Security officers are an essential part of keeping your property safe. They can prevent vandalism and other damage as well as theft and threats to personal safety. Combined with alarms, locks, fences, and security cameras, they make an effective security solution. The question is, how many security officers do you need to hire for optimal protection without excess spending? At a minimum, you should plan to have at least one guard per entrance, at least during your busiest times.
Security Variables to Consider
Officer by square foot is seldom a comprehensive enough calculation to ensure thorough coverage. If the property has multiple buildings or many stories, you’ll want more guards than a single, one-story building. Consider the number of access points to the property, the value attractiveness, and potential danger presented by any goods being protected. More criminals will be tempted by gemstones than chemicals, but some chemicals can present a hazard if mishandled, making comprehensive protection just as important.
Is the property heavily trafficked – are there many people to observe? Also, consider how vital a noticeable security presence is, either to deter intruders or give residents, employees, or customers a feeling of confidence.
A commonly used rule of thumb is one guard for every 50-100 people. This can vary a lot depending on how large an area the event is held in and how simple the site is to control. For example, you will likely need more security officers to maintain control of an event held in unfenced outdoor acreage than an indoor ballroom, even with the same number of people.
Off-Duty Police Officers vs. Security Guards
There are definite circumstances that warrant a certified law enforcement officer, but for that additional training and legal background you will also pay considerably more money. Security guards are much less expensive than off-duty police officers. Security guards may also have more discretion in handling situations, whereas once a sworn officer sees a crime being committed they may be “locked in” to making an arrest. Private security officers offer flexibility in appearance, such as if you’d prefer that they were a coat and tie rather than a uniform. Finally, security guards won’t leave you if another crime is being committed elsewhere. In-house guards may seem like they give you more control, but the reality is a security firm will be better able to assess what makes someone security guard material. They will know where to look for the best candidates and how to evaluate their skills and potential as well as identifying red flags and conducting appropriate checks.
Contract vs. In-House Security Guards
For the most part, working with a contract security company will give you the most bang for your buck for several reasons. First, your security headcount is always right, you can staff up or down as needed much easier. Security guard come already trained from the private security company. They have experts with established curriculum ready to go out of the box, one less worry for you in running your business. You don’t have to the hiring (or firing!). You pay just one bill each week instead of dealing with payroll, taxes, workers compensation insurance and so on.
Augment with Remote Security
A cost-effective and efficient method of protecting people and property is with remote monitoring of internet-enabled security cameras. Virtual security officers keep an eagle eye on your property 24/7/365 at a fraction of the cost of an in-person guard, reducing the number of officers needed at a single time. Remote security can work closely with onsite guards or law enforcement or issue verbal warnings.
Contact BOS Security
BOS Security and VirtuGuard™ remote video surveillance can help you to optimize your security strategy. If you want to schedule an assessment of your current security, get in touch with us today or learn more about BOS Security’s VirtuGuard™ remote guarding service here.
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