Although many U.S. businesses have strengthened existing security systems and procedures post-Sept. 11, few have made any radical changes in their operations, finds a poll conducted by Building Owners and Management Association (BOMA) and Urban Land Institute (ULI). According to the “National Survey of Security Concerns Within the Real Estate Industry,” respondents were far more concerned with their building’s overall emergency preparedness than with it potentially suffering an act of terrorism. In all, fire safety topped the list of worries (56.9%), followed by civil unrest (34.7%) and power disruptions (32.7%).
Since the Trade Center and Pentagon attacks, the most common building safety upgrade has been tighter vendor security (15.8%), including vendor identification, vendor check-in, and background checks on vendors’ employees. Among other improvements were additional security cameras, increased security personnel, and either installation or more rigid enforcement of card-access systems.
A total of 202 building owners and managers participated in the BOMA/ULI survey. Just over 53% of this pool owned or managed building assets located in the city center; while 58.4% owned or managed Class “A” properties (premier buildings with above-average rents).