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Changing Roles: Maintenance and Facility Security
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: This PagePt. 2: Maintenance Brings Facility Knowledge to Security TeamsPt. 3: Electronic Security Systems Help Maintenance Teams Cover Large AreasPt. 4: Post-Installation Considerations for Door Hardware and Security ProductsPt. 5: Products: Door Hardware
A rash of high-profile active shootings around the country are shining the spotlight on the issue of security in institutional and commercial facilities. Because of those events and general security issues, pressure is rising for maintenance and engineering managers to help ensure that door hardware and related components perform effectively.
The role of maintenance in security for facilities extends beyond repairing, installing and inspecting of door hardware components. The department’s duties now more often include establishing and executing a facility’s emergency response plan.
The expanded role can place the maintenance staff in a difficult situation, says John White, the president and CEO of Protection Management in Canton, Ohio, which provides security consulting services education, health care and government facilities.
“During the last five years or so, with budget cuts and issues in a lot of organizations such as health care and schools, they’ve reduced their security staff or totally eliminated it,” he says. “They’re putting the security function into the hands of someone who doesn’t have security experience. Those people don’t always know exactly what to do. They’re not in the security mindset of being able to manage the physical security of an organization as someone who has a lot of experience.”