By Byron Whetstone, American Direct President
We have seen over the last 15 years or more, an increasingly dangerous and hostile environment in which we are living, working, traveling, and learning. Most of us could easily recite numerous examples of tragedies where people, just like you and me, happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and were killed or injured by an organized attack or a single lone assailant.
For the most part, we still don’t really know how to react to this new reality, though we seem to have a relatively naïve assumption that law enforcement or government can somehow keep us safe from these events invading our everyday lives. Unfortunately, as we have seen time and again, if the proper physical and electronic security is not in place, little can be done to protect from a determined adversary.
In my view, the sooner we realize that the adversaries (human and/or cyber) we face, have already forever breached the world we live in, we can begin in earnest the enormously important task of preparing our buildings for this hostile reality.
I recently attended a security conference in NYC and as I was listening to the latest and greatest technology available to protect us in today’s environment — from robotics to armed drones — I thought to myself, why don’t we (in the construction industry), take the security and safety of PEOPLE more seriously?
Sure, we are definitely building “safer and more secure” buildings, but we continue to use outdated supply chain structures and complex collaborations. The security system implementations, while advanced, are all too frequently being driven by a “low-bidder” delivery mentality, where the actual system that incorporates the physical, electronic, software, and digital solutions, is provided by multiple purveyors in an inefficient and jumbled interface that is not only costly, but often does not result in best-in-class performance. This puts lives at risk.
None of us would want to occupy a building where the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing components were not completely integrated. So why do we approach strategies and distribution channels for total safety and security integration as an afterthought? How we deliver safety and security should be at the forefront of every project we take on.
We must create more value for our clients by helping them recognize that protecting the lives of PEOPLE in their buildings, their campuses, their schools, their churches, etc. is worth the increased investment. If it were our family member or friend in one of the breached buildings, we would most certainly think the investment is worth it.