4  FM quick reads on security

1. Security Film Offers Options For Windows


Today's tip is to consider security film for windows. Window security film is very different from solar film. Though some security film will block solar radiation, its primary purpose is to prevent shards of flying glass from injuring occupants if the window breaks. 

At 4 to 14 mil, security film is significantly thicker than solar control film, which is generally 1.5 to 2 mil thick. While solar control film is applied only to the part of the window that is visible, security film is installed into the window system itself by a process known as anchoring.

Two types of anchoring are available, known as wet-glazed and mechanical installations. A wet-glazed installation involves removing the rubber around the window from the gasket and replacing it with a structural silicon sealant that fills the space between the window and the frame. A mechanical attachment involves overlapping the film around the edges of the window and securing the film with bolts to an internal frame. Both methods are meant to ensure that the film will hold glass fragments together and to prevent the entire window unit from becoming dislodged and sent into a building’s interior.

Shattered glass can be a risk to buildings that may not be a target for a bomb blast, but are in the vicinity of a building that is. If a threat assessment shows high-profile targets nearby, applying security film to the windows might make sense to protect against residual blast effects.

The value of security film has been recognized by the federal government, especially after 9/11, says Daniel Leclair, a security consultant with SAKO Associates. "All government buildings have some type of window film or protective glazing on the windows," Leclair says. "The majority of federal buildings have wet-glazed film application as a requirement.”

Security film is also a recognized benefit in hurricane-prone areas like Florida. The Protecting People First Foundation studied the performance of window film during recent hurricanes. Among the findings: In one high-rise condominium, some windows were protected by 8 and 12 mil security film; others had no film. None of the windows that had film were damaged, while some unprotected windows did sustain damage.

Most manufacturers' warranties are for five to 10 years. Check not only the length of the warranty, but also whether it covers removal of any failed product and reinstallation.


2.  Access-Control Technology Offers Enhanced Protection

I'm Steve Schuster, associate editor of Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today's topic discusses building security. More than ever, the general public is demanding that institutional and commercial facilities provide greater security and access control to all areas inside and outside of buildings. In response, maintenance and engineering managers are paying greater attention to new products and technologies that can enhance the protection of buildings, occupants, and operations.

A new generation of electronic access-control technology offers managers the opportunity to enhance security of and control access to facilities — provided their technicians specify and maintain these products and systems properly.

From planning and design to implementation, maintenance, and training, all stages of an access control and bar-code system are equally important to ensure long-term and reliable performance. The two most common mistakes related to bar-code systems are setting an unrealistic timetable for installing the system and not fully explaining system capabilities to building occupants.

Managers who avoid these mistakes can ensure greater system reliability and fewer maintenance needs. The smooth introduction of the systems also will boost occupants' confidence in the technology, the organization's management, and the manufacturers and vendors of the equipment.

3.  List Of Crisis Events Can Help With Security Planning

This is Casey Laughman, managing editor of Building Operating Management magazine. Today's tip is that a list of possible crisis events is an important early step in planning security and safety preparation for an educational campus.

An important early step in preparing a crisis response plan is to develop a list of possible events that could hit the campus, such as natural disasters, burglaries and violent attacks, says Gary Margolis, managing partner with Margolis Healy & Associates. Of course, the total often can top several dozen. No school has the resources to prevent every potential threat, so it's important to focus on those that are most likely to occur or inflict significant harm.

Margolis advises looking at potential security and safety events from the perspectives of vulnerability, impact and probability. For instance, how vulnerable is the campus to a tornado? Can its vulnerability be reduced by fortifying the buildings on campus?

The next step is to look at the possible impact of each threat. Clearly, tornados or school shootings typically have a greater impact than, say, a stolen laptop. On the other hand, the probability that a laptop will be stolen during any school year far exceeds the likelihood that a more serious incident will occur.

The idea is to complete this analysis for the entire list of potential threats, ranking each and developing plans for events that hit certain thresholds. And in all emergency planning, the facilities staff plays a key role. Because facilities professionals typically spend time in all areas of a campus, they usually have a good idea of who typically comes and goes, and at what times. As a result, they often are among the first to notice situations that appear out of the ordinary. According to Margolis, "they can be the eyes and ears of the institution, and that can be invaluable."

4.  'Road Map' Can Help Guide Security Plans

This is Casey Laughman, managing editor of Building Operating Management magazine. Today's tip is that a security road map can help guide your planning and preparation.

"Be prepared" may be a cliché, but when lives are on the line the advice is well worth heeding. For facility managers and security directors, being prepared means more than having security measures in place to address the biggest risks to life and property. It means having a strategic road map that will guide security decisions and enable a facility manager or security director to make the right choices in an emergency.

Funding for security measures is very difficult to come by — until something goes wrong. Concern for security rises when senior executives read about an incident at another facility. And it's up to the facility manager or security director to be prepared with the right answers if questions come from higher up in the organization.

A strategic security road map can help provide those answers, says Robert Lang, assistant vice president, strategic security and safety, and chief security officer, Kennesaw State University. That road map is based on a careful, ongoing analysis of facility needs as well as technologies, policies and procedures that can address those needs. Lang's road map extends five years into the future. He knows he won't get funding for everything he'd like to enhance the security program, at least not right away. But the road map shows what he'd like to do and when.

Taking a strategic approach helps facility managers and security directors to avoid making poor decisions if an emergency leads top management to ask for action. The road map may not have been submitted for approval, but it should be ready in case something happens and you need a solution quickly.


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security , security planning , security products



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