Why conduct a security site survey?
Keeping your organization’s operation running smoothly and efficiently can be an all-encompassing task. As a business owner or manager, it’s sometimes difficult to take your eye off the ball and accommodate other tasks, but your building’s security is an area you can’t leave to chance.
Preserving your employees’ safety and protecting your assets should be a top priority in your organization, and if you haven’t already done so, conducting a security site survey is the best way to get started.
A security site survey is a proactive effort to physically identify and analyze risks and threats in your facility and introduce and implement a plan to mitigate them. If your current system is inadequate or your security budget is being invested in the wrong areas, these issues can be addressed and corrected.
Other vital concerns such as insurance, risk of liability, and ensuring that appropriate policies are put in place that meets current security laws and regulations can be alleviated or solved through a successful security site survey.
Who should carry out your security site survey?
When you consider your facility security, your first thoughts might be cameras, access systems, security alarms, fire alarms, and conducting regular drills to check for readiness. These are essential items and are necessary to ensure the safety of your employees and building, but trying to assess these needs within your organization can be difficult, especially when you consider the adage, “You can’t see the forest for the trees.”
And it’s difficult to remain impartial when you or your safety committee are attempting to assess security risks on your own. Some areas of concern may not be reported because of an employee’s fear of reprimand for a risky situation that has continued in their department, either because they didn’t adhere or simply forgot. Or internal personnel without experience in security or risk management might miss a critical issue that needs to be addressed immediately.
This is where expert eyes come into play. When conducting your security site survey, a trained security professional can take an objective view in fleshing out your facility’s threats and weaknesses.
Taking stock of physical risks will benefit your organization in many ways. Read on to find out what areas you should be concerned about and solutions for you and your employee’s peace of mind.
Some components of a thorough security site survey
A vital piece of the puzzle in conducting a security site survey is evaluating your facility’s threats and weaknesses. This should be the first step in your site survey and should be based on potential threats and risks unique to your operation and geographical location.
One of the most common and financially crushing threats is employee theft. The American Society of Employers estimates that businesses lose 20% of every dollar to employee theft.
Granted, most of your employees are most likely honest and respect your property and assets, but the few who make bad decisions profoundly affect your organization’s bottom line.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that “75 percent of all employees steal at least once, and that half of these steal repeatedly.” And according to business practical knowledge.com, the top three areas where theft occurs are:
- Money: Cash and cyber theft
- Merchandise and supplies: From office supplies to inventory for sale.
- Time: Employees falsifying timekeeping records and not working while on the clock.
Other significant concerns to consider in your risk and threat analysis are:
- Fire: The potential for fire in the facility and identifying fire hazards.
- Vandalism: Vandalism can result from an individual or a group of disgruntled employees or initiated by malicious outside sources.
- Trespassing: The potential for your property and physical facilities to be breached by an individual intending to commit malicious actions against employees or property.
- Natural catastrophes: Depending on the region you are in, you should have a plan in place to deal with earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, or wildfires.
- Power outages: Most everything you depend on to conduct business relies on electricity. From coffee makers to security cameras, power is critical. A contingency plan and auxiliary equipment should be in place to handle a power outage.
A professional security site survey will inform you if your communication systems are up to date and adequate. Some of the questions that will be answered are: Do your first responders have a dependable means of communication? Are panic alarms available to employees if a threatening situation arises? Does your facility have a mass notification system in place? These are areas that should be considered and addressed.
If it’s been some time since you conducted a security site survey, entry access has changed quite a bit. If your facility has manual door handles and locks, you may be in for a surprise. These traditional means of access still have their place, but cutting-edge technology is now available for your highest security requirements.
Access control systems now digitally enable managers and designated employees to have complete control over who is accessing your building and when. Trespassers and unwanted “guests” will be stopped in their tracks when your building is protected by electronic key card systems, integrated reporting, and intrusion detection.
Cameras are your best defense against outside intruders, internal employee theft, and time abuse. But even if you have a smaller business, it’s not the best idea to purchase cameras and place them in your facility without a plan. Having the best intentions in mind but lacking knowledge can backfire without the assistance of a security professional.
If your business has grown and your facility has expanded, it may be time to install a video management system made up of a closed-circuit TV or an IP surveillance system. Unlike closed circuit TV, an IP surveillance system requires no local recording device, only a local network. Your security professional can recommend the most cost-effective system that fits your budget and unique security situation.
A security site survey conducted by a security consulting service is the first step to keeping your building’s occupants and assets safe. Facility Improvement Co, or FICO, is a top security company in Montana, and they are currently offering a free security site survey anywhere in the state. Why not contact FICO today and take advantage of this exceptional offer to get started on the road to a safer and more secure facility?