The problem of security is a major concern of owners or managers of office buildings or other commercial properties. There are many things to check both inside and outside of a property. Particular attention must be given to the perimeter of the property, as this is where an intruder will make the first contact.
For example, an office building should be inspected thoroughly all around the exterior to search for danger spots. No area should be overlooked because entry is possible from almost any point. The age, design, and location of a building will affect perimeter security. If the building was located in a suburban office park, using a functional but attractive fencing can make the grounds more secure. For a downtown high-rise, fencing would not be appropriate.
Older buildings can have more security problems because of the style in which they were built. Often there are street-level windows, exterior fire escapes, and operable windows. Each can increase the number of entry points that must be protected.
Specific Items To Check
Every building will be different, of course. Each will have to be checked, starting at a point and going around the property to return to that point. Here are some things that will always need to be checked carefully:
Fencing. If there is a fence around the building, is it just ornamental or will it actually protect the property? Are there any vulnerable spots? If there is no fence, is it feasible to install one?
Loading dock. How is the dock controlled during regular operating hours? After hours? What provisions have been made to ensure the loading dock’s proper operation? What personnel are involved? Are there procedures to control deliveries and removal of materials? Is the dock left untended at any time?
Windows, fire escapes, and roofs. Do any of these areas pose potential access problems? If any do, should new grates or locking devices be installed? Check on your local codes.
Entrances and exits. (pedestrian and vehicular). How many entrances and exits are there? Where are they located? What kinds of locks are used? Are the locks effective and who has the keys? What are the hours of operation of each entrance and exit? Is there any kind of alarm system to signal when a door is open? Who responds to these alarms? Would closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras be of value in any of these locations? If CCTV is used, are the monitors always watched? If there is a parking lot or garage, are the access routes safe?
Guard service. If there is a guard service, what are the guards’ assignments in regard to controlling daytime and after-hours traffic and patrolling the building’s perimeter?
Exterior lighting. Is there adequate lighting that can serve as a deterrent to crime? Do time clocks or light sensors control the lights?
Landscaping. Are there possible hiding places along routes to and from the building?