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BSIA highlights need for better protection of public buildings

As the range of potential threats to organisations and individuals grows, it is becoming increasingly important for public buildings to have a high level of protection and guarding, according to the chief executive of the British Security Industry Association (BSIA).

Writing in Professional Security magazine, James Kelly pointed out that the world has become "a more turbulent place" in recent decades, most notably through the rise of extremism and terrorist attacks.

As a result, a higher level of security is "becoming vital" to protect the people who use and work in public premises, as well as the building itself.

While Mr Kelly's comments focused on public sites, he made a number of points that are just as relevant to private businesses and office managers.

One topic the BSIA chief explored was the importance of a holistic approach to security, which is now seen as one of the most effective ways of protecting assets against any threat.

This essentially means integrating a number of different elements of a security system to provide extra layers of protection for a building or workplace.

Mr Kelly offered the example of access control systems being efficiently combined with other security measures, such as CCTV systems.

"One major benefit of this type of integration is pre and post-event video recordings which are initiated by the access control system," he explained.

"Video recordings can be linked with event information, which makes searching for a particular incident on the recording much more efficient."

Office managers taking an all-encompassing approach to their security arrangements will also want to look into how well-protected they are in different locations - both inside and outside the premises, for example.

The perimeter is often seen as one of the most important aspects of any property, as far as security is concerned, because early detection of a threat allows more time for personnel to respond.

"An increased response time means a greater possibility of a safe resolution to security breaches, giving the operating body the time to gather adequate force and countermeasures to deal with the danger," said Mr Kelly.

"In the event of violent attacks, extra seconds could save lives, and any delay or forewarning of such an attack is critical in mitigating it."

One decision for facilities managers and security professionals to make is just how visible they want the security presence to be.

Sometimes, being as visible as possible through the use of manned guarding or prominent CCTV systems can be an effective deterrent to thieves or intruders, but for certain businesses where manned security is not an option, there is also the alternative of using less conspicuous measures.

Some businesses or public sites might prefer to use covert systems such as heat or motion sensors connected to silent alarm systems, which could offer a better chance of catching an individual in the act of committing a crime.

Whatever the exact nature of your business and industry, it is always advisable to ensure you have a clear understanding of your safety requirements and potential risks, which can be gained through consultation with a professional security provider.

Posted by Andrew Miller

Image courtesy of iStock / Alexander Krohn

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