By Joseph A. LaSorsa, CPP
Why do I need a “safe room? I really don’t need one; I’m not that high profile”. This is typical V.I.P. client frame of reference or attitude concerning security systems and safe rooms.
What most clients don’t realize is “being high profile” has a definite impact on vulnerabilities, however, not being high profile does not mitigate the vulnerabilities and overall exposure caused by their “lifestyles” and “net worth”.
Firstly, security systems are usually designed and installed by security system companies.
The salesperson of the vending company is primarily interested in selling the highest dollar components and system. The viability of the system is usually important but not usually paramount to their operational concerns. The clients usually are persuaded to purchase the “high end” version of systems and usually get very good systems.
Secondly, what they do not realize is they would have benefited immensely from the use of the services of a quality security consultant, who would have been savvy of security system requirements and the needs specific needs of the client.
The experienced security consultant can save the client thousands of dollars in unnecessary expense on hardware and re-direct hardware expenses in the direction of need and viability. This having been said, there are other issues that are unknown to the clients. In addition, these other issues are also not first and foremost in the minds and focus of many security system vendors.
One of these issues is the concept of security system redundant layering. The most effective systems are layered with detection device systems after detection device systems, all integrated into one intrusion detection system. Not to get into too much technical detail, the idea or concept is to set up mantraps and detection device systems that will back each other up and eventually detect and catch the intruder.
The typical estate or residence burglary scenario: an intruder gains access to your residence or estate, the police typically do not respond quick enough to prevent an intruder from coming face to face with an occupant. The result is an unwanted tragic event will usually occur.
Another issue is the concept of the “safe room”. Most clients do not realize and most vendors do not stress the value of the “safe room” We are not talking about the Jodie Foster movie, the “Panic Room” We are not alluding that all estates and mega-yachts need internal, concrete and steel fortified sanctuaries. Far from that. Safe rooms do not have to be these ultra, internal fortresses. ‘Safe Rooms’ can be designed and constructed at various levels of security. They can be minimally reinforced and impregnated with ballistic materials. They can also be designed to achieve the highest levels of security, where the room is totally protected from exterior access and is constructed with steel reinforcements, ballistic materials and a door constructed by a “vault” manufacturer. This highest level of protection is routinely equipped with a separate AC system, security CCTV monitors, survival supplies, oxygen and a back up communications systems.
Essentially, the primary focus of a viable and efficient Security Intrusion Detection System (alarm system) should be to warn and provide occupants of your estate, mega-yacht or home with sufficient time to access a ‘safe room’ and avoid confrontation with an intruder. True, although many people simply regard an alarm system as a deterrent, it should be also, at the same time, a warning system, allowing you and your loved ones ample time to access your ‘safe room’. In order to facilitate a safe outcome, it is vital to ensure quick and easy access to a safe location (‘safe room’) and to remain secure until the police or security detail respond.
The bottom line – police response time and access to your ‘safe room’ play critical roles in determining a positive outcome during a break-in or intrusion.
Proper planning and the use of a highly qualified security consultant will provide clients with the optimum result and more than likely, save hem unwarranted expense. The consultant can work closely with the client’s architect or builder to review preliminary designs in order to pro-actively implement design changes and modifications before construction or renovations are initiated. This involvement routinely ensures the implementation of the appropriate technical and physical security countermeasures.
In conclusion, the client should wind up enjoying the safety and security of a viable intrusion detection system incorporated with the added feature of the safe room.
Mr. LaSorsa manages J.A. LaSorsa & Associates, a South Florida based security consultancy and investigative firm. He provides: asset and executive protection, corporate security consulting, expert testimony as it relates to premises liability & security negligence; anti-wiretapping, safe rooms & security systems consulting, event and tour security & investigations; workplace & school violence intervention, threat & vulnerability assessments.
Joe has over twenty-nine years of experience in the Criminal Investigations, Executive Protection and the security field, which includes a twenty-year Federal Law Enforcement career as a Senior Special Agent with the United States Secret Service, having been assigned to the Presidential Protection Division, the White House. J.A. LaSorsa & Associates can be contacted at: 954-783-5020 or via e-mail: email@example.com or by visiting: http://www.lasorsa.com