Solution Finder 008 - protecting office doors and windows

Protecting Office Doors & Windows

The office offers rich pickings for the thief - with favourite targets ranging from PCs, Servers & Laptop Computers and other high value electronic equipment, to stamps or petty cash.

Access Control Systems

Controlling access to your buildings is a fundamental element of security for any organisation. Among the options currently available are; manned reception area, automated electronic access control systems such as "card swipe" or "badge reader" type systems linked with electronic door release facilities, etc.. 

Visitors should ideally be met at a reception desk, logged in (and subsequently logged out when leaving the premises) and be issued with identity badges which should be worn for the duration of their stay in the building. Visitor control documentation could take the form of a simple manual log & hand written badge system, or alternatively one of the many currently available more sophisticated PC based logging & badge generating systems which over recent years have become much more affordable.

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Alarm Systems

A good quality professionally installed alarm system (preferably monitored) will compliment other security measures but remember you will still need some form of physical response team to act should the alarm be activated. Alarms can be linked to other security measures, e.g. they can be used to initiate CCTV recording for later review, or to trigger a smoke generating system in a specific area, etc

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External Doors

Never leave external doors unlocked unless they are either manned or otherwise permanently monitored. Alarms can be fitted to indicate "Door Open", etc., and doors should be fitted with substantial locks which as a minimum conform to the BS 3621 standard.

Door security can be easily and cheaply beefed up to protect against forced entry, by fitting "Hinge Bolts" to the hinged side of the door, and anti jemmy strips to the opening edge of the door. Fitting metal cladding to the outer side of the door will also add strength, however it is equally important to consider the strength of the door frame. For particularly high risk situations a purpose designed specialist security door should be considered.

Where appropriate, doors can be fitted with an intercom or video entry-phone type system, alternatively a low cost wide angle viewer (spy hole) could be fitted to allow anyone inside the building to view anyone outside without needing to open the door. The simple addition of a panic alarm / panic button may also be of benefit.

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Internal Doors

Consider having internal doors alarmed or fitted with coded door locks, or card swipe / badge reader / token operated electronic locking systems. In addition to basic door release operation, electronic control systems can also offer  sophisticated personnel & equipment, movement logging and asset control functionality if required.

Where appropriate, doors can be fitted with a low cost wide angle viewer (spy hole) allowing anyone inside the room to view anyone outside without needing to open the door. The simple addition of a panic alarm / panic button may also be of benefit..

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Lighting

Well lit areas are much less appealing to the would be thief that poorly lit areas which offer shadows to hide in.

Current lighting control technology includes; timer switches, light level sensors (automatically switch on lights as light levels drop), and PIR (passive infra red) detectors, which switch on lights as a person moves through the detection beam or field.

In addition to conventional lighting, Infra-Red lighting can be used to enhance CCTV images in poor light conditions.

Windows

Never leave windows open when a room is unattended. Consider window locks (some locks allow windows to be opened for ventilation but prevent them being opened more than 100mm (4") to maintain security). Other options include window alarms and internally fitted window security bars and grilles (some grilles can be unlocked and removed or folded back during room occupation).

In particularly vulnerable areas, windows may also require external grilles or shutters either for security reasons or to protect against vandalism.

The application of specialist window film can be undertaken to improve privacy (privacy film prevents passers seeing into a room), for safety reasons (bomb blast film) or simply to protect against solar gain (solar film).

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CCTV (Monitoring and/or Recording Systems)

CCTV has become an integral element of the security measures employed by most organisations and over recent years the price of CCTV equipment has tumbled and the functionality and performance quality of such equipment has improved beyond recognition.

Quality, straight forward observation systems are now available from just a couple of hundred pounds, whilst "Digital Recording", "Wire Free" and "Remote View" PC enabled CCTV systems are just some of the exciting new generation of products expanding the boundaries of this technology and extending the applications to which CCTV can viably be applied.

From monitoring visitor access points, to use in production control, CCTV has a significant role to play in the area of safety as well as security, whilst CCTV based covert monitoring systems are now both affordable and readily available.

Privacy is an important consideration when installing CCTV systems and it should be recognised that the installation of internal systems can lead to staff feeling that they are entering the "Big Brother" state unless the issue is handled sensitively.

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