How to Effectively Respond to Security Threats in Your Property
Commercial Property Management

How to Effectively Respond to Security Threats in Your Property

In an increasingly unpredictable world, building owners and property managers must be prepared to respond to various security threats, ranging from terrorist attacks to cyber-crime.

While natural disasters often take the spotlight, it's essential to have a comprehensive emergency preparedness plan in place for other potential dangers. Investors and tenant organizations are increasingly expecting property managers and building owners to be better prepared for such security threats.

In this article, we'll discuss how to protect your property and residents against security threats and potential terrorist attacks, as well as how to implement a well-planned response.

The Importance of Emergency Preparedness

Following the 9/11 attacks, the Real Estate Information Sharing and Analysis Center (RE-ISAC) was formed in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, commercial facilities, and law enforcement agencies. RE-ISAC aims to counter potential terrorism and security breaches by sharing information and developing responses. Since its inception, the real estate industry has increased awareness among building owners and property managers about the importance of emergency preparedness and response planning.

RE-ISAC provides six recommendations for building owners and operators to develop a preparedness plan:
  1. Recognize their responsibility to address terrorism-security issues, including emergency preparedness and response.
  2. Build relationships with law enforcement officials at all levels.
  3. Report suspicious incidents or activity to local law enforcement and the federal government.
  4. Undertake reasonable risk assessments of buildings and portfolios.
  5. Develop emergency preparedness and recovery plans for businesses and buildings.
  6. Participate in emergency-response exercises as requested by the Red Cross and government officials.

Creating and Implementing a Preparedness Plan

To create an effective preparedness plan, start by establishing an emergency planning committee and communicating the plan to key stakeholders, including staff, tenants, and third-party service providers. Regularly test your emergency preparedness to ensure it remains up-to-date and effective.

The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International Experience Exchange Report (EER) reveals that the building industry has more than doubled its expenditures on providing safe and prepared environments since 9/11. BOMA suggests various physical security measures for security and emergency preparedness, such as:

  • Deploying visible security cameras and motion sensors
  • Increasing perimeter lighting
  • Increasing security personnel
  • Removing vegetation in and around perimeters
  • Locking devices on manhole covers in and around facilities
  • Limiting access points
  • Developing an evacuation plan utilizing exits and stairwells
Staff training should emphasize how to take notice and report suspicious packages, persons, devices, or other unusual materials immediately. Building owners and property managers should also consider implementing mail and package screening procedures, explosive detection devices, and training staff in handling threatening telephone calls or bomb threats.

Addressing Cybersecurity Threats

With the increased reliance on computerized building management systems, it's crucial to consider cybersecurity to guard against threats such as hacking and viruses. According to a study conducted by the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by HP Enterprise Security, the annual cost of cybercrime for companies across seven countries, including the U.S., was $15 million. This figure represents a nearly 20-percent increase year over year and an 82-percent increase in six years.

Cyber-attack response strategies can include hiring a certified cybersecurity expert, encryption technologies, data loss prevention tools, and policy management procedures.

There's no way to predict when a security threat such as a terrorist, biological, or cyber-attack will strike. Being prepared in advance is critical. Building owners should start creating or revising their organization's emergency plan now.

At Gordon James Real Estate Services, we understand the importance of security and emergency preparedness. Our property management services ensure the safety of your residents and the protection of your investment. We work closely with building owners and property managers to develop and implement comprehensive emergency preparedness plans tailored to each unique situation. Our team of professionals stays up-to-date with the latest security measures and technologies to ensure your property remains safe and secure.

Don't leave the safety of your property and residents to chance. Contact Gordon James Realty today to discuss how our property management services can help you effectively respond to security threats and ensure the well-being of everyone in your building.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as professional or legal advice. Building owners and property managers should consult with appropriate security professionals, legal experts, or authorities to ensure compliance with all relevant laws and regulations. 

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