5 Levels of Physical Security

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Physical security entails the safety and security of people, property, and assets – here we outline the 5 levels of physical security which each comes with specific responsibilities, risks and training. However, within the realm of physical security are five security levels.

Minimum Security

Minimum security levels are the lowest and require the least amount of attention. They may include a basic security system, door and window locks, and an alarm system. This level could consist of some surveillance cameras around the property as well. The idea is to keep unwanted intruders out. Minimum security may apply to a private residence or rarely used property. Security officers may be trained to watch cameras or respond to intrusions.

Low Security

Low security is a step up from minimum and may include more substantial systems like reinforced doors, locks, bars on windows, security gates, and even special security lighting. The security system installed would provide alarms and alert authorities if there was a break-in. Some examples of low-security needs would be small shops, retail outlets, and storage facilities. Security personnel may be trained in patrolling (especially at night), surveillance, and responding to emergencies.

Medium Security

Medium security covers both external and internal threats. The security system would include everything that low security has but would add in more surveillance cameras to monitor employees, customers, and guests. The goals of medium security are detection and obstruction of damage. Therefore, the alarm system would be robust with a loud siren and remote monitoring. The perimeter security would be significantly enhanced with a high fence, patrolmen, and an unarmed guard. The security personnel would require basic training skills. Examples of this level of security would be manufacturing plants, large retail stores, armories, or warehouses.

High-Level Security

High-level security systems are designed to monitor and evaluate internal activities and external unauthorized activities. A high-level security system includes state-of-the-art surveillance equipment, biometric locks, and barriers. It may also have closed-circuit television (CCTV) with a dedicated guard monitoring the system. Also included would be a perimeter alarm system, gates, controlled access in and out, security lighting, armed guards, security dogs, and cooperation with law enforcement. The security personnel need to be highly trained and skilled at detecting issues, responding to threats, and working with police. High-level security systems are audited annually to assess and improve. Examples might be jails, prisons, defense contractors, electronics, or pharmaceutical companies.

Maximum Security

Maximum security is the highest level and the most difficult. The goals are to detect, monitor, prevent, and address all internal and external threats. It includes a tamper-proof, high-level alarm system impenetrable by a single intruder—remote monitoring and surveillance with tactical response. A group of security personnel works 24-hours a day, ready to neutralize any situations. These systems are typically used in military installations, some prisons, nuclear and government facilities, and foreign embassies. Security personnel must be highly trained to stay calm during stressful events and react automatically to control situations. Guards must also be well-equipped to use sophisticated equipment and monitoring devices. They must also have high-level combat training and problem-solving skills.

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