Exhibit protection systems - physical, people and electronic

Layers of security:

The security and protection of exhibits in a museum or gallery whether from theft or damage requires the same risk assessment techniques as for the safety of people.

A good theoretical approach is available from Euronova's distance learning programme. This was originally developed in 2003 in conjunction with the Government Indemnity Advisor at the time and with input from many heritage security managers. For those with less time then advice is available from the current National Security Advisor at ACE and his recommended consultants.


Once the risk has been assessed (both probability and severity) then layers of security between the visitor and the object need to be planned. These should be a balance between the three security themes of:

- invigilation (assistants, guards),

- physical security (e.g. display cases, security screws, barriers),

- electronic security (sensors and alarms, cctv).

These are built up as separate layers often with a different technology (theme) for each layer. Examples are available on request


Heritage sites are being squeezed by rising wages and lower funding which makes it critically important to re-assess the most effective balance between these three security themes. 


Clive Stevens of Euronova can explain how other museums and historic homes have managed this dilemma and improved security.

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