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Book Review: Physical Security and Safety

??Physical Security and Safety: A Field Guide for the Practitioner. By Truett A. Ricks, Bobby E. Ricks, and Jeffrey Dingle. Published by CRC Press;; 179 pages; $89.95.

This comprehensive, yet simple to use, overview of basic concepts relating to physical security and safety covers security fundamentals such as CCTV, lighting, security surveys, and risk assessments. The first part of the book covers the theory and concepts of security, including identification of security threats and vulnerabilities, protection, and risk assessment. The second half examines physical protection, including access and perimeter control, alarm systems, and IT issues.

The format of the book allows the security professional to quickly glance at a chapter on an area of interest and find the salient information. For example, while working on a lighting survey, the reader can find an overview of the types of lighting as they relate to a security project, as well as a foot-candle chart indicating what is appropriate for a particular setting.�

Beyond its role as a field guide, the text provides such a vast overview of security concepts, it could also serve well as a study guide for many industry certifications. A brief, practical chapter on writing effective policies and procedures is clear and concise and outlines the goals and the requirements of policies and procedures. In this area, simple is often better, and the guidance here is excellent.

Physical Security and Safety dedicates a useful amount of space to regulatory bodies (OSHA, NIOSH, NFPA, for example) and their impact on security and safety. While the book does not claim to be an all-encompassing guide to industry standards and regulations, it can serve as a quick reference so the practitioner will know if a particular regulation must be further researched.

The book�s appendix includes a practical and flexible security survey (security checklist) that can serve as the foundation for reports and assessments the reader may find the need to develop.�

Reviewer: Michael D'Angelo, CPP, is the security manager for Baptist Health South Florida. He is a retired police captain from the South Miami, Florida Police Department where he served for 20 years. He is an ASIS member who serves on both the Healthcare Security Council and the ASIS Transitions Ad Hoc Council.