banks and theaters.
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