Controlling Outside Access

Feb 20, 2018 by

America has a tremendous amount of gun violence compared to similar nations. In fact, it’s not even close. Like clockwork, there’s a reported school or office shooting once every week or two, and some weeks are more violent than others. A shooting at a Las Vegas country music festival in October of 2017 was the deadliest mass shooting in American history. Fifty-eight people died and hundreds more were injured, but Congress has shown very little appetite for changing gun laws on a federal level, with some politicians believing we need still more guns. Regardless of your feelings on the causes of such violent incidents, there’s more that can be done to control who can and cannot get access to the place where you work.

Protecting kids

It’s easy to feel like the odds of being involved in a school or office shooting are high, especially with the 24-hour news cycle that exists in 2018. The odds are not actually that high, but it’s easy to feel like they are. However, there are other concerns that shouldn’t be overlooked as well, especially if you work in a school, daycare, or other facility that serves children. Parents who drop their kids off at such a place are trusting the employees with their kids’ lives; that’s not a trust that should be taken for granted. Let’s say a person walks up to the receptionist in the school office and asks for a visitor’s pass. At many schools, the person would probably have to do nothing more than provide some form of ID before they’re handed a pass. Some people won’t even be asked to prove they are who they say they are. But they could be a criminal with a long history of violent sexual offenses, and there’s no way a person like that needs to mingling with school children. If someone is visiting as a volunteer who will be interacting with students, then it’s worth taking a longer look at his or her background. The answer may lie in a visitor management system with full background checks. Such a system provides an extra layer of security that should be a comfort to employees as well as parents.

Secure entrances and exits

There are way too many office buildings and even schools with entrances and exits that are accessible to anybody off the street. If at all possible, there should be one main entrance and exit for members of the public. It’s way easier to keep track of visitors that way. If an employee has a key to the back door, then that’s fine, since that employee has presumably gone through a background check and can be trusted. But the same can’t be said of a random guy who walks in and asks to talk to the company’s CEO. Sure, the receptionist can ask, “Do you have an appointment?” but questions like that aren’t a defense against the visitor getting angry and perhaps even getting violent. A less open, more secure front desk setup may feel weird at first, but it’s a good way to protect employees who act as the first line of defense against potential intrusions. Security guards posted at the front entrance can also act as a deterrent to those who want to cause trouble.

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