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Audit May Improve Building Security
October 25, 2012 - Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »
Today's tip is to do a security audit for your building. In its simplest terms, a building security audit looks for threats that could disrupt a facility and its operations, such as attacks on employees or visitors; damage to facility components or systems; and damage to the area around the facility.
A building security audit should identify possible entry points for disruption, and it should allow facility personnel to plan for physical changes or to develop a response plan. These areas are not necessarily sequential; they are starting points that allow a manager or security specialist to begin the process.
Managers also will need to assess whether the facility houses a controversial activity and whether a disruption would affect more than just the facility and its occupants. They can address many threats by using perimeter solutions, which keep unauthorized people far enough away from a facility to minimize damage. Identifying threats requires that managers know about activities going on in their buildings. Talking with occupants regularly will help identify potential threats.
An audit also should consider a building's access points. Access points are those facility areas at which a facility's security and safety can be breached. The most obvious access point is a door or operable window at or near grade level. Other access points include fresh-air intakes; utilities, such as water, sewer and electric service; roofs; adjacent facilities; and the Internet.
A receptionist or security guard can staff public entrances, and cameras can record activity and assist in identifying a threat. Also, cameras and door-open detectors can monitor private entrances, emergency exits and windows.
Often, consultants can lead an audit, but the organization must provide site-specific details. Facility managers understand the construction and operation of buildings. They know the weak points, and the effects on operations of shutting down building systems.