Designing a PSP (Physical Security Program)
June 25, 2013
Designing a PSP (Physical Security Program)
Most business owners and entrepreneurs don’t think much about security when they start a business. Other than turn the lights off and ensure the doors are locked when they leave, they don’t put much thought or effort into security. And that’s too bad.
What most of them, and even C-suite executives, think about is how much it will cost, not how much it will save them. They look at the immediate loss in terms of money and not at the long term prospects of loss of resources/people.
And going along with that is actually designing a good PSP (Physical Security Program). It takes a bit of time, effort, thought, and financial resources (most of the time) to design a good program that will resist loss and give the business owner some Return On Investment (ROI). Seems like an irony to say that security can be a good ROI, but it can be a profit center and not a cost center, if done properly.
So the first thing you need to do when beginning to design your program is determine what the vulnerability is of your business. This comes in several ways, including location. You have to think about your enterprise and the crime specifications of that business i.e. pawn shops or payday loan stores. On the other hand a cookware and cookbook store could possibly be much less vulnerable to any crime.
If your business is in a high crime area, then you’ll have to take different precautions than if your office inside of a ‘Class A’ area. If you don’t know a Class A is a very high rent area such as the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, West Gate in Glendale Arizona Or Avenue of the Americas in New York City.
What do you Need?
This is another question that will vary greatly within your business and location. If you’re in the jewelry business in an area of the city such as Troost Avenue in Kansas City then that’ll be different than being in the Empire State Building in new York.
If you are a standalone business, in a strip mall area, then you’ll probably need alarms, access control, sufficient lighting (yes lighting), landscaping, and other items that make it hard for someone to hang around to plan a robbery or other crime. And these are just as varied as the kind of business and location that you’ll have.
Other things that you need to look for when renting space, for any kind of business, are not as varied – except within the individual items themselves;
Doors – what kind & are they safe/secure enough
Locks – are they sufficient for your business?
Cameras/CCTV – Is all parts of the business covered and blind spots outside doors eliminated?
Security officers – you may need some physical protection ‘who ya gonna call?’
Policies & procedures for everything
Is it absolutely necessary to think about all of these things? Yes it is. If for no other reason as to eliminate them from being used in your business. It’s always better to over protect at first and then cut back than not have enough to cut costs and get ‘bit in the butt’ from an issue!
How do I know what I need?
This is not a professional plug, but most of the time business people just don’t know what they’re doing. It’s best to call in a consultant (not a sales person) to give you an assessment of what you need. A good consultant will give you several options, usually from inexpensive to very expensive.
A consultant is independent, hopefully, and is objective in what they report to you in the way of pre-cautions. I mentioned not to have a salesman come to your business and give you an assessment. Not that they are dishonest, but they do need to sell their product in order to make a living. If possible you could call in someone who is well versed in security that is a friend of yours, just ensure that they are experienced in physical security.
Another good resource is calling the police and asking a Crime Prevention Officer to come to your business. They often, not always but often will perform a survey for free. They won’t give you the same information, or detail, as a security consultant, but they will give you enough to get you started on it. And it will also help you to prevent immediate crime in or around the business.
Need to know more about securing your business? Call Sollars Security Shield and we can help. And if you’re not in the Phoenix area, then you can call ASIS International find ask for a list of consultants at 703-518-6200