Security system compliance can be challenging because laws and regulations regarding security equipment use, placement and monitoring can vary from state to state.  

Despite these different requirements, there are some shared safeguards commonly used to protect occupants inside government facilities. To help you understand security system compliance, we explain the permitted use of two commonly used security features in municipal buildings.

Video Surveillance Systems

Many municipalities rely on video surveillance to secure government office buildings, courts, police stations and museums.

However, video surveillance usage must be compliant with laws set within a state. For example, some states allow recording in courthouses for any public proceeding; whereas, other states may only allow it in appellate courts.

In certain cases, cameras can be used with the permission of the judge to broadcast, televise, record or take pictures during proceedings, for:

  • Evidence presentations
  • Judicial administration purposes
  • Perpetuation of the record of proceedings
  • Security

Other legal regulations relate to privacy and confidentiality in municipal buildings. Video surveillance cameras cannot be placed in rooms where privacy is expected, such as bathrooms, record rooms or areas where lawyers and clients hold confidential conversations. In addition, many states require signage in areas under surveillance.

Fire and Safety Standards

To maintain compliance, municipal buildings must meet specific fire and safety codes.

Many building codes can be found using the CodeFinder tool provided by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). However, if your state or municipality has not published the information online, you’ll need to contact them directly.

Most require smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, as well as fire alarms and extinguishers in all public buildings. Visit the NFPA Codes and Standards page to view a list of over 300 consensus codes and standards used to limit risk of building fires.

Security and safety regulations ensure the protection of all occupants in municipal buildings. Always contact a trusted security professional for set up and installation.