Written By: Brad Campbell | June 5, 2020
We live in a world where we are constantly surrounded by threats, both perceived and real. Threats to our property or our well-being are at the top of the list of risks we face in our day-to-day lives. Business owners and homeowners both face the possibility of burglary and theft, government facilities and airports are confronted with terrorist attacks, even schoolchildren don’t feel safe in their classrooms. One of the ways we can improve security to protect ourselves and our property against these types of dangers is through security threat assessments.
A threat assessment, as applied to a building’s security, is the practice of determining the seriousness of potential events, the likelihood that such scenario will occur, and how to mitigate that threat on your property. Threat assessments are conducted on a property by security specialists to evaluate the actual risk of perceived threats and make security upgrade recommendations. A perceived threat could be anything from a smash-and-grab theft to an active threat scenario, or it could be a natural threat, such as a hurricane or earthquake.
When a security professional conducts a threat assessment, they will speak to the property owners to discuss their concerns and security goals. They will also carry out a thorough examination of the property in order to identify vulnerable points of entry and make recommendations about how to strengthen the building’s defenses to protect against potential events. These recommendations often include upgrading the level of glass security of a building’s windows and doors.
A threat assessment helps you plan for and protect your facility and critical infrastructure against common threats to your specific facility. For example, a threat assessment of a government building might determine that it needs security upgrades to protect against terrorist attacks, which can involve both active threats and bombs, as well as natural disasters. Both these types of threats require certain security responses, which a threat assessment will define.
When it comes to human threats, a threat assessment looks at things like the attractiveness of a particular facility as a target for certain risks and how effective the building’s current security measures would be in the face of different threats. For instance, if you own a jewelry store and are concerned about break-ins and burglary, a security threat management professional would examine things like your entry points, storefront glass, and security systems. They would then be able to make recommendations about how to upgrade your defenses by doing something like retrofitting your windows with security glass.
Anyone who owns a business or operates a facility that faces any level of man-made or natural threat can improve their security through a security threat assessment. Threat management can protect against theft of property and merchandise, damage to infrastructure, and injury or loss of human life. Threat management doesn’t just benefit businesses and commercial facilities. Homeowners also face threats, mainly break-ins and burglary.
A thorough inspection and evaluation of your business, facility, or home can provide you with the recommendations needed to defend it against all plausible threats. For example, upgrading vulnerable windows on your home or business with laminated security glass is one of the best ways to protect your property from break-ins. Other types of facilities might be more concerned about violent attacks, in which case a security expert can provide suggestions to fortify points of entry against an armed individual attempting to get inside and carry out an attack.
It’s hard to discuss threat assessments without mentioning the existence of school threats. It’s an unfortunate reality that children living in the US have to think about and deal with practically every day. A school threat assessment can help determine the probability of a school shooting happening and the best ways to protect the lives of students and staff if such an event should occur.
One method of addressing a school threat is attempting to prevent a violent act from occurring in the first place. This is typically done by an interdisciplinary team including school mental health professionals, administrators, and school or local law enforcement. These trained professionals attempt to identify threats or individuals who pose a risk of violence, then determine the threat level and appropriate response.
However, many times there is no prior indication that a violent attack will occur at a school, and there is no single profile of an individual who will cause harm to others. In this case, a threat assessment by a security professional can help come up with the best ways to upgrade a school’s defenses to minimize harm in a violent attack scenario. For instance, putting ballistic-grade doors and windows in place can save lives by keeping an active threat out of classrooms and delay them long enough for law enforcement to arrive and deal with the situation.
Just because real threats exist doesn’t mean we have to live our lives in constant fear. Our personal and property security can be upgraded to improve peace of mind and mitigate damages in the unfortunate event of a hazardous incident, whether man-made or natural. Conducting a threat and risk assessment is the first step towards making these upgrades and protecting ourselves from harm.