Five Levels of Physical Security
Five Levels of physical security
Physical Security refers to measures you can take to protect buildings, property, and assets against intruders. Designing a physical security program for your facility calls for six levels of protection: the outer perimeter, the inner perimeter, and the building’s interior. An effective physical security system implements two or three forms of security at each level.
Outer Perimeter Security
The outer perimeter of a facility is defined by the actual property lines. When securing the outer perimeter, the goal is to control who can walk or drive onto the grounds. Perimeter security can include a locked gate that is locked, remotely operated, or protected by guards. In some situations, a simple hedge can provide adequate perimeter security, while a barbed wire fence with a guarded gate is called for in extreme situations. Determining what type of perimeter security to install requires weighing the risk of an intruder accessing the property against the cost of the physical security measures available.
Perimeter security can include natural access control and territorial reinforcement.
Natural Access Control
Natural access control utilizes the building and landscaping features to guide people entering and exiting the property. The theory is that criminals’ perception of risk is lowered if they sense that they can move about unnoticed. Natural access control measures can interfere with that lowered sense of risk and deter their willingness to approach the property or building. Natural access control should include entrances and exits to effectively discourage intruders and eliminate any possible escape routes.
Territorial Reinforcement distinguishes private property from public property or spaces to prevent unauthorized entry. This is important for providing authorized persons with a sense of dominion. Authorized persons will notice visitors who seem out of place as intruders have difficulty blending in. Territorial reinforcement has the same goal as perimeter security: keeping intruders off of your property.
Inner Perimeter Security
Perimeter security secures the facility’s doors, windows, and walls. Perimeter security measures include locks, keys, alarm systems, access control, electronic visitor management systems, and key controls. These measures help keep unauthorized people out, and some help control the flow of visitors into your building. Alarm systems signal a warning if an entry or exit is breached.
Interior security addresses the building’s inner spaces, where employee offices, data stores and other assets reside. Security cameras and motion detectors are effective for monitoring a business’s interior spaces.
Electronic access control systems stop unauthorized visitors at the door and control traffic within a facility. A visitor management system located in the lobby scans, records and stores identification information on every person who requests access to your facility. A VMS can run an instant background check on visitors and alert personnel to visitors who may pose a threat if they’re granted entry.
Plan your security system in terms of these three levels, and try to implement two or three physical security measures at each level for best results.