Date icon15 December 2021

Managing a building’s security can be tricky, both in terms of monitoring access and ensuring CCTV cameras are operating as required. It can be challenging and complicated with employees, visitors and external contractors all needing access to the building and surrounding premises at different times.

Understandably, building security programmes differ by sector and location, so few systems are likely to be configured the same for everyone. Therefore, designing a system that works for your business and building is crucial to ensure security at all times. To design such a programme, a number of steps need to be taken to ensure it covers everything needed by looking at all security considerations.  

Steps to designing a building security programme  

When designing a building security programme, it's important to try and get it right the first time so as not to leave a building exposed for potential security breaches. There are 4 main steps to take when building a programme: establishing objectives, determining the approach, developing the programme and reviewing & revising.  

Establish objectives

Part of setting objectives of the new security programme is to first understand the business goals and align with them. This ensures that any costs can be covered and efficiencies can be made where possible.

The other part of setting objectives is to analyse any existing security in place, how it’s being used and who it's being used by. A comprehensive picture of the current situation will enable a business to see where security is working and where any changes could reap the greatest benefit. Furthermore, ensuring that there is one eye on future requirements will allow for the development of a scalable solution that can grow with the business.  

Determine the approach

Following the objectives, there are generally two approaches to building a security programme; offering better access control and security than the current system, or reducing the number of current security protocols so it's easier to manage.

Start by comparing how the future approach would look against the current situation and make notes of everything the business would need to achieve this; tools, processes, roles, and required training. Only by having the full view will the business be able to agree on an approach and move forward onto the next stage of developing the programme.

It is important to look at how the changes will be rolled out and the impact on the business, it may be that any updates to the programme would need to be implemented in stages to minimise disruption both commercial and practically.  

Develop a programme

A key element of an effective building security programme is to make it efficient and repeatable on other buildings or premises, whether that’s the whole system or selected elements. This will help in the future with the implementation of updates and other processes, including mapping changes, operating standards, roles and responsibilities. Also, when developing the programme, ensure the business employs version control in the event of rollbacks, or if a new part of the programme clashes with existing systems or technologies.  

Review and revise

Once the building security programme is set up, the job is not yet done. It’s important for the business to compare performance metrics to the objectives originally set, in order to show the effectiveness of the programme. As well as solving any potential blind spots with the new system, it will also guide the business in future security programmes.  

Considerations of a building security programme  

When designing a building security programme, including access control, there are several considerations to ensure it performs effectively and efficiently.  

Roles in access control

Roles within an access control based building security programme means that every employee or visitor is assigned a role within the system that determines the permissions that the system grants them. For example, an employee could have access to all parts of the building whereas a visitor might only have access to the main corridors, meeting rooms and toilets.  

Visitor management

Building security is key and visitor management can help maintain this. By integrating visitor management with access control, it ensures all visitor movements are tracked and restricted areas stay off-limits. This is especially necessary when external contractors or visitors are not escorted around the building by a host.

Visitor management could be achieved through access cards, such as a visitor badge, and can even be programmed to ensure that any visitors overstaying their allotted time will not have access to restricted areas.  

Parking security

Parking controls and security work with building access control to prevent unauthorised individuals or vehicles from gaining access to the car park. There are many different types of parking security but two common components are a gate or barrier, and an access control point.

By including parking security into building security programmes, it ensures access is controlled throughout a building's premises and that everything is consistent. If a visitor doesn’t have access to the building without a host, they will have to be given special permission to use any parking facilities as well. Starting security from the site perimeter and working inwards can prove to be a cost-effective route forward. By controlling larger volumes of people from the perimeter, you are able to easily manage the smaller numbers from within the premises.  

Find out more

At TouchStar ATC, our experts work to provide bespoke access control and CCTV solutions to ensure any building security programme works at the highest level. We’ve been supplying bespoke security solutions to businesses across a variety of sectors for more than 30 years. Our experts are on hand and more than happy to assist you in choosing the right system to suit your organisation. Contact us today to find out how we can help. 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – LYNDEN JONES

Lynden joined Touchstar ATC (formally Feedback Data) in a sales role for Access Control in 2010.  Prior to joining the company, Lynden held both Production and Account Manager roles, gaining wide technical and commercial experience within the electronics market.  

In 2013 Lynden was promoted to Sales Director and in 2017 he took overall responsibility of the business as Managing Director.As well as running Touchstar ATC, Lynden still remains extremely active in the sales and key account management aspects of the business. When not involved in the business, Lynden is a keen performance car enthusiast.