01/04/2007

31 Homeland Security Ideas for 2007

 

By Barbara A. Nadel, FAIA

The onset of a new year is a great time to revisit existing building security strategies and consider new approaches. Here are 31 Homeland Security hot tips and great ideas for your facility - one for every day in January, gleaned from friends and colleagues around the globe. Whether you’re a building owner, design professional, security expert, facility manager, administrator, public official, or wear several hats at once, there’s something here for you. These tips apply to all-hazards scenarios. Regardless of the cause, the end goals are to protect lives and assets.

If you have a security hot tip or best practice you’d like to share, please send it along. Have a safe, healthy, and happy 2007!

Security Tips and Homeland Security Ideas

1.

Review your facility’s security plans and procedures. Validate the assumptions that you relied on when making these plans and update throughout the year.
-Morris Casuto, Regional Director, Anti-Defamation League (ADL), San Diego Office; ADL Director of Security Awareness

2.

Ensure that all personnel are trained to implement security plans. Review security training programs and schedule refresher courses.
-Morris Casuto, Regional Director, Anti-Defamation League (ADL), San Diego Office; ADL Director of Security Awareness

3.

Perform or update a vulnerability analysis for your site and facility to determine where security weaknesses exist. Incorporate any previous and anticipated changes that impact the site, such as adjacent uses, building occupancies, codes, regulations, large public events, and dignitary visits.

4.

Identify and assess potential risks and threats to determine appropriate security measures. Consider the consequences of property damage, theft, disruption of business activities, and compromise of daily routines that are essential to building operations.
-Susan K. Oldroyd, AIA, Associate, RossDrulisCusenbery Architecture, Sonoma, CA

5.

Create an effective Emergency Response Plan for your facility. Keep emergency control plans in a Ready Emergency Data (RED) book. Provide copies to supervisors and tenants. Include personnel, contact lists, and telephone numbers in the RED book and update it regularly.
-Bill Sewell, Senior Vice President, DMJM H&N | AECOM, Systems Solutions, Los Angeles

6.

Schedule regular fire drills and training exercises to familiarize staff with emergency response procedures, equipment locations, and medical plans.
-Bill Sewell, Senior Vice President, DMJM H&N | AECOM, Systems Solutions, Los Angeles

7.

Publish and post a copy of “Emergency Procedures” on the office bulletin board. Revise and edit emergency procedures year round.
-Charles Harper, FAIA, Charles Harper FAIA Architect, Wichita Falls, TX; Former chair, AIA, Disaster Response Committee

8.

Create procedures for what to do after a drive-by shooting into a building.
-Charles Harper, FAIA, Charles Harper FAIA Architect, Wichita Falls, TX; Former Chair, AIA, Disaster Response Committee

9.

Schedule a January 2007 office meeting to discuss and review emergency procedures. “Some emergencies have the same procedures. The list can’t be too long or no one will read it. This list must be site specific to a building and city. Folks need to sit down and create procedures to fit their own situation.”
-Charles Harper, FAIA, Charles Harper FAIA Architect, Wichita Falls, TX; Former Chair, AIA, Disaster Response Committee

10.

Invite the local fire marshal to come in and speak to employees about what causes fires in buildings and how to react.
-Charles Harper, FAIA, Charles Harper FAIA Architect, Wichita Falls, TX; Former Chair, AIA, Disaster Response Committee

11.

Review locations of exits doors, exit corridors, and alarm pull stations with staff, including how to use them. “Our alarm system is mainly for fire detection and break-ins but during the day if an alarm is pulled, certain responses occur at the alarm headquarters so that we can summon the police without alerting the intruders.”
-Charles Harper, FAIA, Charles Harper FAIA Architect, Wichita Falls, TX; Former Chair, AIA, Disaster Response Committee

12.

Design your building to be secure yet inviting, especially in civic, religious, and private settings.
-Burton L. Roslyn, AIA, Roslyn Consultants LLC, Westbury, NY

13.

Review perimeter security measures, vehicular and pedestrian circulation patterns, and building access at peak times to ensure the most appropriate security responses are in place for specific building occupancies and uses.
-Uzi More, CEO, MIP Security, Israel

14.

Walk around the outside of your facilities. Make sure procedures are being followed at the loading dock, vehicles park close to the building waiting to make deliveries, and exterior doors and windows appear secure and are in good repair.
-Bill Sewell, Senior Vice President, DMJM H&N | AECOM, Systems Solutions, Los Angeles

15.

Create procedures for handling deliveries when the loading dock is full.
-Bill Sewell, Senior Vice President, DMJM H&N | AECOM, Systems Solutions, Los Angeles

16.

Spend time in the lobby, watching traffic. Observe whether policies are being followed and if people slip through the perimeter. Adjust policies and procedures, educate and train personnel, and install new technology as needed to ensure security is effective.
-Bill Sewell, Senior Vice President, DMJM H&N | AECOM, Systems Solutions, Los Angeles

17.

Keep building exteriors clean and free of trash, indicating that you are paying attention to activities around the building.
-Bill Sewell, Senior Vice President, DMJM H&N | AECOM, Systems Solutions, Los Angeles

18.

Check closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems to ensure that features are present where they are most needed, whether zoom for license plates, pan for parking lots, high-resolution digital systems, or nighttime vision. “Cameras can cover most access points and provide 24/7 surveillance. But, that didn’t stop a thief with a very large truck from backing into a narrow alley to a loading dock door at our facility, going in, grabbing materials, and making a fast and easy getaway. No one was watching the camera monitors; we couldn’t even see the license plate to report it to the police.”
-Construction Manager, Former Anti-Terrorism Naval Officer

19.

Illuminate indoor and outdoor spaces in a welcoming, inspiring way to promote optimism, happiness, and good visibility. Ensure lighting is working and set for the proper times and levels.
-Leni Schwendinger, Lighting Designer/Artist, Leni Schwendinger Light Projects LTD, New York City

20.

Develop or update facility standards to incorporate security measures for physical plant and operational procedures. “Facilities are often owned and operated by different sections of an agency or corporation. Applying security measures to facility standards can make the implementation more effective and systematic. The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Facilities Standards included safety and security requirements after Sept. 11, 2001.”
-Tian Feng, AIA, FCSI, Chief Architect, BART, Oakland, CA

21.

Isolate rooms and areas housing utilities from main building entrances and parking areas. Conceal utility service entrances from the public.
-New Jersey Dept. of Public Affairs

22.

Perform routine maintenance and testing for building security and technology systems to ensure that all systems are working properly. Follow up on repairs, replacement, staff training, and warranty coverage as needed.

23.

Develop mutual aid agreements with local police or public safety agencies, fire department, country emergency services coordinators, hospitals, and ambulance services. Add contact information to Ready Emergency Data (RED) book.

24.

Ensure that your business insurance policies are paid and up to date. Review coverage and what-if scenarios in the event your building is destroyed, irreparably damaged, or declared uninhabitable for any length of time, for any reason.

25.

Eliminate potential risks by moving and securing places where money and valuables are stored. Increase surveillance to reduce opportunities for theft and vandalism in unattended spaces, especially for religious, cultural, and commercial facilities.
-Orlando T. Maione, AIA, Maione Associates, Stony Brook, NY

26.

Review redundant emergency power and building system resources, from generators to back-up energy, water, and fuel storage. Plan for several days without power, not just several hours.

27.

Assess potential impact of power loss, surges, and voltage fluctuations on critical equipment, operations, and electronic records, including during nights and weekends.

28.

Back up electronic data and store critical information off-site.

29.

Develop a contingency plan if your building is severely damaged, destroyed, or declared uninhabitable for any reason, or if there is an Avian flu outbreak impacting personnel.

30.

Ascertain if your state has a Good Samaritan law that covers design professionals who volunteer their services during and after emergencies. Review the scope of the law and what your insurance policies will cover. Most states have Good Samaritan laws for medical personnel, but far fewer cover design professionals. Contact professional organizations for more information. Consider a lobbying effort if your state does not have such a law.

31.

Collaborate with others and coordinate disaster planning and emergency response with professional organizations and local government. “It was only after the events of 9/11 in New York City, the Pacific Tsunami in Sri Lanka, and the Gulf of Mexico hurricanes, that New York City design and planning professionals realized they had no plans for a coordinated response to future natural or manmade catastrophes. An existing task force with representatives from the AIA New York Chapter (architects), SEAoNY (engineers), APA (planners), ASLA (landscape), and New York New Visions (20 NYC civic organizations) is working now to develop a protocol for such a response. Current issues being addressed include the support of Good Samaritan legislation, forging a Memo of Understanding with the NYC Office of Emergency Management, creating a disaster response library and database, and encouraging disaster response training. We believe this initiative might be applied in other locations and could benefit short- and long-term planning and design decisions.”
-Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, Co-Chair, Disaster Planning Task Force, New York City; 2007 AIA/ACSA Topaz Medallion Recipient for Excellence in Architectural Education

Resources

Anti-Defamation League, (co-authors Steven C. Sheinberg and Morris S. Casuto), Chapter 17, “Religious Institutions and Community Centers,” Building Security: Handbook for Architectural Planning and Design, Barbara A. Nadel, FAIA, ed., McGraw-Hill, 2004. This comprehensive, nondenominational analysis of threats and vulnerabilities provides a step-by-step approach to security design, technology, and operational solutions, applicable to most building types, from theft, hostages and crime, to suicide bombers and weapons of mass destruction.

Nadel, FAIA, Barbara A., with Terrance J. Brown, FAIA, Charles Harper, FAIA, and Victor O. Schinnerer & Company, Inc.; Chapter 12, “Home and Business Security, Disaster Planning, Response, and Recovery,” Building Security: Handbook for Architectural Planning and Design (McGraw-Hill, 2004). This all-hazards approach covers disasters, from blackouts, floods, hurricanes, tsunamis, tornadoes, and wildfires, to insurance coverage, emergency management, and crisis communications with the media.

Sewell, RCDD, William G., Chapter 27, “Security Technology,” Building Security: Handbook for Architectural Planning and Design, Barbara A. Nadel, FAIA, ed., McGraw-Hill, 2004. Here is a complete assessment on the basics of security technology equipment and installation for any building type.

Websites

American Institute of Architects, Disaster Assistance Program (www.aia.org/liv_disaster)
American Institute of Architects, Advocacy State Resources (see Liability Reform, Good Samaritan, for more extensive state-by-state information) (www.aia.org/adv_st_resources)
Anti-Defamation League (ADL) (www.adl.org)
ADL’s Security Awareness (www.adl.org/security)
San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (www.bart.gov)
DMJM H&N | AECOM (www.dmjmhn.aecom.com)
Good Samaritan law, Wikipedia (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_Samaritan_law)
Leni Schwendinger Light Projects LTD (www.lightprojectsltd.com)
M.I.P. Security, Israel (www.mipsecurity.com)
New Jersey State Government, Public Safety & Security (www.state.nj.us/nj/safety)
New York City Office of Emergency Management (www.nyc.gov/html/oem/html/home/home.shtml)
New York New Visions (nynv.aiga.org)
Roslyn Consultants (www.roslynconsultants.com)
RossDrulisCusenbery (www.rdcarchitecture.com)

 

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Need portable cooling?

Rent or buy spot coolers from full-service locations nationwide. On call “24/7”. Primary, supplemental or emergency cooling. Atlas Sales & Rentals, Inc., or call (800) 972-6600.

Click here for more info


Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

Bluebeam® Revu® simplifies digital facilities document management from design review to leveraging as-builts, maintenance manuals and O&Ms submittals.

Yaskawa drives offer quality performance for air handlers and cooling towers on the roof to secondary chilled water pumps in the basement

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.


 
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