By their very nature, public buildings are particularly susceptible to various crimes, such as thefts, attacks, burglaries and vandalism (damage to other people’s property). Technical security as part of safeguarding is essential, as anti-theft safety systems can prevent potential danger or damage by preventing the perpetrators from entering the facility, while at the same time warning the owners about what is happening inside or in the vicinity. They also record the perpetrators and their actions. Video-surveillance systems are essential in banks, schools, health and cultural institutions, courts…, as by their very nature, these facilities are daily visited by hundreds of people, some of them with dishonest intentions. These facilities are often also a bit distant from residential and city centres and are at least at night (as opposed to daytime) mostly deserted. These buildings can also be marvels of architecture, construction and design, and the latest trends in construction call for the use of large glass surfaces. Windows up to the height of 1.6m allow for easy entry. The solution lies in locks installed on window catches on the ground-floor windows, which prevent the windows to be fully opened. The windows of toilettes and kitchenettes represent a particularly popular point of entry for the culprits, as they are usually located at the side of the building and more often than not left open. Glass surfaces represent the weakest obstacles for burglars and vandals. Ordinary glass is easy to break, while the opening allows the burglars to access the latch to open the broken window. Safety foils significantly increase the resistance of glass surfaces and prevent the danger that large glass shards pose. Glass front doors are usually made from toughened glass, which is harder to break that the ordinary glass. When shattered, toughened glass disintegrates into grains which cannot cause deep cuts, but the opening also allows perpetrators unhindered access. Laminated glass is safety glass consisting of several layers of glass, glued together on the surface with a transparent polymeric foil. When broken, the pieces remain glued together, which certainly prolongs the time required to enter. Mechanical safeguarding increases the time of entry, but it does not deter the culprits from entering the facility. The safety of the facility is greatly increased if mechanical safeguarding is supplemented with technical security.
Vulnerability is a situation or a circumstance, which can, if not addressed, result in the loss of life or in damage. The term “vulnerability” refers to a weakness or deficiency (in procedures, technical security, organisation, distribution of objects, transport routes and logistics…) which can in the event of discovery or unauthorized disclosure be intentionally or unintentionally exploited to cause damage.
Threat is a perceived imminent danger of negative activities, which may result in damage or harm (who or what is posing a threat, in which fields are we threatened, who or what is threatened, which events or activities are the most threatening, when are we the most and the least threatened?)
Risk is uncertainty associated with financial loss, the discrepancy between the actual and the anticipated results and with the likelihood that the event resulting in a loss has or will occur. If we claim that uncertainty is a state in which we do not know whether a certain assumption is true or not, we can say that risk is vulnerability in the state of uncertainty.