How secure is a facility? How often should there be an inspection?

Jan. 16, 2012

Security is more than just installing a Grade 1 lock or electronic access control onto a door. Security is also dependent upon the door hardware, door and opening to be in operating condition.

I was traveling to an installation in the high desert of southern California and stopped at a Bank of America for some cash. It was past daybreak, but early in the morning and I figured that I could get cast through an outside ATM, as the bank was not going to open for several more hours.

This branch did not have a drive-up ATM and either because of weather or as a security risk, the ATM’s were locating within an outside enclosed area having to aluminum glass storefront doors. A card reader mounted to the aluminum frame adjacent to the door controls access. Access is gained when someone presents his or her Bank of America ATM card to the reader. This was the only way to gain access because dummy mortise cylinders were mounted into the exteriors of the doors.

Unfortunately, one of the two doors was out of adjustment and would not close under the power of the door closer. This was not a new problem.

Which goes to show, it is extremely important to insure the doors operate properly after the installation of the lock or door hardware. For every installation, there should be some arrangement, service contract, etc., having regular checks to insure everything is properly operating.

Here is an access control failure to maintain proper operation that could result in disaster. People usually go to an ATM to deposit money or withdraw cash. I wonder if anyone notified the bank.

I waited and watched people walk up specifically to the non-operating door, either knowing from previous experience or seeing it was not closed, just pulling on the handle to open the door. No B of A card required for entry.

Three photos show the situation.

Photo one. Two ATM’s behind an aluminum glass enclosed area.

Photo two. Access requires a person’s Bank of America card.

Photo three. Unfortunately, one door does not close and latch.