Record UK’s three Ds – deter, detect, delay

July 7, 2023


Record UK’s, SEC Business Development Manager, Stephen Goodridge, talks through the necessity for a “3-D” approach to entrance control solutions – deter, detect, delay

DETER, DETECT, DELAY. These are the three Ds of pedestrian entrance control. Entrance security for pedestrians is a key element of any building and now, more than ever, there are myriad products, standards and certifications to choose from. It can be a bit of a minefield, but I think part of the problem is that often the questions are asked in the wrong order.

Given the high-profile nature of security and the potential (although very rare) risk of catastrophic failure if you get it wrong (not to say now of being imprisoned), it is understandable that the risk is often outsourced to experts.

It is, though, in my opinion critical that the end user is heavily involved in the process as they will be the ones ultimately responsible for operating the building safely and are the ones who are going to be paying for the solution. It is important therefore that the solution is fit-for-purpose.

It is easy to be bamboozled by all the acronyms and technicalities, but I believe focusing on a few simple questions can help you navigate through the maze.

For sure, you will need expert advice but do not think for one minute that your input as an end user is not vital. Remember first that no solution is 100% effective.

Security is always a compromise and the list of items below is designed to offer a guide as to how to manage those compromises that you will inevitably have to make unless you have very deep pockets.

But when anyone is considering the security of your building, it is best to start with the following questions:

What are the threats I am trying to mitigate?

This may seem obvious but it is amazing how often just the headline threats are focused on understandably. Don’t be shy and try and be as complete as possible. You might be surprised as you progress through the process that a threat you barely considered could turn out to be a key one to focus on.

Rank them in terms of likely occurrence and likely impact (you might be surprised at the outcome).  A catastrophic terror attack might well destroy your business but is a relatively unlikely event whereas a member of the public being knocked over by an automatic door and suing you might well be far more likely and almost as bad for your business. You can get quite creative here depending on your business and include risk of loss of life, critical building infrastructure and cost.

Where are the weakest links?

There’s no point in installing a security class door if the glass next to it can be pierced more easily (look at the whole building.

Don’t kid yourselves that thieves aren’t smart). Consider also the location of potential ways into the building. Those that are out of sight, perhaps hidden to security cameras might need a higher security rating than the main 24 hr manned reception entrance.

What considerations do you need to make for usage (frequency and flow) and safety?

Once you are clear on the risk profile you now also need to look at other elements of the solution such as safety in use, people flow, the security standard you want to attempt to reach. Any powered pedestrian door solution needs to meet BS EN 16005 and speedlanes and turnstiles should comply with the new BS EN 17352 standard. You may choose not to implement them but you need to know the compromise you are making. How secure? How safe in use? What sort of users do you have? Are there are any children or vulnerable people using the building? Is it ‘trained’ people only (that is staff or gym members) or is it public access (the latter is always of course more challenging). It is also worth asking the question when acronyms are cast around as to what they actually mean in reality. PAS24 and BS EN 1627 (up to RC3) are stealth standards aimed mainly at the domestic market. How long are they designed to prevent ingress with what capabilities and with what toolsets? You won’t know but your expert should. And then how many people will be using the building and what is the peak flow rate –  for instance at the start of day, at lunch time, at the end of the day or perhaps the specific times when certain classes might start.

What is practical in terms of solution and budget?

You should now have a good idea of what it is you want to achieve and you have prioritised your risks. This is rather like when you are buying a house, it could be worth considering raking them as ‘must haves’ or simply ‘nice to haves’.

This will immediately rule out certain solutions. Cost is of course a factor and don’t be shy. Is it more cost effective and in fact more secure to have more than one layer of security.

Laminated glass is much stronger than the same thickness of one single pane. Remember ‘delay’ is a key element. Criminals are ultimately looking at getting in and out as quickly as possible compared with the potential reward.

Record UK’s conclusion

If you have taken all the above in to account you should be well placed to make an informed decision that will meet your security, safety and operational requirements. And, remember, security is always a compromise between those elements.

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