Facility protection

Business require special measures to protect their operations, infrastructure, and workers from any potential harmful effects an emergency could cause. Emergencies can be the result of man-made or natural events, some examples may include terrorism, earthquakes, tornadoes, extreme temperatures, fires, hurricanes, and appearance of diseases such as Ebola, among others. Depending on the type of emergency different hazards may present in the emergency locations. These hazards may include chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, ergonomic, and physical hazards among others. Therefore, it is important to establish a plan before the occurrence of these events to be prepared in case an emergency happens. These plans may include different stages such as facility protection, in which business owners or managers can take steps to identify potential hazards and make changes to prevent, mitigate or control them. Managers can also support the creation of planning guidelines of emergency management, covering topics such as evacuation plans, procedures, shelter, fire safety, and disaster kits among others. This webpage provides business access to different resources.

The links below provide guidance on steps businesses can take to improve the protective features of their facilities.

Man caused and natural disasters can cause economic and social damage. Some of this damage is associated to infrastructure and specially buildings and general constructions. Although there are building codes, standards and established practices there are always risks associated to disastrous events. The following links provide information regarding building security covering structural performance and failure under extreme conditions, how to assess the vulnerability of structures, how to adapt building structures and constructions for emergencies, and how to adapt previous measures to particular conditions.

Structural security 

The American institute of architects provides a primer with general information on building security. This primer includes guidelines for conducting security assessments and provides security considerations to be implemented in constructions understanding different types of threats that could affect a structure.
Building Security by Design: A Primer for Architects, Design Professionals and their Clients (American Institute of Architects)External

This standards contains detailed building construction guidance. This document establishes design standards and criteria for new buildings, major and minor alterations, and work in historic structures for the Public Buildings Service (PBS) of the General Services Administration (GSA ). Contents include general requirements, urban development and landscape design, architecture and interior design, structural engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, fire protection, and design standards for different types of facilities.
Facilities Standards for Public Buildings Service (GSA)External

The National Institute of Standards and Technology offers information on building materials; computer-integrated construction practices; fire science and fire safety engineering; and structural, mechanical, and environmental engineering. Some programs offer materials covering disaster-resilient buildings, infrastructure and communities. These programs are designed to cover multiple hazards through tools that could predict structural performance under extreme loading conditions, evaluate the capabilities to withstand extreme loads, and develop guidelines for the design of buildings and rehabilitation that could mitigate structural damage.
Building and Fire Research Laboratory (NIST)External

The U.S General Services Administration provides tips and guidance on ways to make Federal buildings more secure. This document offers information about Mail handling; chemical, biological, and bomb threats.
Making Federal Buildings Safe (GSA)Cdc-pdf

Indoor air security

This NIOSH publication provides recommendations to protect building air environments from a terrorist release of chemical, biological, or radiological contaminants. The guidelines offer preventive measures, recommendations, air-cleaning principles, and economic considerations for building owners and managers.
Guidance for Filtration and Air-Cleaning Systems to Protect Building Environments from Airborne Chemical, Biological, or Radiological Attacks

This NIOSH publication identifies actions and recommendations as well as information on actions, measures and strategies building owners, managers, maintenance personal and general edifications can take to enhance protection from airborne chemical, biological or radiological attacks. Recommendations cover physical security; ventilation and filtration; and maintenance, administration, and training for building owners or managers to quickly implement to enhance occupant protection from an airborne chemical, biological, or radiological attack.
Guidance for Protecting Building Environments from Airborne Chemical, Biological, or Radiological Attacks (NIOSH)

This publication is a summary report a NIOSH investigation of public and private-sector buildings to determine the vulnerability of building air environments to chemical, biological and radiologic (CBR) agents. This report indicates the type of methods they used, their findings and provide prevention and control strategies to prevent the risk of exposure to CBR agents. Guidelines and the use of particular decontamination systems are also provided.
Protecting Building Environments from Airborne Chemical, Biological, or Radiological Attack (CDC/NIOSH)

Chemical substances that have the ability to create a physical or health hazard are considered hazardous. Due to their properties chemical hazardous substances may be, but are not limited to being toxic, explosive, flammable, self-reactive, oxidizing, or corrosive. Exposure to these substances by different routes including inhalation, dermal absorption, or ingestion can lead to adverse health effects, enhancing the need to know about the hazards associated to these substances beforehand.

In chemical facilities, there is a special need to implement preventive measures in case of an emergency given the type of activity and the different classes of chemical agents handled in these types of locations. The following links offer an insight of the types of security measures, strategies , programs and controls that can be implemented to prevent an emergency and the actions that must be taken in case of an emergency.

This report presents an overview of a prototype methodology to assess the security of chemical facilities. The methodology identifies and assesses potential security threats, risks, and vulnerabilities, in chemical facilities. The vulnerability assessment technology used in this report aims to prevent or mitigate adverse impacts on chemical facilities due to criminal activity or terrorism. The vulnerability assessment model uses risk, severity of consequences of an event, likelihood of an attack and likelihood of an attack causing a catastrophic event to compare security risks. The results of the risks assessment might lead to the development of measures to minimize potential risks and industry security improvements.
A Method to Assess the Vulnerability of U.S. Chemical Facilities (Department of Justice)Cdc-pdf

These guidelines are designed to provide tools that allow the correct assessment and management of vulnerabilities associated to handling chemicals, petroleum products, fertilizers, pharmaceutical products, among others. As part of the process the guidelines includes screening of the particular industry, site screening, protection analysis, security vulnerability assessment, and action planning and tracking.
Chemical Plant Vulnerability Analysis (American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE))External

The responsible case security code is a security program for chemical facilities that can be applied in other industries. The model address all the processes present in chemical industries, including the ones within the facilities, and outside of them such as transportation or cybernetic activities. The code recommends a prioritization of sites based on vulnerability assessments at all locations. Based on findings different measures can be implemented such as security controls, training, drills, guidance, and corrective actions.
Responsible care security code (American Chemistry Council)External

High rise structures can have particular hazards associated in case of an emergency. Associated hazards include fire, chemical, biological, and physical hazards. Therefore is necessary to contemplate different hazardous scenarios to consider the most effective strategies that can guarantee the safety and health of the building occupants. The following links offer different types of resources that provide an insight of the types of measures, controls and strategies that should be implemented in order to prevent emergencies and to provide an appropriate response in case of one. This measures include security controls, use of technology to assess vulnerabilities and provide solutions, training, establishment of plans, rules and responsibilities to provide an appropriate response in case of an emergency.

This Short study focuses on the threats to and possible responses from the owners and managers of Los Angeles high-rise buildings in the aftermath of 9/11. The document includes the identification of hazards and vulnerabilities, potential solutions, establishment of protocols and drills for response, installation of security measures, update of evacuation plans, and instauration of health and safety practices that guarantee a secure environment for the building occupants.
Security and Safety in Los Angeles High-Rise Buildings After 9/11 (RAND)External

The following document provides guidance for local governments and building owners on mitigating the effects of an attack on high-rise buildings. Some suggestions include an assessment of vulnerabilities and the establishment of regular emergency drills, and evacuation plans to update current safety protocols and in a future guarantee a timely and secure evacuation and response to an emergency.
Protecting Occupants of High-Rise Buildings (RAND) External

Page last reviewed: March 28, 2018