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The Critical Nature of Front Entrance SecurityWhat is the most dangerous area in your business (typically) when it comes to safety against unwanted or potentially violent subjects? When I asked this question did you think shipping, manufacturing, administration?
If you didn’t think any of the above and instead thought about the main entryway/reception area, you would be correct!
This being the case, who then, is both the most valuable, and vulnerable, person in your facility when it comes to safety against unwanted or potentially dangerous subjects?
If you said that it’s the person charged with controlling the main entrance to your facility… you would be correct! Your “Gatekeeper”, or whatever you happen to refer to them as.
We spend a great deal of time with clients who are investing in securing their facility against unwanted and/or hostile visitors. These clients, through unfortunate circumstances, have realized that their security and, more importantly, their security policies, are not where they needed to be. These clients, by the way, are not in any way unique. In fact, most companies that we work with are in the same position. The only difference is that they have recognized that security is critical to the safety of their employees and that you can never assume that “nothing will happen”.
Anyway, during these facility visits we focus the majority of our attention on the main entrance area of the building. Why? Because the physical aspects as well as the more extremely important “mental aspects” of main entrance security should be the most critical security concerns in your facility. Typically, when we throw a scenario at a receptionist, very rarely do they have appropriate answers. When we ask them exactly what they understand their responsibilities are should they encounter a dangerous client in their work area, the vast majority answer that they have no idea because no one has ever told them.
It is true what they say – security is 10% physical and 90% mental! The problem is that very few business or personal safety consultants focus on the mental aspects of site/personal security. They focus far more on the physical site security aspects of protecting their business than the mental aspects, or people! Remember this:
You can spend millions of dollars on the absolute best physical site security systems and equipment, however if your people are not trained to know and fully understand your expectations (your policies), if they are not trained and prepared to make good, fast effective decisions, then all of this technology, equipment and money spent will be completely useless. We see proof of this time and again when we are inside facilities that have entry scanning requirements, sign-in procedures, badge systems, alarms, video surveillance, etc., etc., etc. and almost inevitably, there will be people inside the walls of the companies without badges or identification of any kind. And no one is questioning these people! So in these cases, which are extremely common, what good are the millions of dollars that were spent on the physical site security? Someone lets these people in and, once there are in, others allow them to stay in! Most of the time, these “unauthorized” visitors either gets in through the main entryway or through an unlocked/unmonitored shipping/receiving area. Correcting these problems requires training, policies, compliance, and, when security is breached, disciplinary action for those who knew, or should have known, about the breach!
How Critical is Main Entry Security?
Main entrance physical security and, more importantly, training the most vulnerable and important person in your business, should be a top priority in your overall security plan. The most likely place for a problem to initiate is via the main entrance. This means that the person at the front desk or main entry area can be critical to the safety of all of your employers. Their decisions may be life or death decision not only impacting their lives, but the lives of others!
This is a tremendous responsibility and one that must be taken very seriously by both the person themselves and company management. Most receptionists, when asked about this topic, have never really considered it themselves, nor has their company provided them with training, a policy, or both on this critical topic.
Again, your receptionist must be trained and your main entry security should be as high in quality as you can possibly afford!
Of course, there are many things to consider when it comes to physical site security measures. For example, what type of business do you have? Do you have clients coming in-and-out on a regular basis? Are you a business that needs to provide a “quality customer service experience”? Is your business considered “high risk” in terms of potential for violence? Does your business provide services or products that may be cause for emotional debate? And there are many, many others! Setting up your physical security must match the experience that you are trying to create for your clients. You obviously can’t have barbed wire and alarms at a business where you are trying to create positive Zen for your clients! Conversely, there are ways to get close to barbed wire level security and alarms without the clients ever even knowing it. The bottom line is that, if these things are not things that you have formerly considered, it is critical that you get it done quickly.
Our New Product Offering
We are now offering a new and very critical service package (Understanding Main Entry Security) where we will come into your business, look at your main entry security situation, analyze it thoroughly, provide you with feedback and recommendations, a summary report, AND train your front entry people on preparation, recognizing danger at the main entry, making good and effective decisions very quickly, and policy related issues. This is one of our most important training curriculums that we offer and a MUST for any business, school, or hospital.
If you have an interest in this service please don’t hesitate to contact me and we will work with you to get it done. We see this service as requiring approximately 2 hours for those involved to include assessment, discussion and training for the front desk employees.
Published Apr 03, 2015
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