Date icon26 January 2017

How would you manage a building security incident?

Have you considered how you would manage a security incident within your building? Depending on the industry you work in, the type of incident that you might encounter will differ, but we are talking about something sudden, unexpected, dangerous or distressing. This could be anything from an intruder, missing child or serious injury, to a bomb threat, hostage situation or violent individual. 

While we all hope, and assume, that this will never happen, it is always best to be prepared. 

The effect of the human reaction

Humans are programmed with a fight or flight response. While this was useful for our cavemen ancestors, it’s an automatic reaction which nowadays can create challenges in emergency situations. In the event of an incident, a person’s body is flooded with adrenaline, and the blood heads straight to the muscles – giving them the energy they need for either fight or flight. The loss of blood to the head leads to confused thinking, shaking, nausea, increased heart rate and shallow breathing. All of which clouds our judgement, and make rational thinking challenging. 

Advanced planning for how you will deal with an emergency security incident is vital to allow for these normal human reactions in such a situation. 

How technology can help

There are several technology solutions that can help with managing an emergency situation. These include: Gate, barrier and turnstile control systems – allow you to manage the access to your building both externally and internally. The systems can be set to operate in whatever way suits your business and this allows you as much control as you need over who comes in. In a crisis, where you need to allow people to leave quickly, the system can have an emergency unlocking device attached. Alternatively, if it is an incident whereby you need everyone to stay where they are, the barriers can be secured in order to prevent people leaving without authorisation. You can also add an intruder detector and siren to the systems which will alert you if someone passes through without permission.  Time and attendance solutions – allow you to understand who has entered your building and when. In an emergency where you need a complete log of either who is in the building or who has been in the building recently, these systems can provide you with the information quickly and simply.   CCTV – allows for instant playback and tracking in an emergency situation or to watch back and identify what has happened. Our systems allow for zoom functions to focus in on suspicious activity and multiple simultaneous views: essential in a fast-moving and potentially volatile situation. 

Getting ready now 

The first step to ensuring your building is adequately prepared for a security incident is to undertake a risk assessment, identifying all the potential risks that your business might face and work out how you manage each one. You then need to train your staff, so that in a situation where their fight or flight might kick in, they are familiar with what is required of them and what they should do so can act without needing to overthink it. Finally, make sure that you have easily-accessible printed documents which explain the different technology systems you have in your building so that emergency service workers will be able to access every area with no trouble.