HVAC SECURITY: WHAT YOU AND YOUR FACILITIES MANAGERS SHOULD BE AWARE OF
HVAC security is a battle fought on two fronts: criminal threats and biological/chemical dangers. Combatting both makes HVAC security a tricky, but very important, issue to tackle. There are several ways to address both that range from high tech to as simple as hanging up a “This area is monitored by a closed circuit camera” sign.
Let’s start with thwarting criminals looking to cause damage for fun or strip copper and other parts from your HVAC for resale. We can’t recommend a foolproof defense against criminals and copper thieves. Each building and its HVAC vulnerability are different so your approach should match the environment.
Of course no location is immune from crime, but some areas are more prone to it than others. If possible, it’s best to place your HVAC system on the roof with restricted access, but that’s not always an option. In any situation a good deterrent is HVAC location and area lighting. Make the area difficult to access and bright. Criminals are more likely to move on to easier targets. At the least, hang a “This area is monitored by a closed circuit camera” sign. Even if it’s really not, the thief won’t know for sure.
Chemicals and irritants like bacteria, viruses, mold, smoke, asbestos, carbon dioxide and even pest droppings can be transmitted through the air. Your HVAC system circulates air, if that air is contaminated either accidentally or on purpose, those contaminates spread, resulting in poor air quality, sickness or worse.
Facility managers can take measures to prevent contamination. Prevention is key! Having a plan in place lets you act quickly and minimize your building’s occupants’ exposure. Assessing risk is a good place to start, whether you’re installing a new HVAC system or developing a security plan for an existing one.
Start by securing your HVAC area, especially access doors and entryways, with locks at minimum and possibly alarms depending on your building’s use and vulnerability. Certain HEPA filters are designed to catch small airborne particles before they circulate.
United Heating Cooling & Plumbing’s HVAC technicians can help you evaluate your HVAC security, find areas of concern and suggest solutions. It’s better to have your HVAC security plan in place and never have to use it than need it and not have one at all.
Tags: HVAC Security