If you’ve looked into commercial building security on the Internet, you’ve probably noticed that most of the advice out there assumes your building is a high target area for terrorists. Their advice is a bit… scary.
We’re not here to worry you; we’re here to help. Check out this list for practical, real-world tips that show you how to mitigate common security risks in your commercial building.
- Stroll Around Your Neighborhood
Your first step is to put on your sneakers and walk through your neighborhood to get a clear picture of your current local security standing. As you’re walking, take notes on creepy dark alleys, empty lots, abandoned buildings, or obscured streetlamps. Also keep an eye out for nearby federal buildings that could become terrorist targets.
Expert tip: As you’re looking over your area, take a glance at your neighbors’ security measures. If they all have bars or security gates, these deterrents won’t stand out if you use them. If their buildings have streamlined, invisible security measures, you’ll want to follow suit.
- Look Over Your “Standoff Perimeter”
The area between your building and nearby vehicles, the standoff perimeter, can be small, especially along streets in urban areas. Depending on nearby traffic lights and parking situations, cars could jump the curb and smash into your building.
Expert tip: High impact solutions such as extra-thick polycarbonate can create a seamless barrier that helps protect your building from accident-prone cars outside, but it may be expensive to install. A more affordable solution could be to slow traffic with bollards, heavy planters, or bolted-down benches on the sidewalk out front.
- Investigate Your Building Envelope
The exterior of your building, called the envelope, is your most important security protection point. Simply put: if thieves or flying debris can’t breach your building envelope, your building’s occupants and their possessions will stay secure. Fortify your glazing, your façade, and your HVAC vent systems to create a strong barrier.
Expert tip: The envelope of your building defines your building’s aesthetic and it also psychologically provides cues that improve tenant and guest comfort. It’s hard to have a sleek, modern, reassuring building if you have to bolt ugly security panels onto the exterior. Invisible security barriers, such as theft-resistant, field-proven TRI-SHIELD security window film or impact- and theft-resistant Invisicade, help your building stay appealing, attractive, and secure.
- Assess Your Management and Operations
Your building management procedures will determine your tenants’ safety in case of an emergency. Make sure evacuation routes are clear and well-marked with bright signage, utilize daylighting in key areas to provide light during power loss, and install blast-resistant glazing or films that limit airborne glass shards from hurricanes or tornado impact.
Expert tip: Security solutions can sometimes get in the way during an emergency situation. Invisibly installed impact barriers or security films offer a clear line of sight for surveillance systems, and they can minimize or prevent glass shatter entirely.
- Keep Your Budget in Mind
As you consider your security solutions, remember that physical improvements last a long time and that you don’t always need the most expensive solution. Today’s best security film and impact barrier installers offer long-term warranties of a decade or more for many of their products, but your ROI doesn’t have to stop there. Window films can also reduce your long-term energy costs and cut down on your graffiti-cleaning costs.
Expert tip: Plan for reduced security maintenance charges in the long run. If you need to replace a damaged security feature, it shouldn’t cut into your bottom line too deeply. The right security solutions will not only prevent crimes, they’ll also save you from emergency overnight glass-repair fees and security guard payments during repair time.
It’s Time to Safeguard Your Investment
Commercial building security doesn’t have any one-size-fits-all solutions. Determine your specific needs by evaluating your surroundings, assessing your likelihood of experiencing various environmental and societal risks, and then calculating the costs to mitigate each risk in a variety of ways. Your building investment is worth the work.
If you’d like some help figuring out secure glazing solutions for your commercial building, contact glazing security expert James Beale for advice