Renewable Energy: 4 Key Physical Security Considerations
Why the renewable energy sector needs physical security
The renewable energy sector is the lynchpin to so many of the critical services we use day-to-day, helping to maintain power to hospitals, emergency services, and other crucial utilities we sometimes take for granted. A robust standard of physical security has a role to play not just during a crisis but in the day-to-day protection of infrastructure for the generation, storage, and distribution of alternative energy.
Having the right physical protection in place will help you safeguard renewable energy assets from potential terror or criminal attacks and unauthorised entry. It can also add significant value to workplace safety, operational efficiency, and business continuity. That’s why it is crucial to make the right choice when selecting physical security products for your site.
To help you make that choice we have put together the four most important factors you need to consider when looking at physical security solutions for renewables.
1. Look for LPCB certified equipment that will adapt to evolving needs
High-security doors, enclosures, cabinets, access covers, and associated physical protection are the backbone to business continuity, often standing as the last line of defence shielding a critical asset or area. However, equipment must come with a robust assurance it will perform as required if subject to the assessed risk of criminal attack or infiltration by unauthorised personnel. You need to know that you are installing a piece of equipment that can live up to what it says, this is why third party accreditation is so important.
LPCB certified security systems are becoming a staple across the energy sector and other critical infrastructure industries when it comes to managing the three Rs –
LPCB third party approval provides a rigorously tested standard of security performance for a full range of risk levels, including the threat posed by a terrorist attack. Testing is updated to Home Office edicts on security risk, and certification is underpinned by ongoing audits of production quality. LPCB products are widely approved by insurers, underlining their integrity in reducing commercial risk.
The result is dependable protection for all areas and installations on the energy site where a physical breach or unauthorised entry could lead to serious disruption, damage, as well as safety hazards or even life risks. These include electrical, telecommunications, and alarm installations, storage of process materials or hazardous chemicals, IT or mechanical process controls, and areas for access only by authorised personnel.
As the basis for long-term operational resilience, partner with an LPCB specialist with the design expertise and product scope to expand and adapt your physical security as regulations and site operations evolve. HS Security member Technocover’s leading capability includes modular secure enclosures that can be scaled up and remodeled with panel extensions, retrofit roof systems, and new access gates – all within their LPCB certification.
2. Is there scope to customise to enhance operational safety and efficiency?
A versatile choice of options and accessories will add significant functionality to security equipment, with benefits for safety management and site efficiency.
Make sure that available locking and hardware are compatible with your adopted house security. It’s best to find a security partner that can tailor its systems to existing security protocols by supplying the preferred access control system (eg key, card reader, fob, swipe) and hardware that supports CCTV and alarm networks while adhering to LPCB criteria.
Other options, such as emergency panic bar exit, vision panels, and internal override handles on security roof hatches, will help support the effective control of site access and emergency exit for authorised personnel.
Access cover applications may require an assisted lift mechanism, safety stays, and fall protection to comply with regulations on manual handling and falls from height.
3. Achieve best value solutions to complex needs with the right security partner
Careful design and planning will be necessary for more complex applications, for example, large access cover assemblies over plant, unusual security gate systems, or the integration of mesh enclosures and kiosks around existing assets.
A key unifying feature of all the companies within HS Security is that we work closely with clients on bespoke applications to identify and resolve operational, safety, and installation issues. This allows the integration of vital contingencies and functionality while complying with security standards, reducing the risk of reactive maintenance and unplanned interventions that will add to operational costs. Thorough consideration of holistic needs through intelligent design will offer the best ‘whole-life’ solution and best return from clients’ security investment.
For Technocover this ranges from technical innovations, such as solar powering and hydraulic sliding gates on security enclosures, to a full construction service, from site preparation, concrete work, and CDM compliant project management to lifetime maintenance. Where site access is constrained or downtime is an issue, Technocover provides an offsite assembly of its modular buildings with pre-fitted M&E services, including heaters, along with optional racking systems, aesthetic interior wall panels, and different floor finishes such as anti-slip. These can be craned in and connected within hours for minimal impact on operational continuity.
4. Finishing touches – does it meet aesthetic and durability considerations?
When it comes to the renewable energy sector, premature ageing of operational assets and their vulnerability to the effects of climate change are of increasing concern.
Security equipment that is not sufficiently ‘climate-proof’ will be a drain on maintenance budgets while risking service disruption if it succumbs to water, heat, or wind damage from extreme weather.
The lifecycle and longevity of any security product is a key consideration when securing a site. Technocover for example uses high-quality steel, galvanising, and paint processes to provide 25-year service life. This assures a maintenance-free security system and extended time to replacement, to assist with reliable cost forecasting and resilience planning.
Other features for weather resistance include domed, water-shedding access covers and roofs, raised thresholds on walk-in kiosks, and water sealing systems.
Finally, aesthetics do not need to take a back seat. Doors, kiosks, and louvre windows can be made to blend with contemporary or traditional architecture, using features such as arch headers and colour finishes including wood effects.
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