This is the header image for the BPS Security article titled, “Common Mistakes Companies Make With In-House Security”.

Common Mistakes Companies Make With In-House Security

Regardless of the industry, companies will always have needs that can either be filled with full-time employees or contract workers. For example, an insurance firm may hire full-time agents but contract out all their graphic design needs instead of hiring an in-house designer. Which brings us to a common question, “Is it better to hire security guards through a security firm (contract employee) or hire an in-house security team?” There are always going to be pros and cons with each option, but in short, working with a GREAT security firm is best, as it is literally their profession. However, bad, lazy, complacent, and corrupt security firms far exceed the number of good ones. So, if you cannot get a great security firm due to location, below we have listed some of the common mistakes companies make with in-house security.

The Common Mistakes Companies Make With In-House Security

Lack of Proper State Licensing/Registration

When creating an in-house security team, the company must apply for the appropriate state license to have security guards. Using Texas as an example, the Department of Public Safety states, “The security department of a private business may not employ security officers unless the security department provides notice to the Department of Public Safety of the security department’s intent to employ security officers.”

Oftentimes, companies are unaware of this requirement, and therefore never do it! (Realistically, do you think all night clubs with a bouncer that sometimes acts as a security guard have filed their state licensing? No!) Whereas some companies simply think that filing this paperwork is a waste of time. Regardless of the excuse, when an incident (big or small) unfolds, these companies get slapped with a major fine, and sometimes jail-time.

Forgetting to Check if their Guards Have Proper Licensing/Registration

This is an image of a piece of paper with the title “Exclusive License” with a stamped “Approved” marking, and the actual stamp laying at the top of the paper. This image is used in the BPS Security article titled, “Common Mistakes Companies Make With In-House Security”.

In addition to the company’s registration/licensing, the guards need their own license, too. (The exact license can differ depending on the city, county, and state where the guard is working).

Oftentimes, companies don’t actually check to see if the guard’s licensing and registration is current! (Not to keep throwing bars/nightclubs under the bus, but when their bouncers have to step in as a security guard, they are doing so without training or licensing!) Yet again, this can cause huge fines and potential jail-time.

Not Maintaining Proper Records for Security State Audits

Regardless of the industry, every single security guard must complete a shift report at the end of every shift! The shift report should include information regarding their safety checks/rounds, whether or not anything unusual was seen or heard, and if any kind of incident unfolded on the property. When documenting incidents, any possible information that can be documented, needs to be! (Who was involved, what happened, time of day, location, resolution, etc).

Not only is this information helpful for managers (to help solve problems) and potential lawsuits/claims, it is also required by the state! And, the state will randomly choose companies to audit! When a company has poor or nonexistent records, they can get in serious trouble.

Refusing to Mandate, Offer, or encourage Ongoing Training

There are constantly changing rules and regulations along with technology. Security guards should absolutely have ongoing training, and frankly, it shouldn’t be something the guard should have to pay for themselves!

This is definitely a major mistake companies make when they have their own, in-house security! Ongoing training is often viewed as “another cost” or “something to consider next year”. However, the cost of not keeping a security team’s skills sharp can be fatal.

Security Insurance | Or Lack Thereof

All companies that have security guards should have security insurance going beyond basic workers compensation (which is legally required). Security Insurance (also referred to as “umbrella insurance”) can help cover the company in major lawsuits and/or claims.

This is an image of a business man, dressed in a suit and tie, turning on the “insurance” function (similar to what you would do when activating an app on a cell phone). This image is used in the BPS Security article titled, “Common Mistakes Companies Make With In-House Security”.

Now, oftentimes companies think, “Nothing ever happens here! Why would I need the insurance?” Security is complicated, and one slight misstep (which may seem harmless) can lead to a multi-million dollar lawsuit.

When companies with in-house security do not have security insurance and find themselves in a lawsuit, it often bankrupts the company!

Not Consulting with an Independent Security Consulting Firm

For any company that wants to hire their own, in-house security, they should do themselves a favor and consult with an independent security consulting firm! This type of firm is different from a security firm! Security consulting firms do one thing, consult — helping companies make the best decisions, and keep up to date with any new laws.

Poor Planning for Days Off / Vacation Days

It is impossible for one guard to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! Unfortunately, companies tend to forget this. Sure, they might hire two guards to cover a full week, but what happens if one gets sick, or needs to use vacation days? Running a security team on a skeleton crew is a major mistake!

Not Considering Costs

Payroll is just a small piece of the pie when it comes to the cost of running a security team. A security team also needs proper equipment, uniforms, licensing, insurance, ongoing training, support, etc. Oftentimes, companies do not consider all of the costs required to properly run a security team. Therefore, they end up either cutting corners, or negatively affect their cash flow by trying to pay for everything.

Final Thoughts

Again, there are pros and cons to contracting a security firm versus hiring an in-house security team to fill security needs. That said, if your company is leaning towards their own security team, please consider the common mistakes companies make with in-house security!
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