Hard Security

Perimeter security from barriers and bollards to turnstiles and door hardware

The Roof

In most cases, roof entries are invited. By that I mean there is an entry portal on the roof, accessed by a permanent ladder mounted on the side of the building. The roof entry has some legitimate functional support for operations and is necessary.

The security challenge is to block easy access to the point of entry. Ladders must be screened off by a locked metal mesh cover to prohibit easy use. Some ladders are raised above ground level and require a ladder from the ground to access the bottom rung. Do not be careless and leave a ladder conveniently placed for use. Mount a locked metal mesh screen over all the ladders at the facility.


Vaults provide the highest level of access control to assets. Most are of such construction that they are a separate, standalone structure which must be installed during the very early stages of building construction. The doors — made to withstand severe attack — are still the vulnerable point. Protecting vault contents involves all the materials and items mentioned, along with a sophisticated intrusion detection system.

The technologies discussed are not standalone items for protection. When used together and with electronic equipment, they can provide us with the protective qualities we desire or are required. The wise practitioner is constantly reviewing manufacturer’s literature, attending trade shows for hands-on evaluation and dialogue with manufacturer’s representatives, and networking with colleagues to stay current on the best equipment and materials for their specific applications.

Jim Fetzer, CPP, is principal of James Fetzer & Associates LLC, a physical security management Consulting firm in Knoxville, Tenn. Contact him at jfa@tds.net