How to Properly Assess Your Need for Armed vs. Unarmed Security

If you have a business in or around Gainesville, you’ve probably thought about your security needs at one time or another. Maybe you have even considered the possibility of hiring armed security guards. After all, on the surface, it would seem armed guards can provide more security than unarmed ones.

If you do a more thorough security assessment, however, you will find the decision between armed and unarmed guards is not so straightforward. You might even discover that unarmed security is often the more practical solution.

Here are a few things to think about as you decide which option matches your company’s needs:

Does your business require armed security guards?

Armed security guards are trained and licensed to handle firearms. They carry a firearm at all times and are authorized to use it when necessary. In some cases, armed guards are the better fit for a company’s security requirements. Here are some examples:

  • Priceless valuables must be protected: Money, jewelry and artwork can be a target of armed thieves. Security guards with weapons might discourage their attempts.
  • Violence-prone locations: Some settings lend themselves to violence. Hospital emergency rooms in high-crime areas or those that frequently treat gang fight injuries could be susceptible to vicious outbreaks. Certain bars and nightclubs become breeding grounds for trouble as the night wears on. Unfortunately, it’s seldom clear whether the presence of armed guards will diffuse tensions or whether the sight of a weapon might provoke further escalation.
  • Guards who are out of sight: While armed security guards can put business owners at ease, they can put clients and customers on edge. Guards with weapons might send a message that the place of business is unsafe. Because of this, it’s often better to have armed guards kept behind the scenes.

The case for unarmed guards.

Unarmed security guards are the better choice for the majority of businesses looking to protect people, goods and property. Here are some reasons for choosing them:

You will save money: Armed guards cost more, so companies on a tight budget may go with the unarmed type. The hourly rate for armed security is higher, and insurance costs typically rise when you keep armed guards on your property.

You will minimize your liability: Property owners can be held liable for the actions of their security guards. For instance, if an armed guard shoots someone on your property and causes injury or death, you could be held responsible. Unarmed guards have been trained to deter crime and violence using non-lethal weapons such as pepper spray, tasers and batons.

Unarmed guards are ideal if you have quick access to the police: If law enforcement officers can be quickly deployed to your business, you probably don’t need armed guards. Provide your unarmed security team with communications tools to help them get in touch with police. If you have more than one guard, make sure they can communicate with one another in case on-site backup is needed.

Before you decide on your company’s security, talk to the experts.

The professionals at BOS Security will assess each client’s unique security requirements before making a recommendation. Our skilled professionals will be matched appropriately to specific roles and responsibilities. Contact us to get started.

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