8) Interior Doors
While building security manages access to doors throughout
the common areas of a high-rise, tenants are responsible for managing doors within their leased spaces. “Some tenants do not use
access control within their suites,” Thomas says. “We recommend
that they do. I always think the more security, the better.
“Some tenants use the same access control system and cameras
that we use for the base building. I find it very helpful for everyone to work off the same platform. It’s efficient for the tenant and
for property management.”
9) Parking Security
The Bureau of Justice Statistics indicates that 11% of property
crimes and more than 7% of violent attacks occur in parking facilities. Any building with a parking facility must pay strict attention
to parking security.
Parking facilities should undergo a formal security assessment
that looks at the surrounding neighborhood, crime statistics and
patterns of use. Recommended security features might include
intercoms at entrances and exits as well as on the walls near
elevators. Experts recommend adding emergency call stations
too, as it can be difficult for cellphones to communicate through a
concrete parking structure.
Video cameras can scan the parking areas and today’s improved
intelligent video systems can monitor for signs of trouble. Of
course, building access cards can be configured to access parking
gates and help to limit traffic in a garage.
These nine techniques represent the key basics of building
security. Of course, every facility has its own individual security
needs that would likely add one or more techniques to this list of
basics. Nevertheless, as with any undertaking, it is always best to
start by applying the basics.
Since 1995, Mike Fickes has contributed over 200 security articles
to publications covering hotel, industrial, office, retail, critical infrastructure and education. His interests include security management,
policies, strategies and technologies.
6) Visitor Management
Visitors typically must acquire access cards when visiting a
high-rise. Harbor East facilitates this with visitor management
software. A tenant uses the software to register a visitor before
the visit by entering the visitor’s name, date of the visit, the
time of the appointment and the contact person’s name.
“When the visitor arrives, he or she checks in at the lobby
desk,” Thomas says. “The officer checks the visitor registry in the
computer, pulls up the person’s name and verifies the information.
“The visitor also signs the visitor guest log with a pen. The
officer checks with the person being visited to make sure the
meeting is still on. If so, the officer provides a visitor card and
sends the individual up.”
Why does the visitor have to sign a pen and paper log, too?
“That may seem redundant,” Thomas explains. “But if there
were an emergency and the electricity failed, we would likely
lose the electronic visitor log. We would need the paper log to
understand who might still be in the building. It’s an important
For visitors that have not been registered, the lobby officer
asks who the visitor wants to see and calls to ask if the indi-
vidual wants the visitor to come up.
Another very important aspect of access control security is
managing the elevators, says Thomas. Some tenants want to
allow elevator access to visitors. Some do not. Managing these
preferences is part of a building’s visitor management policy.
The elevators can be configured to allow free access to certain floors while restricting access to others. In some cases, tenants will send a company representative to the lobby to escort a
visitor up to the office.
Card access to elevators also helps manage terminated
employees. Since access cards can be managed electronically,
they can be disabled when an employee is terminated, preventing a possibly disgruntled employee from entering an office