Date icon21 April 2022

What is a high traffic area?

A high traffic area for businesses can be defined as any area which receives a high proportion of foot traffic or activity such as stairways, entranceways, reception areas, manufacturing areas, kitchen spaces, or parking areas. These spaces will be part of a building or on private land and can add an extra challenge to security, monitoring and ensuring health and safety standards.

For every business, the number and type of high traffic areas are likely to differ, depending on their location, business type, customer levels and staff levels. For example, in a commercial office, the reception space would count as a high traffic area as it’s likely to be the main entrance and exit for staff and also for visiting personnel and smaller deliveries, e.g. printer paper and other office supplies. On the other hand, for retail spaces, a high traffic area will be the front-of-house space that both customers and staff can occupy.

It’s important to remember that some high traffic areas are outside, such as in a warehouse environment in which the loading bays could see a number of vehicles and people coming and going. For many businesses, parking areas are also considered high traffic areas, as outdoor eating areas or smoking areas.  

Why is it important to identify and safeguard high traffic areas?

There are many reasons why it’s important to safeguard high traffic areas within a commercial building. One of these is to protect the premises and personnel from being the target of illegal or unwanted activity. As a business, it’s important to protect customers, staff and the business itself from such threats. It’s essential to identify the high traffic areas from which someone can conduct unsavoury activities and damage the business.

Another reason why it’s important to identify high traffic areas is from a health and safety perspective. With so many people in a building, either permanently working or as visitors, it's important to be aware of anything that could cause harm or be of danger. This is the same for inside and outside a building, such as spotting a car going around a car park the wrong way or identifying a trip hazard in the building hallways. By identifying these high traffic areas which could cause health and safety issues, they can be monitored and any issues dissipated.

Once the areas have been identified, they can be safeguarded. High traffic areas can be closely monitored or restricted to ensure the rest of the personnel and site remains safe, such as strategically placing CCTV cameras in the high traffic areas or introducing access control measures into the next area of a building.  

How can high traffic areas be safeguarded?

There are a number of ways in which high traffic areas can be safeguarded, including:

CCTV

Using a CCTV system is a useful and common way to safeguard high traffic areas and can be used in many ways including investigating suspicious activity, facilitating multiple views at once as well as providing round the clock monitoring, and identifying potential accidents before they occur. Before installing any CCTV, it’s important to conduct a survey as well as review the key areas of the business that would benefit from such monitoring as CCTV placement is incredibly important. This will help ensure that high traffic areas can be efficiently protected.

Access control

Knowing who has access to your premises and which areas they can access is a major part of safeguarding high traffic areas. This is where access control comes in; it provides businesses with the ability to restrict areas and ensure only those who should have access, do. It can be used for day-to-day staff as well as providing special access to visitors when needed. It can also be a great tool in restricting access to areas that could be considered health and safety risks such as plant rooms, only allowing personnel access to those who really need it.

There are many different types of access control like key cards, traditional keys and biometrics which can control barriers, doors and gates. Each piece of access control hardware can be programmed to allow access rights that match shift patterns, certain car park access as well as link to attendance records. It can provide information in real-time and allow a business full control over high traffic areas.

Attendance monitoring

Although this would mainly suit commercial office space, attendance monitoring can be a good way to monitor who is in the building and when they have access to high traffic areas. For example, having a sign-in process for visitors or deliveries ensures that a record is kept of any individual that has entered a shared space which can be cross-referenced again if needed. For health and safety, in the event of an incident like a fire, it gives a clear view of everyone currently on-site for evacuation purposes, helping emergency services to know where personnel are in the building.

There are also other ways in which attendance monitoring can be key for safeguarding high traffic areas. For general day to day use in a retail, warehouse or healthcare environment, attendance management can be effective, especially in high traffic shift changes as it allows close monitoring and real-time updates on who is on shift, as well as reducing bottlenecks in key entrances and exits.  

How we fit in 

Safeguarding high traffic areas can be tricky and needs to be managed in a way that suits the business. Thankfully, there is a range of technological solutions that can be introduced to help protect the business, its staff and customers from unwanted activity as well as potential health and safety incidents.

If you’re looking to upgrade your existing CCTV, attendance or access control systems or introduce something new, get in touch. Our experienced team are here to answer any questions you may have. 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – LYNDEN JONES

Lynden joined Touchstar ATC (formally Feedback Data) in a sales role for Access Control in 2010.  Prior to joining the company, Lynden held both Production and Account Manager roles, gaining wide technical and commercial experience within the electronics market.

In 2013 Lynden was promoted to Sales Director and in 2017 he took overall responsibility of the business as Managing Director. As well as running Touchstar ATC, Lynden still remains extremely active in the sales and key account management aspects of the business. When not involved in the business, Lynden is a keen performance car enthusiast.