Bank with bullet resistant barrier

Bank Security: Balancing the Priorities of Security Managers, Architects, and Facilities

Architect Info, Bank Security, Bullet Resistant Barriers

Bank with bullet resistant barrierA bandit barrier is a grim necessity for both the protection of employees and prevention of criminal interest. According to the FBI’s Bank Crime Statistics, there were 3,961 bank robberies across the United States in 2014. A firearm was used in more than 23% of these robberies, and over 95% of 2014’s bank robberies involved action at the counter. But addressing your bandit barrier can be tough: The best physical security solution might cause big problems with the HVAC system or it might look unappealing. A more attractive solution might work fine from a facilities perspective, but cause headaches for tellers and customers.

“We see this a lot,” Jim Richards, Total Security Solutions CEO explained, “Because physical security at a bank is this set of overlapping responsibilities, with a huge impact on the building’s aesthetics, the building’s mechanicals, and everyone’s safety. The trick is to make sure that aesthetics, building function, and security are all addressed in a balanced way.”

Bandit Barriers are Physical Security Systems

Banks and credit unions come to Total Security Solutions for physical security solutions when:
• they have experienced a robbery or attempt at robbery
• the perceived threat level in their area increases
• they are renovating their building and want to install or replace a bulletproof barrier

The traditional “bandit barrier” seems fairly straightforward: a large expanse of bulletproof glass with cutaways at the wickets and steel cash trays at each station. But in reality, even these straightforward ballistic barriers are interlocking systems of bullet resistant components that include transparency and cash trays, a drawer or large passer, and bulletproof counters. Many people outside of the bulletproof barrier industry may not realize that ballistic counters are quite common. Ballistic counters from TSS are available in stainless steel, wood, laminate, and Corian, defying the gritty image associated with bulletproof products sourced elsewhere. But a bullet resistant counter with holes cut in it for wire runs and data cables somewhat defeats its  purpose — to increase security.

TSS Bridges the Facilities/Security Gap

When it comes to banks, bulletproof glass occupies the intersection of two important roles for management of a successful financial institution: physical security and facilities. Problems occur when the job of installing the bulletproof glass is handed off to one group without input from the other.

Bank security officers and facility managers need a complete solution when it comes to installing bulletproof glass barriers. It should not be security’s job to think of the HVAC, electrical, and other systems when installing what amounts to a transparent, sound-transmitting wall in the middle of a room. Facility managers, who are likely concerned with how a wall of bulletproof glass will affect the building’s heating, cooling, and electric, won’t necessarily know what UL protection level is required for physical security measures, or be familiar enough with bank operations to be sure that a system is specified properly.

“That’s a benefit of working with TSS,” says Jim Richards, “we’ve worked with all these roles within the bank–the facilities people, the architects, the bank security officers–and we’ve dealt with all of the building trades, helping them sort out the details. We know what to look out for and not just blindly follow one perspective on what’s important.”
Security experts at TSS will work with you to assess the threat level and choose the appropriate materials and protection level for your building. We’re staffed by experienced tradesmen committed to making sure that the installation is clean and tight, and well-integrated with HVAC and all other building systems.”

Financial institutions that work with TSS to improve physical security get the complete package: bulletproof barriers that suit both the physical security needs of the bank as well as the building’s daily function. Call TSS today to get started on a plan to improve your bank’s bandit barriers.

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