Communication is key to good multitenant security

  June 18, 2012

This is Casey Laughman, managing editor of Building Operating Management magazine. Today's tip is that communication between stakeholders is critical when designing a security system in a multitenant building.

Good communication is not only effective; it's also cheap. But that doesn't mean it's easy, especially when it comes to designing a security system for a multitenant building. The problem, say security consultants, is that everyone has to be willing to meet on a regular basis to discuss security concerns. And they have to fully understand expectations and procedures.
Everyone does fire drills, but what about elevator entrapment and bomb threats? Those may not happen very often, but the building owner has to be prepared if they do occur.
Kelly Klatt, chief executive officer for the Center for Security Solutions, advocates open lines of communication that are established from the outset of tenancy. The need for communication isn't limited to owners and tenants. During construction, for example, it is imperative that operating staff be part of the construction meetings.
An anecdote offered by Klatt illustrates what happens when operating staff isn't present in construction meetings; this particular project involved a hotel, but it could easily have been a multitenant office building.
On this project, the fire control room and security room were next to one another, but not connected. Had the operating staff been in the meetings, they could have stipulated the two rooms be connected via a short hallway. But that wasn't the case. As a result, the night security guard had to leave the security room with the cameras and walk around two rooms to gain access to the fire-control room. Ultimately, the situation was solved by putting a remote control panel in the security room that allowed night security staff to acknowledge alarms.


Read next on FacilitiesNet