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.
Security systems are a part of your overall security strategy, which should include sufficient security resource officers (SRO), training of staff in safety protocols, comprehensive evacuation plans, and appropriate technology and physical barriers to target-harden your premises and deter potential threats.
Unfortunately, a threat actor only needs to find one entry point, one weak link. In the case of an active shooter, seconds count. Current security systems are reactive; alarms go off only after the perpetrator breaks in. They often depend on desperate 911 calls from victims to alert authorities. It is far better to be proactive and identify a potential threat before shots are fired, to lock down the premises, and give law enforcement the critical intelligence they need to neutralize the threat as quickly as possible.
Take the time to ask yourself critical questions in order to determine what you need to safeguard the lives of your people.
Evaluation of your particular situation
What specific security concerns do you have? Make a comprehensive list of threats, both probable and improbable.
Who are potential threat actors: students? disgruntled employees? visitors to your location? Consider situations and locations that might pose opportunities for threat actors.
Do you have protocols and procedures in place? Are your staff and employees fully aware of safety protocols? Are they implementing them? Human error is often all a malefactor needs to get past security and cause harm.
Physical premises vulnerability assessment
Do your parking areas and the exterior of your building have sufficient lighting?
Are there any bushes or other structures that offer cover for perpetrators and act as visual obstacles for cameras?
Are there sufficient locks and security bars on windows and doors? Are there alarm systems on these entrance points, with clear warnings to this effect?
For larger facilities, is it possible to lock down wings to prevent malefactors from moving about freely?
Are alarm systems connected to emergency response call centers?
Do you have sufficient security cameras to cover all entrances, halls, and rooms of your facility? Where could perpetrators hide inside your facility and how can you eliminate that hiding place?
Security efficiency assessment
Do your security cameras have a fail-safe system of alerting SROs, your administrators, and 1st responders the moment a firearm is detected?
How quickly will the system alert SROs and the emergency call center that a threat has been detected? Security needs to be able to respond within seconds, even before shots are fired, in order to set into motion protocols that can lead people to safety and lock down the threat actor.
Does the system you are using have a secure communication system between on-site security and first responders? Those responding to the emergency need to be able to communicate and coordinate rapid action.
Will the system provide security with real-time intelligence so they know exactly who the threat actors are, where they are, and what they are doing at any moment?
These are just some of the critical questions you need to ask yourself as you evaluate your level of risk and the best technological and physical barriers as well as protocols you need to target-harden your school, business, or office and safeguard the lives of those who have been entrusted to you.
As former Navy SEALs, we have dedicated our lives to using our hands-on combat experience to give you and your security personnel the military-level technology you need to win the war against violence in schools and the workplace.
Our gun-detection video analytics technology layers onto your current security camera network, alerting authorities and administrators within 3 seconds of detecting a gun. ZeroEyes provides real-time tracking of threat actors, giving police and security the combat-level intel they need to quickly find and neutralize their target. Contact us here at ZeroEyes to discuss how we can help you.