Your Guide to the Most Common Types of Security Guards

Are you considering a career as a security guard? Are you a business owner who is concerned about the safety of your employees and property? No matter if you are looking to start your career in security or hire a professional security company, it is helpful to know the common types of security guards and the various options available to you. 

Security guards can work in a wide variety of industries and can possess a range of skills. In general, guards act to deter threats, detect suspicious behavior, prevent crime and report criminal incidents to the appropriate authorities. Guards have the training and experience to respond quickly and effectively in the event of a threat. They are skilled at de-escalating tense and potentially dangerous people and situations, while still employing keen customer service skills to deal with the public.  

With all of the options available within the industry, prospective security guards and businesses looking to hire a security guard company have to do their research. This guide will briefly describe the most common types of security guards and their typical duties. At Off Duty Officers, we have been providing highly skilled and experienced security guards for over 25 years. If you have questions about security guards, give our team a call to learn more about the services we offer or how to join our team. 

The Different Types of Security Guards  

Armed Guards 

Armed guards carry firearms or other weapons and require more training than an unarmed guard. They are typically hired to work in high-risk environments and in locations that house valuable assets. Because of the presence of firearms, armed guards are usually a more expensive option for business owners. 

Unarmed Guards 

Unarmed guards are effective at deterring would-be criminals and acting fast in the face of an emergency. They may only carry non-lethal weapons. Unarmed guards do not require as much training as armed guards, so many businesses owners find unarmed guards to be an effective and more affordable security solution. 

Mobile Patrol 

Compared to a stationary guard who may be posted in a specific location, mobile security guards patrol their assigned areas on foot or by vehicle. Mobile patrols are effective at monitoring for crime and detecting changes in the environment that could leave a business or property at risk. 

Residential Guards 

Residential guards can be employed by apartment complexes, gated communities, HOAs and private homeowners. The primary duty of residential security guards is to protect people and property from theft, vandalism and bodily harm. They can also manage access to properties, perform mobile patrols and coordinate with law or fire agencies in a security situation. 

Fire Watch Protection 

Sometimes required by the Fire Marshal, fire watch security is deployed in the event that a business has experienced a malfunctioning fire alarm or sprinkler system. Fire watch guards will monitor for signs of a fire, identify fire hazards, assist in evacuations and liaise with the fire department. 

Construction Security 

Construction site security professionals ensure that valuable equipment and materials are protected from theft and vandalism. They also monitor entry points to ensure that only authorized people are on site. Construction site guards are often required to work after hours. 

Corporate Event Security 

Corporate events such as shareholder meetings, product launches, trade shows and conventions employ security guards to keep people safe and secure. They can manage disruptions and unruly attendees, check identification and credentials at entrances and communicate with law enforcement during and after an incident. 

Workplace Violence Guards 

Security guards can help businesses mitigate threats during large-scale layoffs, terminations and company-wide meetings or events. Professional workplace violence security guards are trained in techniques to identify potentially violent individuals and situations, and deter threats to keep employees and customers safe. 

Retail Security 

Retail security guards are one of the most effective ways for businesses to reduce theft. The presence of a uniformed guard alone is often all that is needed to deter someone from attempting their crime. Retail security guards can also monitor for suspicious behavior, employee theft and vandalism. 

VIP and Executive Protection

Celebrities, executives and other high-profile individuals employ professional VIP security guards to protect them from overzealous fans or dangerous people who wish to do them harm. These guards are highly trained to spot potential threats and act quickly to protect their clients from harassment, violence and other crimes. 

Learn More About the Security Guards at Off Duty Officers 

This guide gives you an overview of the most common types of security guards and how they can protect their clients. However, there is much more to learn if you are considering a career in the security industry or if you are looking to hire Off Duty Officers to provide your business with professional, experienced security personnel. 

For more information, check out these two resources that you may find helpful as you begin your research:  How to Get a Security Guard Job and Is It Time to Hire Security Guards for Your Business.

The security specialists at Off Duty Officers are always available to answer your questions. If you think you need security services, call us for a quote. As a leader in security guard services nationwide, thousands of business owners have trusted their security to us. 

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