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Re-Writing Security Industry Standards

How bps Security is Re-Writing Security Industry Standards

Many companies hire security firms based on the premise that all firms are the same and any security guard will provide the same level of deterrent and protection. 

Unfortunately, as we’ve seen too many times, situations unfold that the guard is unprepared and these companies find themselves in unfortunate situations and labeled as “high risk” or “un-insurable.” These are often the fallout of multi-million dollar lawsuits that cause any security firm to shy away from working with that client in the future. 

How does this happen? In short, lack of industry standards.

There is an increasing amount of misinformation about the security industry. Unfortunately, that misinformation is often perpetuated by lying, money-hungry security firms. Why? Well, security firms prey on businesses that view hiring security as just another “to-do” item that needs to be checked off. As a result, the firms will not spend time educating their potential client and instead keep dropping their prices until they sign a new client. This results in hiring security guards at rock bottom prices, and ends with a security guard who is not motivated or interested in performing their best to keep the job. 

If you’ve found yourself in a similar situation, please understand: this is not the business’s fault! Unfortunately, this situation results in an ugly cycle of security firms providing razor thin margins on cheap labor which does not provide the firm with the bandwidth to support their guard and ensure you, the customer, receive what you pay for. The lack of standards and transparency has to stop. 

At BPS Security, we believe it’s time businesses start learning about the ins and outs in this ruthless industry so they will have the necessary information to make the best decisions! 

 

At BPS Security, we believe it’s time businesses start learning about the ins and outs in this ruthless industry so they will have the necessary information to make the best decisions! 

To Raise Security Industry Standards

Truth be told, there are many issues that deserve addressing (we often address these issues in our articles), so we will cover three common issues.
Pricing and Lack of Transparency
Lack of Education
Poor Training and Lax Hiring Policies

Pricing and Lack of Transparency

Often, businesses will call us, explain that they need security, and then ask, “So what is the price!?” Now, we understand the need to work within a budget (we are a business too), but let us put this into perspective for you! It is completely appropriate to shop around for the best price on a catering company for an office meeting. It’s even fine to let price be a factor when considering security firms. However, it’s rarely a good idea to let it be the final determinant. In a similar fashion to how we do NOT hire average accountants simply because they charge less, because we don’t want to pay MORE in taxes than we have to, or have the IRS knock down our door.
It is critical to understand that a security firm, whether they are providing on-site security guards, or security surveillance, has one responsibility — to protect the company that contracts them! Seems pretty straight forward, right? It is not! Any time a security guard puts on their uniform, they are willingly putting their own life in danger. Sure! That is what they sign up for… but do you think they are going to go “all in” when they are earning minimum wage? NO! They could get paid minimum wage (or more) stocking shelves at a grocery store! So keep that in mind when “bargain shopping” security firms! But there’s more. Sometimes a business will receive two quotes from two different security firms, and they are identical! But do not be fooled by the price tag, because a dollar amount does not tell you how much a security guard is actually getting paid. So the business may be paying $45/hour but the guard could only be seeing $13/hour (~$27,000 a year, before taxes, to put their life on the line). This is one place where BPS differs/ Not only do we always pay our guards a livable wage, we are also completely transparent with our clients! So, they know where every single dollar they spend with us is going. See, we believe that when a guard feels valued, they work harder! So not only are we paying them a living wage, but we are also providing benefits!

Side Note: We have extremely high standards for all of our employees. But in turn, we respect them. As an employer, we feel that it is our job to make them feel valued, and this does not stop with us. We will always involve our clients when choosing a long-term guard for a particular location. Why? Because it is important that the guard fits in with our clients company culture. When they are shown respect, they are proud of their job, and as a result, they go above and beyond.

Lack of Education

There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to security! And oftentimes companies come to us thinking they know what they need, and are either requesting too much or not enough!

Here’s the thing, when it comes to lawsuits involving violence on a company’s property, liability will fall on the company/person that made the worst “you should have known better” decision. Here is an example comparing two possible locations for the same company:

There is a company wanting to beef up their security, and they think that a top-tier surveillance system will do the job. Thus, they refuse to hire an onsite security guard.

  • Scenario 1 — This Company is located in a notoriously dangerous area with high crime rates. If a robbery/shooting unfolds on their property and this incident goes to court, the business could be at fault for refusing proper security. Why? Because they know they are in a dangerous area, and surveillance is not enough.
  • Scenario 1 — This Company is located in a very safe part of town with no criminal history. If a robbery/shooting unfolds on their property and this incident goes to court, the business would likely not be at fault (depending on the exact situation). Why? Because they took all necessary precautions in order to protect their company.

 

We see this happen all the time. In fact, we were recently contacted by a very high-profile bar in a major metropolitan city, in a notoriously rowdy part of town. They wanted one security guard and insisted that nothing bad has ever happened in THEIR bar. Unfortunately, that does not matter. Bars nearby often experience very problematic fights, drug use, and gang violence. So, we informed the company that they need to have more robust security onsite. (Sometimes, for us to even insure the company, based on their location, our insurance provider requires a large security force). But they refused, so we had to turn down the client. Now here is where it gets complicated. Many businesses start shopping for security thinking they know what they want/need, get bullied by a great salesman, and buy way more than they need. To make matters worse, they have no idea what it should cost for what they initially want, so they feel as though they are getting played!
Since we are changing industry standards,Here at BPS Security, we have policies in place to help arm our potential clients with knowledge.
Our pricing calculator — go into the initial conversation with an idea on price!
Security Gap Report — Where is your business vulnerable? FIND OUT before you buy security. We offer walkthrough reports that will inform you about the major holes in your security.

Poor Training often paired with Lax Hiring Policies

Let us call it as it is — security guards have a BAD reputation. They are often called “lazy”, “fake cops”, and a slew of cuss words. But this reputation did not come out of thin air, and truthfully most security firms hire guards that embody these reputations! Why? They can pay them minimum wage! (Are you starting to see a vicious circle here?!)

Sounds bad, right? It is! But it gets worse. Many of the court cases involving a security firm come down to a guard making a terrible decision. (And as we explain above, even a guard’s poor decision can still leave the business liable… not the guard or the security firm!)

Now, the reality is, even the “best security guard in the world” can make a mistake because people, by nature, are fallible. That said, when it comes to security, there are two types of people: ones that make great security guards, and ones that do not. Sure, some skills can be taught! But most cannot. You either have the personality type or you do not.

This is where many security firms make mistakes. They take on too many clients, and quickly hire any certified security guard (we cover this below), and fill the position. But, sadly, it is often easier to get a security certification than it is to get a drivers license. So, these security firms are employing never weed through the types of guards and who should or should not be a security guard, thus leaving their clients at risk.

Now let us dive into training. Each county and state will have different requirements, but on average, an individual can get a Level III Certification (which allows them to be an armed guard) with less than 40 hours of training. (Note that within that 40 hours, less than six hours are actually dedicated to firearm safety.) But here at BPS Security, we will not stand for this! We have very strict hiring policies to weed out potential threats, and require continued training. If our staff fails any part of their continued training, they are put on probation (to receive additional training), and if they do not improve, they are let go.
Sure, it may seem cut throat, but we have one primary job — to protect our clients! If we cannot do this, then we are failing. And we do not believe failing should be the status quo!

BPS Security Is Changing Security Industry Standards

Today, we are on a mission to change security industry standards! To do so, we must start by addressing misinformation, and start educating all businesses that need security! If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us!
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