How Does Facility Layout Affect Security Decisions for Distribution Centers and Warehouses?

warehouse and distribution center security

There are many reasons you may want to install security in your warehouses/distribution centers. For one, cargo theft accounts for about $30 billion in inventory loss, so it is very possible that you have already experienced some sort of losses or are at a high risk of doing so.
If you’re considering installing security in your already existing warehouse, it is best to understand how the layout of your building may impact the security decisions that can and will be made by a warehouse security team. Everything from camera placement to fire exits will be impacted by the infrastructure of your building.
Read on to find out how your building’s layout will impact every aspect of warehouse and distribution center security decision made when equipping it.

1. Fencing

When considering the perimeter of your building, it is important to know the shape of your building as well as the way that transit moves in/out. The fencing around the warehouse will need to understand the flow of both your workers as well as the trucks that move in and out for shipment.
When planning fencing, it will be important for any security team to prepare for the routes taken so as to minimize any interruptions to your work schedule. It will also be important to plan for your coworkers and the routes they take to and from the warehouse.

2. Cameras

In order to have constant surveillance of your property, cameras are an essential security aspect to have in place. They will provide 24/7 surveillance, be a major asset in case of any type of theft, and will be great for deterring crime altogether. Unfortunately, installing cameras is not so simple in an already finished warehouse.
If your warehouse is already set, the company installing security cameras will need to consider the placement of many items in the warehouse, including shelves and walls. This is so that we can maximize the amount of space of the warehouse the cameras capture.
Placing security cameras in an ideal position, and placing as few as necessary to gather all the scope of data that is needed, is key. When designing your warehouse, you’ll want to consider where security cameras may be placed and how much information they will be able to gather.

3. Hiring a Security Guard

Though automated features may be very effective when it comes to warehouse and distribution center security, there are always benefits to hiring a real person to manage risk. There are many signs that you may need to employ an actual guard on property.
For starters, your regular personnel may not be completely qualified to handle a security emergency. If that’s the case, having someone to take the lead in the case of a fire or active shooter situation may be very beneficial.
On top of that, a security guard may be important if you receive a lot of traffic moving in and out of your warehouse. Security guards can ensure that all types of traffic and people are accounted for in order to prevent any type of breaches stemming from an overflow of movement.
If you want to hire a security guard, you will want to plan an area for them. With a well-planned area, you will maximize the value of your security guard. On top of that, professional guards with well-equipped areas can increase your property value incredibly.

4. Emergency Preparedness

One of the most important aspects of security in a warehouse is not for keeping your inventory safe, but rather keeping your workers safe. In the case of any type of emergency, be it a fire, flood, or an active shooter situation, you will want to make sure your workers are well prepared.
When planning your warehouse layout, it is vital that you follow local codes for emergencies. This usually includes keeping various options open for exiting the warehouse, having a clear path of escape in case of an emergency, and stocking up your warehouse with any tools your workers may need, such as a fire extinguisher.
Emergency preparedness doesn’t just stop there, though. Keeping your workers safe also means keeping them prepared. While it may be useful to have a layout that your workers can use to escape an emergency, it is also important to keep instructions available throughout that they can see.
When planning a building with emergencies in mind, it may not always be so simple to account for all possible situations. For this reason, it’s a good idea to consult a security team while planning the layout and infrastructure of your warehouse or distribution center.

5. Clear Instructions and Alarm

The key to any workplace success story is communication. But, communication could not be more key than it is during an emergency situation. From intruders to earthquakes, having your workers aware of the situation that is ongoing and giving them instructions is often key to the positive outcome of any situation.
In order to give your workers clear instructions during situations of peril, you’ll want to have a clear alarm system set and well connected. This doesn’t just mean fire alarms, though. Having alarms ready for the different possible perils is important, and will be very helpful for your workers.
On top of that, you may want to consider adding a PA system to your warehouse. A PA system will allow you to deliver clear messages during an emergency, which can be very helpful for your workers. This will reduce the chaos that arises in an emergency situation by reducing the uncertainty that often clouds these situations.

The Importance of Planning for Warehouse and Distribution Center Security

The layout of your building can have a huge impact on the overall warehouse and distribution center security. From providing an efficient escape from emergencies to putting measures in place to prevent theft, many issues can be prevented with efficient planning.
If you want to maximize planning for all types of emergencies and reduce costs, you may want to consider hiring a security team when you are originally planning the layout of your warehouse. This will make it so that your planning is done with security in mind, so you will have very little to take care of after.
If you’re looking for a security team to plan the layout of your next warehouse, be sure to contact us!

About OPS

OPS Security Group has over 80 years of combined experience protecting executives, businesses, residents, guests and government officials throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C. and New Jersey. As a regional security alternative with a service-first approach, we offer a level of customer service that international providers are too big to deliver. If you’d like to learn more, contact us!

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