Security is a priority when you run a facility, whether big or small, and can include measures such as locks and security cameras, as well as protocols for managing access to the building and monitoring activity within it. But how would you know if your physical security is effective enough? A physical security assessment will measure how well your building and its occupants are protected from potential threats.
One way to determine the effectiveness of your facility’s safety measures is by conducting a physical security audit, which helps identify potential weaknesses and threats, ensuring that the facility is adequately protected against threats such as burglaries, data breaches, and unauthorized access. According to research by Ponemon Institute LLC, organizations that test their security measures have much higher confidence in their overall physical security, which allows them to concentrate on more important business aspects.
It’s recommended to hire a third-party physical security auditor to ensure that you meet regulatory safety requirements, industry standards and are taking into account the latest known vulnerabilities. However, not every organization has the budget to do so. If you’re not yet ready to hire an auditor, putting together an internal physical security checklist can help strengthen your security measures.
In this guide, we will provide you with an office security checklist that you can use to assess your current physical security and identify what areas need improvement. While this office safety checklist is a helpful guide, it doesn’t replace a professional audit and certification. We recommend speaking to a physical security auditor after running your own building safety checklist to ensure nothing is overlooked.
Also called a security audit, a physical security assessment is a systematic evaluation of a facility and its security measures, with the goal of identifying potential vulnerabilities and areas for improvement.
This can involve a review of security policies and procedures, an inspection of the physical premises, load-testing any business security systems and interviews with employees. The physical security risk assessment should focus on the protection of people, assets and information, and should consider potential threats such as burglaries, natural disasters and internal theft.
The purpose of an office security audit is to ensure that a facility is adequately protected against potential threats and that security measures are effective and appropriate. A good office security audit will also ensure all security equipment in place is properly running in case of a breach or emergency. You don’t want to wait for an incident to happen before knowing that some of your protocols and devices in place are not working.
There are several key steps to a physical security auditing checklist.
Overall, a physical security assessment checklist is an important tool for ensuring the safety and security of a facility. By regularly conducting risk assessments and implementing security recommendations, facilities can reduce the risk of breaches and maintain a safe and secure working environment.
By regularly conducting assessments, facilities can identify any gaps in their security measures and take steps to address and improve them. This can help reduce the risk of security breaches and maintain a safe and secure environment for employees and assets.
Generally, it is recommended to perform a thorough physical building security checklist every year. However, depending on the location, size and industry of the organization, the frequency may vary. Larger organizations with hundreds of employees may want to run more frequent audits.
Find out if your office security plan is effective
Discover what you need to know about office security
Explore the various methods to secure your facility
Identify weaknesses and address any potential issues
Handy tips and checklist to help secure your office
While a comprehensive physical security risk assessment should be carried out by a professional, there’s still some value in conducting your own as part of a proactive security strategy. Follow the building safety checklist below to evaluate how ready your facility is against a potential threat.
Do you have an office security policy in place? To conduct an office safety checklist, start with the measures and protocols that are in place to protect people, assets, and information from potential threats.
If you don’t have a written policy, now’s a great time to outline all your security measures. Even if your office does have a procedure code, it is important to regularly review and update policies regularly. As part of a physical security assessment, this is necessary to ensure they are effective and appropriate for the ever-changing threat landscape.
The goal of reviewing policies for your office security checklist is to identify any gaps or inconsistencies in security practices and provide recommendations for improvement. To evaluate if your current policies and procedures are working, use this office security checklist:
After you’ve reviewed and evaluated your current policies and procedures, the next thing on your physical security risk assessment checklist is to inspect your actual facility. This includes checking your physical structures and overall premises to identify anything that can affect the integrity of your physical security.
Maintenance is a commonly overlooked part of an office building security checklist, but having a clean, clutter-free space can actually make a big difference when it comes to security. A premise with debris, garbage or unkempt landscaping may be more of a target for criminals, while unorganized interiors can lead to slower responses during critical moments.
Use this physical building security checklist to check and inspect your facility’s physical premises.
The exterior of the building
The interior of the building
Most buildings today have security technology installed: video surveillance cameras, access control, alarms and building management systems. However, just because they were tested when installed does not mean they’re still working like they should.
That’s why it’s vital to regularly test your security technology during a physical building security risk assessment. The rise in security convergence with interconnected systems makes it essential to test both your cybersecurity and physical security technology during a risk assessment. This can include running reports to ensure no vulnerabilities have been missed, but should also involve load-testing your systems with simulated break-ins or security drills.
Here are a few key questions for your office security checklist:
Your security policies are only effective if your employees are following all the procedures and best practices. That’s why interviewing employees should be a part of your office safety checklist. Talking to staff can provide valuable insights into how well security knowledge and practices are being communicated in your organization. With this, you can determine whether employees are aware of and trained on security protocols and whether they follow them in their daily work.
In addition, interviewing employees during a building safety checklist audit can help identify potential vulnerabilities in the security of a facility. Unfortunately, not everything can be detected during a physical security risk assessment of your premises and systems. For instance, your employees may have some security concerns that can turn into something serious if not addressed properly.
Interviewing employees can also help ensure they are aware of and prepared for potential risks and threats to the facility. By engaging with employees and providing them with information on security measures and protocols, you can help them feel more confident and prepared in the event of a security incident. This can help foster a culture of security at your facility and improve the overall safety and morale of the workplace.
Here are some sample questions for a physical security audit checklist:
When you include your employees in your physical security risk assessment checklist, they can feel heard, valued and protected. This can help create a sense of security in your workplace while strengthening the current measures you have in place.
Do you know that natural disasters in the United States caused more than $280 billion in overall losses in 2021 alone? Although this number includes both private and commercial facilities, it’s still a wake-up call for businesses that think they are immune to the lasting damages of natural disasters, which often stop operations for long periods of time.
While you can’t prevent these disasters from happening, you can have protocols and measures in place to mitigate the damages you might incur from them. Below is an office safety checklist you can use to mitigate damages from natural disasters:
By systematically evaluating the security measures and policies in place, an office security checklist is vital in identifying potential vulnerabilities and threats. As a physical security risk assessment tool, a good security audit checklist can help facilities mitigate potential threats and maintain a safe and secure environment for employees and assets.
With the office building security checklists and guidelines outlined in this guide, businesses can conduct effective preliminary physical security audits, and gain crucial insights into what to look for when working with professional building security auditors. This can provide peace of mind and ensure that a facility is adequately protected against potential threats, even as the security landscape continues to evolve.
Our video security experts can help you implement the right security system for your business.