Expect the best but prepare for the worst. This has long been a mantra of building managers regarding emergency management and safety procedures. Whether it is natural disasters, electrical fires, or workplace violence—the need for modern security measures and emergency management preparedness has never been more critical. Companies are utilizing everything from contracting security officers to integrating security features within a building’s design to protect their assets and the people in front of them.

A thorough and widespread communications system is critical for building managers setting up safety measures for emergencies both during and after an event. Many building managers rely on business continuity processes. These are typically part of an overall emergency management plan and are specifically structured for maintaining a business, and its finances, through times of emergency. These plans are reliant on telecommunication, both internally and externally.

Mass alerts have now become the standard for communicating quickly to students, workers, and the general public. Building solutions company Honeywell offers a new-age solution to the issue of reaching everyone in a workplace in the event of an emergency.

Using cloud-based technology, Honeywell’s Instant Alert system provides instant mass alerts to a variety of electronics. Alerts and routine communications are able to be sent with the push of a button, or by phone in the case of an internet outage, to a user’s cell phone, email, desktop, even going so far as enabling alerts via the company website. When communication is consistent in a workplace, the response by employees, in situations where every second matters, certainly helps provide a safer work environment.

Another important way companies are changing the landscape of security is by incorporating security measures into the building design.

This is exactly what financial services firm Brown Brothers Herriman did when it relocated to a 97,000 square-foot workspace in Jersey City, New Jersey. With the help of architecture firm HLW, they designed a space that protects valuable and sensitive assets into an open and welcoming environment for employees and visitors.

“An important design consideration was creating zones of security. One zone was client-facing, and the second zone was employee-facing,” Kimberly Sacramone, principal at HLW told GlobeSt.com. “This was resolved in the space planning of the project with separate circulation paths. One path allowed access to more sensitive, behind-the-scenes subject matter housed with the open-plan office with employee amenities, technology and support spaces. The second path needed to be a front-facing tour route, complete with amenity spaces like the conferencing center, terrace and pantry, and a view of the BBH community.”

Emergency preparedness is becoming more important and implementing systems in a place of business is only getting easier. Cloud-based alert systems will be the tip of the iceberg as more workspaces adopt smart technology. While there are ways to protect your workers and assets from the beginning stages of designing, smart systems and cloud servers will continue to make their mark on workplace security while making the job of building manager increasingly easier to facilitate.

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