Benefits of Having a Security Guard at a Business
by Amanda C. Kooser
Houston Chronicle | P.O. Box 4260 Houston, Texas 77210–4260
Small businesses have to deal with the reality that thefts and other crimes can occur on business premises. Some businesses, such as convenience stores, banks and retail stores, may be more of a target for criminals and petty thieves than other types, but a wide variety of businesses choose to hire security guards. Guards can be used to prevent crime, maintain security, and assist customers and employees. Business owners should assess the benefits of hiring a security guard before making the decision to bring one on board.
Sense of Security
The presence of a security guard at a business can provide peace of mind and a sense of security to the business owner, employees and customers. Employees that work in high-risk areas are more productive and easier to retain when they don&#039;t have to worry about personal safety. It also lets customers know that you are concerned about their safety and willing to take steps to insure it. This may be particularly important for businesses that deal in very high-end merchandise or are located in high-crime areas.
Simply having a security guard present is a great deterrent to crime. Thieves will think twice about targeting a business that has uniformed protection. Professional guards are trained to look for suspicious activity on the spot. They can assess a situation and react to security breaches. A guard is a greater visual deterrent than just camera surveillance or a standard security system. It sends a message to potential criminals that you are serious about the security of your business.
Security guards can also be customer service ambassadors. A guard may man a front desk or act as a sentry to control access to an area. This can mean that there is a substantial amount of interaction with customers and clients. Guards may be able to help direct people to find products and get to the right location in a business. Guard can also be available as escorts for customers and employees to get to their cars after dark. Hiring personable and capable guards lets you communicate that your business is secure and customer-oriented.
Security guards can receive varying levels of training when it comes to actively responding to a crime. Some may simply take down details and contact the police. Some may be able to detain suspects. It is up to the business to decide whether to have an armed or unarmed guard, and what procedures should be in place for handling a suspect should a crime occur. Hiring a trained and licensed guard from a reputable company can ensure that the guard behaves capably and sensibly when faced with criminal activity on business premises.
Not all security guards spend all their time on active patrol of a business property. A security professional may be employed to monitor video surveillance, check credentials, check for contraband or restrict access to an area. A security guard may have specific goals, such as watching for shoplifters, keeping an eye on the grounds after hours, and opening or closing a business for the day. These monitoring duties take a lot of security responsibility off the shoulders of the business owner and employees, and allows them to focus on their jobs.