by Steven Bowcut, CPP, PSP
A successful security design considers and then mitigates against reasonably expected adverse events integrating three primary elements:
- Architectural aspects; including CPTED principles.
- Security systems; utilizing new, but tried and tested, technologies.
- Operational factors; which establish normal (or acceptable) behavior and prescribe action for abnormal behavior.
Involving your security consultant in the conceptual phase of your design project is important. When possible, instruct your architectural firm to bring a security consultant onto the team if they don’t already have one on staff. The occupant’s threats and vulnerabilities will dictate the required security policies and procedures which, in turn, should influence the design of openings, passageways, and access to common areas. In existing structures the architectural security enhancements are often not as elegant as when security is considered during the design of the structure, but there are still many architectural elements that can be added to enforce your policies and procedures.
Too often security systems – including surveillance cameras, access control readers, and intrusion alarms – are seen as standalone solutions that provide all that is needed for adequate protection. Technology does not replace manpower or effective policies and procedures but acts as a force multiplier to enforce policies, augment personnel capabilities, and enhance a building’s design.
It is critical to develop and understand your organization’s security policies, processes, and procedures prior to the design and implementation of an electronic security solution. Those electronic systems should compliment your people and help them be more effective. A good camera system enables your security personnel to see many places at once or to see what has happened in the past. Your access control system enables a single person to monitor and control several entry points at one time. Operational procedures tailored to various threat levels must be developed before any systems are designed or purchased. An organization that deploys equipment and software without developing sound security policies and procedures first will likely end up with systems that increase their risk instead of protecting them.
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