January 22, 2015

The physical safety and security of your office building is just as important as the security of your electronic database. Choosing a security system for your building involves understanding the physical characteristics of your office space, what you have to protect and the best ways to ensure potential thieve are stopped before they can cause any harm.

Office Security Systems: What Do You Need?

Your office has to cover many separate elements of physical security. The most common elements of an effective security system, include:

  • Alarms
  • Monitoring and surveillance systems
  • Access management

A retail establishment with valuable items on the premises, such as jewelry, will need a different security system layout than a business office or administrative center. Take the following factors into consideration when planning a security system for office application:

  • General crime statistics in your neighborhood: Is your office located in an area where crime is generally low, or is it located in an area where crime happens often?
  • Types of common crimes in your area: Crime can happen anywhere, but some neighborhoods may be more prone to burglaries, theft and vandalism. Plan your security system accordingly.
  • Need for employee and customer safety: Robberies are more likely to occur in buildings that contain cash or valuable merchandise. Offices and areas where cash transactions don't happen frequently are less likely to be robbed. Improving customer and employee safety during these events is a major concern, as is ensuring unauthorized personnel are kept out of the area. Improving security for employees who work at night or alone must also be considered.

Evaluating Your Site for Security System Installation

Once you know the crime characteristics of your neighborhood, you'll be able to evaluate other aspects of security. As you work with your security contractor and management, carefully make assessments, including the following:

  • Identify possible entrances to your building: All entrances into your building is a security concern. This includes doors, windows, access hatches, air vents, HVAC systems, ductwork, air vents and areas where power lines or plumbing pipes enter your building. Understand where all of these potential access points are and develop a detailed map showing their location and characteristics. Find out what needs to be done to make them more secure, whether it's installing locks on windows, installing shatter-resistant glass, or putting in surveillance cameras.
  • Evaluate your indoor and outdoor lighting: Adequate lighting, both indoors and out, can be a valid deterrent to crime. Make sure the area surrounding your building is well lit, especially in parking lots, garages and other areas where it'd be easy for someone to hide in the shadows. Furthermore, you should install motion-sensing lights, floodlights, overhead lights and other lighting sources as appropriate.
  • Take care of interior security: Some offices and businesses will have interior rooms and other areas that need extra security. Computer rooms, rooms where sensitive records are stored and areas where cash and valuables are kept will most likely need additional security measures. These measures may include fingerprint locks, badge access locks, password-protected entrances, extra-sturdy doors and security cameras.
  • Install alarms: Alarms are the heart of many security systems. Make sure your alarm system is well integrated into your overall security plan. Know how your alarm is triggered and what it will do when it goes off. You may want to install alarms that automatically contact police or fire authorities when tripped. Do not integrate alarm systems with phone lines -- criminals will often cut these lines before breaking in.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about Plumbing, HVACR, Fire Protection, and Alarm Systems in Mechanical, Commercial, and Residential settings. For more information on choosing a security system for office applications, and to view projects we've worked on, visit our website!

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