With the new National Guidelines for Improvised Explosive Devices released last week, many organisations are looking for ways they can retroactively harden the physical security at their site or office. Most public buildings aren’t designed with security in mind, even though it's often critical to the occupant’s day-to-day operations.

To improve security, it’s important to be aware of existing strengths and weaknesses at your site and make adjustments where appropriate. Here are some things you can do to protect your organisation from various modes of attack:



Many buildings have glass entrances or doorways. These do not pose a barrier to an armed intruder even if locked. Rather than replacing the glass, they can be upgraded by applying a security laminate film, which keeps glass in place after it has been smashed.

Depending on the size of the glass panels, security laminate can cost 100’s or sometimes 1,000’s of dollars.



Agencies that have regular public contact should keep receptionists or guards to assist and direct visitors. They should be provided with visitor control instructions, as well as de-escalation and active shooter training.

They should also be able to control access to the reception area and non-public areas of the building, and be able to call for immediate assistance if threatened.



Any organisation that is subject to complaints or conflicts (including schools, councils, government departments, or private businesses with public contact) needs a duress alarm.

Alarms should be placed in a reception area, and when pressed should go to a strobe and an alarm which informs staff close at hand. Sometimes alarms notify a remote monitoring company. This is not recommended, as it can take extra time for a third party to respond due to the distance involved.

Alarms should also be regularly tested to check response times and make adjustments where required.

For staff members who deal with clients offsite, duress alarms can also be mobile. A device is available that incorporates a lapel mic and camera with a duress alarm button.

Council workers, welfare workers, health workers, or anyone likely to encounter conflict in their line of work should keep mobile duress alarms with them at all times.



It’s important to establish clearly defined security zones on site, including public, staff, and limited staff areas.

When Dynamiq recently conducted audits for a client, a number of typical gaps were discovered:

1) A building with swipe access card control had one door that swipe access did not apply to, meaning the all areas could in-fact be accessed by anyone.

2) Poor procedures resulting in security problems: staff would sometimes prop open security doors to save time moving within the site. This might be convenient in the short term, but poses a significant security problem.


It’s good to use a security professional to conduct a full security audit of your work site. If you'd like to discuss the security requirements for your organisation, please contact Joseph Iannazzo.

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