Tomorrow we honor the events that took place 20 years ago. September 11th is a marker in history – for those old enough to remember, we reflect on pre- vs post-9/11 life.

In the facilities management industry, our day-to-day life was almost immediately impacted. Changes were made in the industry because of that fateful day and they continue to evolve now.

Architecture, alone, had to make changes in plans for future buildings – especially those of the magnitude of the World Trade Center, as described in this Wall Street Journal article.

In general, security companies and building managers have simply gotten smarter about keeping their occupants safer. Codes have changed. For instance, prior to 9/11, buildings higher than 120 feet must have elevators, specifically for firefighters to have access. Other changes:

  • An additional stairway for high-rises that are more than 420 feet tall
  • New codes on fire resistance
  • Impact resistant walls for elevator shafts
  • Pathway lights
  • Enhanced radio coverage

One of the biggest lessons learned that day were the limits on communication. Not only did the systems, themselves, fail, but there were no procedures in place for that kind of emergency. There are now.

At ECT, technology has evolved regarding security, specifically, and some of our other blogposts touch on these subjects. It’s simply not enough to have a keypad… you must know who is in your building through access controls, and your video surveillance system must be updated regularly and tested. The systems we install offer what our customers need to be sure they are keeping their people – and their facilities – as safe as possible.

As we think back on September 11th and remember those lost, we will continue to utilize the lessons learned from a facilities management standpoint to improve systems and safety.