Developing and implementing a complete facilities security plan includes evaluating multiple aspects, including access control, building design and infrastructure, exterior and interior vulnerabilities, security systems including both physical barriers and technology, safety protocols, and training and compliance. While it may seem a daunting task, a thorough risk assessment and the development and implementation of a comprehensive security plan is critical to keeping your people safe.
Physical barriers are your first line of defense, and should start at the exterior of your property, as far away from your building as possible. Take a fresh look at your facilities by standing at the farthest corner of your property and looking at it as a criminal might. Walk all around the perimeter of your property. Is there easy access for cars and pedestrians, or have barriers been put in place to slow or limit access? Can people walk up to your building from anywhere, or do physical barriers like fencing limit approach to well-monitored walkways? Can cars park adjacent to the curb near your building? Are there cameras clearly placed where a bad-actor can see them? Are any areas not covered by camera surveillance? Are there hiding places or dark corners? Are there unguarded doors or open windows?
These are just some of the questions you need to ask yourself about exterior security. Once you’ve done a thorough review of the exterior, do the same for the interior. This evaluation will include considering the building layout, possible entry points, hiding places, and areas of the building that should be secure. You also need to consider if employees are accidentally increasing security vulnerabilities.
Entrance access is a major point of vulnerability for many companies. Are there physical or technological barriers that control entrance? Are doors and windows locked? Do employees allow others to come in the doors behind them? Are ID badges required for entrance? Is access restricted to more sensitive areas of the building?
There are numerous checklists available to help you evaluate the security of your facilities. There are also companies with highly competent evaluators whom you can hire to do the evaluation for you. FEMA offers a detailed Building Vulnerability Assessment Checklist and the USDA Physical Security Program also offers an assessment. Some of the questions on these lists, besides those mentioned above, include:
- What is your target potential?
- What kind of physical security systems and controls are presently used?
- Do the available security resources, policies, and procedures meet the potential threat?
- What is the prevailing attitude toward security in your company and how are security policies enforced?
- Is there any access through utility paths or water runoffs?
Some questions that could help prevent active shooter scenarios include:
- How old is your security system? (It is recommended that it be updated every 10 years, or when major new advancements in security are developed.)
- Are cameras monitored 24/7? By whom?
- Are cameras programmed to respond automatically to building perimeter alarms?
- What is the quality of the images provided by the cameras, both during the day and in hours of darkness?
- What resources are available locally and how rapid are the response times for fire, police and ambulance?
- How will first responders and SROs communicate in the case of an emergency?
- Are cameras installed with intelligent video systems that can monitor for threats or guns?
Security is not always convenient, and some education may be necessary to help your employees, staff, students, or clientele understand its importance. But by target hardening your facilities, you will be deterring active shooters and other malefactors from harming your people, creating a safe environment in which to work, learn, or relax.
Reach out to us here at ZeroEyes to find out how our gun detection AI technology can be added to your existing security cameras to help keep your people safe.