by Jahangir Hussain
Security means protection against theft, fraud and vandalism. However, a good security system is concerned with all types of risk. Museums and other cultural heritage organizations and sites are threatened with robbery, vandalism and burglary, bombing, arson, accidental explosions, earthquake, tornado, floods, fire and other similar occurrences.
Gary Edson and David Dean in their influential book The Handbook for Museums discussed museum security thus: “Museum security is the philosophy and activity of providing an environment in which people and objects may be as free from threat of harm or damage as possible”. Using this as a broad definition, there are several elements involved in such security. These include: staff, barriers, signage, collection management practices, housekeeping activities, environmental monitoring, alarms and surveillances and security plan.
Ahsan Manzil museum is one of the 140 museums in Bangladesh. A part-time security officer under the supervision of Deputy-Keeper is in-charge of the security system of Ahsan Manzil Museum. There are 1 Security Supervisor, 20 Security Guards and 2 other support staffs in the security section.
The existing security system of the Museum embodies the following tools/ methods:
1. Security personnel; 2. Fire extinguisher; 3. Water line, water and sand in separate containers;
4. Security locking; 5. Sealing system in the locks; 6. Roaster committee; 7. Metal Detector;
8. Walkie talkie; 9. Ansar/Ansar with arms; 10. Gate passes for objects; 11. Gate passes for non-object materials; 12. Emergency electric supply (Electric Generator); 13. Charge light, torchlight, etc; 14. First Aid Box; 15. Left luggage counter.