Safety and security are among the top 5 considerations for every facility’s staff or residents. Your facility security plan can be more than just a relief to renters. It can also serve as a selling point to sell and renew more leases.
Before you finalize your security plan, be aware of these 10 common mistakes that facility managers can make.
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1. Hiring Bad Security
One of the first mistakes you can make is to hire a bad security staffing company. Be sure that if you’re outsourcing your security staff, you know what kind of training they have.
If you work in the tech industry, your security staff needs to be well versed in the kinds of breaches that can happen. If you make your business in a production facility, you’ll have different security needs.
Beyond checking people in and deterring bad behavior, a poorly trained security staff can be a waste of time and resources. Switching security companies can be tricky so be sure to try to work with your current staff before transitioning.
2. No Security in Parking Lot
Beyond your own security needs, your staff needs to feel like they work in a secure facility. They could be worried about their personal belongings sitting in their car or walking back to their car in the dark.
Make sure that you’ve extended your security net beyond your building and into the parking lot. This will make staff/residents feel secure and safe if they need to work long hours, late into the night.
Working property-wide safety into your facility security plan could also lower insurance costs. Many insurance plans include subsidies for including additional cameras and staff.
3. Not Training Staff/Residents
Be sure that your staff knows how to help make your facility secure. From securing their work computers, keeping their IDs on them, or being aware of how to identify other staff members, staff needs to know how to maintain a secure facility.
Your basic employee training should encourage employees to help maintain your overall facility security plan. Your technology needs will change quickly as more of your workforce goes mobile or off-site.
Think about having annual security update lunches with staff to keep everyone up to date. Take feedback and involved your entire staff.
4. Failing to Enforce ID Requirements
Regardless of whether you’re dealing with industrial or residential tenants, you want to make sure that everyone is following ID protocols. Controlling access the building is the primary method to monitoring potential security breaches.
Management might get a little ornery and wish to curtail security measures but it’s important that you don’t allow them to let their entitlement get in the way of security.
The integrity of your facility security plan is contingent on everyone following the standards you’ve set.
5. Make All Entries Secure
It’s likely your facility has more than one entrance and exit point. Set up a reliable locking system for all of your emergency exits. Install cameras there as well.
All exterior doors should be fitted with monitoring devices that can be controlled from a central location. Limit the number of active entrances for the most security. Disallow staff/residents from being able to enter and exit all but the main exterior doors for convenience.
The shame of setting off an alarm is enough of a deterrent to keep most people from going out the wrong door.
6. Leaving Digital Network Unsecured
It might be very convenient to have unsecured IP cameras placed throughout your facility. This will allow security and management to monitor the area without being on site.
But this also opens you up to vulnerabilities.
If you leave your local network unlocked, you could be vulnerable to attack. A digitized and networked system can be taken control of from a van parked outside if not properly secured.
Contact an IT security expert or, better yet, have one on staff if it fits within your budget. A state of the art system is worthless if it leaves you open to attack.
7. Placing Aesthetics Before Security
Interior designers don’t often think about security needs when designing a floor plan. Many buildings are designed to hide their security cameras. Unfortunately, that defeats the purpose.
Visible cameras can help to deter criminals.
This might be a shock to your designer but it’s important that your cameras and security staff can see everywhere on your facility.
Even if they’re not the prettiest thing to look at, cameras might be a necessity.
8. Staff That Doesn’t Understand Your Technology
Security technology has moved fast in the last few years. There are surveillance systems that can connect to mobile devices and offer real-time updates. Some facilities are even using drones.
Your facility security plan should spare no expense in using great technology. But the higher cost of technology can be a waste of money without a well-trained staff.
Ask the contractor that installs your cameras to stick around and give a briefing to your security staff.
With a multicamera switching system, even a recording is useless if the switching is random.
Set up a switching system connected to your door latches so that you can see who comes and goes. By setting up so-called “event-driven recording”, you can keep a record of who is using doors that should be secured at all times.
9. Be Sure To Secure Your Most Important Spaces
Computer server rooms, HVAC systems, and places where paper backups of documents are stored need to be secured as urgently as exterior doors.
When you’re setting up your security system, consider a biometric access system to keep a record of who is coming and going. Set up your event-driven recording for these doors as well as the emergency exits.
Be sure staff/residents are trained in understanding the importance of keeping these spaces secure.
10. Overdoing Security
Just like having too many cameras that switch randomly, having more options than you can use can lower the value of your system.
Run a review of your system every month and be sure that there is added value to every component of your facility security plan. If you’re finding it hard to keep up with a simple monthly review, you might be understaffed or over-armed.
If you give your security professionals more tools than they can use, they won’t be able to do their job. They’re likely to be more concerned with maintenance and arbitrary goals than securing your facility.
Keep Your Facility Security Plan Simple
When writing out your plan, start off with the basics. Make a list of basic needs (cameras, latches) and then work out from there.
If you’re having trouble assessing your needs, consider hiring a security consulting group to advise you in your decision making.