3 Steps for a Master Security Plan

11/30/2012 | By Michael Fickes

Shift from reactive to proactive security

3 Steps for a Master Security Plan

Do the students living in your residence halls constantly prop the doors open at night? Are the tenants in your office building plagued by frequent petty thefts? When a gunshot victim walks into your emergency department, are the healthcare workers terrified that gang members will arrive to finish the job? A security master plan is your ticket to anticipating and responding to threats and risks.  

“A security master plan is a comprehensive, long-term strategy that covers all aspects of a security operation,” says Toby Heath, the security division lead with C&S Companies, a consulting engineering firm with a security specialty. “The goal is to provide sequential planning over a period of years to provide a safe, secure environment.”

Policy Overview
A security master plan is a three-legged stool consisting of policies and procedures, equipment, and personnel, continues Heath. Your security team should focus on these three areas:

  • What is the policy?
  • Is it effective?
  • If not, how can equipment or personnel enable compliance?

For example, a policy for college campus residence halls requires keeping the doors locked and never propped open. Yet every night, patrolling security officers must lock doors that have been propped open. In this case, an equipment plan may solve the problem.

You could mount cameras at the doorways where people will notice and place signs prohibiting propped doors. So you don’t have to monitor cameras, alarm the entrances with sensors that will activate when the door has been open for a couple of minutes. Upon detecting an alarm, the security center can review the video, identify the culprit, and send an officer to talk the person.

1)    Start with an Assessment
The first step in preparing a security master plan is to update your security assessment. If you don’t have a security assessment, commission one so you have a snapshot of existing conditions. Determine which threats and vulnerabilities you must address.  

“A security assessment lays the foundation for developing the master plan,” Heath says.

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