Perimeter Protection: Your First Line of Defence
By Stuart Fuller
Aug 22, 2013
Physical protection is your first line of defence when it comes to securing your premises. The use of walls, fences, doors, gates, lockable windows, bars and grilles as physical barriers not only defines the perimeter of premises, it creates a deterrent – both physical and psychological – to unauthorised entry. Physical security measures will also delay unwanted intrusion and act as access control for personnel moving around or visiting the premises.
Whilst physical perimeter security is considered a vitally important aspect of an overall security plan, its extent should not be limited to obvious access points, and for maximum effect it should be layered with other security measures, such as electronic access control, locking and door entry systems, CCTV, intruder detection and remote monitoring.
We’ll discuss the importance of multi-layered security solutions in a future post, but this time around we wanted to focus on the physical protection of every point of entry around a typical building, with advice on how to safeguard some of the more unusual points of access, such as roof openings and fire escapes, that can sometimes be overlooked.
Doors are the most obviously vulnerable point in any premises. During times of closure, or for added protection for any particularly sensitive areas, if the installation of a security door is not an option or retaining aesthetics is desired, we recommend further protecting doors from unauthorised access with grille gates. Grille gates are also a good line of defence where entrances are out of sight and intruders would have time to gain access without being seen, such as side or basement entrances.
There are numerous attractive, decorative options available nowadays with a choice of removable, fixed, retractable or hinged door grilles to suit different requirements. Door grilles can be custom designed to suit existing doors, allowing for handles and other furniture, and will act as a deterrent to opportunistic thieves as well as an added layer of physical protection.
It goes without saying that windows should be fitted with secure locks, but for added protection in particularly vulnerable areas such as ground floor locations or where access via a flat roof is possible, the installation of window grilles is a wise measure.
As with door grilles, window grilles can be fixed, hinged, retractable or removable. They can be designed to match any décor so as not to impair the look of a building inside or out, and allow for air and light flow whilst providing added security. They can also be designed to accommodate handles and window stops.
There’s also the option to fit fixed or removable anti-cut window security bars which offer medium to high security protection in domestic, commercial and industrial settings. Perforated screens are another alternative and, as they are designed to blend with the building and are barely visible from a distance, they are a popular choice for properties that have particularly attractive architectural features.
Because they are seldom used, roof openings are another access point that can be overlooked when it comes to security. Lifts, hatches, skylights or roof doors can offer access to a building and are especially vulnerable if the roof area is adjacent to that of another building. As well as this, there may be valuables on the roof itself, such as mechanical equipment or desirable metals that may entice unwanted intruders, and that you will want to protect.
As well as using fencing or other physical barriers to protect a roof area, any entrances should be secured. Hatches, doors and skylights can be fitted with bolts, security bars or mesh grilles, fitting them on the inside to reduce the risk of removal.
Whilst outside fire escapes don’t provide access directly inside a building, they can be used to gain access to the roof or higher openings. Any such openings that can be accessed via a fire escape should be capable only of being opened from the inside, or subject to physical security measures such as security bars or grilles as detailed above. It’s also imperative to ensure an exterior fire escape does not fully reach the ground.
If your premises are particularly extensive and there are areas that are rarely frequented, we strongly recommend remote monitoring or CCTV and, as an added layer of security, securing any doors and windows with fixed bars or grilles.
Protect your Premises – All Round
Protecting the perimeters of your premises is a highly important aspect of your overall security plan. Don’t let some of the less obvious routes of access go unguarded. Talk to Barry Bros Security about tailoring a multi-layered security solution that includes physical security measures as well as taking advantage of the latest electronic security technology. A visit to our London security showroom will allow you to browse our full range of physical security grilles, gates and bars and take expert, friendly advice on making the right choices for your premises.