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Facilities Face Security Hurdle
September 17, 2018 - Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »
A spate of fatal attacks by active shooters has prompted the nation’s K-12 school districts to rethink the physical and strategic measures they put have in place to protect occupants. But other institutional and commercial facilities are going through many of the same considerations, and one key market segment has found a difficult hurdle to clear.
Stadiums, corporate buildings and other facilities that draw crowds have strengthened their security since 9/11. In return, they have earned U.S. protections in the event their efforts fail to prevent a terrorist attack and they are sued. But hotels have not received the same safeguards.
World-famous Las Vegas casino-resorts have long been known to be of interest to terrorists, but their constant flow of people might pose a challenge to earning liability protections under a little-known federal law, one expert tells Fox News. For the first time, the law is at the center of a legal battle after MGM Resorts International invoked it to sue hundreds of victims of the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history to avoid paying out for lawsuits.
The law was enacted in 2002 to urge development and use of anti-terrorism technologies by providing companies a way to limit liability if their federally vetted and approved products or services don't prevent an attack. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has certified hundreds of security systems, software and equipment, ranging from unarmed guards at shopping malls to flight deck doors.
Casino operators interested in earning federal approvals would have to show the government that security at their properties not only seeks out gambling cheaters but also signs of terrorism, says attorney Brian Finch, who has helped dozens of clients get their systems certified. He says companies can delineate what part of their property they want to get certified, whether it is only the casino floor, hotel tower or convention center.
This Quick Read was submitted by Dan Hounsell — firstname.lastname@example.org — editor-in-chief of Facility Maintenance Decisions, and chief editor of Facilitiesnet.com.