You may think your business is safe from possible threats and workplace violence but think again. The YouTube HQ shooting recently demonstrated that any workplace is susceptible to an attack. What can a company do to stay as safe as possible from threats and violence?
Robert Hessel is the author of Safe City: From Law Enforcement to Neighborhood Watches, is president of Source 1 Solutions Inc., and has more than 20 years of experience as a security & safety analyst. He offers these six tips to help organizations stay safe:
• Install metal detectors and x-ray machines in the lobby. Metal detectors not only stop individuals from bringing weapons into the workplace, they provide a strong visual deterrent. When you approach the entrance of a building and see a security staff equipped with machines, you know that security is a priority for the company. It can protect the building from rogue individuals that work there as well.
• Report anything suspicious. Sometimes your gut provides the best guidance. If something feels off, you need to pay closer attention. If a coworker is making off-color remarks, you may need to take it seriously. Develop an anonymous system with your human resources department to report suspicious activities and stay on top of security within your office. You can never be too vigilant.
• Provide one entrance point and lock all other doors. Multiple points of entry are one of the top ways intruders can attack a building. Often these points are less guarded than primary points and used as shortcuts for employees. Keep all non-primary entrance points closed and locked at all times. Activate a security alarm and camera system in these areas. Focus all the activities to a singular entrance point to maintain control of who enters and exits the building and when.
• Establish a security system with cameras. Many criminals become aware of the working hours and schedules of your business. Security cameras can lessen the vulnerabilities of your company’s layout. Improving lighting, installing new locks, and proper implementation of security cameras and protocols can go a long way in making your business safer.
• Install a panic button or silent alarm in the office. Particularly for businesses with large sums of money present, it is smart to have a silent alarm in place. Establish an inconspicuous spot to assemble the alarm to notify officials in case of an emergency. This deters burglars from expressing anger and haste at any one individual if the authorities are called silently to the scene.
• Hold office drills and active shooter training. There is no need to be an alarmist but keep your office aware of possible emergency situations. Most local law enforcement agencies will provide protocols and training for businesses in their jurisdiction. In many cases there is no charge to have this done.