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(1) Is the hardware for windows and doors adequate to suppress break-ins?
Doors should have several physical mechanisms to prevent unauthorized entry. Grade 1 or 2 (High Security) locks, Magnetic locks, Electric strikes, Key Cards, Combination locks and/or electronic systems for all main access points as well as internal hallways and offices.


(2) Do you restrict keys to those who actually need them or do you have a key program?
A comprehensive key program is essential to maintaining complete security of your facility. This includes a registration program of all keys, and a secure location to keep duplicate keys such as a safe.


(3) Do all occupants have procedures for securing individual areas?
Make sure that all employees have a way of securing their individual office and surrounding areas. This can be accomplished by placing a lock on the office door if they have one. In a addition, any desk space and/or files, should be secured when not in use. Computers should have password protection if they are on a main frame, or if they are a local PC, the master disks should be placed in a safe and another secure off-site location.


(4) Do you have an alarm system that is monitored, and do you have someone that can respond within 45 minutes of activation?
An alarm system is an effective deterrent to potential burglars, as well as piece of mind for the occupants of the space. The system should be utilized 24 hours. For example, during the day time hours, it could be utilized as a panic alarm should the office be “held-up” or in an extreme duress situation. In addition, certain secure areas such as where a safe might be, could be on constant alarm until shut down by authorized personnel. This creates a multilayer effect of protection for company owned property as well as sensitive information. The alarm should be monitored by a “Central Station” which is a dispatch center that can contact the appropriate persons and/or authorities when an alarm comes in.


(5) Are the telephone numbers of emergency response personnel posted and/or available to all that would need them?
The primary reception desk and key personnel, should have a complete company directory as well as contacts & telephone numbers for emergency situations, For example, there should be a listing for the Building Office, The Security Department, The Maintenance Department etc. Also there should be listings of resources that your company would use in an emergency such as Plumber, Electrician, Carpet Cleaners, etc. These numbers should be listed in your computer system as well as printed out to a hard copy and posted in the event of a power failure.


(6) Are the parking areas secure & well lighted?
The areas in and around where you park your vehicle, should be sufficient to see if anyone is near or under your vehicle. When you are walking to your vehicle, have your door key in your hand and ready to open your door! While approaching your vehicle, pay close attention to the area around your vehicle as well as underneath. Circle your car looking for anything out of the ordinary & pay close attention to see that your vehicle is still secure, and has not been compromised. If you see someone that you do not recognize, do not feel safe or find something disturbed, DO NOT TOUCH anything. LEAVE the area immediately and contact Security and/or the Police.


(7) Do you have a uniformed security marked patrol service that randomly patrols the area?
It is very important to have an organized and visible security program in effect. Studies have shown that establishments, buildings, & communities that have a well organized security program, are least likely to be a target for crime. The random checking of areas is crucial because criminals who are scooping out the potential target, cannot plan a schedule or routine for the Security Officer, and might possibly be caught.


(8) Are employees and/or occupants encouraged to approach persons who appear lost or need direction & ascertain their purpose on the property?
If you see someone who appears to be lost, walk directly up to them, looking them in the eyes and ascertain there purpose on the property. Pay close attention to their facial details as well as their physical characteristics (Height, Weight, Hair Color, Eyes) and the clothes that they are wearing. If you feel uncomfortable about approaching the person, or if they act suspicious, contact Security or the Police immediately. Most criminals will not want to be identified, and by you approaching them with purpose, they have a greater chance of being identified should they commit a crime.


(9) Do you reinforce security responsibilities, duties & concerns through regular staff meetings?
Staff meetings are important to address concerns as well as focus on the main objectives of the company, which is to protect and preserve assets. This is the forum to relate any incidents or gaps in your system, and preventative measures that can be taken to stop them.


(10) Are the serial numbers of owned property recorded and placed in a safe area off premise?
Serial numbers as well as receipts for company owned equipment should be stored off-premises in a secure area such as a safety deposit box or secure filing area that is fire-resistant. These documents can be essential if a theft or burglary occurs and it is necessary to show ownership.


(11) Are all ventilation ducts and access points either secured or blocked from unauthorized entry?
All access points to the business should be secured (locked) or blocked by physical means, to prevent unauthorized entry. If you have A/C or ventilation ducts that are large enough for a person to crawl through, they should be blocked with either a grate or metal bar arrangement of sufficient strength to prevent someone from kicking them in.



(12) Do you conduct background checks on prospective employees and/or tenants?
New employees as well as any employees that have control of sensitive information or systems, should be subjected to an NCIC (National Crime Information Computer) check. This system is run by the FBI and is continuously updated. There are several companies that offer this service. It is an important step to insure that you are not hiring or harboring known criminals.


(13) Do you have a written emergency action plan?
This is a very important document that could save your life as well as that of your co-workers. This is a document that lists what should be done in the event of an emergency, and it lists all of the employees and what their specific duties are. An annual review should be made of the plan, and a copy should be distributed to all workers.


(14) Do you have a security professional that does periodic reviews & analysis of your facility?
It is recommended that a security professional do a review of your specific site at least bi-annually. This person can point out strengths as well as weaknesses, and corrective measures that should be taken. By taking a pro-active approach to crime prevention, you can save your organization many headaches as well as money.


(15) Do you have back-up power and/or auxiliary systems in the event of a black-out?
In this age of computer and electronic systems, interruption of power can be devastating. All systems should have some type of battery back-up should the main power grid shut down. These would include computers, alarms, climate controls for temperature sensitive environments, locking systems, etc. There are many commercially available back-up systems for this purpose. It is important that you determine which system(s) would work the best for your particular application.



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