An armed guard can help reduce liability but there is more to consider-- picture of a holstered weapon on a guard's hip

Will hiring a security officer reduce my liability?

On-site security officers and reducing liability

The short answer is: not entirely. A security officer only addresses one aspect of your legal liability. To reduce liability you need to take all of your unique security concerns into account. While a security officer can be a good way to address some concerns, knowing the advantages (and limitations!) can help you make sure you’re taking the best precautions to reduce your liability. This article examines how hiring security guards affect your liability. That way you can begin to identify and address your unique security concerns.

An Unarmed Guard In A High-Violence Area

Ensuring your guard is fully equipped and trained is key to reducing liability.

For example, let’s say your company wants to hire an unarmed security officer for a location. This location has notoriously high gunfire or perhaps there was a shooting incident last week. If you do not hire a sufficiently trained and equipped officer, you may be putting your company at risk. In the case of an incident, the courts could find your company liable. They may state that you should have known that an unarmed guard would not be a match in a gunfight. Then the courts may draw the conclusion that your company failed to provide minimum viable security. That makes your company liable for negligent security.

The core of the challenge is this: if you (or your company) decide to use an under-equipped or under-trained security officer in a situation that you know may be dangerous then you (or your company) will be responsible for knowingly endangering both the location and security personnel.

This is one example where hiring a security officer may increase liability for you or your company.


Not Hiring A Security Officer In A High-Violence Area

Let’s say you do not hire a security officer. Instead, you choose to rely on cameras. Unfortunately, you may still be exposing yourself to unnecessary risk. In case of an incident, your company could be sued for negligent security. The courts may conclude that you were fully aware of the risks and failed to take enough protective precautions. This makes you (or your company) liable for negligent security.

Hiring a security guard clearly requires a deep assessment of your unique security factors. That’s why we recommend creating a plan. It helps you identify the possible scenarios and ensures that you know what steps will address your unique security concerns. That’s how we truly reduce liability.


Finding The Plan To Reduce Your Liability

Building your plan is a great way to identify your unique security concerns. That way you know what steps to take in order to reduce liability.

This works because it forces you to seriously consider your company’s situation and identify the potential loopholes that increase your risk. To get started, we recommend answering these questions.

What Assets Need To Be Protected?

Simply put: is there anything that is high value or in a high-risk area where you need to take extra precautions to avoid loss.


Who Might Target The Assets?

Different kinds of assets draw different types of incidents. For example, a very different sort of thief would go after spools of copper vs data.


How Often Does Anything Happen In The Surrounding Area? (Or To These Kinds Of Assets In General)?

Consider how recently (or often) incidents happen in the surrounding area. Looking up police incident reports in your area can be enlightening.


What Are The Consequences Of Failure?

This question helps you put some perspective around your unique security concerns. Considering the realistic repercussions makes it easier to identify the steps you need to take to reduce liability.


Take The Next Step

It’s important to quickly take the steps to address each unique security concern you’ve identified. But, knowing what those steps are can feel overwhelming. We are here to help.

With years of experience and cutting edge technical solutions, it’s easy to say that we know security. But, we also know people. We know it finding the right fit for your unique security concerns is more than checking a box, it’s addressing the core of the concerns.

While it’s impossible to reduce liability in all scenarios, we strive to work with our clients to find the solution that works best for their situation.

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