11 Tips for Improving Safety & Security for Your Building

Tips for Improving Safety & Security for Your Building

Implementing proactive security measures is crucial in safeguarding your business and premises from potential threats.

By focusing on proactive rather than reactive strategies, you can effectively mitigate risks, prevent crimes, and maintain a safe environment for your employees and patrons. Thus, boosting productivity and customer loyalty.

These include:

  • Risk assessments for tailored security solutions
  • Well-written security protocols
  • Access control and traffic regulation
  • Integrating advanced monitoring technologies like CCTVs
  • Updating your security strategy regularly
  • Hiring professional on-site security guards

It’s also important to address minor oversights promptly before they escalate.

So here, we’ve listed 11 useful tips to improve building safety and security.

Working with security professionals, like Scout Security, is important in devising and implementing an effective security plan for your business. Our certified professionals and high-caliber security guards in the Denver Metro and Colorado Springs areas can help you create a robust security plan guaranteed to address all security issues you face. Call us now!

What is building security and why is it important?

What is building security and why is it important?

Building security covers the methods used to safeguard your physical and non-physical assets through early crime detection, deterrence, and emergency/alarm response. It aims to protect your premises and people from unauthorized activities such as theft, break-ins, trespassing, workplace violence, and other unlawful acts.

An effective building security plan prevents liabilities, rising insurance premiums, and other unnecessary expenses due to property and even reputational damage.

Building security plans often combine physical (e.g. surveillance cameras and alarm systems) and non-physical (e.g. employee training) strategies.

Also Read: 10 Benefits of Hiring a Security Guard to Protect Your Business

How to Improve Building Safety and Security

Below is a detailed discussion of the proactive security measures we’ve mentioned earlier to enhance building security.

How to improve building safety and security: Conduct a risk assessment | Develop clear security policies & protocols

#1. First Step: Conduct a risk assessment to identify security vulnerabilities.

Start by identifying all potential risks and vulnerabilities within your building’s security. This involves understanding the causes of threats and what they may target.

We highly recommend consulting with specialists, like Scout Security, to develop a tailored plan that addresses these specific risks. We can conduct detailed risk assessments for your building/premises.

A thorough security risk assessment should include:

  • Review of your existing security protocols such as access controls and fire safety systems
  • Identification of blind spots that need improved lighting
  • Evaluation of high-risk areas that need access control and the required access levels
  • Identification of key assets to protect, whether it is physical or digital
  • Analysis of potential cyber and physical threats including data breaches and natural disasters
  • Prioritization of risks based on the findings of the assessment to focus on the most pressing vulnerabilities
  • Development of a comprehensive security plan to mitigate identified risks and improve your overall security.

Also Read: 11 Problems a Security Guard Can Help You Solve

#2. Develop and implement clear security policies and protocols.

Make sure that your security policies are well-defined and detailed. It should outline the specific actions to be done during security breaches and emergencies.

For instance, you should include details about the following:

  • What procedures should be followed to handle specific types of threats?
  • What policies should your employees follow to ensure unauthorized access (e.g. wearing ID badges at all times)?
  • What should be done to encourage safe and anonymous reporting of suspicious activities for prompt investigation?
  • What evacuation procedures should be followed?

Involve your employees and tenants in your building’s security framework.

Your employees (and tenants if you are in the hospitality business) are key resources in identifying and reporting suspicious activities. They can help you strengthen the overall security of your building.

How to improve building safety & security: Secure your premises & address identified vulnerabilities

#3. Secure your premises and address identified vulnerabilities.

There are many ways to secure your premises to address the risks identified in the previous section and maximize safety.

Improve Lighting to Deter Unauthorized Entry

Strategic interior and exterior lighting can significantly improve building security by increasing visibility and discouraging criminal activities.

There are various types of security lighting you can use which you can find in the linked article.

Below are the key strategies you can employ to enhance building security through lighting:
  • Install Adequate Lighting: Ensure both the exterior and interior of your building are well-lit. This can make your property appear occupied at all times to discourage potential intruders.
  • Maintain Visibility: Install lighting in areas where there are obstructions that can’t be removed and could provide cover for intruders. It will make it difficult for them to approach unnoticed.
  • Optimize Lighting for Surveillance: Adjust lighting to improve security footage and clearly capture activities on your premises.
  • Illuminate Blind Spots: Blind spots include walkways, parking lots, stairwells, dark hallways, laundry rooms, and other common areas to prevent criminal activities.
  • Ensure Uniform Lighting: Aim for consistent lighting levels throughout your property to avoid glare and eliminate dark spots that could hide trespassers.
  • Adapt to Seasonal Changes: Adjust your lighting schedules to address earlier nightfalls or later dawns.
  • Consider Motion Detectors & Automatic Lighting: These not only save energy but also deter prowlers by suddenly illuminating dark areas as they approach.

Also Read: 9 Ways Security Guards Can Prevent Vandalism

Use Landscaping to Boost Security

You should maintain clear sightlines and minimize potential hiding spots around your premises by implementing the Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) approach. This includes integrating landscaping (aside from lighting) into your security plan to reduce criminal activity.

Avoid overgrown and poorly maintained greenery as it not only indicates neglect which could tarnish your company image but also makes your property an attractive target for criminals.

Some tips you can follow to use landscaping for security include:
  • Regularly trim trees and shrubbery especially near windows, roofs, and access points to keep views unobstructed and prevent unauthorized entry.
  • Strategically plan landscaping features to provide natural surveillance and access control. This will put potential intruders at a disadvantage.

Install Physical Barriers Like Gates or Fences

Examples of physical barriers are:

  • Gates
  • Fences
  • Walls
  • Bollards
  • Turnstiles

Aside from choosing strong physical barriers to secure access points, consider the following strategies:
  • Determine the barrier’s purpose and location to select suitable materials. For instance, choose materials that can withstand vehicular impacts if you are installing barriers in parking lots.
  • Install turnstiles at entry points to regulate access effectively.
  • Use automatic gates or anti-climb fences if automatic gates are impractical.

Place Obvious Signages That Warn of Alarm Systems and Surveillance Cameras

Place clear and visible signs that make the presence of security systems (e.g. surveillance cameras and alarm systems) known to potential intruders. (Security signs can deter around 25% of burglars.)

You can significantly increase the effectiveness of security signs when you use actual surveillance cameras or security personnel. Seasoned burglars can determine if you are using fake security signs.

Also Read: How to Increase Business Security With a 24-Hour Guard

How to improve building safety and security: Control and regulate access

#4. Control and regulate access.

Access control ensures that only authorized individuals can enter your premises, especially restricted areas. Effective access control measures include managing entry points and tracking visitor and employee movements.

Establish a reception area to focus incoming traffic through a lobby.

Assign a designated lobby area as the main point of entry for everyone entering your premises to direct incoming traffic through a controlled point. This setup streamlines visitor management and allows close monitoring and verification of credentials at a single point. There should also be staff meeting visitors in the lobby to escort them to the right places.

Use natural access control to prevent unauthorized entry through environmental design.

Natural access control, part of CPTED, involves strategic placement and design of physical barriers, entry points, sidewalks, and landscaping. It naturally limits access to your property as well as blocks escape routes aside from providing physical guidance to direct traffic to specific places.

Use physical barriers to supplement natural access control measures.

Adding physical barriers such as locks, bars, and alarms complements natural access control strategies. These barriers demarcate public from private spaces and clearly define access points both inside and outside your premises. This helps maintain organized traffic flow and restricts entry to unauthorized individuals.

Also Read: How Can Uniformed Security Guards Deter Crime in Your Business?

Use electronic access control systems to regulate access to certain areas.

Electronic access control systems provide a means to secure your facilities by controlling the following:

  • Who can enter your building
  • When they can access specific areas
  • Which areas they can enter

These systems use keycards, access cards, biometric scanners, and other devices that can be integrated with your video surveillance and alarm systems to enhance your overall security infrastructure.

More specific categories of electronic control systems include visitor and employee management systems:

  • Digital Visitor Management Systems

A digital visitor management system automates the registration, entry, and monitoring of visitors through advanced, cloud-based technologies. These systems can also provide access cards and time-stamped ID badges to your guests.

Moreover, visitor management systems not only pre-register and screen visitors but also track their movement within your building. They can even deny entry to unauthorized individuals.

  • Employee Access Systems

Like visitor management systems, employee access systems use identifiers such as access cards. These systems regulate employee entry into restricted areas like those containing hazardous materials or dangerous equipment. They can also keep detailed logs of employees entering and exiting specific facilities in your building.

Assign different levels of access to specific types of individuals

You can assign varying levels of access to your employees/visitors depending on their role. Certain employees should only be able to access high-security areas such as IT rooms.

Use Informational Signage

Clearly mark access points with signs (e.g. “Employee only” signs) that designate who are allowed to enter certain areas within your building.

Also Read: When Should You Hire Short-Term or Temporary Security Guards?

How to improve building safety and security: Regulate key control | Install security systems | Install security cameras

#5. Regulate key control.

If electronic access control systems are not practical, you can implement strict key control and distribution procedures.

Designate specific employees to handle key distribution and facility access. These employees can also be assigned to perform facility checks as well as lock/unlock these facilities.

#6. Install security systems including motion detectors.

Integrate comprehensive security systems into your security plan to detect intruders by following these tips:

  • Add weapon detection systems at main entry points.
  • Include motion sensors with alarms that activate and automatically send alerts upon unauthorized access.
  • Install exterior systems such as window sensors and glass break detectors.

Also Read: 15 Different Types of Security Guards & What They Do: A Guide for Property Managers

#7. Install security cameras.

Installing a CCTV surveillance system can enhance security in your building by monitoring and recording activities in real time 24/7. It also allows early detection and rapid response to security threats.

They serve as strong deterrents against potential criminals, especially when combined with adequate lighting and alarm systems.

Make sure to place cameras strategically both indoors and outdoors (e.g. main entryways, common areas, parking lots, lobby, elevators, etc.) to ensure comprehensive coverage with no blind spots. They can record incidents which provides crucial data for investigating potential accidents or claims.

Tip: You can also employ hidden surveillance monitoring.

Hidden cameras effectively record activities like theft and vandalism subtly without alerting those being observed, especially in workplaces if you want to monitor your employees.

Also Read: Live Video Monitoring vs. Onsite Security Guards

How to improve building safety and security: Perform regular system maintenance | Update your strategy | Educate your employees/tenants | Hire professional security services

#8. Perform regular building security system maintenance.

Maintaining your building security systems regularly ensures that they will function round the clock to deter, detect, and respond to threats whenever they arise. Conducting thorough inspections and upkeep also allows for robust security planning and threat mitigation by addressing vulnerabilities promptly.

#9. Regularly review, test, and update your security strategy.

Review and adjust your security policies annually and conduct regular assessments to pinpoint new risks and adapt to evolving threats.

Perform periodic drills, too, to evaluate the effectiveness of your existing security protocols and identify areas of improvement. It is also better if you involve your employees during the process.

Also Read: Proprietary Security vs Contract Security Companies: Which Suits Your Business Best?

#10. Train and educate your employees and tenants.

Many security incidents involve employees which is why employee training and awareness is important. (Internal theft was estimated to cost American businesses up to $50 billion a year.)

Prioritizing employee and tenant training on the best security practices and protocols minimizes risks associated with human error and encourages them to:

  • Identify and report potential threats for swift action
  • Follow protocols by making them understand the importance of security procedures

#11. Hire professional security guard services.

Security guards provide a proactive and comprehensive approach to securing your premises to ensure that all vulnerabilities are addressed with tailored security solutions.

Hiring professional security guard services helps deter crime effectively and manage incidents in real-time. They offer expertise that technology-based security strategies cannot match.

In addition, security guards can help in implementing security measures and can perform a variety of tasks including the ones we’ve mentioned in the previous sections like:

  • Identifying potential and existing threats
  • Deterring crimes and disrupting criminal activities
  • Access control and visitor screening
  • Identifying non-compliance areas
  • 24/7 surveillance and mobile patrols
  • Document security incidents for potential investigations
  • Rapid emergency response
  • Collaborating with law enforcement and emergency services

Cyber security is as important as physical security.

Improve your cyber security measures

Cyberattacks are among the top worries of business owners that can cause billions of damages. Thus, it is also crucial to invest in cybersecurity to protect your digital assets from spyware, malware, worms, viruses, and trojans.

Also Read:

FAQs

How do you ensure the security of a building and make it safer? How do you develop a security strategy?

You can ensure the security of your building, may it be a residential or commercial building, by:

– Knowing the specific risks and threats you are facing
– Installing adequate lighting
– Using landscaping to boost security
– Developing and enforcing clear security policies
– Implementing effective access control measures
– Installing security systems and surveillance cameras
– Updating your security plan regularly
– Training your employees
– Hiring professional security guards

How do you ensure security in a construction site?

To improve construction site security, below are the best practices you can follow:

– Keep the site well-lit to deter thieves.
– Use security cameras and motion sensors to monitor the site.
– Install a strong fence around the site.
– Install signages such as “No Trespassing” signs.
– Control access by securing entry points.
– Schedule deliveries to minimize the amount of materials left unattended.
– Secure materials and equipment and use chains or cables to anchor larger items.
– Incorporate GPS tracking and geofencing to monitor equipment.
– Keep detailed logs of all materials and equipment.

Also Read: 7 Construction Safety Tips to Protect Your Property & Prevent Business Losses

What are the key points to be considered before implementing a security strategy?

Before implementing a building security strategy, consider a thorough risk assessment that involves the following:

– Identifying and assessing all critical assets within your organization.
– Identifying threats and understanding who might want to harm your assets including potential motives and methods.
– Pinpointing vulnerabilities that could attract threats.
– Assessing the likelihood and impacts of potential threats.
– Deciding on how to handle and mitigate identified risks.

Conclusion

You are responsible for providing a safe and secure environment for your employees, tenants, customers, or visitors. But this is not the only reason why you should maximize your building’s security.

Comprehensive security provides many benefits including improved employee morale and productivity as well as enhanced customer loyalty – the two key determinants of your company’s success.

Let Scout Security’s certified security consultants, private guards, and mobile patrollers help you build a robust security plan for your building to eliminate gaps and mitigate risks. We have worked with numerous industries so we have the experience to provide you comprehensive solutions that meet your needs. Book a consultation now!

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