How to Decide Between Armed and Unarmed Guards for Your Business

If you own a business, you have likely thought about hiring guards to protect your employees and property. Although the decision may seem straightforward, have you considered whether you need armed guards or unarmed guards? Many business owners are unsure which option is right for their business. 

While it might appear that armed guards are the better choice because of the added protection they provide, that is not always the case. In fact, unarmed guards can offer many businesses more than adequate protection while still being cost effective. To aid in making this important decision, we encourage customers to consider certain factors including level of threat, current vulnerabilities, security goals and budget. 

Read on to explore these considerations in more detail. If you are still unsure whether your business needs armed guards or unarmed guards, contact the security specialists at Off Duty Officers today. Our team can help you gain a better understanding of your security needs and suggest the right solutions for you. 

Armed Guards vs. Unarmed Guards: Which Should You Choose?

No matter which option you ultimately go with, the first step is doing a complete assessment of your business and your security risks. A professional security company can assist you with this if you do not have the time, knowledge or manpower to do it on your own. A thorough assessment can indicate what level of security you require and the types of services you need to cover your vulnerabilities. 

Unarmed Guards

Unarmed guards do not carry firearms, but may possess non-lethal weapons for protection. Non-lethal weapons may include pepper spray, batons or tasers. Businesses who hire unarmed guards typically face low to medium risk and are assigned at locations such as retail establishments and residential communities. They are effective in deterring theft, vandalism and responding to suspicious behavior, among many other things. Because they do not carry a firearm and therefore do not require liability insurance, they are less intimidating than an armed guard but still provide peace of mind to employees and customers. 

Unarmed guards might be the right choice for your business if: 

  • You operate in a relatively low-risk setting such as a religious establishment, park, community center, museum, retail or grocery store.
  • You care about providing a safe but intimidation-free environment for your employees, customers and guests. 
  • You have a smaller budget but still require security protection. 
  • You would benefit from services such as access control, customer assistance, mobile patrols, escorting employees after hours and monitoring for suspicious behavior and vehicles. 

Armed Guards

Armed guards are authorized to carry a deadly weapon. In order to carry a firearm, they are required to have specialized training and licensure. Because of these additional certifications, armed guards are generally more expensive than unarmed guards. Armed guards are usually assigned to customers with a higher risk of threat including banks or other businesses with valuable assets as well as businesses that operate in high-crime areas. The sight of a weapon on a guard can put people on edge or give the perception that your business is unsafe. As a business owner, you must consider how an armed guard would look to your employees, visitors and the general public. 

Armed guards might be the right choice for your business if: 

  • You handle or transport large quantities of money, expensive jewelry and equipment or other valuable merchandise. 
  • You operate popular events that draw very large crowds, VIPs and media attention. 
  • You understand the added costs of licensure and training and have the budget to pay more per hour for protection. 
  • Your require increased protection because you work in a high-crime neighborhood or operate during off-hours. 

Make the Right Choice for Your Business 

Choosing the right level of security can be a challenge. By taking a good look at the security threats that your business faces, you can get a better idea of your needs. 

If you need help making the right decision for your business, call the experts at Off Duty Officers. We have been trusted for over 25 years by businesses across all industries who need the best security guard services in the nation. Our team is proud to be the leading provider of highly-trained and experienced armed and unarmed security guards in the country. Work with us by calling our office today. 

When you need security personnel who aim higher

Call Off Duty Officers, Inc. to find out how we can serve your business.

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