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  • Writer's pictureMaddie Cohen

Armed vs. Unarmed Security: Which Route Should You Take?

So you’ve decided to amp up your business security and hire a team of guards.

Congratulations. This is great news, and a major step in reducing your risk of crime.

All you need to do now is decide between armed and unarmed security. This post will help you do exactly that.

The Difference Between Armed and Unarmed Security

The difference between armed and unarmed security is simple: Unarmed guards do not carry firearms. They may, however, work with non-lethal weapons such as mace, batons, and tasers.

These guards are usually hired for positions where the risk of a major security threat is relatively low. Roles may include video surveillance and retail monitoring, along with jobs in academic institutions, parking lots, and museums.

Armed security, meanwhile, carry lethal weapons. These guards undergo intensive training in order to mitigate high-risk situations and deal with the responsibility of using a firearm. Banks, hospitals, and courthouses are more likely to employ armed security guards than their lower-risk counterparts.

Evaluate Your Business Risk

We broke down the key differences between armed and unarmed security. But which solution is right for your needs?

To make a well-thought-out decision, you’ll want to assess your overall business risk.

If, for instance, your business isn’t likely to fall victim to potentially violent crime, unarmed security should suffice. Unarmed guards are more effective than surveillance equipment alone, and in lower-risk environments, they’ll almost certainly be enough to prevent vandalism, theft, and other misdemeanors.

The truth is that unarmed security guards offer adequate protection in most cases. There are, however, some exceptions to the rule. Armed officers serve as more of a deterrent to violent crime, and they generally command greater authority.

Armed vs. Unarmed Security: Making the Right Decision

So, should you commission armed or unarmed security for your business?

It ultimately depends on your needs and budget, and on the level of risk you face each day. Unarmed guards are usually less expensive to hire. Additionally, they don’t need as much training, and they don’t require liability insurance. Yet they can still offer protection, monitor surveillance footage, and keep an eye on things.

Unarmed security can also improve your customer experience by escorting the public to their vehicles after dark, offering directions as needed, and overseeing access to restricted areas. Some even greet customers at the front door or desk of the business.

Of course, your decision ultimately depends on your security goals. After considering your business type and location, along with your objectives and budget, you should be well on your way to deciding between armed and unarmed security.

Have questions about hiring security officers—including whether to take on armed or unarmed guards? Our team has you covered. Please contact us for more information on what Umbrella Security Services can do for your business.

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