Facility Awareness, Safety, Security Best Practices

Facility Awareness, Safety, Security Best Practices

While protecting our loved ones in our homes is already a challenge, there’s a far greater threat these days -- protecting our loved ones with an emergency response plan while they’re in public buildings, including schools, houses of worship, malls, banks, and municipal buildings.

Facility teams, already tasked with planned preventive maintenance and keeping equipment running safely and efficiently, and other critical tasks now must make security a top priority, considering recent mass shootings in Uvalde, TX; Buffalo, NY; and Laguna Woods, CA.

Risk experts from Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I. are recommending prevention and response measures and answering common questions about armed intruder preparedness.

Physical spaces and systems

  • Control the access points to your building, ensuring all are locked or monitored. Keep exits clear. Teachers and students may forget to lock windows. Replace broken windows. Check roof and basement access, too.
  • Survey locks, doors, security cameras, lighting, alarms, and gates. Fix anything that doesn’t work immediately.
  • Make sure your security measures – including equipment and personnel – are visible and obvious.
  • Upgrade security cameras and access control devices, so facility and security teams are alerted when a door is breached, or a person enters a building


  • Keep members and staff informed on your security processes and procedures.
  • Use mobile devices to access evacuation routes, shut offs and share building plans with first responders


  • Implement a workplace violence prevention program and train all staff and volunteers.
  • Conduct armed intruder drills regularly, just like fire drills.
  • Include law enforcement officers in your training and provide them a facility map.

Experts such as the ALICE Training Institute help organizations prevent, mitigate, respond to, and recover from incidents such as an armed intruder attack. This includes the basic tenets of response during an incident, captured in the ALICE acronym below:

Alert – Recognize the signs of danger and take all alerts seriously.

Lockdown – If evacuation is not a safe option, barricade entry points into your room.

Inform – Communicate information to others in the building as clearly as possible.

Counter – As a last resort when confronted with an armed intruder, create noise, movement, and other distractions to reduce a shooter’s ability to aim accurately.

Evacuate – Leave the area through doors, windows, or other exits.

Emergency preparedness and responsiveness shouldn’t be the domain of just a few individuals. We can all participate by using our five senses. Does the building look easy to break into? Then, don’t keep it to yourself. Share concerns with management, administration, IT.

ARC Facilities works with schools, universities, municipalities, sports stadiums, and healthcare facilities across the country who’ve learned to take control of their own building information with Facility Management Softwareif  and make building facility data quickly and easily accessible for local emergency contacts via handheld devices.

Here’s a quick video to help you respond to emergencies and deal with security threats by using Emergency Management Software.

If you want more information and best practices on how to keep those we love safe in emergency situations, as well as how to easily access your facility's data we invite you to follow us on Linkedin.

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