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What Action Plans You Need for Your Physical Security Policies and Procedures

Mar 28, 2016

Documented policies and procedures are an important step in efforts to safeguard your people, assets, and brand, but when were they last reviewed? Are they comprehensive? How many of your security team members actually know them and follow them? It’s essential to get all security personnel on the same page about security. After advising global companies on their policies and procedures and writing them for our own Global Security Operations Center clients, we believe in clear, concise, and simple action plans that outline the steps security personnel should take in any given scenario. These should include after-hour, weekend, and emergency scenarios within each action plan, and they should be incorporated into your official security policies and procedures.

We’ve seen many companies have security policies and procedures in place at headquarter facilities but not have them in place across branch offices and locations. With different security people in place at different locations, many potential risks can go unattended and properly coordinated responses can become ad hoc. For companies with global reach, the absence of localized policies and procedures further amplifies physical security risks.

Most importantly, these documents should be electronic, fully searchable, accessible to all, and not stored in a binder to collect dust. It’s important that these be considered living documents that get updated and referred to constantly. Security breeches and incidents provide opportunities to learn and therefore refine policies and procedures. Making sure that these become a central figure in the culture of your security operations are critical to successfully creating a safer workplace.

What follows is a list of the types of action plans that should be included in your physical security policies and procedures. While they are by no means inclusive of everything, they are a good starting point for companies to audit their existing policies and procedures or for companies that are just getting started documenting them.

We recommend clients have at a minimum these action plans:

  1. Active shooter
  2. Acts of violence in the workplace
  3. Alarm Event: Badge Rejected
  4. Alarm Event: Communication Failure
  5. Alarm Event: Door Forced Open
  6. Alarm Event: Door Held Open
  7. Alarm Event: Duress Alarm
  8. Badge Access Issue
  9. Badge Activation
  10. Badge Deactivation (or Termination)
  11. Badge Level Access Change
  12. Bomb Threat Event
  13. Burglary
  14. Door Unlock
  15. Elevator Entrapment
  16. Emergency Responders (Police/FD) On Site
  17. Employee Escort
  18. Fire Alarm
  19. Flood Emergency Response
  20. Hazardous Materials (Hazmat)
  21. Lost Communication with Security Officer
  22. Lost/Stolen Items
  23. Medical Emergency
  24. Natural Disaster
  25. Property Damage/Vandalism
  26. Power Outage
  27. Suspicious Person/Vehicle
  28. Suspicious Package
  29. Suspicious Odor
  30. Video Review/Access Report Request