Before developing a customized access system, make sure you understand the important design considerations involved with this type of facility security.

In today's security-conscious society, it's not enough to simply have the right access control equipment. You must install it in the right configurations and oversee the system properly. Following are the most important design considerations for access systems. Since no single installation needs them all, apply the ones that best fit your application.

Visitor identification and control. Physical security requires screening, identification, and control of visitors. We generally place visitors in the following categories: persons with whom every installation or facility must have dealings with in order to conduct business; and individuals or groups who want to visit an installation or facility for nonessential purposes.

When dealing with visitors, you should follow a few basic rules. First, verify their identity. Next, security personnel should contact the person the visitor is there to see to validate the visit. Finally, record visitor information, issue visitor badges, and use registration forms.

Procedures for identification and control of visitors may include:

• Positive methods of establishing the authority for admission of visitors.

• Positive ID of visitors.

• Availability and use of visitor registration forms.

• Availability and use of visitor ID cards/badges.

• Procedures for escorting visitors who have limited access.

• Establish controls to recover visitor ID cards or badges upon expiration or when no longer required.

Entry roster. Security personnel should grant admission of persons to restricted areas only after positively identifying and checking names on an authenticated roster. How can you accomplish this task? Make sure you adhere to the following guidelines:

• Each time you need to make a permanent addition or deletion, document it.

• Publish changes in the same manner as the original roster.

• Maintain rosters at access control points to facilitate positive control.

Two-man rule. This security approach requires at least two authorized persons, each capable of detecting incorrect or unauthorized procedures with respect to the task being performed and who are familiar with applicable safety and security requirements, to be present during certain operations. This rule works well in the following situations:

• When uncontrolled access to vital machinery, equipment, or material might provide opportunity for intentional or unintentional damage that could affect the operation of the installation or facility.

• Where uncontrolled access to funds could provide opportunity for diversion by falsification of accounts.

• When uncontrolled delivery or receipt for materials could provide opportunity for pilferage through "short" deliveries and false receipts.

• When uncontrolled delivery or receipt for materials could provide opportunity for planting bombs, listening devices, etc.

Mechanized/automated systems. Identification and access control systems base their identification judgment factor on a remote capability through a routine discriminating device for positive ID, as opposed to the manual system's using a guard force member to conduct identification based on access rosters and personal recognition. In a mechanized system, the following occurs within the machine:

1. Receives physical ID data from an individual;

2. Encodes this data for use;

3. Compares this data to stored data;

4. Makes a go or no-go decision; and

5. Translates the results into readable form.

Several mechanical devices, which use magnetic coding, embossing, optical characters, and dielectric coding, add to the security of a facility. An all--inclusive automated ID and access control system reinforces the security of an installation because it can be changed quickly and easily. The computer can do this through its memory, stored on magnetic tape or disc. You can make changes by remote use of specific code numbers.

Execution of security activities. First, security personnel must understand the methods and techniques that will detect security hazards and assist in identifying violators and intruders. They should also require written reports for all security activities. Each person should prepare and turn these documents into the supervisor for necessary action. Personnel assigned to fixed posts should have some designated method of securing relief when necessary. The security advisor should also establish a simple but effective plan of operation for the security force to meet every foreseeable emergency. This means conducting practice alarms frequently to test the effectiveness of this plan as well as the security force's understanding of their roles. Finally, vary routes for security patrols at frequent intervals to preclude establishing a routine that potential intruders may observe and use to gain entrance.

Next month, we'll explore sensing and monitor intrusions and how to get help when you need it most.