How To Take The Security Headache Out Of Your Next Big Fit Out Project
Office Fit Out/April 2019
Managing a large-scale fit out can be quite the juggling act. You’ve got a plethora of trades to organise, ensuring they’re on site at the right time and not getting in each other’s way while keeping on top of the clients changing demands.
It’s no surprise then that security installation can often get left to the last minute, causing expensive delays and disruption to the project. In this article, we explain why it’s important to get your security provider involved right from the beginning of your next fit out project and how cohesive working can keep it on track.
Fail To Plan, Plan To Fail
Asking your client about their security requirements at the design and planning stage of a fit out will save you a lot of stress later in the project. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. If security issues aren’t addressed at an early stage ceilings and walls have to be ripped apart, resulting in a severely delayed project and an unhappy client.
If your security partner attends planning meetings at the start of the project, clients’ expectations will be met and the system can be installed alongside other works. Working with the landlord in a shared office building is also integral. Not every access control system is the same – so early contact with the premises manager ensures the entry system provided for your client is compatible with the building’s existing security.
Avoid Communication Breakdown
As you probably know from painful experience, fit-out projects often go awry because the right tradesperson isn’t on site at the right time. Late arrival can cause a delay while an early arrival can mean that works take place before it was meant to – which can have costly repercussions. Cohesive project management between all parties is therefore imperative.
Jason Powell, Security Surveyor for TSI, says: “Communication is key. Our installation manager will liaise with the fit-out company’s project manager to ensure we’re on site when we need to be. For example, if a solid ceiling is going up between floors, it’s important we liaise with the right trades so we can get in there and install the relevant cables before that work takes place.”
Stick To The Plan
It’s also important for your security installer to provide in-depth drawings, fully explaining which cables have been placed where. This prevents them from being disturbed by other trades working on site. The most professional security companies will also sporadically visit the site to ensure no accidental damage has taken place.
Jason says: “Once the cables are in we would pull off site, but pop back here and there to check cables are still in place. Then we’ll wait for the go-ahead from the fit out company to start second fixing. Second fixing is putting the equipment on the wall, the locks on the doors and exit buttons on the wall – all in the positions that were agreed at the design stage.”
Unlike other trades, the security provider won’t immediately disappear from the site once the fit-out has been completed. Your security provider will then work with the client to integrate the security systems into their IT network. Full training should also be provided.
Jason says “We always give the client a full demonstration and training on the system. So we’ll show them how to set and unset the alarm, how to retrieve footage from the CCTV recording equipment, how to add and delete user access cards – anything they need. Obviously, our service department and engineers are on hand 24 hours a day where needed. Most queries can be dealt with over the phone but obviously, we can send an engineer out if required.”