20 point checklist for museum security

  1. Every institution should assign responsibility for its museum security to one individual at management level.
  2. All museums should have intruder alarms monitored by a 24 hour Control Room able to refer incident to the police and relevant staff.
  3. Panic devices throughout the building should link to a 24 hour Control Room so that staff can raise the alarm easily.
  4. Exterior doors and windows need to have alerts fitted able to register unauthorised entry, connected to a 24 hour Control Room.
  5. Devices to detect breaking glass need to be fitted to exterior doors that contain glass and all exterior windows.
  6. Motion detection devices should be strategically placed throughout the building to check for out of hours movement.
  7. Storage rooms for exhibits should be locked and alarmed when not in use.
  8. Best practice encourages access control systems with digital keypads, cards or biometric readers.
  9. Safes and strongrooms that contain high value items need to be located in secure parts of the building and alarmed.
  10. Unused parts of the building should have intruder alarms fitted.
  11. Some exhibition case containing high value items may need additional devices that can detect tampering with the case.
  12. High value painting should have individual alarms.
  13. A continuous and ongoing system of testing all alarms should be in place.
  14. All alarms should be supported by battery backup in case of powers cuts.
  15. Exhibits loaned by other institutions or by individuals will have their own security requirements, usually linked to insurance.
  16. All museums should practice sound key control and retrieval, defined by a written policy.
  17. Paintings should be firmly fixed on walls to prevent unauthorised removal.
  18. The institution’s fire detection systems should be monitored at a second location that is manned 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
  19. Fire Service inspections should be encouraged on a regular basis to update tactical plans for fire response.
  20. All institutions should prepare a disaster plan dealing with foreseeable disasters. The plan should include, but not be limited to, the development of secure off-site storage for collections.

For more guidance 

Perhaps GBSG can help with the security of your institution? To arrange a no-obligation survey please call 01775 821100

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