Question Of The Week: Physical Security… Lessons Learned?

What strategies have you discovered to be valuable when creating or upgrading a physical security system?

Whether facilities have a physical security plan in place or are planning to implement one, there are a few common sense things to consider. The planning, implementation, operation, and maintenance of physical security—whether for one facility or many—will benefit from facility executives taking the stance of a common sense approach to the task.physical security

When embarking, the first thing that needs to be identified is “the purpose” of any given part of the system. This sounds simple enough. However, for any physical security system—whether it be closed circuit video, access control, or duress, the team must identify first the overall purpose of the systems that will be deployed. Once the overall purpose has been identified, then a deeper examination needs to take place to identify each component of the systems to ensure that each device deployed has a real, defined purpose and use. The basic rule here being that if the purpose for a device cannot be clearly identified, it is probably not effective in the overall plan.

Consideration must also be given to the operators of the system—those individuals who will interface with these systems daily. There is a vast selection amount of effective technology in the security industry today; the key is fitting the proper technology to the organization’s needs. Just because it is the “latest and greatest” technology does not necessarily mean it is right for the application and needs. Facility decision-makers should invest the time in research and due diligence to determine the right technologies.

The above is from the current issue of Facility Executive magazine, appearing in the Physical Security Planning article by S. Steven Oplinger, current chair of the ASIS Physical Security Council and systems design manager for a security integrator in Florida. The article, appearing in the March/April 2016 issue, takes a holistic view of security planning for facility management executives, asserting that taking a “common sense” approach plays a significant role in the success of a facility’s physical security program.

What useful strategies have you encountered in security planning? Have you garnered effective insights from service or equipment providers? Other facility professionals? Please share your comments below.