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Electronic Security for Government Facilities


If the government agency allows, a badge reader can be added to the door locking hardware that will allow access after the spin dial lock has been opened. This means that occupants only have to unlock the combination lock once at the start of the day. Normal operation should occur in a specific order: The combination lock is opened; and then the electronic security alarm system is accessed, which activates the electronic access control badge reader.

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									                                                   Market Focus:
                                                Government Security

Electronic Security for
Government Facilities
Security in classified and sensitive areas should meet several requirements

                                                       By Bob Pearson

          lanning is critical for all elec-    unique, so too will be the electronic secu-    of the facility and visitor/employee faces.
          tronic security systems, but it is   rity system for that specific installation.     Cameras should be running at all times,
          most important for high-security                                                    and they must be properly placed to en-
          applications that must comply        Security-in-Depth                              sure operation in various light levels and
          with special requirements —             Security-in-Depth is an official desig-      the desired field-of-view. They should
which describes many government facili-        nation that a given facility’s security pro-   be strategically placed to view the vari-
ties. Requirements handed down by the          gram consists of layered and complemen-        ous entrances and critical areas, such as
government or code requirements make           tary security controls sufficient to deter      docks, power substations, etc.
the funding for an electronic security         and detect unauthorized entry and move-           The second layer is added around the in-
system easier to obtain, but often those       ment within the facility. Examples include     terior of the facility. A third layer might be
requirements make the electronics more         the use of perimeter fences, employee and      at various areas inside the building. There
complex and sophisticated.                     visitor access controls, use of an intrusion   may even be more layers of security — if
   Each classified government area has          detection system, random guard patrols         the buildings contain highly classified se-
a specific level of security it must meet       throughout the facility during non-work-       curity areas that contain compartmental-
— the higher the level of classification,       ing and working hours, and closed circuit      ized, higher-security space within them.
the more stringent the requirements be-        video monitoring or other safeguards that
come. Each level of classification will not     mitigate the vulnerability of unalarmed        Controlling Sound Emissions
be specifically addressed here — instead        storage areas and security storage cabi-          Sound emissions refer to the ability to
the focus will be on typical concerns and      nets during non-working hours.                 stand outside the classified area and be
issues for electronic security systems in a       This layered approach is sometimes          able to hear what is being said within the
government setting that can be resolved        referred to as the “onion” design. As you      classified area.
with a solid, well-thought-out plan to meet    peel away the various layers of the onion         The actual requirement will state a cer-
a given set of requirements.                   you get closer and closer to the center.       tain decibel level (db) that sound within
   High-security, government-classified            The layers usually start at the property    the area must be attenuated. The scale
areas must typically incorporate the fol-      line. The first layer of security starts at     uses a base-10 logarithmic scale, simi-
lowing requirements:                           the site perimeter. Security measures          lar to the Richter scale for earthquakes.
   • Security-in-Depth;                        here typically include access control —        Each number change on the Richter scale
   • Sound emission control;                   which would encompass a fence that must        means that the earthquake is ten times as
   • Limited access;                           comply with certain standards, gates for       strong. On the db scale, every 3db reduc-
   • Documentation of personnel move-          vehicles and pedestrians, etc. The build-      tion is ½ the power or sound level.
ment; and                                      ings typically have limited access, which         A typical security requirement for an area
   • Detection of unauthorized access.         is controlled by an electronic access con-     might be 45db attenuation or reduction of
   There is not a single solution that         trol system, and/or security personnel.        audible conversations within the area. To
works in every application, but v
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