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Security systems can be intensely complicated, with dozens of interconnected devices and people working together to create an airtight security web that can alert, monitor, and act on threats. Something you wouldn’t expect to be all that complicated is the doors used in that system, but with today’s complex interplay between security, compliance with the law, and insurance providers, things have gotten much more complicated.

Nothing better illustrates this point than a recent client of Cannabis Compliant Security Solutions, who hired the cannabis security company after their establishment was targeted by robbers. While being the victim of a crime is never easy, the blow was initially softened thanks to the extensive insurance coverage they had purchased for their business.

Once the claim was submitted, the insurance company sent an adjuster to investigate the client’s premises to gather data about the crime. After taking an in-depth look into the security system and reviewing the policy, the claims adjuster submitted their report and came back to the client with the bad news – out of the $200,000 in losses the client had lost from the robbery, the insurance company was only willing to cover $10,000.

Gobsmacked, the client demanded an explanation why their expensive insurance policy was only worth 5% of the total losses. As it turned out, the fine print of the policy stipulated only certain types of security doors could be used within the facility. Their security door was noncompliant, so the company was legally justified in essentially voiding the claim.

Ensuring that your doors comply with your policy is only one of the many hurdles your business has to clear when designing the layout and composition of its facility and the doors it uses. Doors must meet many different specifications to comply with local, state, and federal regulations, insurance requirements, and security needs, all of which change based on their location and how they’ll be used. So much for simplicity!

Factors That Need To Be Considered When Choosing Your Security Doors

To help you avoid the fate of the client mentioned above, we’ve broken down some of the most common and important factors that must be considered when choosing your door.

ADA Compliance

The Americans With Disabilities Act stipulates that every establishment must be accessible to customers and employees with disabilities. There is an extensive list of details that doors need to meet to be compliant, with the most important being that they must be wide enough and provide ample space to accommodate a wheelchair rolling through.

Fire Code

When selecting your security doors, one major factor that needs to be kept in mind is that a reliable and easily accessible escape route needs to be available in the case of a fire. This means that the doors along the escape route need to be one-touch egress doors, or doors that can be opened with a single touch and can’t be locked from the inside. In other words, your security system’s access points need to limit people coming in without limiting people’s ability to get out.

Insurance Policy Compliance

Your insurance policy will likely come with a list of accepted vendors and items that can be used in the security system. The best advice we can give is to read your policy closely – as you’ve learned above, it pays to comply with your insurer, even if the options they list are more expensive or less secure than other options.

Operational Use

Each door in the establishment needs to have a designated purpose and place in your security system. You have to ask yourself, “How will this door be used? Who will be able to gain access?”

Cycle Use

A major consideration when selecting the type of door you will use is the cycle use or how often the access point will be used. If it’s going to be a constant in-and-out with people coming and going, a different type of door will be used compared to a more rarely accessed location.

Access Control

Access control is how you control who can enter what door. In the most basic form, this takes the form of keys to a lock. In more complicated systems, your doors can use keycards, fobs, or even have a designated security guard manually lock and unlock a door. When choosing a door, an owner should ask themselves – is there an access control system? If so, how does the door integrate into that system? How should we access that door – keys, card readers, or something more secure?

The Interplay Between Compliance And Security

An important thing to note when selecting your doors is that there may be an interplay between the different factors that may lead to a diminished level of security or compliance. If you select the most secure door possible, it’s probably not compliant with the law and your insurance policy, and if you select doors based entirely on their compliance, you may end up with a less secure access control system.

For example, emergency exit doors are extremely robust and secure but are only meant for low-cycle use. This type of exterior emergency exit-only hardware will fail if you put it at the main entrance to be used as a normal entryway. Alternatively, searching for an ADA-compliant door will ensure that you’re in the clear in terms of the law, but many ADA-compliant doors offer poor security for your establishment.

Hiring Security ExpertsPouring over the details of local laws and insurance policies in order to make the best choice for your doors is usually well outside the expertise and desired use of time for the average cannabis business owner. This is why we heavily recommend utilizing the services of expert security contractors like Cannabis Compliant Security Solutions to go over the details for you and provide a full security plan that includes the kinds of doors and access control systems recommended for your business. CCSS specializes in creating plans that balance the need for security with the compliance needs of your business, which means your business will be both physically secure and covered in case it becomes the target of especially well-equipped thieves and burglars.