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Architectural and landscape elements can help a facility harden itself against physical attack and facilitate evacuation during an emergency. A difficulty remains in that panicked people do not evacuate in an orderly fashion, and the route of attack is unpredictable, according to an article in The Verge.
The Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) approach to security centers around discouraging criminal activity by making a building a less desirable target and creating physical spaces that delay an intruder's progress to create time for first responders to address the situation, and for people to find shelter or escape. For example, a new elementary school can be designed so the building is set back from the main road and there are ample views from the classrooms and hallways — providing access to daylight and also making it harder to approach the building unseen.
In outdoor spaces, it is very challenging to plan for threat detection and evacuation strategies, but some features like installing low hedges, a cluster of trees that can block a car but still let people by, or one-way gates might help to slow down the approach of someone up to no good but still allow people to get to safety.
This Quick Read was submitted by Naomi Millán, Building Operating Management's senior editor. To learn more about CPTED, go to www.facilitiesnet.com/17288bom.