Armed vs. Unarmed Security Guards

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In the process of hiring security for an event or building, it’s best to consider the threat level and type of interventions you would need in the future. While armed professionals may seem like the best line of defence in any situation, it isn’t always necessary. Unarmed security may surprise you with its efficacy.

At Silbar Security, we offer both types of private security solutions for event management, properties, businesses, and more. In this post, we will explore the difference between armed vs. unarmed security and what each type is most suitable for. 

Armed Security 

Armed security is most effective in high-risk situations and environments. In many cases, simply the presence of an armed security guard with a weapon on their hip can deter people from acting violently or committing a crime. So many at-risk retail stores, establishments, event managers, and condominiums decide to enlist armed security officers for their client’s protection.

Not everyone feels comfortable having an armed guard present, so they must turn to alternative solutions. Unarmed security can be equally effective. All of Silbar Security’s personnel are highly equipped and know how to recognize threats, de-escalate aggressive situations, and subdue criminals until law enforcement arrives on the scene.

However, having armed security on-site can prevent a tragedy in situations where people’s lives may be jeopardized. It’s important to note that armed security officers do not act with aggression as the first point of escalation. Although they are licensed and know how to handle a lethal weapon, they will always choose non-lethal methods of defense and restraint first. 

Armed guards are best for companies or entities who:

  • Face a moderate to high-security risk regularly.
  • Are located in areas with a high rate of violence.
  • Hold valuables that may attract the attention of criminals.
  • Host large crowds that could lead to violent encounters. 
  • Require 24-hour security for after-hours protection, such as in a business or apartment building.

Unarmed Security 

Unarmed security provides the same level of protection for your team, event, or business without using any lethal weapons. Instead, these guards are trained to respond swiftly to all threats. They secure the situation as quickly as possible without deadly force.

Unarmed security is discreet, so it may be ideal for those who want to have guards blend into a crowd. In a commercial setting, such as a retail store or restaurant, you may not want to intimidate customers with the presence of an armed guard. In this case, you can still protect your customers by having an unarmed security member present at all times. 

For groups needing protection (i.e. staff, at-risk clients), unarmed security can accompany people to and from points, stand guard outside key areas, perform routine surveillance and conduct vehicle patrols. These guards can put you and those around you at ease while still providing the highest level of security services.

Deciding Between Armed vs. Unarmed Security 

Consider the following questions to help you determine the right solution for your needs. 

  • Do I need to protect a large number of people? Events such as festivals, concerts, and conventions with thousands of participants may face more significant threats. Organizers can benefit from armed security for rapid emergency response in a life-threatening situation.
  • Am I allowed to hire armed security? Depending on the location of your property or event, you may be prohibited from hiring armed security officers. You should check with the appropriate parties to ensure guns are allowed on the premises.
  • What are my security goals? Armed security may be the right choice if you are looking for after-hours protection or criminal deterrence.
  • Do we have valuables that need to be protected? Jewelry stores, banks, art galleries, and similar entities with high quantities of valuables may need an armed guard to stop intruders and deter potential criminals.
  • What is my threat level? In most cases, unarmed guards can provide the protection and peace of mind you need. They can also be less intimidating and more affordable than armed security. 

Let Us Help You

Whether you wish to hire a single security guard or an entire team for your event or business, we can help. See our security services page to learn more about our various offerings. 

Alternatively, please fill out this contact form to schedule a phone call with one of our experts.

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