What happened to the basic principles of locking?

Feb. 26, 2009
Pardon me while I climb on my “high horse†but that’s what blogging is all about. I know we are all enamored with IP video and imaging, but whatever happened to the basic principles of locks and access control?  More and more I see end users start their security—not with locks, which are  the basis of any perimeter detection and the first line of defense in a security plan, but with video. Did we not do our jobs right? Did we neglect to give the users the big picture—that yeah, video is great and often gives you live, real-time images to base security decisions and prosecutions on—but that any good security program starts with hardening the outside of the protected premises and working your way in with levels or layers of protection? That means locks and lighting and even landscaping.  I attended a recent conference where it became clear about ¾ of the way through the presentation from a major east coast university that the access control was lacking at best. There was spotty coverage, a lock here and there, swipe card readers on some labs and computer areas, etc. But as I watched the recorded video of a thief in action at this same university, I witnessed the perpetrator climb deeper and deeper into the premises of this educational abyss. Before you know it, he was in a lab, looking for laptops. He had a sledgehammer but didn’t use it on any doors—didn’t have to!  I cringed when the video showed an unknowing educator showing up and confronting the stranger.  The professor escorts the guy out, not knowing at the time that he was trying to commit a crime. He ID’s the guy later, a known area criminal so the story had a happy ending, this time. You owe it to your customers to give them the full solution. Sure that means video, but not JUST video. Get back to basics. Start in a consultative manner, building relationships and sharing your expertise. Devise a plan on paper and blueprints; talk about disasters and such and make sure they have a plan, practice it and follow it. Help the customer obtain all the things that make them and their facility safe and secure. Trust is what builds business.Good security starts with locks and access control and even biometrics, which has dropped dramatically in price. Don’t shortchange your customers by offering a single solution. All these different product categories used together truly harden a criminal’s target.And last time I checked, most burglaries in the residential world were still through unlocked doors and windows. (If you want good solid info on the locking end of the market, consult sister publication Locksmith Ledger on the home page of SIW).  – Deborah O’Mara, editor, Security Dealer & Integrator magazine