Ensuring that proper physical security protocols are enforced should be a top priority for any business, firm, commercial building, medical facility, or school. To make sure your building’s security is up to par, you’ll have to have a threat assessment performed. It’s an official evaluation and audit performed by a security professional.
Recently, Campus Safety Magazine outlined everything you should keep in mind about carrying out an effective threat assessment. You need to have a vetted, credentialed security expert perform a full inspection of the building in question — pinpointing exactly what vulnerabilities exist in the structure’s physical security.
The goal is to highlight what flaws should be addressed and what new protocols and standards need to be enforced before a potential threat materializes.
One thing that is key is examining your existing security practices as well as establishing what actual or perceived threats exist that could affect the building. These include threats of vandalism, active shooters, storm damage, smash-and-grab theft, forced entry, burglary, looting and rioting, among others.
A threat assessment doesn’t just establish potential breaches, it also makes inventory of what you need to protect. This could be important documents, equipment, merchandise, and the physical safety of staff in your building.
In a separate article for Total Security Solutions, Bill Cousins, founder of WJ Cousins & Associates explains how necessary these types of assessments can be for companies.
“Things you look at every day could be a problem but you don’t even realize it,” he said. “Something really obvious to me — like an unprotected door latch bold — is an easy miss for a building owner. We walk through and show you what’s in your blind spot so it can be corrected.”
Essentially, a glaring gap in your physical security protocols might not be easily noticeable if you see it every day. This is why it’s crucial to have a vetted third party come in and perform the assessment.
“Owners are exposed to civil liability if something happens, like a hold up in their parking lot during which an employee is hurt or killed,” Cousins added. “Obviously — that’s a tragic situation — and if litigation ensues, that building owner will have to provide proof that they had the appropriate physical security plans, protocols and equipment in place and that they did due diligence to protect that employee.”
Before putting in place a new security system or crafting new guidelines for your team, make sure you have a threat assessment performed — you never know when the next threat might appear.