In addition to providing a comfortable work environment for occupants, one key area that often falls on the shoulders of facilities managers is maintaining building safety. And whether you’re working in tandem with a head of security or handle the responsibilities on your own, identifying potential safety concerns and risks can be one the most important aspects of your job.
But even with a solid plan in place, there’s always room to do more. Consider these tips as you look for innovative new ways to strengthen your building’s security measures this year.
Strengthen Exterior Visibility
Start with the outside of your facility and identify all access points, including primary entrances. These should be well-lit and easily recognizable as visitors approach your building. Not only will this help give clear guidance in the event of an emergency, it’ll make it easier for guests to locate entrances in periods of low visibility, such as during rain storms and evening hours.
In addition to basic entry lights, it’s a good idea to outfit your building’s parking lot and outdoor spaces with overhead LED lighting fixtures, as well as photocontrols that are specifically rated to handle LED bulbs. This ensures that high traffic areas remain safely lit in the night hours while maintaining efficiency and minimizing maintenance issues caused by high inrush current.
Select managers have even started implementing advanced “night time security” measures. For example, you may provide a button that occupants can press from the inside of the building prior to walking to their vehicle. This would trigger additional, timed outdoor lights and help deter criminal activity.
Provide Light Around Every Corner
During the course of the day, occupants and visitors naturally move throughout your building. They shift from common areas and dedicated workspaces to limited-use rooms and corners without thinking twice. And this motion can pose a real safety challenge.
To avoid potentially risky (or uncomfortable) interactions, look to place presence detectors strategically throughout your building’s low-use areas. These automatically engage interior lights whenever an individual enters a given space. Whether it’s a narrow corridor, a storage closet or the building’s bike lockup, presence detectors help give visibility and ease the minds of occupants.
Moreover, occupant sensors have the added benefit of conserving energy when placed in high-traffic, private areas, such as bathrooms, nursing rooms and phone rooms.
Plan for Emergencies, Severe Weather and Power Surge
As a final element to your game plan for occupant comfort and security, consider additional ways you might augment your building’s emergency protocols.
While it’s expected to have an emergency lighting system in place, it can be helpful to walk through how you and your team plan to respond to a variety different emergency scenarios using the tools at your disposal. For example, is the protocol the same for a flood as it is for a security breach? Are there ways to better accommodate occupants given specific safety concerns in your area?
With this, one often overlooked aspect of emergency planning is surge protection, particularly in rural and suburban areas. If your building’s lighting controls were implemented as a retrofit solution, you may not have adequate surge protection during electrical incidents and severe storms.
As a result, certain applications, such as outdoor signage, can be especially vulnerable to damage caused by the 3rd and 4th harmonic. Repairs for such an issue are costly and time-consuming.
To remedy the situation, look to add primary lighting control systems to your building’s current surge protection devices if they’re not already. It can also be a good idea to install point-of-use surge protection unit at the outset for new additions— it pays for itself after just one incident.
Though every situation is different, by looking at occupants’ needs through the lens of safety and security, you can ensure you’re doing everything you can to foster a positive and productive building environment.
Ready to take your building’s security standards to the next level? Get in touch with your local distributor or contact us today to get started!