HOW THE PROFFESSIONALS IN BUILT ENVIRONMENT CAN RESPOND TO COUNTER TERRORISM

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Since late 2011, Kenya has seen an upsurge in violent terrorist attacks. Most of these attacks happen in hotels, universities, Malls and other facilities. From the design concept to the management of the building once it’s completed, there are a few precautionary measures that can be taken to minimize casualties in case of an attack. Architects and all professionals involved during the construction of a building have an important role to play.

Before you access any building, the first people you encounter are the security guards. They are the people who are responsible for alerting the police in case of any emergency. During construction of the entrance to any building, the architects should use strong materials that can be able to resist the blast. By and large, the doors and locks should be strong to avoid easier opening.

In recent years, most companies have embraced the open office plan. This leaves staff workers exposed in case of an attack. As a precautionary measure, Companies should ensure the rooms are all secured.  If the company is well able to, security bankers should be constructed where people can hide in case of an attack.

Security arrangements

In most modern buildings, there exist no integrated security systems that can help in tracking attackers. That’s why it’s important for estate agents to conduct security drills in buildings so that tenants can know how to differentiate the alarms raised during different crisis; in case of a Fire outbreak or a terrorist attack so that they can be in the know on how best to react and save more lives and properties.

All building should also have a central shutdown system so that if there is an attack different access points in the building can be shut down and emergency exits can be opened for escape. As a precautionary measure, the system should be managed by the security personnel from a central location. This is because from the central location, the security personnel can be able to detect suspicious activities by outsiders.

By and large, all persons entering the building should be thoroughly searched. Security personnel should not assume that just because a person is a regular visitor in a certain building they ought not to be searched. Most attackers are not strangers to the building.

The popular Nyumba Kumi initiative should be introduced in offices or hostels set up. Security intelligence and security sensitivity should not be ignored. Anyone can be caught up in this situation .This means everyone in the country should be trained and embrace security. The property managers should assist in detecting and handling security crisis in the buildings. All the visitors should have their own areas where they are attended to at the ground level. Traffic management should also be looked at. We should have vehicles barriers and also bumps to slow the speed of the vehicles coming in. Lastly, insuring your property is also important because in case of an attack, the losses will be compensated.

Eunice Macharia – Property Manager In Nairobi

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