How safe is the british museum?

The British Museum, one of the world’s oldest and most iconic museums, takes numerous measures to ensure the safety and security of its staff, visitors, and collections. It’s worth noting that the museum is home to 1,000 staff members and over 8 million objects, with a staggering 6 million people visiting annually, making its safety measures critical​1​.

The safety of staff and visitors is a top priority for the museum. It has implemented several precautions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Face coverings are recommended, social distancing is encouraged, and hand sanitiser stations are positioned throughout the museum. Contactless payment is preferred in the shops and cafés. The museum has also limited the number of visitors at a time and recommends booking a free ticket in advance to guarantee entry. Walk-up visits are possible each day depending on the museum’s capacity, but entry is not guaranteed without an advance booking. Free tickets to the permanent collection can be booked for up to nine people per group. If there’s no availability showing, the museum encourages visitors to check again as tickets are released regularly​2​​3​​4​.

To protect the collections, the museum has a strict high-level security system in place. The Health and Safety Manager at the British Museum, Maria Anderson, has discussed the museum’s security measures in detail. She described the museum as being very strict on high-level security and discussed the complex process of managing safety and security during a significant construction project at the museum in 2010. This project, the creation of the World Conservation and Exhibition Centre, presented significant security challenges, particularly during the two-month handover period when staff were moving in while some areas were still under construction. This required careful management to ensure both the safety of staff and the security of the collections​5​​6​​7​.

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The British Museum uses modern technology to ensure the safety and security of its premises and collections. This includes swipe card technology and what was described as ‘top of the range’ security. Fire safety systems are also top-tier, including an alarm and detection system and controlled mist in collection areas. The museum has successfully incorporated this modern technology into its buildings, some parts of which date back to the 1850s​8​.

Communication and cooperation among teams at the museum are crucial elements of its safety strategy. During the construction of the new centre, staff were kept informed and involved, with open visits and tours of the construction site provided to staff. The different fire, safety, facilities, and security teams work together under the same directive, sharing meetings and projects with the shared objective of keeping everyone safe and secure. This cooperation extends beyond the context of specific projects, representing a key part of the museum’s ongoing safety and security strategy​9​​10​.

To sum up, the British Museum prioritizes safety and security for visitors, staff, and collections. It employs a combination of modern technology, strict protocols, effective communication, and teamwork to maintain a secure and welcoming environment. However, it’s always a good idea to check the latest guidelines and advice before visiting, as measures can change in response to evolving circumstances or new information.






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