We are often contacted by building owners and managers who are asking for quotes or bids on a security project that they have developed through their own research, much of which is based on assumption, simple internet searches, and even television shows. Though we applaud the owner in taking on this enormous task themselves, it can be more difficult to navigate through the myths and technology than it may seem. A trained Security Consultant can do the navigating instead, quickly assessing and designing a solution that fits the need through a Physical Security Assessment.
A Physical Security Assessment is the process to discover any issues detrimental to security and safety risks. The review will include physical security hardware, such as locks and burglar alarms, that has been previously installed. Current and future business and operational workflows are also considered for any impact they may have. Of course, budgetary considerations are also discussed to ensure that funding expectations are met.
Risk mitigation, stop-loss, safety issues, employee well-being, and vandalism are among the many reasons owners reach out for a security assessment. The expertise offered by a Security Consultant will likely provide solutions to problems that could potentially popup, or that the owner was unaware of altogether. The initial discussion will include regulation or industry-mandated security requirements, operational workflow, space usage, asset protection, problem-issue identification, and stakeholders. There will also be a specific discussion about what role each stakeholder will be assuming in the decision process and the operational aspects of the solution(s).
The Consultant will then evaluate the environmental design of the overall property and provide some guidance concerning paths of approach and egress, landscape concealment, parking lot lighting, and visual continuity issues. Moving to the building perimeter, locks, doors, windows, and lighting will be inspected for fit and use. Current active and passive security systems will also be evaluated for their operational usefulness.
After gathering all the information, the Consultant will organize the notes, perhaps map the facility and its systems, and design a mixed solution tailored to the needs and requirements. The type of system(s), specific design, installation, deployment, usage, management, and budget are heavily considered and researched to ensure that this is a viable and useful solution for the owner. Whether this is submitted as a comprehensive report and/or as a quote, the Consultant must be as forward thinking and thorough as possible.
The Consultant is key to a good assessment. Qualified and experienced Consultants will ask a great deal of questions and try to educate the stakeholders through the process. The teachings of the Security Consultant are not just concerning the security of the property, but also about the buying process, security solution installation, contracting, and the wide variety of security systems available on the market, as well as what to look for and what to avoid.
A good Consultant will be client-loyal, not brand-loyal; there will not be a push to try and cram a specific system into the client's needs. Their goal is to develop a relationship, ensuring that not only is the right solution found but that any questions can continue to be answered even after the solution is implemented.
Security Assessments certainly take more time than simple walk-throughs, but the end results are substantially different. A qualified Security Consultant will look at much more than just where a camera should be installed, they will provide an education and a plan to the owner on how to view their overall safety/security operations, along with the path on how to get there.
LONG can help you navigate the process and determine the right solution that meets your building's specific needs. Contact us today for more information about Physical Security Assessments.