Safety systems in commercial facilities are important for rapid detection of offenders or loss events that require intervention. There are systems that detect and report fire, unauthorized entry or burglary and can be turned on in the event of an attack (robbery), systems for detecting the presence of excessive concentrations of vapours (parking garages), flammable liquids, accession control systems that allow employees to enter certain areas (safety policy and authorization), and video surveillance for monitoring and archiving the activities in the wider area, both inside and outside of the facility.
A decade ago, there was a saying written on the wall of the largest computer fair CeBit in Hanover, Germany, which read: “In zukunft werden wir anders einkaufen, anders verkaufen, anders arbeiten und anders leben.” Which means that in the future we shall shop, sell, work and live differently. The future is already here, many things have changed and we already work, live, shop and socialise differently.
There are fewer and fewer regular factories which gave daily work to hundreds of people. They were replaced by residential and commercial buildings, and the premises were divided among/sold to various companies engaged in very different activities. Technical security of various facilities, both residential and commercial or manufacturing, has today become virtually a necessity. The times when the front doors of houses and flats were left unlocked overnight and anti-theft and security systems were a rarity seen only in films are over. Video surveillance systems were installed only in banks and major commercial facilities, and even physical security of facilities was rare.
The safety-technical systems of today that safeguard and protect the property and people working, shopping, staying and living there have adapted to these changes.
A new building specifically designed for the purpose represents the easiest way to meet the basic safety requirements.
- safe access for the employees, visitors, residents, if there are any, and security guards,
- limited surveillance of the activities from the surrounding area, outdoor parking for the employees, visitors and residents,
- systematic monitoring and registering of all those entering and inspection of vehicles for delivery,
- limited area where visitors are permitted to move or stay in the facility,
- control of external maintenance workers,
- well-secured areas of telecommunication technology, confidential information.
However, if the facility dates back to the times when systemic safety was not yet considered or it was a marginal issue at best, technical solutions need to be adapted to the facility in order to ensure efficient safeguarding. Especially for older facilities, elaborating a safety plan or a technical security plan is therefore a good idea, as it gives us a comprehensive insight into the facility, its vulnerabilities and potential hazards (threat assessment, risk level). On the basis of these data, the technology, type of equipment (manner of safeguarding) and distribution are then selected. On the one hand, we are limited by the need to cover the entire facility, while on the other hand, we must consider the costs, as duplicating the protection of surfaces makes no sense, except in the case of a redundant system.
Potential hazards in commercial facilities are fire, burglary, vandalism, robbery, theft from clients, residents or employees, water spillage, floods, breaking into computers (destruction, falsification or abuse of confidential information), fraud…
The majority of loss events can be considerably limited by considering the safety elements when choosing the location of the facility, the layout of the premises, safety equipment and work organization. Residents, employees and visitors must be ensured safe access to the facility, while vehicles must also be ensured access for parking, delivery and intervention. The area where the facility is located must be clearly marked, so that there is no dispute in identifying intruders in the facility.
Given the high concentration of different people in combined commercial-residential neighbourhoods and the fact that opportunity makes the thief, the residential parts of the facilities are frequently the target of burglary or vandalism.
Safety at home is significantly enhanced by the installation of technical security devices (door phones, videophones, video surveillance and anti-theft systems). Such security systems certainly increase the feeling of safety while at home, but we are also much more at ease when leaving our home, whether for a few minutes or for a longer time during vacations or a trip. With the help of the built-in Smart House system, we can freely control the lighting, the opening of garden gates, shades, garden watering… thus giving the impression that we are at home. With the help of modern technology, this can be done from Dubai, Moscow, Vienna or The Kornati Islands, or the system can do all this by itself on the basis of pre-set values. The combination of the mechanical and technical security in connection with the smart house system drives away even the most persistent thief.