A Three-Step Process For Improving Security At Public Facilities

 In Blog, Security and Safety

3 Steps To Better Security

pair of white visit tracker cameras on a pole with a sky in the background

Any building that values security but also requires interactions with the public will find it difficult to manage a proper balance. Some companies lean toward doing as little as possible, such as stationing a guard at the door and requiring visitors to sign in on a piece of paper. Then some companies take it to the extreme with visitor vetting and security checks that are such a hindrance the visitor would rather not come. Neither of these is an ideal solution regarding security or visitor relations.

The key is understanding security processes for public facilities and then finding the most effective methods of applying them. This often means working with a third-party company that has developed security systems for public facilities. The best of modern security systems will be able to handle each of the required security processes and should be capable of automating much of the work. Solutions should be easily customizable by the businesses using them as well.

That leads to the question, “what are the necessary steps in creating a secure environment in a public facility?” Keep in mind that these steps can vary across industries, but many similarities are shared.

1. The Visitor Vetting Process

Security guard with a visitor management firm going down an escalator Security doesn’t begin once the visitor arrives at the building. It begins long before that with the vetting phase. Vetting is used to determine whether a person should even be allowed to visit a facility and if so, what steps should be taken before their arrival. Vetting can be executed ahead of time for planned visits or on-the-spot for walk-ins.

Despite the significance of this step, it is usually missing from the security protocol of many businesses. Those businesses either rely on sign-in sheets or have people on the inside of the business vouch for the visitor. Both of these solutions put security at risk.

The main component of the vetting process is the background check. If the facility is utilizing a state-of-the-art security system, then an instant background check can be performed. A profile is then created in the system for that person will all of the relevant information. This high level of security is already mandatory at most government facilities, but there’s no reason it shouldn’t be used to increase security at public facilities as well.

The reliability of the security system is often determined by where it pulls its information and how accurate that information is. The best systems will utilize the National Crime Information Center(NCIC) database. In addition to the NCIC database, the Interstate Identification Index is a valuable source of information as well.

2. Managing Visitors

The security process must continue once a visitor has been denied or granted access to the facility. This usually involves creating some form of identification for the visitor, such as a badge. That badge provides workers and security officers with information regarding the visitor whenever they encounter one another.

Meanwhile, the information provided by the previous vetting process will only remain valid for a specified period. The process will need to be repeated at least once a month and the visitor’s status may be revoked. Once again, an automated security protocol makes tedious steps like this significantly easier and more reliable.

an illustration of a hand denying access to a visitor after vetting3. Security Technology

One final piece of the puzzle is security technology. This includes security camera, access control systems, and any other piece of hardware that improves the security of the building. The ID card created for the visitor in the previous phase usually correlates to the access control systems used in the building. The system may be controlled by biometrics, security pins, or card swipes. A combination of these methods provides the highest level of security.

An advanced access control system is one of the most essential parts of a security system. It’s what ensures that visitor only has access to the areas where they need to visit. In comparison, a simple sign-in sheet grants the visitor with access to any room they can sneak into.

There’s no denying the importance of security in these dangerous times. Public facilities need to do all that they can to increase security levels and thus reduce the potential for harm to their workers, their data, and their other visitors.

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