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432 FW 1
Physical Security in Service Facilities

Supersedes 432 FW 1, FWM 367, 06/17/2001

Date:  July 26, 2011

Series: Security

Part 432: Physical Security

Originating Office: Division of Refuge Law Enforcement



PDF Version


1.1 What is the purpose of this chapter? This chapter establishes requirements for physical security in Service-owned and leased facilities. Physical security encompasses people, personal property, and buildings and their contents.


1.2 What is the Service’s policy for physical security? We manage Service facilities to:


A. Provide a safe and secure working environment for employees, contractors, and visitors;


B. Minimize loss, damage, and destruction to Government property; and


C. Comply with Department of the Interior and other Federal agency policy and requirements for physical security.


1.3 What are the authorities for this chapter?


A. Federal Management Regulations; Buildings Operations, Maintenance, Protection, and Alterations) (41 CFR Part 101-20.1).


B. 444 DM 1, General Program Requirements - Physical Protection and Building Security.


C. Facility Security Levels Determinations, 2008, Homeland Security, Interagency Security Committee.


D. Physical Security Criteria for Federal Facilities, 2010, Homeland Security, Interagency Security Committee.


1.4 Who is responsible for physical security for the Service? Table 1-1 shows employee responsibilities for our physical security program.


Table 1-1: Responsibilities for physical security

These employees…

Are responsible for…

A. The Director

(1) Reviewing and approving Service policy for physical security.


(2) Reviewing and approving customized levels of protection for

Headquarters buildings. Customized levels of protection are the final set of countermeasures developed as the result of the risk-based analytical process.

B. The Assistant Director - National Wildlife Refuge System


(1) Advising the Director about security incidents at Service facilities, and


(2) Through the Division of Refuge Law Enforcement, developing policies and procedures to protect Service facilities and equipment. 

C. The Assistant Director - Business Management and Operations


Managing physical security at Arlington Headquarters controlled space. This includes:


(1) Coordinating with the General Services Administration (GSA) on security elements for leased space and for landlord responsibilities;


(2) Coordinating with Federal Protective Service (FPS) on law enforcement matters, building security assessments, and other related security services provided by FPS;


(3) Installing and managing access control and other physical security systems (i.e., keys, keycards, closed circuit television, etc.); and


(4) Developing related operational procedures where needed.

D. The Assistant Director – Information Resources and Technology Management

Ensuring the physical security of our information technology systems (see 270 FW 7) and data centers.


E. The Assistant Director – Budget, Planning and Human Capital


(1) Advising the Director about our Workplace Violence Program,


(2) Developing policies and procedures to protect employees from workplace violence,


(3) Managing personnel security; and,


(4)  Developing policy and procedures for issuing Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD)-12 Identification Cards and coordinating operations.

F. The Chief, Division of Refuge Law Enforcement


Assigning the Service Security Manager, who is the principal Service security liaison with the Department’s Office of Law Enforcement, Security and Emergency Management.

G.  Service Security Manager

(1)  Monitoring Service compliance with physical security requirements using the Department of the Interior and Department of Homeland Security guidelines;


(2)  Serving as the principal advisor to the Director on Service security;


(3)  Leading the Fish and Wildlife Service Security Advisory Team (SAT) and coordinating incident-related information through that team;


(4) Providing technical information, assisting the Regional Physical Security Managers with security-related issues, and interpreting Service and Departmental security policies;


(5) Developing physical security management policy;


(6) Coordinating the sharing of resources for physical security (personnel, equipment, skills, surveys, policies, guidance) among offices;


(7) Monitoring performance of the Service’s physical security management programs; and


(8) Recording lessons-learned from incidents, exercises, and other events to help improve the program, and developing an after-action matrix for improvement for the SAT.

H.  Security Advisory Team (SAT) (a Headquarters-based team of employees who meet quarterly)

(1) Advising the Service Security Manager and the Directorate about security issues and incidents. The team is comprised of experts in the following fields:


(a) Physical security


(b) Dam safety and security


(c) Law enforcement


(d) Personnel security


(e) Information technology security


(f) Facility, personal property, and fleet management


(g) Employee safety and health


(h) Aviation security


(2) Serving as the principal advisory group to the Department’s Security Director;


(3) Reviewing changes to Service and Departmental policies; and


(4) Recommending any necessary customized levels of protection

for Headquarters buildings.

I. Regional Directors


(1) Providing resources to ensure compliance with this chapter;


(2) Designating a Regional Physical Security Manager to coordinate physical security activities and share information about physical security with other employees. Regional Directors must provide these managers’ contact information (name, title, office, phone and fax numbers, and email address) to the Service Security Manager;


(3) Ensuring Regional Physical Security Managers serve on the Regional office facility security committee, if applicable; and  


(4) Reviewing and approving customized levels of protection for

Regional Office space.

J. Regional Physical Security Managers

(1) Serving as the primary point of contact and providing technical assistance to Regional management on security-related issues;


(2) Providing technical assistance to field stations about physical security evaluations;


(3) Sending evaluation findings to appropriate line management;


(4) Collecting reports of security-related incidents or issues and sending them to line management or the Service Security Manager as appropriate; and


(5) Coordinating with the Service Security Manager to resolve technical or Servicewide issues as needed.

K. Engineers

Discussing physical security needs with managers and incorporating physical security requirements into new construction and renovation projects.

L. Supervisors

(1) Denying access or retrieving keys from employees when they separate from the Service (see section 1.10);


(2) Keeping items with high theft potential (e.g., cameras, binoculars, power tools, televisions, video cassette recorders, laptop computers, postage stamps) in a locked cabinet or using some other locking device when not in use; and


(3) Notifying the Project Leader or Facilities Manager when someone will be terminated or disciplined for security-related issues.

M.  Project Leaders/Facility Managers (includes the managers of the Forensics Laboratory in Ashland, OR and the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) in Shepherdstown, WV)

(1) Establishing and maintaining facility security procedures that address applicable components of the Physical Security Criteria for Federal Facilities, appropriate building level Physical Security Survey Form, and 444 DM 1.9, Conduct on Federal Property.


(2) Informing FPS and the General Services Administration (GSA) or Law Enforcement (where appropriate) and Service officials (see (a) and (b) below) of significant physical security incidents or threats and any corrective actions they take to prevent recurrence. A physical security incident or threat is significant if it is potentially life-threatening or affects Service or Departmental interests in a way that it is likely to require a media response.


(a) In Headquarters, advising the Chief, Division of Contracting and Facilities Management and the Service Security Manager; and


(b) In a Regional office or field station, advising the affected Assistant Regional Director and the Regional Physical Security Manager.


(3) Annually reviewing the physical security surveys and procedures with their employees.


(4) Ensuring that their facilities are secure at the end of every work day. 


(5) Ensuring that visitors entering into federally controlled building space have appropriate screening, are escorted or closely monitored, and have the appropriate visitor’s pass.


(6) Conducting physical security surveys of work areas once every 3 years by using FWS Form 3-2417 for Level 1, 3-2418 for Level 2, or 3-2419 for Level 3 buildings. A general review should be conducted annually or after a remodel (see 444 DM 1). These surveys should:


(a)   Record deficiencies and corrective actions

instituted, and


(b)   Include procedural and physical security



 (7) Accounting for access keys to work areas and tracking distribution using FWS Form 3-2384. This includes:


            (a) Making access keys, including electronic entry keys and proximity reader cards, available to employees, and


            (b) Reporting lost or stolen access keys immediately to the appropriate Headquarters or Regional authorities.


(8) Monitoring equipment and articles that may have security

significance such as, but not limited to, desktop computers,

laptops, flash drives, vehicle license plates, uniforms, identification

badges, etc.

N. Employees

(1) Safeguarding Government property from damage, loss, and destruction by adhering to the facility physical security procedures and Part 310 (Personal Property) of the Service Manual; 


(2) Reporting suspicious activities or any personal or physical security incident or threat to their immediate supervisors;


(3) Informing supervisors whenever they intend to access or remain at the workplace outside of normal working hours; and


(4) Reporting missing or stolen equipment and articles that may have security significance such as, but not limited to, desktop computers, laptops, flash drives, license plates, uniforms, identification badges, etc.


1.5 What does a Project Leader/Facility Manager or designated individual have to do to ensure physical security of the facility? Planning requirements depend on the type of facility—whether they are Service–owned or GSA-owned or leased (see section 1.6 for link to Facility Security Level Determination document). Table 1-2 summarizes the requirements.


Table 1-2: Requirements for planning physical security


Service-owned facilities or leased from someone other than GSA

GSA-owned or leased facilities


Comments/Additional Information   

Required to comply with Federal Protective Service (FPS) guidance and security alerts? Yes/No



MAYBE. It is the responsibility of the Facility Security Committee to accept, reject, or modify

recommendations based on FPS and GSA guidance.


·   Service Security Manager will give Regional Physical Security Managers FPS security alerts and other FPS information.

Must have a facility security committee? Yes/No

YES for Level 2,  3 and 4 facilities



(Must include one security representative from GSA and any other agencies that occupy building)

·   Building security committee:

  • Evaluates, identifies, and applies minimum standards (see section 1.6), and
  • Documents reasons for variance.

·       Field stations/offices can:

  • Augment the building safety committee to create the security committee, and
  • Establish a committee that covers more than one building.

New construction and renovations

The Project Leader/Facility Manager or designated individual must collaborate with the design firm engineers to include DHS physical security design specifications while the project is still in the planning stage. After construction, the Project Leader/Facility Manager conducts an onsite physical security survey before occupancy to make sure physical security requirements are met. (Consult the Regional Physical Security Manager as needed.)

The appropriate Service manager must work with the Regional Space Management Coordinator, FPS, and the GSA realty specialist to make sure DHS physical security requirements are conveyed to GSA and included in the specifications of the lease. (Consult the Regional Physical Security Manager as needed.)

Not applicable


1.6 What are the minimum physical security standards for Service-owned facilities?


A. DHS’s Interagency Security Committee has developed “Physical Security Criteria for Federal Facilities,” which identifies suggested minimum physical security standards for all Federal facilities based on facility size, activities, number of people in the work force, and public access. There are four physical security levels and associated security requirements.


B. Facilities use the appropriate Physical Security Survey form for their building level. The Project Leader/Facility Manager, designated individual, or team or building committee makes recommendations to management for customizing the level of protection if they can:


(1) Determine that the requirement is not necessary and can justify the decision in writing,


(2) Identify alternative measures to meet the intent of the standard, or


(3) Document the need for additional or enhanced requirements. 


1.7 To whom should employees report criminal activity? In Service-owned facilities, you should report criminal activity to the local law enforcement organization (county/city) and Refuge Law Enforcement, if appropriate, and to your immediate supervisor. If you are in a GSA-owned or leased facility, you should contact the FPS or local law enforcement and notify your supervisor. Send a copy of the police report to the Regional Physical Security Manager (or the Service Security Manager in Headquarters).


1.8 Can the Service deny someone access to a Service facility or Service-controlled space?


A. Yes, we may deny office access to all non-employees.


B. We may also deny a person (whether an employee or not) immediate access to Service facilities or Service-controlled areas of a facility when a manager or supervisor believes the person poses a threat to Service employees, resources, or property.


C. Whenever we deny access to an employee, we must coordinate with the servicing Human Resources office and document it in a denial letter to the individual as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours after denying access. The letter should include:


(1) Reasons for denying access,


(2) Conditions, if any, under which we will grant the individual temporary access to the facility, and


(3) Contact information.


D. We consult the servicing Human Resources office to ensure that a denial of access complies with applicable labor-management agreements and existing personnel policy.


E. For non-employees, if someone other than the Project Leader/Facility Manager denies someone access, that person should ensure the Project Leader/Facility Manager or other designated individual is aware of the denial.


1.9 What is the policy concerning weapons in Federal facilities? This policy is a reminder that we strictly prohibit the possession of firearms or other dangerous weapons in Federal facilities, except for law enforcement officers, Federal officials performing law enforcement duties, or where the possession is authorized by Federal law (see 18 U.S.C. 930(a) and 41 CFR 102.74-440, Subpart C). This prohibition also applies to non-law enforcement individuals who have a valid permit to carry a concealed weapon.


A. Employees may not store or transport non-Government-owned firearms or other dangerous weapons in Service vehicles without written approval (see 310 FW 4) or unless they are authorized to do so as part of their official duties (e.g., law enforcement duties).


B. For regulations about carrying dangerous weapons onto Service lands, see:


(1) For Service-managed hunts, 50 CFR 32,


(2) For tenants in Service quarters, 371 FW 1, and


(3) When authorized by State or other regulations, 50 CFR 27, Subpart D.


1.10 How does the Service control access of employees who separate from the Service? We must:


A. Retrieve Government identification cards from employees and contract personnel when they are no longer employed with the Service. See 223 FW 13 and 14, Exit Clearance. Supervisors may also collect the identification card (as well as keys, badges, or any item that provides access to Service space or systems) of an employee who is suspended from active duty or placed on administrative leave with pay, goes on an Intergovernmental Personnel Act assignment, or in any situation where the supervisor ­feels it is necessary to protect employees, the public, or Government property (also see 210 FW 1, Control and Issuance of Identification Cards). 


B. Treat separated employees and contract employees as visitors when they request entrance to the facility.


1.11 What records do facilities need to keep related to physical security?


A. The Project Leader/Facility Manager or designated individual must:


(1) Make facility physical security surveys and procedures available to all employees.


(2) Maintain documentation of physical security surveys and results at the facility for at least 5 years.


(3) Maintain documentation when denying someone access.


B. The appropriate Assistant Regional Director and the Assistant Director – National Wildlife Refuge System or their representatives may inspect facility physical security procedures and surveys.


1.12 What are the training requirements for employees involved in security management? The employees who serve as the Service Security Manager and Regional Physical Security Managers must take the training in Table 1-3.


Table 1-3: Required training for employees involved in security management


Training Required

Security professionals…

…with less than 3 years of experience

…with 3 years of experience or more

Physical Security Training Program (Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC))



Operations Security for Public Safety Agencies Counterterrorism Training (FLETC or OPSE-2500 offered by interagency Operational Security (OPSEC) support staff)



IS-700 National Incident Management System (NIMS), an Intro (online course)



IS-800B National Response Framework, an Intro (online course)



40 hours of annual security training (can be achieved through security conferences, workshops, or other training courses)







For information on the specific content of this chapter, contact the Division of Refuge Law Enforcement. For information about this website, contact Krista Bibb in the Division of Policy and Directives Management.  

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