Unarmed vs Armed Security Guards: Job Descriptions

July 28, 2021
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Community Action Security

Unarmed vs Armed Security Guards

Every business and property owner will need to formulate a security plan to ensure the protection of their staff, guests, and assets. Depending on the needs of the business, they may eventually have to decide between unarmed vs armed guards.

The methods they use to enforce security will differ, and this will impact your business’s image, security, and bottom line. The differences between the advantages of both and how they blend into your company’s brand can help you decide which form of guard is best for you.

The Difference Between Unarmed vs Armed Guards

The primary goal of any security guard is to deter illicit behavior, and both unarmed and armed security guard duties lie in observing and reporting criminal activity to local law enforcement. Even if a facility, mall, or museum has employed armed security guards, they would only intervene with lethal force as a last resort.

The main difference between unarmed vs armed guards is the weapons they carry on their person.

Unarmed Security Guard

An unarmed security guard will not carry a weapon that is designed to administer lethal force. However, they can be armed with security guard weapons that can debilitate a criminal.

What weapons do security guards carry?

In some instances, guards may carry non-lethal weapons like:

  • Batons
  • Pepper Sprays
  • Tasers

Businesses where the actual threat to property, staff, and visitors is minimal will frequently hire unarmed guards as they still provide an authority figure and can deter unwanted activity.

Armed Security Guards

Armed security guards are typically equipped with a pistol. However, to fulfill the criteria of the armed security job description, they must undergo extensive training in order to be ready for the responsibilities of their roles.

Businesses with a higher threat risk, such as banks, large hospitals, technical companies, or courthouses, will generally employ security who guard with guns.

Determine Business Risk

Before you can decide between unarmed vs armed guards, you must evaluate your security needs. While every business will have some level of threat, there are circumstances where it makes better sense to employ an unarmed security guard.

Armed Guards

If your facility carries a high risk of criminal targeting, armed guards may be an appropriate choice. They can act as a deterrent as well as respond actively when necessary. Through extensive training, the guard can decide the best method to diffuse a crisis, keeping protection and mitigating potential business disturbances in mind at all times.

You may not need armed guards at all times. For example, you may find that your customers are more comfortable with an unarmed guard during business hours and employ armed guards during the evening.

Unarmed Guards

The primary responsibility of an unarmed security guard is to observe and protect the property or persons. To conduct these duties, unarmed guards will need to perform surveillance, patrolling, and monitoring security systems.

Consider Your Brand Image

One of the significant considerations that need to be weighed is how hiring unarmed vs armed guards can impact your brand image.

Armed Guards

When armed guards are present in areas where a lot of money is stored or expensive luxury goods are being sold, most people feel safer. However, customers in these environments are typically aware that criminal activity can occur, and they can become a target if no safeguards are in place.

Unarmed Guards

Conversely, armed security guards may make customers feel worried or uncomfortable in a variety of circumstances. There are even customers who will feel unsafe if any weapon is present in their vicinity. To help mitigate these fears while still instilling a sense of protection, an unarmed security guard is the best solution.

Cost Considerations

When it comes to hiring a security guard, many factors influence the cost. Armed security guards are generally more costly to employ for a variety of reasons.

Armed Guards

Since they are equipped with a deadly weapon, armed security guards must undergo rigorous training and skill development to be eligible for their role. Due to these stricter requirements, they will usually be more expensive per hour than unarmed guards.

Business owners will also need to account for the increase in liability insurance because there’s a chance of injury or death if the weapon is used.

Unarmed Guards

Since unarmed security guards need less training and don’t need increased liability insurance, they are less expensive to hire.

They can protect your company, make citizen arrests if necessary, track surveillance systems, and keep an eye on general activities. They can also provide a host of customer service tasks such as giving directions or escorting customers to their vehicle after dark.

Many businesses find that hiring unarmed security guards offers more advantages outside of cost than hiring armed security guards.

How to Find the Best Security Solution for Your Business

Choosing between unarmed vs armed guards should be based on the level of threat that your business will typically face. 

At Community Action Security, we understand that you want to protect your property and those on the premises. To ensure your peace of mind, we offer a suite of security guard services and solutions.

Contact us for a security guard consultation and receive a free quote today.

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