This article is a high-level overview of the benefits gained by carrying out a physical security risk assessment at your facility. Before implementing a security risk plan, though, it is advisable to seek professional training and services such as those carried out by The Mohawk Group.
Why the need for a site security assessment?
Whether you own or manage a public facility or a private residential building, it has become more important than ever to adequately protect your premises against both external and internal security threats.
Vandalism, theft, security breaches, attacks by criminals, or by rogue or mentally unstable employees can pose a serious threat if they are not identified and properly neutralized before they occur.
Experience has shown, and the daily news is adequate proof, that some of the most dangerous threats to a company, school, hotel or private residence can go completely unnoticed by untrained eyes until disaster strikes.
As a result, more and more public institutions and businesses have realized the need to take adequate preventative measures to secure their premises. These steps should also include proper employee response training in the event of an incident occurring on the premises.
The immediate benefits gained by using professional advice.
A professional security company will assess the areas of weakness that need to be addressed. After a careful and thorough investigation of the site, they will provide a detailed guide and plan of the required actions that need to be implemented. Having a plan of action in itself provides peace of mind knowing that the due diligence taken could save and protect lives and property. Shopping malls, office buildings, hotels, airports, schools and places of education and private residences can all become the safer places we’d like them to be.
How is a security assessment carried out?
Vulnerability to external threat is usually the initial focus, but this will always be done in conjunction with an analysis of possible internal weaknesses such as insufficiently trained, unmotivated or disgruntled staff and personnel.
An initial guided walk-through the premises with the onsite security personnel will usually be undertaken first. This will determine the extent of the existing measures and security policies that are in place. The security experts will then be in a position to start evaluating the controls that are absent and which require implementation.
Some of the areas that will need to be assessed
- Area where facility is located
This would include the geographical site address and demography of the neighborhood. An assessment would include both day and night observation of the site area. Access to the parking lot as well as traffic around the area both vehicular and pedestrian would be observed. A check on neighborhood tenants would be undertaken to establish whether they could contribute to security problems.
- Staff, personnel and customers
All echelons of staff could be interviewed as necessary. The number of employees, working hours, overtime routines and weekend schedules would be established. Questions to be asked would include: Is there a zero-tolerance workplace weapons and violence policy in place? Is there a carefully monitored hiring system for staff including proper background checks?
- Access control systems
Vehicular and pedestrian entry and exit control systems would be assessed. Are they manned by trained security staff? Are identity tags issued to staff and visitors? Is access to sensitive areas controlled by digital door locking systems? Are physical barriers in place to control and limit vehicle access to the site? Are search and identification procedures in place for delivery vehicles?
- Visitor entry, verification, and management procedures
Are visitors required to sign in and out and produce valid identification for accessing security sensitive areas? Does the reception desk have a clear and uninterrupted view of all entrances? Is there video surveillance of the approaches to the building? Are visitors and contractors escorted while on the premises? Are visitors briefed on safety and security procedures? Is there a lockdown procedure in place in the event of a serious security incident?
- Alarm systems
Is an efficient alarm system in place, including an unauthorized entry alarm, and fire and smoke alarms? Is there a centralized reporting process in the event of alarms being triggered? Is there power backup in the case of an outage? Do alarms automatically reset after being triggered? Is there a bomb threat plan in place? Is there an emergency response system with strategically placed panic buttons both mounted and portable?
- Video surveillance systems
Are all interior and exterior areas of the entire facility adequately covered by remotely controlled video cameras? Are security cameras monitored in real time to allow for immediate response? Are security video records maintained and properly time and date stamped and archived? Are cameras regularly checked and maintained for good functionality?
- Lock and key management
Is a secure and adequate key cabinet control in place? Is there an updated list of authenticated key and access card carrying personnel? Are doors, gates, windows and loading docks adequately secured and in good functioning condition? Are sensitive areas demarcated and properly secured for authorized access only? Are records of all issued keys and access cards maintained, with prompt reaction in the case of missing or stolen keys? Are locks changed immediately in the event of keys or access cards going missing?
- Perimeter systems
Is the parking lot and delivery dock access secured, limiting uncontrolled public access? Is the perimeter properly secured against unauthorized access by vehicles or pedestrians? Are potential weaknesses in the perimeter identified by regular patrol and maintenance checks? Are all likely avenues of approach to the premises known and secured? Is there adequate perimeter and yard lighting in place to allow for night time video surveillance?
- Emergency safety systems
Are there designated personnel and procedures in place in case of threats or security incidents? Are employees encouraged to report any suspicious activities or unidentified packages or items left on the premises? Is there a confidential phone number in place for emergency contact and reporting? Is there an emergency contact list of all employee phone numbers in case of the need for security notifications?
How to arrange for a full security risk assessment of your facility
The items listed above are merely a sample of the type of areas that will be looked at by the security company when preparing a security risk assessment and management program. The list is by no means comprehensive and will be much expanded in a real-life assessment.
At The Mohawk Group, we have assembled an expert team trained to accomplish law enforcement, military, intelligence and business missions to the highest standards. When employing our resources and expertise, you can rest assured of achieving the finest and most successful results the industry can provide.
Set up a free consultation with The Mohawk Group by contacting us online. We are happy to be of service.