Security and Safety In Your Office

office securityPart of what makes businesses inviting, is by knowing your potential risks, and how you can prevent them from becoming a danger to customers and staff. Often, the solution for business owners, is to install security cameras throughout the facility, as well as keeping a log of who has keys to enter. Unfortunately, in today’s world, that may not be enough, especially when considering how much of theft and violence is caused by internal sources.

Subjects to review and consider:

  • Security is often about deterrence, since it’s easier to discourage a theft or unwanted entry into a building than it is to respond to one, and often more effective. Video cameras should be connected and maintained, and kept up to date. Simply keeping an area clean and well lit makes it less attractive to criminals. The exterior of the building should also have cameras and suitable lighting to keep employees safe after hours, and to keep potential burglars and vandals from approaching the building under the cover of darkness.
  • Points of entry. Know exactly how many entryways your building has, and be sure all of them are monitored closely. In many cases of vandalism and burglary, the only thing necessary for entry was a back door which was either left open by accident, or which was kept open by something as simple as a piece of tape that kept it from fully latching. Know all possible points of entry, and how they can be disabled or opened; including vulnerable windows, regardless of their height.
  • Logging and Monitoring access are both efficient ways to assess who is where, for how long, and why. Sensitive areas of your building, such as data server rooms, should have their own separate secure entry system. A keypad or card swipe system is recommended over a lock and key, as the former methods can all be incorporated into an entry logging system.

Here are some general suggestions that may increase your security:

  • Keep master and extra keys locked in a security office.
  • Arrange office space so unescorted visitors can be easily noticed.
  • Have staff follow strict access control procedures, don’ t allow exceptions.
  • Install key-card access systems at main entrances and on other appropriate doors.
  • Issue access control badges, with recent photographs, to all employees and authorized contractors.
  • Upgrade perimeter control systems with intercoms and closed circuit monitoring devices.
  • Develop crisis communication among key personnel and security office involving intercoms, telephones, duress alarms or other concealed communications.
  • Have a back-up communication system, like two-way radio, in case of phone failure.
  • Open packages and large envelopes in executive offices only if the source or sender is positively identified.
  • Keep closets, service openings, telephone and electrical closets locked at all times. Protect crucial communications equipment and utility areas with an alarm system.
  • Avoid stairwells and other isolated areas. Try not to ride the elevator alone with a suspicious person.
  • Keep publicly accessible restroom doors locked and set up a key control system. If there is a combination lock, only office personnel should open the lock for visitors.

Staying Vigilant

Third-party security and safety measures, such as security guard contractors, can also help, but aren’t a silver bullet for property building security. Make sure that all personnel files are updated, and in the event of a termination or resignation, properly noted. It’s also highly recommended that notes on problematic individuals or actions be taken seriously, as patterns of behavior can all be warning signs of impending criminal activity.

Author: Dick Wagner