Burglars, breaches, and intruders all pose a threat to the safety of your workplace. Developing a clear understanding of the building and office security methods available, and what your office needs, is critical to ensuring a secure environment. Weak points must be discovered and patched. Perhaps the easiest way to go about this is by completing a security audit checklist that will give you an understanding of the current state of your business’s security and will offer guidance on what must be done to better secure your property. Often times this is done by leveraging principles of advanced access control technology and Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). One of our trusted physical security partners, Openpath, has developed an office security audit to help improve workplace safety. Take a look and see if your business could be at risk for an incident using the below guidelines.
Naturally occurring elements and landscaping can go a long way towards deterring criminal activity on your property by simply increasing visibility. Properties that are dark, have bushes and trees to hide behind, and blind spots at the entry and exit points are targeted by criminals at a much higher frequency since it’s less likely they will be seen. You need to ask yourself the following questions in order to understand if your natural security is up to par or if updates are needed.
- Is the street, sidewalk, and parking lot visible from inside your building?
- Are trees and bushes maintained so that they don’t hinder your view of critical access areas?
- Is there clear visibility of entrance and exit points inside the space?
- When on the street or sidewalk can you see inside the building?
- Both inside and outside your property, including parking lots, are there security lights that have been properly installed and maintained?
If your answer was “no” to any of the above questions, you must consider making adjustments. Use this natural surveillance security checklist to bolster your building security:
□ Ensure trees and bushes are maintained so they don’t hinder the view of critical access points.
□ Signage should not be blocking views from windows.
□ Entrances and exits are clearly visible and any display items and interior furniture are moved out of the way.
□ Exterior lighting around parking lots and entrances is bright enough and better lighting is installed where necessary.
□ Interior lighting should be present that can remain on when the office is empty and at night to deter potential criminals.
□ Trees around your property should be trimmed to 7’, and bushes should not exceed 36” in height.
Using Territorial Reinforcement
Fences and signage are markers used to aid in distinguishing private property from public spaces. These territorial reinforcements should be functioning in a manner that keeps your facility safe. You must ask yourself these questions during your security audit to determine if your territorial reinforcements are serving their purpose correctly.
- Is there a well-maintained fence or hedge around the perimeter of the property?
- From inside the building, are the driveways and walkways clearly marked and visible?
- From the street or sidewalk is signage for the building clearly visible?
The following building safety checklist should be utilized to ensure territorial reinforcement techniques are being properly deployed in an effort to control the flow of traffic around the property, help identify possible intruders, and keep criminals out.
□ Short walls, hedges, or fences clearly identify your private property lines.
□ Broken or damaged fences are fixed in a timely manner.
□ Visitors are led to a controlled entrance using driveways, walkways, and/or landscaping.
□ A greeter, security guard, or receptionist screen all people entering the space. This can also be achieved with an advanced access control method.
Access Control for Premises Security
Having a strong access control system in place is one of your best defenses against security breaches. Asking yourself the following questions will aid in selecting the best option for your building amongst the numerous types of security and access control systems.
- Is monitoring of all access points in place? This can be achieved electronically with video surveillance and detailed access reports or manually with security guards or personnel.
- Are functioning locks in place on all doors and windows?
- Is a functioning ID based access control system implemented?
- Do ID badges and keycards need to be issued or replaced often?
- Is access restricted to your building or specific areas of it?
- Is there an up-to-date surveillance system installed?
- Is a visitor record maintained?
- Is scalability feasible with your current security system?
You will need to determine if your current system needs to be updated, or perhaps replaced completely, before installing a new access control system in your building. The following building access control security checklist can assist in making the most out of your access control methods.
□ Key entry points to your building, such as the lobby, parking garage entrances, and elevators should have access control methods installed.
□ A detailed record of all access events is available by use of electronic readers that can check employee IDs and allows you to analyze data reports in real time.
□ Cameras should all be fully operational and remote access of video footage should be possible.
□ A list of all employees who access the building should be kept and updated while additionally noting who has access to restricted areas. To streamline this process, deploying a security system that integrates with your directory can be helpful.
□ Mobile credentials should be switched to and should always be encrypted. Muti-factor authentication is a big bonus of smartphone-based access, however if you prefer keycards and fobs that is an option as well.
□ To avoid bottlenecks in hallways or lobbies that can become crowded readers should be installed that respond to touch or movement.
□ A detailed visitor log should be kept. To automate this process, a cloud-based access system can be leveraged making it simple for visitor logs to be accessed remotely and guest passes to be administered without the use of a physical keycard or badge.
□ Every door and window should have locks installed on them. This is especially true of those on the outside of the building or doors that lead to rooftop access. Any broken locks should immediately be fixed.
□ An easily scalable door access control should be deployed if adding more offices or buildings to your roster is in the plans. For increased flexibility when it comes to future growth a cloud-based system is recommended.
Managing Security and Access Remotely
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, staff who would usually provide physical security for long stretches of time are often not available as buildings and workplaces have been left empty with the remote work transition. Adjustments may need to be implemented when it comes to how people access your building, such as setting capacity limits for your facility, requiring health-screenings before entry is granted, or having the ability to quickly restrict access if an emergency or contamination arises. The fallout of the pandemic creates another layer to the security audit which hones in on remote security and entry management. Asking yourself and your team these questions takes on an increased importance in this new normal.
- While a significant portion of your workforce is off premises are you still able to reliably control your security system 100%?
- When it comes to who has accessed specific sections of your building, are you able to quickly trace or report on the information?
- Do you have the capability to remotely manage health-screenings or self-checkpoints?
- Is there a strategy in place to lockdown portions of your workplace, or the whole building, remotely? Is temporary or restricted access possible during a lockdown period?
In order to ensure the safety and security of your building it’s critical to have dependable remote access to manage your security system. To determine if your system can address the needs of the post-pandemic workforce you should use the following remote security audit checklist.
□ 24/7 access to features including digital guest passes, remote unlock, and easy door schedule changes for shifting access needs should be achieved by upgrading to a fully remote system which leverages cloud-based management.
□ Audit trails and real-time reporting should be easily accessible. If you plan on implementing contact tracing as part of an effort to see who accessed specific areas at specific times this becomes an even more critical security system component.
□ Leverage a solution, such as Openpath’s open API, to adhere to new regulations from health administrators including health checkpoints and symptom self-attestations. These solutions can make it so a door only unlocks if the user completes a certain actions, such as filling out an online symptom-check form or passing a thermal camera scan at the entrance of your building.
□ A building crisis plan should be created and communicated to your staff. Configuring and triggering a lockdown plan remotely, alerting your staff to the event, and granting temporary or restricted access for emergency personnel is all possible with Openpath’s award-winning door lockdown capabilities.
□ Ensure all alarms and physical security equipment has an emergency power source to be prepared for any possible power outages. All equipment should be tested regularly to ensure proper functionality.
Why Maintenance is Important for Security
Criminal activity is sure to spike on a poorly maintained property. The picture it paints is that crime will likely go unnoticed because nobody is paying attention. Ask yourself the following questions regarding maintenance to determine if you are deterring potential bad actors.
- Are garbage and debris visible on the property?
- Are all lighted signs working as intended and are security lights installed properly?
- Are precise documentations of stock in closets and storage spaces kept?
- Are heavily utilized areas of the building being sanitized, disinfected, and cleaned frequently?
Keeping up on site maintenance can play a pivotal role in keeping vandals, intruders, and burglars at bay while also creating a heightened sense of safety for tenants and employees. As part of your overall building security and safety audit this on-site maintenance checklist should be utilized.
□ Any leaves, weeds, and debris should be removed as part of an effort to keep lawns landscaped.
□ Regular painting, as needed, and graffiti removal should be completed in a timely fashion as part of maintaining building exteriors.
□ To prevent theft, a log should be kept to track inventory and all storage areas should be well organized. An access control reader can be installed to help lower the theft risk as it can track who is entering your warehouse.
□ All heavily utilized areas of the building should adhere to a frequent cleaning schedule. This has taken on increased importance as we attempt to stop the spread of viruses in order to keep employees and visitors of the building safe.
□ To help achieve a germ-free office environment, hands-free unlocking and automatic door openers should be installed. Openpath offers readers that can be configured to use motion detection to activate door opening hardware as part of their Bluetooth-enabled unlocking solutions.
ACP CreativIT has experts who would be happy to help you protect your business by improving your physical security technology. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk to one of our experts today or visit our website here.
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