There is no one size fits all approach to security. The variety of concerns and conditions at your business will inform which security methods will maximize your overall security and peace of mind. But when you hear the word security, what comes to mind is likely the most iconic and effective method—the security guard. An excellent deterrent to criminal activity, security guards offer a tremendous sense of security to clients and business owners, and can be trained in a vast array of skill sets and capabilities. If you’re considering hiring a security guard, here’s a quick guide to help you decide what’s right for you: armed or unarmed security.

Armed security is appropriate for higher risk businesses to protect your business’s clients, property, and staff when there is a higher risk of being targeted by criminal activity. That said, the increased training required to qualify guards to carry firearms and use lethal force means armed security is often much more expensive than unarmed security. So, before you spend your money, it’s important to know whether or not your business requires a higher level of security. Armed security may be justified if your business:

  • deals in high-end merchandise and has high amounts of expensive assets in its inventory
  • handles large amounts of cash, or deals with large sums of money
  • hosts or caters publicized events with large crowds
  • handles the accommodation of large amounts of people, like apartments or hotels
  • is located in an area of high crime rates
  • transports expensive assets or cash

Unarmed security is more suited to lower risk businesses that do not carry a high risk of criminal activity. In these settings, unarmed security offers excellent deterrence, and because they require far less training, they can secure your business with a much lower cost than armed security. Unarmed security might be the right choice if your business:

  • is located in a safe, low crime area
  • serves a clientele that would be deterred by armed security
  • is primarily focused on preventing trespassing and vandalism
  • requires employees to monitor video surveillance, control door access, and assist clients at a front desk

Properly assessing your business’s risk level is paramount to designing a proper security plan to address potential threats. Security guards, armed or unarmed, play an important role in helping deter criminal activity and provide a sense of security, but they are only a piece of the puzzle. If you’re ready to build a comprehensive security plan that can protect your business at any risk level, contact JS Security Consulting today to schedule your free consultation.