Visitor Management: Is One Tool Better Than the Other?
Many places such as schools, hospitals and places of worship, utilize cameras as a security measure. Often times, these cameras are watched closely by a security guard and if something unusual is noticed, law enforcement is called. Other facilities however are utilizing an all hazards approach to their visitor management. Today we are going to analyze each option and decide which is better for overall security: the tried and true manned camera approach, or the newer all hazards approach.
Manned cameras are one of the first security options that facilities and safety personnel put into place. It has proven to be effective in many settings over a long period of time and as long as the cameras are pointed in effective locations and the lighting is adequate, security personnel can identify suspicious behavior and call for law enforcement in a short amount of time.
One of the biggest issues with manned cameras however can occur from human error, or even vandalism that prevents the guard from viewing an incident. If manned cameras are the only visitor management measure in place for your facility, you may be missing the mark on a well-rounded approach to safely managing visitors.
On the other hand, many facilities are applying an all hazards approach to visitor management. The all hazards approach includes cameras, but also uses badges for identification, signs to direct visitors and restricting access points. Transitioning from a manned camera method to an all hazards approach for visitor management can initially be costly, but the implementation of an all hazards approach may actually save money in the long run by decreasing funds invested in resolving issues resulting from manned cameras. For instance, the all hazards approach includes a variety of systems that rely on each other, but can also be used exclusively if something were to happen to another system. Signs tell visitors where you want them to go and keep them away from areas in which you don’t, visitor badges are easily identified by staff and faculty at your facility and restricting access points decreases the vulnerability of your facility during non-peak hours.
Cameras are a proven security measure and should be utilized in all facilities, but simply relying on them to manage the visitors in schools, hospitals, or places of worship leaves a large margin for error and that margin leads to a less secure facility for your stakeholders. So, is one tool better than the other? Although they are useful, manned cameras should not be the only tool in your visitor management toolbox. An all hazards approach to visitor management definitely decreases your facilities vulnerability to incidents with visitors. What do you think? Does your facility have success with only using manned cameras, or does your facility see significant advantages to using an all hazards approach to visitor management?