Monday, July 21, 2008

ERM-BC-COOP: Artistic defense

Let's say you have a "sensitive" building; a facility you need to protect from unwanted visitors.

Let's say your building is at a highway "T" - the building is where the l and the - intersect.

Finally, let's say the building is in a "high tone" neighborhood.

In order to keep vehicles from turning your facility into a drive-through - intentionally or accidentally - you think about strategically placing World War II anti-tank barriers between the road and the building.

Properly anchored, they will stop a run-away semi.

Not pretty, but efficient.

Still, the organization wants to be a good neighbor and to that end it needs to find something a little more in line with the neighborhood's image.

How about a copy of Michelangelo's David?

Perhaps Alexandros of Antioch's Aphrodite of Milos?

Want something a little more thoughtful? Maybe Auguste Rodin’s The Thinker.

Prefer something more modest? Consider Frederick Remington's Western motif.

Bronze, aluminum, steel, concrete - whatever material suits your fancy.

The bottom line is to convert the World War II anti-tank idea into something suitable for the neighborhood.

Acquire artwork that can be reinforced - as in "reinforced concrete." It really makes little difference what surface material is used - what you want is a solid block of something - concrete is probably the least expensive - inside the art, and you want steel rods - remembering there is strength in numbers - inside the concrete.

Take a leaf from the Dade County Florida building code.

The concrete base, and the embedded rods, needs to be securely anchored into the ground. How far? That's an engineering problem and I will leave that to the engineers.

When it comes time to position the art, think of a chess (or checker) board and how the squares alternate.

Make certain that there is no "straight line" access to the building.

How far apart? How wide is a small car? They barriers should be close enough so a small car is blocked.

While the barrier art need not be life-size, it needs to be high enough so that a jacked up, "Big Foot" swamp buggy can't clear it.

Bear in mind that nothing is 100% and even eye-pleasing barriers may not stop all attackers, but they can stop accidental intrusions and they might discourage would-be terrorists.

Security can be attractive if a little thought is given the options.

More security options:

John Glenn, MBCI, SRP
Enterprise Risk Management/Business Continuity
Planner @

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