Property Services – Management
Acknowledging the risks
The risks vary according to whether the property is commercial, industrial or residential. The first line of responsibility and accountability is arguably in the area of work, health and safety: sound, well-advertised, current and practised evacuation procedures; the appointment of wardens and deputies trained in their roles; regular testing of the alert and evacuation tones and lights; prompt briefing of new tenants and new employees in tenancies on the procedures and the designated assembly points. To this is tied the access control system and concierge arrangement, which can provide an accurate head count at any time of who is in the building or on the site. Clearly, this does not apply to shopping centres and malls, where reliance on the security team, wardens and emergency services personnel is critical. Loss of power supply is a major issue, as every function and system is dependent on this. Loss of power supply in the context of a fire can be even more serious. The evacuation of buildings on emergency lighting and power, when many tenants may be experiencing panic is always difficult. Other common risks are the lack of escalation plans in the event of an emergency (major demonstration or pandemic) or the raising of the national security threat level; the lack of electronic security incident registers to enable a profile to be drawn; lack of high-level integration in the CCTV system; lack of duress alarm and response procedures in the security control room; and lost access cards/keys.
Creating the solution
In a well-managed major building, commercial or industrial site, the security team is the link between the property manager and tenants/visitors. It acts as the first point in customer relations through its concierge role and receives complaints and records incidents. It facilitates the proper credentialing of all visitors and contractors entering the building/site. It provides first aid services and induction training. It links with the Facilities Manager and the Engineer in the operation and monitoring of the building management and fire management systems. Monitoring of fire panels is normally passed simultaneously to the security team and fire brigade with recommendation on immediate remedial action. Security guards normally become the after hour’s fire wardens and are critical to site/building evacuation at any time. In a commercial/retail site, there will be a range of cash handling arrangements. These should be integrated with the site security team. A building, site or shopping centre should exhibit prominent security deterrent or warning signage, periodically changed and managed by the security team. In the event of a heightened security threat level, it is the security team that would operate magnetometers and check personnel and packages entering a building or site. The best results in terms of safety, security and operation are achieved when the security team is integrated with the building management team. If you want the best, contact SNP Security – our expertise, experience and record is unrivalled.