If you are standing in a company’s parking lot, is that company’s hired security supposed to protect you? Not necessarily! Ultimately, a security firm (and therefore a security guard) has a duty to protect their client (in this example, the company) exactly to the standards outlined in the security contract.
There was a lawsuit a few years back involving a person that was physically assaulted in the parking lot that was patrolled by a security officer. The victim sued the security guard (and firm) for not protecting them during the time of assault. But this person did not have a leg to stand on (at least against the security guard/firm)! The contract between the security firm and the firm’s client specifically outlined that the security company was only supposed to protect the property, and not the people on the property.
Is it okay for the security guard to just stand there?
Yes it again, it comes down to the security contract and therefore there is a very thin line between what is and is not “okay”. In the situation above, the security guard had specific instructions not to protect the people on the property. Now, can this guard notify the police at the time of assault?
- It is possible for the assault to be an act. Sometimes, criminals create a scenario to distract the security officer. If the officer helps and the company’s property gets damaged, the security guard is at fault.
- Or perhaps, the security guard does intervene and the assaulter gets injured. Then that person can sue the security officer — and likely win.
So, is it “okay” for a security guard to just stand there? It really depends on the agreements in the security contract.
Will this impact the client?
It can! For example, say a company hiring the security firm is located in a notoriously dangerous area. When the company signs the security contract, it states that the guards are to protect their property and NOT the people on their property. Now when/if a situation unfolds where a person is injured or killed on the company’s property, and the security guard does not intervene, the company could be at fault! Why? Negligence! Prior to hiring the security firm, the company is aware that the area is dangerous and therefore, people on their property need protection, too!
When hiring a security firm, READ THE SECURITY CONTRACT! Do your own research on the area! Make sure you know what you are and are not protecting and the risks involved.
Here at BPS we walk our potential clients through various scenarios. We take the time to explain what we can and cannot do based on the language written in a contract. We will also point out potential security gaps, and go over the safety of that particular area. Unlike most security companies, we take the time to educate our clients because it is more important to us that we offer the BEST security possible, even if they do not take it, then it is for us to not offer it to make an easy sale.