When you're considering your options for property security, one of the biggest questions that you'll have to answer is whether you want your security staff to be armed or unarmed. Both approaches have their advantages and their disadvantages, so understanding your business needs and the role of your security officers is the first place to start. Here's a look at some of the things you should be considering when selecting your onsite security guard services.
Consider the Environment and Threat Level
The first thing you should consider is how concerned you are about your business safety. If you're in a low-threat area with little concern about violent crimes, armed security may be more than you need. In those cases, an unarmed security team is sufficient to provide protection and site patrols. Appliance repair shops and other small, local businesses are typically at low risk, particularly in small towns with low crime rates.
In contrast, if you work in an industry that puts your business at medium or high risk of security concerns, you may find that armed security guards are worth the investment. Businesses in high-crime cities, companies that deal with confidential, classified or high-value information, and businesses that handle a lot of cash and inventory are often security targets. Armed security guards will provide added deterrence in areas where you may be more concerned about crime or acts of violence.
Think About Your Operations
In addition to considering the overall threat level, you'll also want to think about your standard operations and your clients. In some industries, the presence of armed security on-site may be alarming, while in other areas, it can be a comfort to your customers and clients.
For example, if you are in an entertainment industry, such as a movie theater or concert hall, you may find that armed security creates a sense of unease among your customers. In nightclubs, though, armed security may actually provide your guests with some comfort and a sense of protection.
Residential environments like apartment complexes and condominiums are a unique consideration. Residents may find that armed security makes them feel more secure, and it can reduce the risk of home invasions, assaults and other problems. Offering around-the-clock armed security could make your rental property more attractive to potential tenants who are looking for a peaceful, secure place to live.
Evaluate the Cost and Training Benefit
You'll need to make sure that you have a clear budget for your security guards. The cost of armed security compared to unarmed guards can be very different. Armed security guards are typically required to complete firearms training, certifications and continuing skill certification renewals. As a result, the investment in these officers will cost you more than it would for an unarmed security staff.
If you're looking for a more affordable investment, unarmed officers are typically trained to diffuse situations through negotiation. Many unarmed security guards are also trained in martial arts or other self-defense, which can be beneficial for securing a suspect.
In either case, the presence of security guards can make your property a less-likely target than it may be if unprotected. You will have the peace of mind of knowing that your business is protected by someone with professional training and experience. On-site security guards can patrol the perimeter of the business and even stand at a post near your main entrance to monitor activity.
As you can see from the information presented here, there are advantages to both armed and unarmed security officers. You can evaluate both based on your unique business needs to determine which one is the best fit for you, then talk with a local security company to establish a contract that meets your needs.