A Volatile Time

Homeland Security regulations tighten requirements related to chemical, petroleum product storage

If you’re a security integrator working with companies that store or produce chemical or petroleum products, your clients have probably asked for assistance with the Department of Homeland Security’s Chemical Facilities Anti- Terrorism Standards.

Enacted in 2007, the regulation tightened security program requirements for any industry that stores volatile substances. As security industry analysts have noted in published media and government reports, security programs for some manufacturers, as well as storage facilities for chemical-based products, have been somewhat casual.

“While the government has focused its attention on regulating security within the chemical industry, other industries can use CFAS guidelines to improve the security effectiveness of their operations,” said Jan McKenzie, ASSA ABLOY’s director of national accounts.

McKenzie said her organization has already helped its clients in the manufacturing and logistics industries to adopt some of the key points established in the new DHS inspection program.

The CFAS standards can provide a security professional with some guidance in drafting internal guidelines. Here is a summary of the regulation’s major points that protect any logistics or manufacturing distribution center:

A vigilant self-inspection program. CFAS and other federal regulations provide chief security officers with basic guidelines for building self-inspection programs. Once this security checklist is completed, logistics center chief security officers should update and review their company’s self-inspection program as often as possible.

“With the threat of terrorist attacks against chemical industries as well as the loss of potential revenue for nonchemical industries, it’s important for these security professionals to constantly review their inspection programs,” McKenzie said. “CSOs should consider hiring outside consultants to audit their security programs and report their findings to give an independent assessment.”

McKenzie said a company’s CSO can change security policies based on specific audit findings, as well as update a budget to add the infrastructure and human resources needed to address the problem.

“While internal audits work, a security penetration testing team can truly evaluate how a company’s loss prevention program is protecting its assets,” said Sloan Foster, vice president of marketing for HBMC Inc. “A professional firm can infiltrate a company by simple things such as following a worker through a door and then finding an unoccupied computer to gain access to financial data or sensitive business information.”

Quick fixes aren’t the solution. When a manufacturing firm’s CSO completes an external or internal audit, the CSO should realize that it takes time to address all the issues uncovered in an audit.

“To really address some security issues, especially if additional funding is needed, it can take time to get the money as well as find the right vendor or installation team to implement the necessary changes,” McKenzie said.

A consistent installation process. Manufacturers and logistics centers should hire national security installation firms that adhere to and understand a company’s standardized security requirements for each facility within the company’s organization.

“We have seen customers who aggressively expand the construction of new facilities start to adopt the same standards for their doors and openings from one region of the United States to another,” McKenzie said. “Unlike most security programs right now, national vendor construction programs adopt a common standard in the construction of their facility’s signs, flooring, door automation and IT infrastructure.

“The security industry is just starting to embrace a national standard for their phase of most construction projects.”

Making real-time updates. As logistics firms and manufacturers add more equipment to their security infrastructures, CSOs should immediately update their self-inspection programs.

“Whenever a new type of security equipment is added, it’s important for a security team to consider how it impacts the system’s operation and address it on their checklist,” McKenzie said.

CSOs who have worked with ASSA ABLOY Door Security Solutions representatives update their security checklists with the addition of a product like SARGENT ® v.S2 in their manufacturing or distribution centers.

Preparing for the worst-case scenario. Even when the best security plans are in place, a logistics center CSO should sit down with staff members to review security breach response processes.

After completing that brainstorming session, a CSO should then update the company’s emergency response manuals. To test the response process, a CSO should hold a tabletop or simulated exercise to practice reaction.

“The Navy provides a good example of how security exercises can be applied to a business,” said George Turney, a retired chief warrant officer and a business consultant. “By constantly conducting security exercises at sea, if a serious incident should occur, the ship’s crew knows their roles and responses to a variety of scenarios.”

With a well-thought-out security checklist, updated equipment and an ongoing evaluation of a logistics center’s security processes, the CSO can protect an organization’s infrastructure from an external attack.

While American chemical logistics centers have not yet been the targets of a terrorist attack, the bombing in 1995 of an Oklahoma City federal building serves as an example of the devastation caused by 5,000 pounds of a simple chemical: ammonium nitrate fertilizer. In an effort to protect their facilities from an attack or the loss of materials, proactive security managers can turn to the CFAS and other government regulation processes to deal with challenges in their workplace.


  • 12 Commercial Crime Sites to Do Your Research

    12 Commercial Crime Sites to Do Your Research

    Understanding crime statistics in your industry and area is crucial for making important decisions about your security budget. With so much information out there, how can you know which statistics to trust? Read Now

  • Boosting Safety and Efficiency

    Boosting Safety and Efficiency

    In alignment with the state of Mississippi’s mission of “Empowering Mississippi citizens to stay connected and engaged with their government,” Salient's CompleteView VMS is being installed throughout more than 150 state boards, commissions and agencies in order to ensure safety for thousands of constituents who access state services daily. Read Now

  • Live From GSX: Post-Show Review

    Live From GSX: Post-Show Review

    This year’s Live From GSX program was a rousing success! Again, we’d like to thank our partners, and IPVideo, for working with us and letting us broadcast their solutions to the industry. You can follow our Live From GSX 2023 page to keep up with post-show developments and announcements. And if you’re interested in working with us in 2024, please don’t hesitate to ask about our Live From programs for ISC West in March or next year’s GSX. Read Now

    • Industry Events
    • GSX
  • People Say the Funniest Things

    People Say the Funniest Things

    By all accounts, GSX version 2023 was completely successful. Apparently, there were plenty of mix-ups with the airlines and getting aircraft from the East Coast into Big D. I am all ears when I am in a gathering of people. You never know when a nugget of information might flip out. Read Now

    • Industry Events
    • GSX

Featured Cybersecurity


New Products

  • Camden CM-221 Series Switches

    Camden CM-221 Series Switches

    Camden Door Controls is pleased to announce that, in response to soaring customer demand, it has expanded its range of ValueWave™ no-touch switches to include a narrow (slimline) version with manual override. This override button is designed to provide additional assurance that the request to exit switch will open a door, even if the no-touch sensor fails to operate. This new slimline switch also features a heavy gauge stainless steel faceplate, a red/green illuminated light ring, and is IP65 rated, making it ideal for indoor or outdoor use as part of an automatic door or access control system. ValueWave™ no-touch switches are designed for easy installation and trouble-free service in high traffic applications. In addition to this narrow version, the CM-221 & CM-222 Series switches are available in a range of other models with single and double gang heavy-gauge stainless steel faceplates and include illuminated light rings. 3

  • QCS7230 System-on-Chip (SoC)

    QCS7230 System-on-Chip (SoC)

    The latest Qualcomm® Vision Intelligence Platform offers next-generation smart camera IoT solutions to improve safety and security across enterprises, cities and spaces. The Vision Intelligence Platform was expanded in March 2022 with the introduction of the QCS7230 System-on-Chip (SoC), which delivers superior artificial intelligence (AI) inferencing at the edge. 3

  • PE80 Series

    PE80 Series by SARGENT / ED4000/PED5000 Series by Corbin Russwin

    ASSA ABLOY, a global leader in access solutions, has announced the launch of two next generation exit devices from long-standing leaders in the premium exit device market: the PE80 Series by SARGENT and the PED4000/PED5000 Series by Corbin Russwin. These new exit devices boast industry-first features that are specifically designed to provide enhanced safety, security and convenience, setting new standards for exit solutions. The SARGENT PE80 and Corbin Russwin PED4000/PED5000 Series exit devices are engineered to meet the ever-evolving needs of modern buildings. Featuring the high strength, security and durability that ASSA ABLOY is known for, the new exit devices deliver several innovative, industry-first features in addition to elegant design finishes for every opening. 3