Residential Security Part 2 - The Security Checklist
Here is list of things you want to consider when planning the security for your residence. Not everything will apply to you but take what does and use it, a lot of the considerations here can be applied to most houses or apartments.
Always plan security in depth, you want as many cordons of defense as possible.
Have several means of communications; land-lines and cellular, check them regularly.
Have planned escape routes.
If the residence overlooked what sniper or surveillance positions are there?
Check to see if the residence under surveillance.
Has the residence been searched for IEDs, electronic surveillance devices or contraband?
Is the residence ever left unoccupied, if yes it needs to be searched before re-occupation?
Does the residence have a fence or wall around it and can it realistically keep out intruders?
Are there gates to the residence, can they stop an intruder or a car, are the gates locked at all times and what are the procedures for greeting visitors.
Is there anything to help criminals climb over the garden walls or gates, such as trees or poles around the exterior of the property?
If the residence is in an apartment block, are there fire escapes or scaffolding that could give the criminals a way in?
Where along the routes in and out of the residence could an ambush be concealed?
Consider putting the residence under protective surveillance.
Always use counter-surveillance drills before entering and upon exiting the residence.
Regularly photograph or video the areas surrounding the residence and always watch for suspicious vehicles and people.
What security lights are there, do they work, when are the lights turned on and where is their control switch? If the control switch is outside, move it inside.
Lights should shine away for the residence not on to it.
Consider attaching lights triggered by movement detectors outside of doors and venerable areas.
Any defects to floodlighting or other security lights should be fixed ASAP.
If you are in an apartment block, is the reception manned 24hrs a day and If yes, are the people manning it competent? Consider a penetration test.
Do your doors have peepholes- peepholes are best positioned at the side of the door or in the wall so, you cannot be shot through the door. If using a peephole always distinguish any lights behind you.
Consider using a video phone to greet visitors and cameras to cover the doors and surrounding areas.
Consider an armored layer on the inside of main doors.
If you have a residential security team (RST) do they know their orders?
Are the RST from a quality trustworthy company and have they been vetted and well trained?
Do an assessment on your security personnel and evaluate how much you can really trust them; will they fight, flee or just rollover if there is a problem.
Make sure the RST patrols the grounds at all times in all weathers; bad weather is the best time for raids as guards are usually seeking shelter and un-alert.
If you are using guard dogs, make sure that they are well trained and preferably under the control of their handler.
Are all doors to the residence solid and are the doorframes solid, most times a doorframe will break before the lock on the door.
Are the locks on the doors of a good quality and have you changed them since taking over the residence?
If a key is lost or an employee fired who has access to keys change your locks.
Consider using deadbolts at the top and bottom of a door and wedges in conjunction with the normal locks.
Can the locks be unlocked from the outside, if a window is broken or can the door hinges be unscrewed?
Do you have control of all the keys to the residence and have a list of everyone with keys?
Have all unused entrances and exits secured.
All windows need to be secured on all floors of the building. It is a fact that in 90% of burglaries, access is gained through windows. Check that windows are properly shut, secured and if possible alarmed.
Consider putting thorny bushes under windows and around the perimeter of your garden to deter intruders. Thorny bushes can be put on the inside of perimeter walls also to tangle up and alert you to anyone jumping over.
Use laminated glass and heavy curtains where there is a threat from IEDs as they will help prevent flying glass. Wood blinds also work for extra privacy and protection.
Beware of casting shadows against windows which can be seen from the outside.
Consider putting a gravel walkway around the outside of your house so you can hear anyone approaching or stalking around.
All skylights and roof doors need to be secured and preferably alarmed. Roofs need to be secured and monitored.
Is the attic of the residence adjoined to another roof or attic from which someone could gain access?
What alarms are in the residence, are they working and when were they last tested?
All doors and windows on outbuildings need to be secured, regularly checked and, if possible, alarmed.
Are the roofs of the outbuildings secured; an IED or assailant on the roof of a garage stands a better chance of not being spotted than one in a driveway.
Do all padlocks have spare keys and who has them?
Are the padlocks of good quality and difficult to pick or shim?
Are all weapons in the residence legal and are they secured when not in use?
Do you and the RST know their rules of engagement and the laws for use of force?
No vehicle should be given access to the grounds of the residence without a member of the security team at least physically checking the interior of the passenger compartment. You never know- your personal driver flashing his light and laying on his horn at the gate might have a gun in the back of this head or a bomb in the trunk of his car.
What firefighting equipment is there in the residence and is it in a serviceable condition?
Are there any fire alarms and do they work? Fire is the largest cause of loss and damage to private and commercial properties. Fire prevention is, therefore, one of the highest residential security concerns.
Flooding is a major threat to property and equipment, common causes include taps that have been left running, leaks in plumbing systems or faulty air conditioning systems, heavy rain or snowfall.
Are all valuables kept secure and do you have pictures of all valuable artwork, jewelry etc.?
Are all valuables insured and have you recorded the serial numbers of all TVs, computer and stereo equipment?
Do you, your family and staff have security, emergency procedures and does everyone know them?
Do you, your family and staff know how to report any suspicious activity in the area?
Do you, your family and staff know how to the raise the alarm, in the case of an emergency?
Make arrangements for power cuts, keep spare batteries and bulbs for torches, several means of communications and check them regularly.
If you have a backup generator ensure it is serviceable and you have plenty of fuel in a secure location.
Keep all sensitive and security documentation secure and confidential.
Keep computers and hard drives secure and password protected.
Have your staff and employees been profiled and had background checks?
Do not discuss sensitive or security related subjects in front of staff, consider giving them disinformation on such things as travel and business plans.
Don’t let any of the security personnel get over familiar with any of the other staff.
Consider monitoring all phone calls from and to the residence.
All contractors must have appointments and must be searched before entering and leaving the residence. Searched when entering to check for contraband, IEDs or electronic surveillance devices and when leaving to make sure they are not stealing anything.
Contractors should be accompanied at all times.
If suspicious of visitors, turn them away or keep them outside and preferably illuminated, until their credentials are verified. Also consider that they could be testing your security or a distraction while others try to access your residence.
Never illuminate yourself in a doorway or a window, darkness is your friend.
All deliveries should go through the RST and be checked for anything suspicious, have a secure area to isolate any suspicious packages.
Use a mailbox or virtual office address rather than your residential address.
Be suspicious of unexpected power outages, faulty alarms etc.
Always have escape routes and don’t let security procedures obstruct them.
Know the location and safest routes to safe houses, emergency rendezvous points, hospitals, etc.
Think like a criminal and plan for every eventuality.
Note: Risks Incorporated supplies a full range of international security and investigation training and services!
Orlando - Risks Inc. - www.risks-incorporated.com
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