How to successfully manage perimeter protection during extensions and construction projects
4/8/2022 Industry news

How to successfully manage perimeter protection during extensions and construction projects

Companies are growing faster than ever. This raises issues of perimeter protection, especially when companies are extending their premises. How can security be maintained during this critical phase?

Maintaining perimeter protection during and before a construction phase

Over time, companies need more space, so it is normal for companies to extend their premises. But how do you maintain your perimeter protection during this critical phase?

As a result of their commercial success, companies do not just grow in financial terms but also need more staff and a larger space. It is therefore normal practice for companies to erect new buildings, extend their premises or replace old buildings with new and more modern facilities. This often happens during ongoing production. Special attention needs to be paid to the interfaces between construction site and operations, as well as to gaps in perimeter protection due to site access.


Security concept needed before building work starts

Construction and remodelling phases are vulnerable times for a company’s security. Access checks, outside lighting, fencing and gates may then also need to be extended and integrated into the existing security system. Moreover, outside parties such as construction workers, engineers and suppliers will necessarily have to enter the grounds. The security concept must therefore also be considered before construction work starts, ideally during the planning phase. By involving architects and security companies and/or plant security in this process, risks can be precluded from the very outset. Construction projects will naturally also include the installation of security systems such as cameras, outside lighting, burglar alarms and outdoor surveillance.

However, the first step is to demarcate the construction site area, for example using mobile site fences. This will also be necessary even if the entire area – i.e., existing building and construction site – is already secured by permanently installed fences, gates and barriers. In this case, the procedure already in use at the company for managing access by outside parties can simply be transferred to site personnel. The service providers must register their personnel in advance. They will then be given an access card and allowed to enter the company grounds via electronically controlled doors or turnstiles for the duration of the construction works.


Clear regulation of site traffic and the movement of people

A lot of thought also needs to be given to the planning and design of entry and exit routes for site vehicles. In this context, the safety of personnel and tradespeople is a top priority.

Signposts and demarcations are essential to guide vehicles promptly to the unloading areas. The separation of transport routes from pedestrian areas needs to be clearly visible for all users. This can be done, for example, using concrete guard rails that are ideal for separating areas that are not to be driven on. They also help to separate the construction and operational areas from one another.

In the case of companies that have a lot of freight and trucking companies entering their premises during normal operations, automated access controls are worth considering. These systems use cameras to identify the number plates of the transport vehicles and determine whether they have authorised access. This system can then be readily transferred to site vehicles.

For vehicles and people, there must be a clear physical separation of construction site and operations. Storage facilities and workshops for the construction project must always be separate from the company’s operational areas. In this context, separating areas into safety zones is a useful tool. Depending on requirements, access controls range from electrical locking systems to biometric readers. Access can then be provided using PIN inputs and cards with magnetic strips or RFID.

At the end of the construction works, the old and new areas then need to be linked to one another. The connection of the new building to the security booth, the perfect functioning of the doors and general integration of security and building services technology must be thoroughly examined down to the last detail. Only then can final clearance be given for access to the grounds by authorised personnel.

To avoid unplanned costs and ensure that the access control system works perfectly, suitably qualified designers, specialist firms and IT companies should always be involved in the process, and clear-cut security goals need to be defined before and after the construction works. This is the only way to ensure the smooth integration of the security architecture.


Alexander Stark

Alexander Stark

Freelance journalist