A Step-by-Step Security Guide – building’s security protocols
Are you 100% confident in your building’s security protocols? Visitor management, secure access control, points of entry, and much more must be evaluated and adapted to ensure the safety of your tenants.
As 2015 nears, now is the ideal time to conduct a security audit of your property. The overall goal is to evaluate what strategies are working, identify security gaps, and implement necessary changes prior to the start of the New Year. The safety of employees and visitors is of paramount importance, especially in light of the increasing risks and security lapses in office buildings across the globe.
Part of the job of the building security audit is to look for potential threats that not only put the safety of employees and visitors at risk, but also have the potential to disrupt operations. Office buildings with multiple tenants often have an endless flow of visits from vendors, messengers, clients, and delivery personnel. Ensuring that every individual that enters your facility, is in fact a welcomed visitor, and not a threat to security, requires a multi-pronged approach. Visitor management systems with on-demand badge printing can help streamline the process, while providing the extra level of security necessary today.
Below, we outline the 5 steps necessary to conduct a security audit.
Step 1: Identify all Possible Entry Points
Even if your building has one main entrance, that is not the only possible point of entry. The security team, must assess all areas the building can be accessed including:
• Employee, delivery and vendor entrances
• Loading docks
• Underground parking entry points
• Underground parking elevators
• Emergency exit doors
• Ground floor windows
• Below grade windows and doors
• Roof access points
• Fresh-air intakes
• Adjacent facilities/buildings
In multi-tenant buildings, there is a near constant flow of visitors, messengers, vendors, and maintenance personnel through the doors each day. In addition, employees come and go regularly. Of particular concern are employees that regularly use side entrances to run a quick errand, or have a cigarette. Unfortunately, it is commonplace to leave the door ajar, for quick access back into the building.
Step 2: Identify Risks and Threats
This step is a bit tougher. Unlike the identification and evaluation of potential access points, this step requires an evaluation of threats, of a more personal genre. Disgruntled employees, estranged spouses, stalkers, and even protestors can put the risk of your tenants and employees at risk. It is imperative that tenants understand the importance of reporting any possible threats to the building’s security team.
Open communication between tenants and the security team is invaluable. It allows for on-the-spot heightened awareness, and can help thwart an attack against an individual, or organization in your building. If a tenant is receiving threats over social media, for example, from a dissatisfied customer or activist, building security can quickly respond, but only if they have been alerted to the matter.
Step 3: Survey Tenants
As part of the security audit, it is important to survey tenants. Often times, they have a greater awareness of potential threats, and lapses in security. Perhaps better lighting is needed in the underground parking lot; maybe they use emergency exits as a shortcut, or perhaps, they have ideas to help improve security afterhours and on weekends.
Regardless of the input you receive, the survey helps the tenants recognize that the building’s security team takes their security seriously. In these tenuous times, reassuring tenants and employees that their safety is of highest priority, helps to increase the longevity of their lease agreements. When shopping for new office space today, tenants are seeking higher levels of security, to protect their businesses, and their employees.
Step 4: Evaluate Source For Real-Time Security Threats
Where is your security team sourcing their real-time security threat information? In addition to traditional media channels, it is imperative they are connected to local, regional and national industry threat information. It is helpful to keep an eye on social media, and as mentioned above, encourage the security team to routinely communicate with tenants.
Step 5: Analyze Current Visitor Management System
If you are currently using the old-school sign-in/sign-out sheet to manage visitors, the safety and security of your tenants and employees is at risk. This antiquated approach to security also does not protect confidentiality, as the names of visitors, and where they are going in the building, is not kept from others. With a web-based visitor management system, your tenants can schedule visitors (including clients, vendors, and delivery personnel) online, thus screening against a do not admit list prior to the visitor’s arrival. Additionally, hosts may receive notifications of their visitor check-ins, and checkout status. Veristream’s iVisitor system automates visitor control, saving security resources.