Municipal buildings present a unique security challenge largely unmatched by buildings of similar sizes. Not only are they open to the public throughout a large portion of the day, but they are a much more likely target for threats of all kinds. As a result, these two characteristics mesh to create a unique dilemma for those wishing to secure them.
Many municipal buildings are staffed by dozens of employees and visited hundreds of outsiders per day. This, in addition to the fact that these buildings are often historical in nature, makes their inherent security issues more complicated. As a result, it’s crucial to take a multi-tiered approach to municipal building security.
Municipal Building Security Considerations
No two public buildings are alike, and it’s important to consider the different security concerns that come with each. However, this brief list of considerations applies to most municipal buildings and can serve as the foundation for a broader security plan:
Since most municipal buildings are open to the public, it’s crucial to understand that a large portion of potential threats come from the outside. Individuals may seek to enter the building to harm employees or the public, or even to cause damage to the building itself. For this reason, municipal buildings need to have a controlled entry system.
Turnstiles and controlled revolving doors can prevent too many people from accessing the building at one time and allow security personnel to review each visitor accurately. For ultimate protection, municipal buildings can install access control points to only allow credentialed employees. Additionally, metal detectors and security scanners can prohibit individuals with weapons or contraband from entering.
Theft and Information Breaches
While a primary way to prevent theft is by installing intrusion alarms, access control systems should extend far past the front doors. Many municipal buildings house paper and electronic data, records, and more, most of which are restricted from public access. Including access control points that require keycards or biometric recognition for offices and rooms containing sensitive material is key to mitigating theft.
Preventive Monitoring and Post-Incident Review
Surveillance systems provide the means to monitor employees and visitors alike, allowing security staff to watch for concerning behavior and prevent issues. After a security incident, video surveillance can offer key insights into the events that unfolded. Additionally, the presence of surveillance cameras acts as a deterrent to many would-be thieves and vandals.
During an incident of any type, employees, security managers, and officials must maintain communication to stay informed and take appropriate action. Crisis communication systems (such as intercoms) should be present throughout the building’s interior and exterior. Employees should also have access to alarm systems that can alert the authorities of an incident.
As with other types of public buildings, municipal buildings experience increased fire and carbon monoxide risks. However, installing fire alarms is only the first step in creating true building security. A fire protection system utilizes pull stations, fire alarms, and smoke detectors, as well as notification systems for employee evacuation and other official orders.
Secure Municipal Buildings with Help from Nationwide Security Corporation
Municipal buildings differ based on their use and location. This means that their security needs will vary, too. Therefore, it’s essential to build a security system that addresses all of the risks associated with your building. That way, visitors and employees can have greater peace of mind knowing that they are safe (and that their personal information is, too).
Nationwide Security Corporation has been designing and installing custom security systems for buildings of all types and sizes since 1983. Our expert team can assess the threats unique to these public structures and continue to provide insights and solutions as they evolve. For more information about municipal building security or to request a free security risk assessment or cost estimate, contact us today.