Integrating security and safety into your office relocation
by Rich Grassie, Member of the Security Design and Architecture Standing Committee American Society of Industrial Security
We live in a world that increasingly demands consideration of safety and security. Establishing safe and secure working environments is a vital concern for a growing number of business owners and managers. An office relocation invariably brings these security issues to the forefront of safety planning efforts. Most people are unaware that a security program can include many interrelated elements, which together can create a safe and secure office environment.
Security programs can include security guards to control parking and visitor processing, workplace safety and security policies, application of security technology such as interior alarms, card or keypad access, and video surveillance. In addition to this, safety communications media and a manned central control station to assess alarms and direct a response, security operations facilities such as guard enclosures and visitor reception booths, and information management and reporting of security incidents are necessary. Move coordinators should consider the feasibility of including any one or all of these security elements in their office relocation planning efforts.
The integrated approach to security planning involves consideration of site selection, an assessment of security needs, working with a developer or security vendor to design a responsive security program, and the necessary training and implementation measures prior to occupying the new location.
Office safety and security should play a vital role in selecting your new location. Each potential location needs to be assessed in terms of the relative safety and security of the environment in which the office will be located. Most police departments will provide assistance in this regard through an assessment request made to the local police department crime prevention unit. An officer should be able to advise you of the general safety of the new location based on their records of past criminal activity in and around the site under consideration.