Building Security Assessment Checklist

Feb. 12, 2019

Keeping your building secure is a continuous process. Start with these basic steps and common security gaps. Move on to upgrades, advanced technologies and other investments as your individual situation warrants.

Building Security Assessment Checklist

Keeping your building secure is a continuous process—not something you can take care of just once with a single investment in security technology. Start with these basic steps and common security gaps. Move on to upgrades, advanced technologies and other investments as your individual situation warrants.

Building Security Assessment ChecklistDownload Now

Initial Threat Assessment

  • What type of building do you have (i.e. hospital, school, office, etc.)?
  • What types of spaces are in it that would be of interest to intruders (i.e. general office space, patient rooms, computer/server rooms, etc.)?
  • What crimes are most common in your area?
  • Are there any security measures mandated by law or a professional accreditation body?

Access Credentials

  • Do you use proximity cards or cards with highly encrypted communications?
  • If not, what do you use?
  • If you do use cards, the card reader should also use encryption. Does it?
  • Shipping/Receiving entrance: Is it locked?
  • If yes: How do you know when someone’s there? (i.e., doorbell, etc.)?
  • If no: Is someone always watching the door?
  • Do your credentials incorporate anti-forgery technologies that are hard to duplicate, such as holographic stamping?
  • Can your access control system generate reports?
  • If yes: Check reports for trends in people trying to access places they aren’t allowed to go.
  • If no: Find out if your current system can generate such reports.
  • How do you retrieve keys or badges from people who have left your organization?
  • Are they removed from your credential system immediately?
  • How will you know if they try to come back unannounced?
  • Is there a way to place a warning on a credential (for example, if someone made credible threats after their employment was terminated)?
  • Does your building have an emergency response plan?
  • Have you provided building occupants with active shooter training?

Learn more security tips

7 Ways to Protect Your Building

Every building has the potential for a security vulnerability. It may be an unlocked back door you don’t notice or a camera that doesn’t quite cover enough space. It could even be staff members who are too trusting.

No matter what the problem is, it’s crucial that you find and fix the gaps in your security practices before an incident happens. Learn more >>

Alarm Systems

  • Does your alarm system communicate with other parts of the system, such as surveillance cameras?
  • How many people know how to disarm the security system on nights or weekends?
  • Are these people reachable during non-business hours if needed?
  • Do you have anything on-site that’s particularly valuable, such as retail goods or tablets?
  • If yes: Can these be placed in an alarmed enclosure?
  • Are your windows alarmed?
  • Will anyone know if they’re broken at night?
Building Security Assessment ChecklistDownload Now

Security Cameras

  • Do your cameras run continuously or only when they sense motion?
  • If motion-activated, do they get enough light during the day?
  • How much storage do you have for camera footage?
  • For how long is it stored?
  • Do your cameras capture sound too, or just video?
  • Where are the cameras placed in your building?
  • What areas of your building aren’t covered by cameras?
  • Where are they and what risk does that pose to your organization?
  • Can your surveillance system parse the differences between types of sounds, such as a gunshot vs. a truck backfiring?
  • Do the different parts of your security system interact with each other easily? For example, can a camera package with license plate recognition also access your employee directory to see if the plate belongs to a known employee?

Entrances, Keys and Locks

  • Do your doors have a commercial-grade lock with a deadbolt?
  • How much space is left between the door and the doorjamb when the door is closed?
  • Are your keys biaxial or are you using lower-grade keys that are easy to duplicate?
  • How many master keys do you have?
  • Who has access to them?
  • Do you keep records of who is issued a key or other access device?
Building Security Assessment ChecklistDownload Now

Secure and Unsecure Spaces

  • How hard is it to get inside your building from your parking garage?
  • What monitoring systems are in place in your parking area?
  • If you have cameras in the parking area, do they have license plate recognition capabilities?
  • How secure are your server rooms and network closets? Is a key or card required to access them or can anyone walk in? 
  • Are these spaces monitored?
  • Are there any unmanned entrances in your building that are regularly left unlocked, like a back door that’s often used for smoking breaks?

Here are more helpful checklists: 

About the Author

Janelle Penny | Editor-in-Chief at BUILDINGS

Janelle Penny has more than a decade of experience in journalism, with a special emphasis on covering facilities management. She aims to deliver practical, actionable content for facilities professionals.

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