Security specification and design often overlooks a fundamental requirement: a site survey. Many end users assume the security integrator will just “know what I need” and forego a detailed site survey.

This can lead to dangerous omissions, overspending, and a series of expensive fixes.


The purpose of the site survey is to gain a thorough understanding of daily facility operations, risks in and around the location, and the required infrastructure. It’s easy to under-engineer (or over-engineer) a solution without a detailed understanding of what happens at the facility on a regular basis and the expectations of the various stakeholders.

Often, a professional site survey will uncover unexpected vulnerabilities. For example, while evaluating the exterior of the building, the discussion may turn to parking lot security. Without having been at the facility, the parking lot or a remote storage facility could have been overlooked.

Device Locations

The type of facility will dictate many of the devices you’ll need to deploy.

For example, if the site survey is for video surveillance, a complete evaluation of the exterior of the building and the perimeter of the property will identify areas that need to be captured by video surveillance. It’ll also determine the DORI (detect, observe, recognize, identify) level, camera types, and mounting options.


Proper connectivity, whether network-connected or dedicated cable connected, requires a site survey. Considerations for connectivity include data and power in most cases, although some devices can communicate wirelessly.

If you’re considering an intrusion detection alarm system, placement of detection devices like door contacts, window contacts, and motion detectors can be impacted by the ability to get wires to the required locations.


In modern security applications, many systems are integrated into a single solution. Aside from the primary security system, the team must understand how the system will work in conjunction with existing and future systems. First-hand knowledge, through on-site and extended demonstrations, are the best way to understand the integration of your system.

Monitoring Operations

It’s imperative that the design and installation team understand how system operators will use the equipment. Some facilities have a security force that actively monitors the various systems in real time while other applications use the systems only for alarms or for evidence retrieval after an incident. System use can be seen first-hand during the site survey. This is not only a great opportunity for the security integrator to understand daily operations, but also may lead to other recommendations that could streamline operations, integrate other systems, or reveal best practices for your application. It becomes a team effort at this level and everyone involved in the project has an opportunity to understand the expectations of the end user and the capabilities of the security integrator.

The Right Partner

The goal of a security assessment and site survey is to uncover potential threats at schools, buildings, and campuses of all sizes. Ultimately, these solutions can help integrate a variety of technologies as part of a plan that works in unison to help secure occupants, protect valuable assets, and assist in preventing physical access to sensitive areas.

Contact the Vision team now to discuss the benefits of properly and professionally securing your organization.