By 2050, it’s expected that commercial building floor space will increase by 39% from 2017 levels to reach 126.1 billion square feet. That’s a lot of ground to cover and keep safe.
Physical security in commercial buildings is a full-time job. And what type of physical security plan you need to implement depends on its location, services, purpose, and even its occupants.
All of these factors affect the safety of the entire building. If you’re in the process of creating a security plan, keep reading.
We’re sharing with you three types of physical security strategies to include in your plan.
1. Start a Building Security Threat Assessment
There are different types of physical security to focus on. Begin by performing a complete and thorough threat assessment.
Categorize each potential threat and their consequences such as:
Next, determine which countermeasures you and your team can take to address those potential threats. Do this by collecting information and assigning values to help you with the following:
- Create priorities
- Develop a plan of action
- Inform decision making
Make sure to take everything you can think of into account when conducting your threat assessment. Make sure you take past occurrences, current crime trends in the neighborhood, current tenants, and future trends into consideration.
Identify Responsibilities for Security Director
Each building requires its own specific security program. Once the building security director has completed her or his assessment, it’s time to build a plan of action.
Determine which resources you’ll need to help you keep the building secure. Common resources are:
- Access control
- Security officers
- Video technology
Next, it’s time to figure out how to deploy those resources. Plan out the routes your security officers should patrol. Determine how often security officers should patrol each section of the building and where to place security stations.
Next, figure out where to place security cameras and which doors need card access. When you’re finished with those logistics, it’s time to monitor and manage these tasks.
Train Building Occupants
Once you’ve finished your building security threat assessment and created a plan, it’s imperative that you train all the occupants of the building on the new safety measures.
Once a year, have all tenants go through the training. This ensures new tenants are up-to-date on all safety protocols and measures. It’s also useful for longer-term tenants who will benefit from the refresher course and learn the latest updates.
Successful training should be provided through workshops, drills, and seminars. Always review the training to ensure new updates are included.
Keep Communicating With Tenants
Throughout the year, keep communicating with the tenants in your building so they’re aware of any potential threats or changes to the system. The more informed everyone is, the easier it is to keep everyone safe.
2. Implement Different Types of Physical Security Controls
There are different types of physical security systems you should begin implementing to ensure both visitors and tenants stay safe at all hours. Let’s take a look at a few of them:
Fenced walls or razor wires can act as your first line of defense. They can help you prevent the average person from entering the secured perimeter.
Protective barriers work to prevent forced entry from vehicles or people. To ensure complete safety, gates and other types of security checks should be put in place as well.
Place locks on doors so that only individuals with an access control card or a key can enter. Locks are easy to control when connected to a security monitoring system.
Technology has made security commercial buildings much easier. Installing surveillance cameras and tracking sensors help you keep track of everyone and everything remotely.
Always include security lighting as part of your surveillance plan. That way, all areas being monitored are easily visible at all times.
Guards are necessary to secure all entry points as well as critical areas inside.
Install heat, water, carbon dioxide, and heat detectors, and firefighting systems. These all act as your protection against fire and leaks.
An easy way to defend against people gaining unauthorized access is to incorporate biometric identification, smart cards, and in-person clearance.
3. Hire Personnel
Take some time to determine whether it’s better to hire security guards and employ them yourself or if it’s worth it to outsource guards from another company.
There are benefits to both hiring employees and outsourcing to a professional company.
Hiring an Employee
Hiring an employee means paying them their salary and benefits. Finding valuable employees, interviewing them, and negotiating with them takes time, effort, and money.
And there’s no guarantee they’ll stay. However, you may also find that with employees, there’s less worry about confidentiality issues.
Employees also have a more vested interest in the outcome of the work. It’s also easier to keep the lines of communication open since you know exactly who is supposed to show up and when.
Outsourcing to an Agency
Working with an agency means you have access to a whole team of security professionals who have already been vetted by another company. You also don’t have to deal with hiring, firing or salary negotiations.
Also, if one security guard doesn’t show up, you can simply call the agency and ask for a replacement.
However, you’re also not in complete control over your staff since you don’t get to vet them. If you end up working with an unreliable agency, you may be placing your building at a greater risk.
Work With Us
Your building’s physical security needs to be your top priority. And it’s a big job to do it all on your own.
We can help. We provide a wide variety of security services from providing armed guards to client training and consultations.
Don’t wait until something bad happens to secure your building. Contact us today to see how we can keep your tenants and their visits safe.