Security of Buildings and Grounds

The term ‘security technology’ is to be understood as covering all devices used for defence against criminal danger to the body, life or valuables. In reality, all parts of a building can be penetrated, even those made of steel and reinforced concrete. The need for security should be established by an in-depth study of vulnerable areas, with an estimate of costs and benefits. The police will advise on the choice of security and monitoring system equipment.


Mechanical protection devices are constructional measures which provide mechanical resistance to an intruder. These can only be overcome by the use of force, which will leave physical trace s behind. An important consideration is the effectiveness of this resistance. Such measures are necessary for the main entrance doors, windows and basement entrances in blocks of flats, and display windows, entrances, other windows, skylights and fences in business premises. Mechanical protection devices include steel grilles, either fixed or as roller shutters, safety roller shutters, secure locks and chains. Wire-reinforced glass also has a deterrent effect, and acrylic or poly-carbonate window panes offer enhanced protection.


Electrical security devices will automatically set off an alarm if any unauthorized entry to the protected premises is attempted. An important consideration is the time taken from when the alarm is triggered until the arrival of security staff or the police.

burglar alarm systems

(1) Burglar and attack alarm systems help to monitor and protect people, property and goods. They cannot prevent intruders entering premises, but they should give the earliest possible warning of such an attempt. Optimum security can only be achieved by mechanical protection and the sensible installation of burglar alarm systems. Supervisory measures include monitoring the outside of the building, as well as each room and individual objects of value, security traps and emergency alarm calls.
Fire alarm systems give an early warning of smoke or fire, and may also alert the emergency services. Fire alarm systems are there to protect people and property.

security systems

(2) Outdoor supervision systems are used to monitor areas around the building. They increase security by recording all nearby activity, usually up to and including the property boundary. They consist of mechanical or constructional measures, electronic or other detection devices, and/or organizational or personnel action. Their objective is legal fencing, to deter or delay intruders, or to detect and give early warning about unauthorized people or vehicles. This also includes the detection and identification of possible sabotage attempts or espionage. Mechanical measures include construction work, fences, ditches, walls, barriers, gates, access control and lighting. Electrical measures can involve control centres, detectors, video/television sensors, an access control system, an alarm connected to higher communication systems, an automatic telephone dialing device and/or radio. Organizational actions include the briefing of personnel, observation, surveillance, security, task forces, technical staff, watchdogs and an emergency action plan.


(3) Goods protection systems, also called shoplifting protection systems, are electronic systems which serve to protect against theft and the illegal removal of goods from a controlled area during normal business hours.


(4) Access control systems are devices   which, in combination with a mechanical barrier, only allow free access to any area by means of an identity check. Access is only granted after electronic or personal authorization. A combination of access control and a time-recording device is technically feasible.


(5) Remote control systems or data transfer/exchange over the public telephone network facilitate monitoring at a distance. Such systems can be used for measurement, control, diagnosis, adjustments, remote questioning, controlling the type of information, and assessing the position of one object in relation to another.


(6) Monitoring systems observe or control the sequence of events by means of a camera and a monitor which are operated either manually and/or automatically. They can be installed either inside or outside, and can operate both day and night throughout the year.


(7) Lift emergency systems are used in personnel lifts and goods lifts. Lift emergency call systems ensure the safety of the users. They are designed first and foremost to free people who are trapped inside. Anyone who is trapped can talk directly to someone in a control centre which is constantly manned, and who will alert the rescue services.


Base on Architects’ Data by Ernst and Peter Neufert

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