As news stories from around the world reveal, physical security threats are a very real concern for all types of locations. Schools, businesses, concert venues and other facilities have all been the site of tragedy. Because of these events, it’s only natural that more businesses and facility managers are thinking of what they can do to mitigate potential physical security threats. After all, the right preventative measures could save lives by helping prevent a violent incident.

But which security measures will have the greatest impact? Here are a few tactics that are well worth your consideration:

Increased security guard presence

One of the greatest deterrents against violence, theft, and other physical security threats is to increase the visibility of your security guard team. This may require hiring additional security staff or adjusting patrol routes. One solution implemented by many businesses is to have a security guard present at the building entrance. When a professional security guard is the first person visitors see, it offers peace of mind for their physical safety. More importantly, it can serve as a powerful deterrent against those who might wish to enter the building for shady purposes.

Of course, it isn’t enough to simply increase how many security guards you have on-site. Your guards should have the training and equipment that will allow them to perform their job effectively. Be sure that your guards know how to respond appropriately to a wide range of situations.

Security monitoring

Just like increasing the visibility of your security guard team, updating your security monitoring system can go a long way in preventing many potential threats. Placing security cameras in strategic (and visible) locations will greatly reduce the likelihood that your business will be targeted by thieves. Using a system that automatically provides alert notifications when movement is detected after-hours allows for a rapid response to an event in progress, ensuring that even the most daring burglaries can be thwarted. Keep in mind the physical security rule that states, detection without response – is not detection!

Improved monitoring systems can also assist the work of your security guard team. Modern guard tracking tools enable security leads to check in on the status of their guards via GPS while on shift, ensuring that patrols are completed properly and that any reported incidents or requests for assistance receive an immediate response.

Limiting facility access

Ease of access is one of the greatest problems faced by many facilities. All too often, a person wishing to steal valuable equipment or harm employees can simply walk right into the building. Everything you can do to limit facility access will make a difference, especially when it comes to protecting valuable data and property.

In addition to staffing a security guard at the front desk, many companies improve their physical security by requiring employees to use ID badges to check in, or even requiring individuals entering the building to go through a security screening. Quite often, certain areas can only be unlocked by individuals with the proper access code. By using these tools to restrict access to sensitive areas, you can greatly reduce the risk of theft and other incidents.

Employee awareness

It’s one thing for your security guards to know how to respond to a physical security threat — but does your office staff know what to do if a malicious individual attacks the workplace? While nobody likes to think of “the worst that could happen,” it is essential that your staff are prepared for any situation.

As part of your employee safety training, be sure that your team knows how to respond to a human threat, as well as more commonly discussed hazards like a fire or power outage. Ensuring that everyone understands proper evacuation procedures could very well save a life. Implementing a company-wide communication system can further improve this process by allowing everyone to receive real-time alerts when necessary.