Tool for SAFETY Act Building Security

Wednesday, September 19, 2018 @ 02:09 PM gHale

A new web-based tool can help security professionals for commercial office buildings perform assessments based on the Best Practices for Anti-Terrorism Security (BPATS) for commercial office buildings.

Building owners seeking protections under the Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies (SAFETY) Act can use the tool when developing their application packages.

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The tool was created through best practices developed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate, in partnership with the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS).

“BPATS will be an important part of the SAFETY Act application process,” said William N. Bryan, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary for Science and Technology. “We want commercial building owners to feel confident in the steps they need to take in getting the protections they need to secure their facilities.”

An issue that arises for building owners seeking SAFETY Act protections is the need to re-submit applications due to gaps in the review for SAFETY Act eligibility. This new online format serves to eliminate such backtracking from the application process, outlining what a building needs to accomplish to become a candidate for Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technology (QATT) status.

The preferred users of this tool are trained security professionals whose credentials will be reviewed by NIBS before gaining access to the tool. They are then trained in using the checklist to evaluate various components of building security by SAFETY Act standards, including access control, risk awareness, physical security, IT security, and more. The guide spans seven categories, 411 best practices, and approximately 60 associated common practices.

“With the BPATS, our goal was to develop a comprehensive tool that security professionals could use to assess the anti-terrorism security of commercial office buildings,” said Bruce Davidson, Director of S&T’s Office of SAFETY Act Implementation (OSAI). “The output from their BPATS assessment should enable building leadership to take steps to enhance their building’s security and provide the foundation for a well-structured follow-on SAFETY Act application.”

OSAI and NIBS were able to validate the chosen best practices through pilot tests with six commercial buildings located in Washington D.C, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and Denver. An understanding of how the common practices of those building owners corresponded with OSAI criteria helped refine the BPATS and the assessment process for consistency.

Commercial property owners and security professionals can click here to request access to the BPATS tool.



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