Building Security System: 5 Steps to Securing Your Commercial Building

As a property manager, you’re responsible for the building security system and the safety of your tenants. Whether you lease apartments, offices, warehouses, stores, or homes, you’ll need a comprehensive commercial security system for each building you take care of. That means access control, surveillance cameras, and alarm systems to cover the problems you and your tenants will face.

1. Risk Assessment for your Building Security System

The first step for property managers looking to install a building security system is performing a risk assessment. A detailed examination of your site will tell you what you need to protect against and give you a security plan to work from. Ideally, you’ll be installing your security system as the building is constructed, but it can be done after the fact. Regardless, you’ll need to figure out what threats you’ll be up against at that site and how to combat them. A building security system doesn’t just happen overnight; you’ll need to make sure you make the necessary modifications to the exterior spaces as well as the interior rooms.

2. Building Access Control System

Managing your tenants and controlling access to your site is a critical part of a building security system. You may not want fingerprint scanners on every door, but you definitely want a way to keep track of your tenants and visitors while keeping out undesirable elements. Physical keys are the traditional solution, but they don’t provide entry logs. Key cards and PIN codes are a common solution, but key fobs or even smartphone credentials are alternatives.

Keyless entry systems give you more control over your premises, allowing you to manage your tenant database in real-time. Handling the inevitable turnover and accidental lock-outs remotely is a huge benefit, especially if you are managing a building security system on more than one property. Visitor management is also much easier with an access control system, ensuring you restrict access to only approved guests.

3. Building Security Camera System

Combining security cameras with access control is an excellent way to increase your building security system. What used to take a number of security guards and complicated patrol patterns now only needs a few guards in an office with a suite of security cameras. Line crossing detection and other video analytics cut down on irrelevant data and highlight important events. The remote viewing capabilities of modern NVRs let you see who’s trying to buzz in – or break in – even when you’re off-site. 2-way intercoms (or the equivalent speaker-and-microphone combination) will let you communicate with a tenant that forgot or lost their key or scare off intruders. Surveillance cameras can also help limit your liability if an accident does occur on your property. A building security system gives you a clear record of what happens on your property to deal with problems and make changes in the future.

4. Building Burglar Alarm Systems

Security cameras and access control are great tools, but if there is an incident in spite of them, you need an alarm system to alert the proper authorities. Fire and burglar alarms are just as important as the rest of your building security system and can’t be disregarded. Door and window contacts in your main lobby will alert you if someone does decide to break in. Verified or monitored alarms will get the authorities to your door even faster, since the real emergencies will be treated as an event-in-progress.

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5. Additional Building Security System Procedures

Security is more than your systems – it’s also about your practices. If you’re making your security plan while the building is under construction, you can work with the architect to increase natural security. Windows and open spaces facilitate better surveillance, and strategically placed exits make access control easier. Planning the landscaping in conjunction with your building security system reduces blind spots for your security cameras and sensors, and designating specific visitor and tenant parking can lessen confusion and traffic. Having clearly established security procedures and practices doesn’t just mitigate problems when they occur. An obvious, proactive approach to security streamlines your day-to-day routine and can act as a deterrent, preventing building security system issues before they arise.

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