Use this list of services when evaluating private security companies
Although there is no shortage of companies that provide private security services, it can be tough to figure out which one is the best fit for your needs. For instance, a busy hospital will require a different approach to security than a quiet office building. Some safety services, however, are essential and useful across industries.
What types of businesses can benefit from private security services?
Most businesses with a physical location can benefit from private security services. That being said, some may be more at risk than others, either because they attract large numbers of people or because they carry valuable goods or equipment that make them an attractive target for criminals. Here are just some examples of businesses considered high-risk:
Retail centers (malls, shopping plazas)
Entertainment venues (stadiums, clubs, arenas, theaters)
Construction sites, warehouses and industrial parks
Community spaces (parks, rec centers, places of worship, museums, libraries)
Schools and university campuses
Company headquarters and office parks
Even if your business does not fit into any of the above categories, you may still benefit from some essential security measures at your location. Be on the lookout for these services when researching security providers.
5 essential private security services
A private security company should do a thorough assessment of your premises (or scout locations if you’re hiring private security for events) so they can provide you with the right services and put in preventative measures appropriate to your location. This is an important component of your overall security strategy because even if you’re assigned first-rate personnel, they may not know about the broken lock on the back door or that an employee doesn’t need to scan a badge if they’re coming in before 8 a.m. or about a million other idiosyncrasies that tend to accumulate in complex organizations. Knowing about these ahead of time can help your security team take action and prevent incidents before they happen.
Usually, a risk assessment involves a walkthrough of your premises but may also include interviews with employees, vendors or any other persons who come on-site. If you’re hiring private security for a specific event, your officers will also meet with any security personnel at the venue so they can work together.
Once your private security company completes the assessment, it will create a security strategy to implement preventive measures at your location.
Event and entertainment venues
Universities and school campuses
Large office complexes
Any organizations hosting large events
Knowing and being able to control who has access to your premises keeps intruders out and can prevent everything from an annoyance to a tragedy. A private security service should be able to control entry points to your premises and, if necessary, check for credentials. Depending on your business or event that could also include searching bags, ushering visitors and employees through metal detectors and conducting vehicle searches. If you’re hosting an event or work at a large venue, such as a stadium or a convention center, access control can also mean crowd control and enforcing perimeters around areas off-limits to visitors.
Entertainment venues and events (concerts, conventions, festivals, conferences)
Large office buildings or complexes
Government buildings and agencies
Warehouses and industrial areas
A private security guard (or guards) should be able to patrol the premises during hours of operation and, depending on your business, overnight as well. They may also provide safety escorts to employees to and from their vehicles in the early morning or after hours and may even assist visitors with directions. The mere presence of a security guard can act as a deterrent for someone with criminal intent and as a loss prevention measure. Having a security guard walking the hallways or scanning the lobby of a building can also bring peace of mind to employees and the general public, especially in high-stress environments like hospitals.
Whether or not you need an armed private security guard depends on your location and type of business. For example, high-risk businesses like gas stations and convenience stores may require greater protection measures because they’re open 24/7 and are often low-staffed, making them a prime target for robberies. If you are certain you require an armed private security guard, check that the service you’re engaging meets all the certifications and requirements for carrying weapons in your state. You should also consider what kinds of weapons a security guard should carry. De-escalation tools, like TASER energy weapons, provide protection and intervention without excessive use of force.
Construction sites and industrial facilities
University and school campuses
Venues and public spaces (museums, theaters, clubs, community centers, libraries)
Though in-person safety patrols are important, the best private security companies know that their officers can’t be in two places at the same time and will offer remote monitoring services. Remote monitoring can be conducted via security cameras at multiple locations on your site. Most modern security services use IP cameras which convert footage into digital data and come with other security detection systems, though CCTV cameras are still occasionally used.
A security team, either on your premises or in another location, can monitor the footage live and alert their on-the-ground team and your staff about any suspicious activity. Body-worn cameras on security officers’ uniforms can also be incredibly helpful in reconstructing incidents and monitoring active situations. Industry-leading body-worn cameras, such as the Axon Body 3, provide live monitoring, reduced motion blur and automatic light adjustment so the footage is always clear and can be accessed by supervisors via a live feed.
No matter how robust your prevention strategies are, sometimes an incident may take place. If that happens, your private security services team should be the first ones on the scene. When looking for providers, make sure the security guards they hire have basic first aid training. Remember that an incident doesn’t have to be overtly disruptive – an employee having a medical emergency or a part of the building experiencing a power outage still count as incidents, and your private security officers should be able to respond to these appropriately.
After an incident, your private security team should also help you liaise with law enforcement (if the incident involved criminal activity) and provide evidence management so you can securely store incident data.
If an incident involves an intruder or intervention is necessary, your security officers should be able to de-escalate the situation safely. Ask what kind of defensive training security officers working for the provider receive and if they have experience with de-escalation tools like TASER energy weapons. Private security companies that use TASER products also receive no-cost training from Axon to help them de-escalate with confidence.
Low-staffed, high-risk businesses, like convenience stores
Large events (conventions, festivals)
Axon for private security teams
Private security teams protect people and property, and they need smart, streamlined, interoperable tools to do their jobs to the best of their ability. Axon works with security teams and law enforcement partners to design solutions made for de-escalation without use of force. To learn more, reach out to the Axon team.