Managing Security During A Pandemic Like Covid-19
While many businesses within New York City have been ordered closed during the pandemic, essential services like private security continue to operate. To do so safely and effectively, they need to have a strategy that protects their personnel and the public as they continue to protect life and property. That requires a concerted focus on three main areas of concern: access control systems, proper interactions with visitors, and flexible use of alternative security techniques.
During any crisis, it is important to maintain strict access controls. In the midst of a pandemic and large-scale economic shutdown, that access control can be even more vital for protecting health and life. Security firms should review security procedures at every job site to ensure that access is limited in accordance with current public policy guidelines. That may require restricting the number of access points to ensure that traffic can be more efficiently monitored and controlled.
Visitor Interactions and Management
The coronavirus pandemic has made everyone more conscious of close proximity interactions, primarily because the virus is believed to be easily transmitted from person-to-person. Visitor management processes should be adjusted to reflect that reality. If security personnel are required to interact with visitors, employees, or building occupants, proper protective gear can be essential. Naturally, that includes masks, gloves, and any other equipment that can minimize exposure to potential infection.
At the same time, however, it is equally important to initiate visitor screening protocols. All visitors should have access to sterilization products to help prevent virus transmission. Security firms should also consider asking questions about a visitor’s potential exposure to Covid-19, whether they’ve experienced flu-like symptoms, and if they have been tested for the virus. In short, they should take steps to reduce any risk of the virus being introduced into the secured area.
Finally, it is critical for security companies to include flexibility within their crisis response plans. Many police forces have seen officers placed in quarantine because they were exposed to the virus. Private security personnel face that same risk every single day. As a result, companies have to be prepared for the possibility that they may need to provide services with limited resources. Planned flexibility can enable a firm to continue to serve clients’ security needs even when they’re short-staffed.
Pandemics and other emergencies always arrive without warning, and invariably present challenges for any security strategy. The good news is that security companies can rise to that challenge when they can rely on a sound emergency response plan that protects their personnel, their clients, and the public at large.