An essential element of a comprehensive security program is the facility security layout. The design of the layout includes many considerations. Protected areas need to be designated at the proper level. The egress from protected areas must be unobstructed, within the requirements of life-safety...
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To governmental sub-contractors that borrow proprietary or classified information from the customer (while under contract), security is about accounting for the information. Areas are constructed within a facility that do nothing but protect the access to information.
These areas are protected with locks that require ciphers and combinations. These locks are not designed to be the world’s strongest locks, but rather to guarantee that the area or information is not accessed without showing some kind of signs of compromise. The key word for security in these facilities is surreptitiousness.
Security for large department stores is all about loss prevention. Stores are laid out so that the merchandise can be watched. All exterior doors are secured either with exit alarms (Figure 4, exit devices that integrate alarms) or exit devices and local alarms.
Because stores are concerned with “shrinkage” caused by both the public and through employee theft, local alarms are always controlled by keys carried by management.
The “floor” is the area that the public shops in. It is deliberately laid out to be very open so to accommodate an unobstructed view for cameras and floor-walkers.
Stores may have many sets of exit doors but usually there are only a few doors keyed for employee entry. By limiting the amount of doors that can be ingressed, stores save money when it comes to rekeying the perimeter.
Very few areas in a store are keyed. High-dollar storage areas that protect expensive electronic equipment usually are locked up in a fenced area in the back of the store and usually secured by padlock.
An area that is always well-protected is the vault. This is the area where money is collected. Some stores like to put these vaults up front where management can keep watch and cash pickups can be made quickly with as short a walk as possible.
Bank facilities obviously are all about protecting currency and valuables. The facility surrounds a vault to make it as impervious as possible. The public areas are separated from employee areas by locked doors and counters. Cameras and a myriad of duress devices are abundant.
The bank’s designer needs to take into account the possibility of robbery. Depending upon the viewpoint of the bank, robberies will be made easy or hard.
One policy is to design areas so that the robber gets in and out with a minimum of fuss. Banks employing this policy rely on a lot of high-resolution cameras in and out of the building. Usually this policy takes into account a quick response from law enforcement and predetermined paths the robbers will take while getting away.
As mentioned earlier, a recent trend is to provide the obvious deterrent of a man-trap. Banks that get “hit” a lot are attracted to these types of security deterrents.
After talking with bank officials that have gone with this trend, there seem to be a lot of second-thoughts. They cite that customers get the wrong impression, that the banks are inherently unsafe. Other customers don’t like being in the banks and are less likely to visit the bank.
Although the number of robberies has gone down, the type of robber attracted to these banks is usually more brazen and much more likely to be heavily armed.
Sometime security is best enhanced through detail. For example, a chain of convenience stores suffered multiple robberies. Because stores were built similar and stores were being robbed all of the country, it appeared that the increase was due to facility design.
After a careful review it was determined that window clutter caused the increase of robberies. The location and amount of window advertisements was limited. The lighting on the inside of the stores was increased. Counters were relocated.
These simple changes to the facilities allowed an easy check from passer-bys to see what was going on in the store. Robberies decreased.
Don’t fight the core layout of the facility. The core layout of buildings requires an ample amount of egress paths and doors for the calculated occupant load. The core layout also dictates that doors protecting one-hour corridors be protected with certain fire-protected systems and provisions. Stairwell or stair refuges must be accessible while maintaining smoke-free integrity. Elevators must follow strict guidelines when it comes to operation during an emergency.
Limit personal liability by knowing the codes and regulations in your jurisdiction.
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