Building Envelope Security 101

By March 15, 2021April 16th, 2021Building Security, Safety & Security Films
building exterior security

A simple checklist to ensure your building is safe

So if you manage, own, construct, or develop a large commercial property or building, it makes sense to put together a building security checklist to properly assess your building’s security envelope—including weak points, high-traffic areas, parking, access points, and vulnerabilities.

Especially in the wake of the riots at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, there is no time like the present to really understand building security.

Here’s a simple checklist:

▢ Access control

People enter the building, often from multiple access points like doors, breezeways, lobbies, sliding-glass doors, and atria. Employees, staff, maintenance people, and tenants may be required to have keys or a key card to gain proper entry, or to access the elevator bank. You may require physical check-in at a reception area if you are a visitor or guest, and the building may offer parking validation. You may even be required to scan a key card once in the elevator, or you may be issued a barcoded guest or visitor pass.

All of these are examples of building access, and really represent the most vital areas of the security envelope. Access control can be minimal (a set of keys) or stringent (iris recognition), but it is important to have a plan in place to follow throughout the year. That means adequate staffing, a stock of keys, keycards, and visitor passes, and a regular schedule for software updates, patches, and upgrades.

▢ Technology

Technology seeps into every aspect of your building security envelope. If you use keycards, barcodes, or scans for access, we’ve already brought technology into the mix. But there are many more layers of technology that may be at play in your building.

Start with the security camera. Or cameras, plural. A large commercial complex may even utilize an entire CCTV system, complete with a dedicated control room, and direct links to emergency response and police. Whether you have a single security camera at the building’s main entrance or a dedicated network of cameras throughout every floor of a highrise, it’s important that devices are properly maintained and regularly monitored. After all, what good is a security camera if the lens is damaged, or if it has stopped working altogether?

▢ On-site security

As part of your building security plan, you may employ a security guard on-site, or an entire security team. You may have a separate, on-site security force for parking lots and structures, and you may have dedicated security at reception as well as in a control room or CCTV station.

The physical presence of guards and attendants can greatly enhance the level of security and safety in your building or property. It’s important to make sure your on-site security staff has a regular, closely maintained schedule, proper and ongoing training, and a strong understanding of building safety codes, emergency action plans, and security policies.

▢ Building security/hardening

Building security can be further improved by hardening existing levels of threat and damage protection. The major arteries and access points of your building—doors, glass, windows, sliding-glass entry—are also the major security vulnerabilities.

If you want to harden your building security, NGS recommends a three-tiered approach:

TIER 1: ENTRY LEVEL SECURITY FILM

  • 3M™ Ultra 800 and 3M™ impact protection adhesive on the interior of all glass

TIER 2: TRI-SHIELD SECURITY SYSTEM

  • Best-in-class security film
  • 3M™ Ultra 800 and 3M™ impact protection adhesive on the interior of all glass and exterior weatherable film

TIER 3: RIOT GLASS™ ACCESS DENIAL

  • Patented, clear armor for your building
  • Leading anti-breach protection
  • Always working, permanent clear board up
  • No maintenance or operation required
  • Scratch-resistant and UV-coated
  • Retrofits to all storefronts
  • Comes in ballistic options
  • Noise dampening

The higher the tier, the more hardened your building security. NGS regularly consults with contractors, architects, and designers for buildings and properties of all sizes to recommend a tier that makes the most sense for your business or organization.

So there you have it. With this simple checklist, you’ll have a much better knowledge of your building security envelope. And with this knowledge comes the power to improve overall building security for your employees, staff, visitors, and tenants.

Learn more about how NGS can help harden your business no matter the industry.

 

 

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