How to Conduct a Security Assessment in 7 Easy Steps

How to Conduct a Security Assessment in 7 Easy Steps

Hopefully, whenever you are on your property, you feel safe and secure. However, feeling safe is not necessarily the same thing as being safe. To evaluate how truly secure your facility is, you must perform an assessment of your property. Here's how to conduct a security assessment in seven easy steps.

#1 Take Note of Current Security Measures

A security assessment begins with two walkthroughs: a physical tour of the setting and a review of paperwork and documents. Both are important parts of how to conduct a security assessment, so neither should be neglected.

Physical Walkthrough

To perform a walkthrough of your facility, you quite simply must start at one end and make your way through the entire building. Evaluate the area around your building, as well. This is a time-consuming process, but it is critical for forming a complete picture of your current security standing. As you go, take note of:

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    Entryways: Where are the access points to your building or to various areas of your building? Record information about where someone could enter the facility, and how they could move from through it.
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    Locks: Which doors have locks? Can the windows be unlocked? Not only should you document where locks are, you should also verify that each works. Assess how each is unlocked and who currently has the ability to do so.
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    Cameras: If you have security cameras in place, mark where they are. Confirm that each works properly.
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    Blind Spots: Are there areas that are out of sight of your cameras or other current security measures, or are there gaps in your surveillance? Note those.

Paperwork Walkthrough

Part of a document tour will involve bringing out blueprints and diagrams. Go through these like you did on your walkthrough of the building. Find access points, blind spots, and other important areas of concern that you may have missed on your physical tour.

Another component involves studying up on established regulations for security in your particular field. This will not apply to every industry, but if yours is subject to the guidance of a regulatory body, understanding their requirements is an essential part of a security evaluation.

#2 Evaluate the Setting

On your walkthrough of your facility, you should have studied both the inside and the outside of your property. Now, it is time to consider the area where that property sits. The natural area around your building may present both strengths and weaknesses for your security plan. The landscape may:

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    Provide easy access to your property.
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    Provide security reinforcements by limiting access to your property.

Understanding the layout of the land will help you identify areas where you may need to bolster security measures and those where added support may not be necessary.

#3 Pay Attention to the People

No matter how safe your building is, its security will be limited if the public has unfettered access to it. Assess the security of your area by analyzing who has access to the property. Can anyone come and go, or are there some areas that are off-limits to the public or to employees without proper clearance? How is access restricted in private areas?

Furthermore, take note of whether there are security measures in place to screen those who enter your facility. These may include:

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    Requesting identification.
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    Using metal detectors.
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    Providing name badges for approved personnel.

#4 Look up Crime Information for the Demographic

Security measures may be more effective if you understand the specific threats that particularly affect your area. Empowered with knowledge, you can set up specific safeguards to protect your property from break-ins, vandalism, or other crimes that are prevalent in your zip code.

You may want to start your research with online tools, such as websites and apps that provide crime information. You can also talk to other businesses in the area to see if they have had security trouble, research news stories from the area, and consult with law enforcement professionals.

#5 Think About 24/7 Security

Most of your security assessment process thus far has probably taken place during daytime hours. Although that can be an excellent time to inspect your facility, sort through paperwork, and question law enforcement agencies, your security assessment shouldn't end there. Instead, pay attention to what goes on during the overnight hours at your property.

#6 Consider the Emergency Plan

Finally, although part of security is guarding against incidents, another part of security involves managing problems that do occur. Despite the best security efforts, your facility may experience a medical crisis, an attempted break-in, a natural disaster, or some other type of emergency. A well-prepared security team has protocols in place to manage these events.

As you conduct your security assessment, evaluate the protocols that are currently in place:

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    Is there a plan for each type of potential emergency?
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    Will the plan be effective in an emergency situation?
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    Are the directions clear and specific?
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    Are personnel familiar with the protocols?

Now that you know how to conduct a security assessment in seven easy steps, it's time to begin.

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    Do both a physical and a paper walkthrough of your building.
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    Consider location and crime statistics for your area.
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    Pay attention to daytime and nighttime security.
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    Evaluate current security measures and emergency protocols.

For more information or help with your organization’s security, contact us for a  comment with your questions about security assessments.

About the Author Richard Allen

Mr. Allen is the Founder & President of American Protect Bureau (APB). APB is a licensed, bonded and insured private security company. He is a well respected industry expert with extensive knowledge and over 25 years experience in all aspects of security and protection. Having personally provided security for some of the hottest nightclubs and highest profile people, he understands first-hand what it takes to ensure venues are protected and people are kept safe. Richard conveys this point to every single security guard employed by his company.