Taking a Proactive Approach to Security

 

In today’s world, security is a major concern for businesses, individuals, and communities. As the frequency and sophistication of security breaches increase, it is more important than ever to be proactive with security measures. One effective way to do this is by hiring a security guard. In this blog post, we will explore why hiring a security guard is a great way to be proactive with security measures and provide some tips for ensuring you get the most out of your security guard services.

The Benefits of Hiring a Security Guard

1. Crime Prevention

Security guards are trained to detect and deter criminal activity before it happens. Their presence alone can act as a deterrent to potential criminals, reducing the likelihood of a security breach occurring. Additionally, security guards can patrol the premises, monitor security cameras, and respond quickly to any security threats that do arise.

2. Quick Response Time

In the event of a security breach, time is of the essence. Security guards are trained to respond quickly and effectively to any security threats, minimizing the impact of the breach and reducing the risk of injury or property damage.

3. Expertise and Training

Security guards undergo extensive training to prepare them for a variety of security scenarios. They are trained in conflict resolution, emergency response, first aid, and more. This expertise can be invaluable in preventing and responding to security breaches.

4. Customer Service

In addition to their security responsibilities, security guards can also provide excellent customer service. They can greet visitors, answer questions, and provide assistance as needed, creating a welcoming and secure environment for everyone.

Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Security Guard Services

1. Hire the Right Security Guard

When hiring a security guard, it is important to select a professional with the appropriate training, experience, and demeanor for your needs. Consider the specific security risks of your business or property and look for a security guard with experience in addressing those risks.

2. Provide Clear Instructions and Expectations

Be sure to clearly communicate your expectations and instructions to your security guard. This includes providing a detailed job description, outlining specific duties and responsibilities, and explaining any special procedures or protocols.

3. Maintain Open Communication

Effective communication is key to a successful security guard partnership. Maintain open communication with your security guard, providing regular feedback and updates on any security concerns or issues. This will allow your security guard to adjust their approach as needed and stay proactive in their security measures.

4. Review Security Protocols Regularly

Regularly review your security protocols to ensure they are up-to-date and effective. This includes reviewing access control systems, security camera footage, and security guard reports. Identify any areas for improvement and make necessary changes to keep your security measures proactive and effective.

In conclusion, being proactive with security measures is essential in today’s world. Hiring a security guard is a great way to be proactive, providing crime prevention, quick response time, expertise and training, and customer service. By following these tips for getting the most out of your security guard services, you can ensure that your security measures are effective and proactive in protecting your business, property, and community.

New Mask Mandate Calls for Extra Security

New mask mandates means more security needed. Government officials in California are mandating that individuals return to wearing masks regardless of vaccination status. As infection rates rise, more counties will require that masks are worn in stores, restaurants, movie theaters, offices, and many other indoor activities.

Hiring Security

Judging from the behavior of some individuals when previous mask mandates were in place, many establishments have turned to increasing security. Some of the security services they’re looking for includes the following:

  • Temperature checks
  • Asking visitors if they’ve experienced fever, cough, or any Covid-19 related symptoms.
  • Asking that visitors wear masks the entire time they’re in an establishment

Healthcare facilities requires all visitors to wash their hands prior to entering. Otherwise, the guard may ask them to vacate the property.

A number of incidents, with some turning violent, took place during mask mandates. The Federal Aviation Administration states that roughly 2,200 reported incidents involved passengers who would not comply with the federal mask mandate. Recently, an incident at Disneyworld took place where a man assaulted a security personnel for enforcing their face covering policy. In Georgia, a dispute relating to a mask mandate left 1 employee dead and 2 others injured. The incident broke out after a customer and store clerk argued about a face covering.

These are only a few of many incidents that took place surrounding mask mandates across the country. Security Officers are typically trained in de-escalation tactics. Usually a verbal interaction is all that is needed. If that doesn’t work and the individual becomes physical or violent, then the guard is trained to use reasonable force and contact local law enforcement.

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Likewise, as more employees return to working from home, many companies are hiring security to secure their now-vacant property. Empty buildings become targets for squatters and opportunists looking for an easy robbery.

Why You Need Parking Security

Parking lots and parking garages are often scenes to crime including vehicle theft and vandalism. They’re easy targets due to their relatively low visibility, lack of security, and their tendency to become chaotic. Parking lots of every size and location are potentially at risk for crimes. This includes apartment complexes, shopping centers, airports, train stations, etc. It’s generally a good idea to hire security to monitor parking areas. Having a secure, organized, and well-lit parking area will keep things safe and in order.

A large amount of catalytic converters are being stolen from vehicles and the numbers are only increasing. They contain valuable precious metals such as rhodium, platinum, and palladium, thus making them a prime target for thieves.

Assess the Risks

Owners and property managers should walk through their parking areas to clearly assess security risks and hazards. Document the layout of the parking lot to identify its security strengths and weaknesses. Are there any areas hidden from view? Is the parking lot well-lit? Do you need to install cameras? Are you aware of who comes and goes from your parking lot? Subsequently, these questions help you understand where you’d place security features. These can include cameras, security patrol services, or extra lighting.

Lighting

One of the most affordable and effective options for security is lighting. Increasing visibility and lighting helps drivers and pedestrians see while minimizing hiding places for criminals. Shadows and dark areas increase the likelihood of crimes taking place. Having the right amount of lighting and spacing is important to reduce the amount of shadows on the property. Also, the spacing in lighting plays an important role in minimizing shadowy areas.

Don’t forget to illuminate the side of buildings, walkways, and the dumpster area. Customers and employees alike should feel safe while walking to their cars at night.

Landscaping

Invest in smart landscaping designs that work well with your lighting system. Avoid having large amounts of large trees and dense shrubs as these can provide easy hiding places. Instead, invest in landscaping that deters criminals. Don’t forget, maintenance and care also play an important role in security. Trim bushes and trees to reduce invisible areas. Additionally, clean up loose leaves and trimmings to reduce tripping hazards. These also have a tendency to clog drains which could lead to other problems.

Signage

Installing signage around the parking lot may help change the behavior of would-be criminals. Similar to the way home security signs serve to deter thieves, having signs stating that a security guard is on duty could serve a similar purpose. For example, posting a sign stating that a security guard is on duty would most likely make a thief or criminal think twice. If you’re having issues with drivers speeding through your lot, posting signs indicating to slow down could potentially save lives.

Security Gates

Installing a security gate at the entrance and exit of your parking lot or parking garage could add an extra layer of security to your property. Some properties use access control systems where a badge or card is required for entry. Station a guard at the access point to screen cars as they enter and leave the parking lot. Parking lot gates can issue temporary parking permits to keep track of who comes and goes from the property. Also, you can designate parking spaces outside of the gate for visitors to keep potential threats at bay.

Security Patrol

Hiring a security to patrol your parking lot is a great way to get a handle on security. A security guard can react and respond to threats in-person or provide critical reports when an incident occurs. They’ll typically patrol the entire parking lot area during the designated time of service. Additionally, they can escort staff and employees to and from the building as needed. Many companies advise having a security guard on-site rather than a roving patrol since anything can happen to the property in between visits. The private security company can also accommodate your changing needs or customize a security protocol according to security changes. You can hire a person stationed at the parking lot and another to monitor CCTV.

Employee Termination Services

Employee termination security helps your HR team or business terminate an employee who is a high-risk termination. This lowers, or possibly eliminate, the chance that any dangerous incidents will occur. Subsequently, this can make a world of difference. They can stop any dangers while protecting other employees and staff from physical, mental, and emotional health.

This year, the city of San Jose experienced a mass casualty event where a disgruntled employee became an active shooter after losing his job. The event blind-sided the company and plunged the area into turmoil, fear, and sadness.

A security guard will observe the individual being fired while evaluating any issues that employers may miss. They help the process go smoothly, without violence, and safely escort the employee off the property. During the termination, a security guard will keep gawkers at bay to maintain confidentiality. Many companies keep security services for a period of time after the termination to keep the employee from returning. A security guard is trained in how to handle active shooters, weapons of mass destruction, and terrorism awareness.

A disgruntled worker could potentially be destructive or steal company property on their way out. To mitigate this, a guard can remain on-site to ensure that property, employees, and managers remain safe afterwards.

When to Hire Security for Termination?

  1. Large-scale layoffs
  2. Hostile terminations
  3. Any situation where an employee becomes disgruntled
  4. HR issues involving liability

Signs of a Disgruntled Employee

  • Decreased motivation or involvement with other employees
  • Tardiness
  • Excessive breaks
  • Negative demeanor or attitude
  • Pursuit of other work
  • Unreasonable complaints about the job
  • Negative feedback from coworkers
  • Verbal abuse
  • Strained relationships at the workplace
  • Comments about violence or violent acts
  • Increased personal life or financial issues

Causes of Employees Becoming Disgruntled

  1. Being treated disrespectfully. If an employee is already having problems, being treated poorly could potentially worsen the attitude of the employee.
  2. Lack of recognition. Unsurprisingly, employees may become discontent due to lack of recognition, especially if employees are constantly reprimanded without praise.
  3. Working in an toxic environment. An environment that propagates favoritism or unfair treatment could worsen morale and feelings towards the company. Also, adults facing bullying at the workplace could manifest resentment or even workplace violence.
  4. Receiving poor performance reviews. This is the time when many employees are expecting raises, promotions, or bonuses. If an employee was expecting new benefits but receives a poor performance review, that employee may become disgruntled.
  5. Feeling stuck in a position. If an employee is constantly overlooked or disregarded for a promotion or praise, they may become resentful or disgruntled.
  6. Experiencing domestic issues. Domestic issues not only refers to marital or familial issues, they can relate to personal health, financial, social, or other issues.

Hiring security during a high-risk termination could be the difference between a smooth transition or violence. The added benefits of having security on-hand is that safety and wellness of the general workforce. Subsequently, every level of employees, from management to entry level, will have the peace of mind of feeling safe. The security service can work late into the night to ensure the employee doesn’t return to damage property or threaten the workforce.

How to Protect Your Business During a Protest

Peaceful protests are the norm and usually never escalate to anything but. However, when tension escalate, small businesses, shoppers, and staff get caught in the cross hairs of angry protesters. What can follow is looting, property damage, and possible injuries to bystanders. Business owners want to keep their property, patrons, employees, and themselves safe and out of harm’s way. To accomplish this, they must be prepared in the event that a peaceful protest erupts into turmoil and chaos.

Stay Informed

A majority of the time, protest organizers are required to get a permit before demonstrating publicly. They also advertise those event to gain traction and increase the number of attendees. Most, if not all, use social media or the internet in general as a mans to spread awareness about the event. Some organizers spread flyers and poster to announce when and where a demonstration will take place. Keep up to date on local events to being preparing ahead of time. If you aren’t able to stay informed, you can pre-emptively prepare by gathering tools and materials ahead of time.

Reduce Building Weaknesses and Vulnerabilities

It’s important to determine what makes your storefront the most vulnerable. A few examples include:

  • Large windows
  • Glass doors
  • Absence of gates
  • Back or side doors
  • Flammable materials
  • Sprinkler or fire systems

Invest in a good alarm and camera system. Cameras will capture illegal activities as they take place. They may also serve as evidence should the store owner choose to take legal actions against looters.

Keep plywood boards on hand to cover windows of glass doors to restrict access. Better yet, install metal bars and grills as they are more secure and aren’t flammable.

Hire a Security Guard

A security guard (or officer) will have a presence that will make rioters and looters think twice before entering a property. An armed guard will add an extra layer of protection to the store and it’s inhabitants. Customers may also feel safer with a guard on duty.

Close Up Shop

If you are aware of an upcoming demonstration, and are fearful of it escalating, consider closing shop for the day. Move or store your most valuable merchandise and cash in a separate location until things die down. You can also adjust your store hours to minimize the risk of loss or injury.

Post signs on your store front that cash and other merchandise have been removed from the property.

Call the Police

If trespassers won’t leave the property, call the police. A police officer has legal authority to remove trespassers from your property.

Review Your Insurance Policy

Make sure your insurance policy includes coverage for property damage incurred during a protest. Meet with your insurance agent to verify this information. You may be able to take legal actin if video footage reveals the identity of the looters.

Fire Watch Services

What is Fire Watch?

Fire Watch is a service where a trained professional patrols buildings and properties to identify fire hazards. They inspect and prevent fires by performing regular rounds and patrols. A fire watch professional can provide guidance to businesses who may have issues with their current fire systems. Fire watch professionals are trained to alert the fire department and building occupants in the event of fire. Their objective is to prevent a fire from starting and to extinguish small fires if it is safe to do so.

What are fire watch duties?

  • The fire watch professional should be familiar with the building or property and its procedures for sounding an alarm to occupants of a fire. They will also alert the fire service in the event of a fire.
  • The person must regularly tour the entire building. They are to check exit doors, access doors, and corridors periodically for proper operation and obstructions. Additionally, they must immediately log each patrol into their fire watch log.
  • A fire watch professional will have readily available fire extinguishing equipment and be trained in its use
  • If fire or smoke conditions are discovered, they will alert all building occupants by sounding an alarm
  • Once a fire breaks out, the fire watch professional will notify fire authorities in the event of a fire
  • The fire watch professional will await emergency response once the building or property is evacuated. They’re trained to not allow anyone to re-enter the building until it is deemed safe to do so.
  • When the fire protection system is restored, the fire watch professional must call the monitoring station and advise them to put the system back online.

What Security Guards Can and Can’t Do

Businesses small and large will hire private security for a multitude of reasons. Some reasons include deterring threats and crimes, while others may include to deter trespassing and burglary. Individuals may even hire security guards to maintain peace at a special event or hire them to safeguard their homes. Whatever the reason may be, there are things that security guards can and can’t legally do.

Where Does a Security Guard Get Their Authorization?

In the general sense, a private security officer has no more legal rights than an average citizen. This can change depending on the level of their authorized power.

  1. Private security officers limited to citizen powers
  2. Security guards who have special authorized power by their local governing institutions
  3. Security officers who are also law enforcement officers

So What Can They Do?

Remember, security officers are NOT police officers. Security Officers are employed by a private security company and are contracted out to client properties. They cannot impersonate a police officer or say that they have the same legal rights at one.

  1. A security guard can make a citizen’s arrest, however, this only applies if their grounds of suspicion are reasonable and valid. The situation must meet certain legal requirements. If not, the citizen can press charges against the security guard, the private security company, and the client. The security guard can prevent an individual from fleeing after performing a criminal act though they can only do so until the police arrives.
  2. A guard can protect in the event of a person causing harm to others, themselves, or to the property.
  3. A security guard can use a level of force limited to a certain degree by law. This means that they are only acceptable when necessary.
  4. Searches can only happen with consent. If you are unconscious or not present, and the possession is unidentified, then they can search the item. Although they can’t search you if you’re suspected of shoplifting, they can detain you until the police arrives. Bag checks at private venues are also legal as attendees consent to bag checks upon entry. If an attendee refuses to have their belongings checked, then the guard is within their power to turn the attendee away.
  5. Security officers can carry weapons. However, they need to be registered and licensed to carry them. This includes batons, firearm, pepper spray, etc.

Festival Safety

With pandemic restrictions lifting and summer approaching, party goers are hitting music festivals in full force. Whether you’re a seasoned festival goer or attending your first event, it’s a good idea to take extra precautions for your own safety and the safety of others.

Party Safe

Regulate alcohol consumption by avoiding binge drinking. This may dehydrate you or render you so inebriated that you fail to make smart, rational decisions. If you are going to drink alcoholic beverages, make sure to drink plenty of water so keep you properly hydrated. Don’t forget to eat meals throughout the day to keep your body energized. Last but not least, refrain from taking recreational drugs as they may have adverse affects when mixed with alcohol.

Stay Cool and Hydrated

Partying in the hot sun will have adverse side affects on you such as heat stroke, dehydration, or fatigue. Staying hydrated and cool is important to avoid these things or other adverse effects from happening. As always, drink plenty of water or other beverages that contain electrolytes. Wear a hat or some sort of cover to keep the sun from beating down on your head. Don’t forget to protect your eyes and your skin by wearing sunglasses and sunscreen. Hang out in the shade from time to time to get out of the sun.

Chill Out and Take a Break

Limit the time spent partying in the sun to take a much-needed break which helps to prevent heat stroke and exhaustion. Grab some water or a snack and let your body cool down before heading back out into the party. Don’t forget to take your medication if you need it. Festivals may have a first air facility but they’re usually limited in terms of resources.

Celebrate Graduations Responsibly

The time has come when we’re rounding out the end of yet another school year. However, this time is special because we have graduations we’re celebrating. It’s a ceremony signifying years of hard, studious work and it’s time to celebrate the next big chapter in life. Here are some tips for celebrating your graduation is a safe and responsible manner.

Alcohol Safety

  • Make sure that alcohol isn’t served to anyone underage
  • Limit alcohol served to prevent intoxications
  • Be prepared to offer rides home, pay for taxis or ride sharing services
  • Do not allow guests to drive drunk.
  • Provide plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Consider hosting a dry party
  • Stop serving alcohol at least one-hour before ending party
  • Collect keys at the front door to prevent drinking and driving

Throwing a Party at Home

Throwing a grad party at your house may seem like a much safer option than spending a night out on the town. Even then, there are precautions you should take so that your guests are safe.

  • Make sure any walkways or high-trafficked areas are well-lit ( including, hallways, steps/stairs, driveways, entryways, alleys, etc.)
  • Protect pets by crating them or locking them behind closed doors. If they are prone to anxiety, ask a friend or family to watch them for the evening.
  • Stay food safe – wash your hands when handling food. Keep foods at an appropriate temperature and don’t cross-contaminate foods in case a guest might have a food allergy.
  • Care for kids – if the party isn’t appropriate for children, ask a friend or relative to watch them for the evening
  • Home guard – lock away any and all valuables or prescriptions in the house
  • Use surveillance cameras to have a better handle on the security of the property
  • Be mindful of the type of lighting. Using candled or other open flames may inadvertently start a fire
  • Make sure you sorted out ways to deal with fire, medical, or other emergencies
  • Don’t spend all night isolated to one part of your house (i.e. the kitchen)

Keeping your guests safe while celebrating any occasion is a team effort. If you’re the host of the party, consider asking for help in maintaining the party and guests. You may also want to consider hiring a security guard for an extra set of eyes and reporting. Security Officers are trained to handle a wide variety of situations including asking trespassers to vacate the property.

A Guide to: Security Guards

Security guards, or security officers, are mainly in charge of observing and reporting when it comes to keeping an eye out for suspicious or illegal activities. Truthfully, guards are responsible for performing a variety of tasks that pertain to the safety and security of job site or property. Security guards may be in charge of conducting regular foot patrols while checking that doors and windows are locked. Additionally, they may sometimes work closely with local authorities in cases of emergencies. Continue reading for tips on becoming a Security Guard.

A wide range of individuals may need the assistance of private security guards. We’ve personally covered everything from special events (such as weddings, graduations, parties, or school events) to construction sites and even commercial shopping spaces. The need for private security may wax and wane depending on the time of year (i.e, shopping spaces needing a little bit of extra support during the holidays) or a company with multiple locations may need security at different properties at any given time. The professional space may also need to hire private security to make sure that only authorized individuals may enter the building or if they need a guard stationed at front desk to receive or screen packages.

A Career Guide to Becoming a Security Guard

Security guards are responsible for completing a wide range of duties according to client needs to their site-specific post orders. Some positions are static where a guard remains in the same area or they may be responsible for patrolling a wide area. In roving vehicle positions, the guard is responsible for driving a company vehicle while on patrol.

Typical Duties of a Security Guard

  • Complete and deliver accurate reports – including daily and incident reports
  • Conduct regular patrols of job site
  • Follow established security protocols while using initiative and good judgement
  • Work closely with the local police department, fire department, or medical teams
  • Ensure alarm systems are functional
  • Ensure that doors, windows, gates, etc. are locked
  • Make certain that only authorized personnel or vehicles are entering the property
  • Remain vigilant for any suspicious or unlawful activities

Qualifications of becoming a Security Guard

Most Security Guard positions are entry level and only require a high school diploma or equivalent to apply. Additionally, you’ll need to be registered as a Security guard in your respective state and be registered to carry a firearm (if applicable).

  • Must be able to communicate clearly and effectively (both orally and written)
  • Be able to think quickly and critically
  • Have excellent interpersonal skills and be mindful of customer and public relations
  • Exercise good judgement in stressful and potentially dangerous situations
  • Have knowledge of public safety and security
  • Possess knowledge of local laws and regulations
  • Works well independently or as a team
  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Ability to pass a background check and drug screening
  • Must maintain and current and valid drivers license (if applicable)

Security Guard Job Education and Training

Most companies will provide on the job training when starting at a new site or shift. Regular training and updates are recommended to ensure that security guards remain on track for providing excellent service. However, in order to attain your guard registration card, you must complete the following steps:

  • The power to arrest training must be completed prior to the issuance of a Security Guard Registration
  • The thirty-two (32) hours of training in security officer skills must be completed within the first six (6) months of registration.
  • Eight (8) hours of continuing training must be completed annually (BPC 7583.6 and California Code of Regulations

The training may be administered by a PPO (Private Patrol Operator), a Bureau-certified training facility, or by a Bureau-approved course provider. Find out more here.

Other Skills and Experience

Although not required, having an associates degree in subjects such as criminal justice may set you apart from the rest of the crowd. Additionally, being fluent in a second language may make you more hirable compared to others applying for the same position.

To apply for a position as a security guard with Armed Force Security, click here.