How Many and What Type of Security Guards Should I Use

Taking the time to thoroughly evaluate your company’s unique security needs lays the groundwork to hire the right security provider and obtain optimal services tailored to your risks and facilities. Carefully auditing vulnerabilities, access points, peak activity schedules, traffic flows, past incident trends, budget constraints, insurance requirements, guard qualifications, corporate culture, and existing security gaps enables you to provide prospective firms with the necessary details to craft proposals suiting your specific risk profile.

Communicating insights gathered through meticulous analysis allows companies to recommend properly trained and licensed guards, suggest appropriate patrol routes, staff during busy times, advise security improvements, and offer services scaled to resources and risks without overspending. Essentially, understanding then conveying your particular weaknesses, regulations, risks, credentials, budgets, and structural layouts is key to procuring customized solutions from reputable firms that address identified needs at sensible costs. The diligent preparation work you conduct ahead of time results in ideal security partners.

Identifying Vulnerabilities 

Property managers should conduct thorough risk assessments of their locations to identify vulnerabilities requiring security coverage. Walk the grounds during high and low traffic times to map out busy entry points, lightly traversed areas prone to criminal activity, and completely unmonitored zones leaving properties susceptible. Document places where better lighting or surveillance could deter threats. 

Note queues at vehicle checkpoints and popular gathering areas like pools needing posted guards. Track delivery schedules and events that may necessitate flexible staffing. Evaluate access procedures from resumes like guest screening and unauthorized entry attempts. Assess previous incident reports for vulnerabilities and trends. Identifying risk areas dependent on traffic flow, natural surveillance, past problems, and access control is key for property managers to gain insights on staffing levels, patrol routes, and security equipment needed to properly safeguard premises, residents, personnel, and assets.

Things to make note of before forming security request for proposal:

  • Site layout – access points, patrol routes, vulnerabilities
  • Hours of operation – high/low traffic times
  • Previous incident history – trends, problem areas
  • Entry/exit procedures – authorization protocols
  • Staffing requirements – guards needed 24/7 or certain hours
  • Equipment needs – radios, flashlights, vehicles, first aid
  • Licensing and training requirements – unarmed vs armed guards
  • Insurance requirements – liability coverage, workers comp
  • Budget – hourly rates, monthly costs, equipment expenses
  • Special events – schedules requiring increased staffing
  • Resident reception – how to integrate guards smoothly

Recommended Guard Ratio

Industry guidelines recommend an absolute minimum of 1 armed guard per 50-70 people, 1 unarmed guard per 15-30 people, and 1 off-duty police officer per 75-100 people. These ratios help ensure adequate coverage for events or facilities based on attendance and risk levels. More guards may be warranted for higher threat activities or sites handling valuables. The ratios serve as a useful starting point when budgeting and planning appropriate staffing that provides sufficient monitoring without excess personnel expenses.

Budgeting for Security Services

When budgeting for security, property managers must weigh expenses of staffing including wages and benefits for hourly guards or salaried supervisors, licensing/training, uniforms, equipment like radios and vehicles, insurance costs, and fees for services like alarm monitoring and risk assessments. The budget balances optimal coverage against assessed risks and vulnerabilities while working within operational overhead limitations. Savings from regular versus peak demand staffing, automated systems, and diligent vendor selection can help control expenses. Maintaining adequate security funding ensures properties, assets, and people are properly protected.

Security Services Based On Company Size

Security needs to scale with company growth. Small businesses may simply need a few unarmed guards for access control and patrols plus alarm systems. Medium-sized companies would benefit from round the clock surveillance monitoring, credentialing systems, more comprehensive patrol coverage, and emergency response protocols. Large enterprises often require layered security such as perimeter fencing, increased surveillance with analytic software, extensive access restrictions, augmented guards and patrols, K9 units, emergency contingencies, and security management oversight. Budgets support more robust solutions for larger firms with more people, assets, data, and facilities at risk. But even smaller entities need solutions matching their size and risks like limited patrols, alarm response, and selective access restrictions.

Security Services Based On Industry

Security needs vary significantly based on a client’s industry and risks. For instance, manufacturers and warehouses often request robust perimeter access controls, supply chain/inventory management oversight, anti-theft measures, and surveillance systems to deter theft and vandalism in their facilities. 

Meanwhile, event organizers may need staffed guest check-in, crowd control, securing valuables backstage, and escorting VIPs – requiring flexible staffing models. Gated residential communities want access management at vehicle checkpoints, roaming patrols, rapid alarm response, and screening visitors to maintain safety standards for homeowners. Tailored solutions focus on mitigating vulnerabilities unique to each industry like supply chain integrity, liability at events, or preserving residents’ peace of mind through access protocols and community engagement.

Things to Consider When Evaluating Your Security Needs

Identify vulnerabilities, risks, and areas requiring coverage so you can communicate these details to prospective security firms. This enables security companies to tailor proposals specifically to your property’s needs. Understanding your access points, peak traffic times, past incidents, and budget constraints helps determine the appropriate security services and adequate staffing levels you should request.

  1. Conduct risk assessment of vulnerabilities and past incidents
  2. Identify all access points requiring monitoring
  3. Evaluate traffic patterns and peak activity times
  4. Determine coverage needed for size of property
  5. Assess budget constraints and cost for various services
  6. Factor in any regulatory or insurance requirements
  7. Consider layering technology like cameras with guard patrols

Thoroughly evaluating vulnerabilities, access needs, traffic flows, past incidents, and budget constraints enables prudent decisions when hiring security. Communicating details identified through careful risk analysis allows companies to customize proposals suiting your specific property. Research helps set realistic requirements for staffing levels, equipment, licensing, training, and overall costs. 

However, partnering with an experienced security firm lends additional expertise pinpointing risks and appropriate solutions. A balanced approach conducts due diligence assessing needs while also utilizing a provider’s insights. Matching services to well-researched requirements results in right-sized security plans adhering to regulations and insurance requirements without over or under investing.