How to Layer a Comprehensive Security Plan

How to Layer a Comprehensive Security Plan By Richard D. Maurer June 2002 With the public's increased awareness of physical security, many security directors and facility managers are being called upon to increase the...


How to Layer a Comprehensive Security Plan

By Richard D. Maurer

June 2002

With the public's increased awareness of physical security, many security directors and facility managers are being called upon to increase the security and safety of their workplaces. Usually this request comes with the provision that there is no extra money available.
When developing a comprehensive security plan you must remember the three basic elements of physical security:
Mechanical (electronic systems)-Covering the use of security hardware including access control, CCTV, door locks, monitoring systems and intrusion alarms.
Operational (security staff and procedures as well as organizational security)-Covering the involvement in the security programs by management, security staff and employees.
Natural (architectural elements)-Covering basic security philosophies involving property definition, natural surveillance and access control.

Sadly, many security programs focus too heavily on just one of the above basic security philosophies. Some facilities rely too much on security guards who may be fooled into allowing unsafe individuals access. Other facilities focus on mechanical security, leaving their security staff and tenants untrained and uninvolved in the security process. Still other facilities forgo the use of mechanical and organizational security, depending on the goodwill of others or the psychological effect of signage.
Establishing a security program that utilizes a balance of all of the above philosophies will keep the program flexible and ready to handle potential risks that may appear.

Examine Risk
You start your security plan by evaluating the level of risk to your facility. First, what is your neighborhood like? Do you have neighbors that might attract unsafe individuals to your neighborhood? Does your facility contain individuals or activity that also might bring unsafe activity to your doorstep? Do you have a building filled with dentists or a building filled with federal law enforcement agencies or a major media outlet? Each of these buildings has different levels of risk, and the security plan would be different in each case. How well known is your facility on a local, national or international basis? Is it near railroad tracks or major freeways? More American office buildings have been evacuated due to toxic fumes from derailed trains and overturned trucks than terrorist activities. Are you near a university or college? Do any of the tenants in your building have negative media exposure? Are there certain organizations that are not thrilled with the existence of one of the tenants in your building?

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