8 Methods for Ensuring Building Security

Photo of GoJoe Patrol security officer standing outside red brick building.

How can you improve building security to protect yourself, employees, clients, and business? Take eight proactive steps to ensure everyone’s safety and maintain a protected workplace for years to come.

1. Know the Risks

Start by establishing a comprehensive plan that best suits any identified risks and needs. For assistance, talk to a commercial access control and facility security specialist like GoJoe Patrol who can help guide you through a plan.

2.Secure the Perimeter

Identify the blind and dark spots in and around your building. Safety and security are greatly enhanced by installing adequate lighting in areas such as parking lots, break areas, stairwells, and dark hallways. Consider external motion activated lights and internal lights that make your building look occupied even when no one is inside.

If there are trees and shrubbery around the building, keep them trimmed and maintained to eliminate hiding areas and prevent window or roof access.

3. Regulate Access Control

You can control and regulate building access with two techniques: natural access control and electronic access control systems.

Natural access control uses the building and landscaping features to guide people as they enter and exit the space. This technique limits building or facility access to one or two entrances that are constantly monitored. It also discourages intruders while closing off their routes.

An electronic access control system allows you to control who can access each building and specific spaces. Different security levels can also be granted to certain individuals. For instance, visitors can enter public areas only, contractors can receive limited times passes, and employees can access high security areas such as informational technology rooms. An electronic access control system also offers audit trails and reports if a security breach occurs.

4. Regulate Key Control

If an electronic access control system is not applicable for your situation, having an established procedure for controlling and distributing keys is important. Assign key custodianship and the responsibility of locking and unlocking the facility to a few select individuals.

The procedure should include detailed instructions, such as checking all washrooms, closets, and other potential hiding spaces. For full accountability, physical keys should be numbered and assigned to specific individuals then verified with periodic audits.

5. Install Security Cameras

For buildings that require enhanced security, a closed-circuit system is an effective tool for monitoring your building.

Always strategically locate each camera unit to achieve maximum coverage. Installing one unit in an airlock door system entry, for example, can capture extended footage of individuals who enter and exit the facility. Security cameras also contribute to creating a safe environment for everyone by acting as visual deterrents.

6. Establish a Reception Area

As an extra layer of defense against unauthorized access, employ individuals to greet all entering and exiting individuals. This allows for close inspection of credentials and ensures security information goes through a single touchpoint.

If a receptionist cannot be accommodated in your plan, you may opt for a dedicated phone in the building or office lobby whose calls are received by a designated receiver. Visitors can then be tracked through a sign-in station.

7. Implement Clear Security Policies

There are many policies that your company can adapt depending on your requirements. Examples include the following:

  • Store all important documents and valuable equipment away from the desk and secure them at the end of each workday to reduce potential thefts.
  • Hand all deliveries directly to the recipient. Do not leave items unattended at the front desk, reception area, or outside employee offices.
  • Do not post job titles or employee names in publicly accessible directories. This prevents criminals from using them to justify their presence in restricted areas.
  • Require employees to always wear their identification badges or access cards when on site to readily distinguish unauthorized individuals.

8. Offer Employee Training and Information Campaigns

Most breaches are a result of employees who act maliciously, deliberately, or through carelessness. Training employees on best practices and policies to avoid security risks and breaches due to human error should be a top priority.

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