As crime, domestic terrorism, natural disasters, and cyber threats intensify, both residential and commercial buildings need to ramp up security measures. Recent years have seen an alarming escalation in the risks facing all types of buildings. Burglaries, vandalism, active shooter incidents, ransomware attacks, and more have become increasingly commonplace across the country. At the same time, buildings often remain vulnerable due to inadequate access control, surveillance, alarms, security personnel, and protective measures.
Making building security a top priority is critical to keeping people and property safe. Building owners and managers can no longer afford to take a reactive or piecemeal approach. A comprehensive and proactive security strategy is essential. Partnering with experienced security companies to install state-of-the-art systems and provide vigilant monitoring and emergency response is the best way to mitigate risks.
There is no doubt building security comes with significant upfront costs. However, these investments pay for themselves many times over when one considers the devastating physical, psychological and financial tolls attacks and crises can inflict. When weighing expenses versus benefits, robust building security emerges as an obvious necessity rather than a luxury.
Current Threats Facing Buildings
Several factors have contributed to the heightened need for building security:
Petty theft, vandalism, and break-ins remain persistent issues for residential and commercial buildings alike. As economic hardships multiply for many Americans, burglaries and robberies are likely to rise even further. Quality building security acts as a strong crime deterrent.
Domestic terrorism continues to pose a severe threat, requiring buildings to have measures in place to prevent unauthorized access. The devastating impacts of attacks on crowded public spaces have been tragically demonstrated. Building security helps control access and monitor for suspicious individuals or packages.
From wildfires to hurricanes, natural disasters are growing more extreme and frequent. Building security systems that interface with other emergency systems can greatly assist safe evacuation and coordination of first responders. Surveillance also helps assess and document damage.
For digital building security systems, the threat of hacking and cyber attacks is a major concern. Ensuring networks are secure and data is encrypted provides protection against intrusion and sabotage. Updates and testing help identify vulnerabilities before they can be exploited.
Components of Effective Building Security
A comprehensive building security strategy consists of layered components working in unison to maximize protection. Key elements include:
Access control regulates who is allowed to enter a building and what areas they can access once inside. Methods include security personnel, smart locks, keycards, biometric scanners, and video surveillance. Multiple layers of access control enhance security.
Alarm systems automatically detect and alert to any unauthorized entry, smoke/fire, damage to structures like windows, or other concerning activity in or around a building. Timely alerts allow security forces and first responders to address issues swiftly.
Video cameras inside and outside buildings monitor activity, serving as a record if any incidents occur. Footage can be monitored live or reviewed later. High-definition cameras provide clear images day or night. Strategic camera placement eliminates blind spots.
On-site security guards or police patrols help control access, watch for hazards, detect intruders, and take immediate action during emergencies. Guards stationed at entry points typically check credentials and operate screening technology.
Simple protective steps like strong locks, adequate lighting, fire-safe construction materials, and secured windows/air vents deter threats. Regular maintenance ensures protections remain functional. Some buildings may warrant extra measures like blast-resistant glass.
Choosing a Building Security Provider
Selecting the right security company to install and manage a building’s security system is critical yet challenging. Key criteria to evaluate include:
Look for ample experience securing similar types of buildings, as approaches differ for residential, commercial, government, healthcare, and other specialized facilities. Longstanding players in the industry are likely to have expertise across multiple building types.
Training & Licensing
Well-trained guards following proper protocols are pivotal. Companies should thoroughly screen and train guards, as well as maintain all legally required licensing and insurance. Training in areas like emergency response and cybersecurity is a plus.
Each building has unique risks and requirements. Companies should offer customized solutions rather than cookie-cutter ones. Assessments help identify a property’s distinct vulnerabilities. Ongoing fine-tuning helps maximize efficacy over time as needs evolve.
Building emergencies require swift response, from technical glitches disabling security systems to trespassing to medical crises. Choose a provider with robust monitoring, rapid-response procedures, and 24/7 availability. Test response times.
As buildings expand their footprint and level of occupancy, security systems must scale up accordingly. Look for advanced systems designed to handle increased capacity and integrate with smart platforms governing other building functions.
Balance protection priorities with budget constraints. Companies should provide options at various price points to suit different needs. Look for potential discounts for multi-year contracts or bundled services. Monitoring value versus excessive extras.
Modern integrated systems provide greater visibility and control. Seek features like remote mobile access, data analytics, artificial intelligence, high-resolution cameras, sophisticated sensors, and interoperability with lighting, fire protection, and other on-site systems.
When selecting a security company, research its reputation within the industry by checking reviews, asking for referrals, and confirming associations with respected organizations. Favorable client reviews, a high referral rate, and affiliations with entities like the National Security Association indicate a trusted and credible provider.
Choose a company that demonstrates sustainable business practices and financial health. This ensures they can deliver ongoing support and services without the risks of acquisition or bankruptcy. Request documents like financial statements and insurance policies to provide insight into their stability.
Opting for a company headquartered nearby or with a substantial local office means guards and technicians are from the community. They will have valuable familiarity with regional risks and needs. Local presence also provides convenience, faster emergency response, and an interpersonal relationship.
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/top-10-security-companies-nyc-building-security-services-2e provides a helpful overview of leading security companies in NYC.
In 2023 and beyond, comprehensive and professionally managed security is an absolute must for buildings hoping to keep occupants safe and avoid becoming targets. As risks intensify from multiple directions, it is essential to deploy layered security measures capable of deterring threats and responding quickly during crises. Partnering with an experienced, technologically sophisticated security provider allows building owners to take proactive precautions without breaking budgets. For indispensable peace of mind, cutting no corners on building security is well worth the investment.