With talk of the lockdown easing in the next few weeks, many security and facilities professionals are turning their attention to planning for the reoccupation of sites. Security is often one of the few facilities functions which will have had a presence on site throughout the vacant period and security teams will therefore play a key role in getting facilities ready for the return to work.
Here are our top tips for delivering a safe and secure reoccupation:
- The security officer on site may be the main point of contact for other contractors, including cleaning staff and maintenance engineers, who are also getting the building ready for reoccupation so make sure they know what’s expected of them and who will be in the building when.
- Inform your insurance company when the building will become reoccupied.
- As soon as a date for reoccupation is known, then security levels will need to be readjusted. If a site has moved way from manned guarding to a technology-led approach, now might be the time to start to bring back security officers. Reoccupation will be gradual, but businesses may need an increased security presence to support people in the new ways of working.
- Plan the customer journey through the front-of-house area and adapt it with social distancing and contactless in mind. Consider:
- Providing security staff with appropriate PPE such as gloves and masks, particularly if they’ll be handling visitors’ bags when they’re scanned etc.
- Installing transparent screens in front of security officers at reception/ concierge desks
- Placing graphics on the floor to show employees and visitors where to go and how to ensure social distancing
- Changing the check-in/ security procedures to reduce human contact. This could include removing the need for access cards for visitors or ensuring they are disinfected between use; and working with the cleaning team to ensure that turnstiles, gates, reception counters together with any scanning equipment are regularly cleaned and disinfected
- Introducing anti-bacterial gel in reception areas
- Explore what technology you can use to keep people safe.
- Thermal imaging cameras to check for abnormally high human temperatures – a symptom of Covid-19 – may become widespread. This will allow organisations to protect their people from the virus while also supporting them to reopen their buildings and get back to business. Decide whether to opt for fixed or hand-held cameras.
- Occupancy counters installed in reception areas are good for ensuring a building doesn’t go over its planned capacity as buidings are reoccupied.
- Decide how to adapt emergency evacuations with social distancing in mind. In the event of a fire, is social distancing important or is the fire the greater threat?
- Train security officers in the new ways of working and use of any new technology together with their new role in ensuring people’s safety. Has what’s expected of them changed?
- Finally, before people move back in, carry out a full security risk assessment to ensure the building is safe and secure.
We’ve set up a dedicated coronavirus support team to answer any questions about the impact of coronavirus on your business. Please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do our best to help.