Security Baked Blueprints – Improving Safety Through Construction
More and more, clients are asking Firestorm and our Security Solutions Team to “Bake Security into their Blueprints.”
Over the years, building design and construction has changed and adapted to keep up with advancements in technology, materials, engineering processes, and, to some extent, physical safety standards. One area that has lagged however is the full integration of security features designed to meet today’s real-world threats. This includes customized emergency planning and building occupant training designed to take full advantage of improved security features. Without an emergency plan and – most critically, training and familiarity with the appropriate actions, the newest and most advanced safety features available become nothing more than expensive decorations.
As you move forward in the design of your plans, whether for a renovation to an existing School, an Office Building, Office park or Campus, the Security Design Team becomes an integral member of the project design team assisting the client, architect, and construction management entities, enduring the proper decisions are made regarding safety and security features and design.
This adds assurances throughout the design phase and acts as the conduit thru which all safety and security related decisions are made. There are added benefits of schedule and budgetary efficiencies and inserting much needed, and unrivaled, expertise into the process.
Plan: Emergency Operations Planning
Once a new facility welcomes people through its doors, emergency plans and protocols must be in place to match the new or renovated facility, features, and capabilities. Priorities must be:
• Protection of human life
• Protection of physical assets
• Resumption of operations
• Restoration of operations
A comprehensive plan will also include procedures for Evacuation, Shelter in Place, Lock Out, Lock Down and Reunification, and should address geographically-specific hazard protocols for natural and man-made emergencies or critical incidents. Plans must be custom to an organization and its culture and should exceed State Law or Licensing requirements.
Perform: Critical Incident Response Training
An essential component of security and emergency preparedness is training staff on how to more effectively respond to a critical incident.
The goal of Critical Incident Response Training is to enhance coordination, communication, and proficiency among response staff. Firestorm recognizes that an emergency plan is useful before and after an emergency; however, the most important thing that will affect the outcome of an emergency or critical incident is training.
A multi-hazard training program better prepares those charged with leading the response to respond effectively during emergencies. Training should include discussions and testing of Evacuation, Shelter in Place, Lock Out, Lock Down and Reunification during emergencies, and should address common physiological responses that occur during emergencies, as well as strategies to combat the potentially debilitating impact of those responses.
Consulting a security expert even before swinging the first hammer allows the integrated emergency planning approach that works best for all, and sometimes even saves money. Partnering architects who are experts in design with those who are experts in security from all aspects, just makes good sense. By allowing security experts into the process, we can help focus resources, possibly contain costs, and most important of all: create the safest environment possible for those within our walls.