Good Communication Key Part of Security System Design

  May 7, 2012

This is Casey Laughman, managing editor of Building Operating Management magazine. Today's tip is that good communication is a key part of designing a security system.

Good communication is not only effective; it's also cheap. But that doesn't mean it's easy. 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.

Brett Williams, a facility manager for Transwestern, points out that everyone does fire drills. But there are more considerations than just fire. Things like elevator entrapment and bomb threats. may not happen very often, but the building owner has to be prepared if they do occur.

Williams says that when a tenant of his got a bomb threat a couple years ago, they received a far different response from police and security staff than they expected. The incident was a learning experience, not only about security, but also about tenants and managing expectations.

Kelly Klatt, chief executive officer for the Center for Security Solutions, advocates open lines of communication that are established from the outset of tenancy.

A joint building committee with a representative or two from each tenant can look at emergencies and evacuation considerations, as well as day-to-day concerns, like when contractors for a specific tenant will tie up the freight elevator on a weekday.

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.


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