5 Critical Security Considerations for Facilities Managers

By Peter, Managing Director at Eurotech Security Systems

Facilities managers play a pivotal role in ensuring the safety and security of physical spaces, ranging from office buildings and manufacturing plants to hospitals and educational institutions. In today’s rapidly evolving security landscape, it’s imperative for facilities managers to stay ahead of potential threats and vulnerabilities.

Here are five crucial security considerations that should be on the radar of every facilities manager.

  1. Access Control and Entry Points:

One of the primary responsibilities of a facilities manager is to control access to the facility. This includes managing entry points, such as doors and gates, and implementing robust access control systems. Consider the following security measures:

  • Electronic Access Control: Install electronic access control systems that require authorised personnel to use keycards, PINs, or biometrics for entry. These systems can provide audit trails and allow for quick deactivation of lost or stolen credentials.
  • Visitor Management: Implement a visitor registration system to track and monitor guest access. Ensure that visitors are properly identified, and their access is time-limited.
  • Secure Locks and Hardware: Regularly inspect and maintain locks and hardware to prevent unauthorised entry due to wear and tear or tampering.
  1. Surveillance and Monitoring:

Facilities managers should leverage modern surveillance technology to enhance security. Surveillance cameras and monitoring systems are vital tools for deterring criminal activities and providing evidence in case of incidents:

  • CCTV Systems: Install and maintain closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in strategic locations, including entrances, carparks, and critical areas within the facility.
  • Alarm Systems: Invest in intrusion detection and alarm systems that alert security personnel or the Police in case of unauthorised access or security breaches.
  • Security Personnel: Employ trained security personnel who can monitor surveillance feeds in real time and respond promptly to security threats.
  1. Cybersecurity:

In an increasingly connected world, facilities managers must also address cybersecurity threats. Building management systems (BMS) and other facility-related technologies are vulnerable to cyberattacks:

  • Network Security: Ensure that BMS networks are protected with robust firewalls, encryption, and regular security updates to safeguard against cyber threats.
  • Employee Training: Train staff on cybersecurity best practices to prevent social engineering attacks, phishing attempts, and other online security risks.
  • Regular Audits: Conduct regular cybersecurity audits to identify vulnerabilities and implement necessary patches and updates.
  1. Emergency Response Planning:

Facilities managers should develop comprehensive emergency response plans to mitigate the impact of various crises, such as natural disasters, fires, and security breaches:

  • Evacuation Plans: Create clear evacuation plans and conduct regular drills to ensure that all occupants are familiar with emergency procedures.
  • Communication Systems: Establish redundant communication systems to relay critical information during emergencies, including alerting local authorities.
  • First Aid and Medical Facilities: Maintain well-equipped first aid stations and ensure access to medical facilities in case of injuries or health emergencies.
  1. Environmental Security:

Facilities managers must also consider environmental security to protect against hazards like chemical spills, gas leaks, or power outages:

  • Hazardous Material Handling: Implement safe storage and handling procedures for hazardous materials, including proper labelling and containment.
  • Backup Power: Install backup power generators and uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) to ensure critical systems continue to operate during power failures.
  • Environmental Monitoring: Employ sensors and alarms to detect environmental anomalies, such as gas leaks or abnormal temperature fluctuations.

Conclusion: Facilities managers shoulder the responsibility of safeguarding physical spaces and the people within them. By prioritising access control, surveillance, cybersecurity, emergency response planning, and environmental security, facilities managers can create a safer and more secure environment for all occupants. Staying proactive and regularly updating security measures is key to addressing evolving threats and vulnerabilities effectively.