Ever face a situation where your normal security force won’t cut it?
Whether it’s a planned event like a trade show, the sudden appearance of protesters, or the aftermath of a stressful incident like workplace violence, there are times when your building would be better protected by additional security officers.
Anticipating the need for extra security should be part of your emergency
preparedness plans. Regardless if you have in-house security, contract with a provider, or simply use technology, you should outline what events would require additional security and how to secure increased protection.
What Can Extra Guards Provide?
Any number of events may demand extra security (see sidebar), but the risks associated with those situations will determine the extent of your guards’ duties.
In most cases, temporary officers will simply provide additional bodies to carry out established security protocol – manage access control, conduct patrols, provide perimeter reinforcement, and be on the lookout for misconduct.
The visibility of guards can also reassure personnel that their safety is important to your company.
“Regardless of the security threat you’re facing, adding resources can help prevent escalation,” explains Mike Coleman, vice president of commercial real estate for AlliedBarton, a security services provider. “The mere presence of a security officer provides a sense of the building and its occupants being safe and secure.”
How Do I Change an Existing Contract?
If you already work with a security company, review the terms of your Scope of Work and ensure that it provides wiggle room for last-minute guard requests.
“Build into the contract a stipulation that the contractor will provide a number of unscheduled guards within a certain time for unplanned events and be able to provide scheduled guards for planned events,” advises Glen Kitteringham, president of Kitteringham Security Group, a consulting firm.
If you have enough advance notice, you can also have a secondary contract drawn up for the specific event.
How Do I Work with a Security Provider?
If you don’t normally contract with a provider, you shouldn’t be making cold calls when push comes to shove, says Kitteringham. Without an established relationship, you could waste valuable time or come up empty-handed.
“You don’t want to be scrambling at the last minute because you don’t have a contract in place, legal has to approve the agreement, or you need to negotiate a price,” Coleman cautions. “Have a provider on file and obtain an advance agreement that addresses pricing and contract language.”
Vet security providers as you would any other business, recommends Kitteringham. Make sure they have a proven track record, appropriate liability measures in place, and an adequate pool of guards.
“If you don’t want to sign an agreement in advance, have a letter of intent on file and establish situations when you would likely need temporary guards,” recommends Coleman.
How Much Will Additional Protection Cost?
Pricing for increased security is highly variable. The cost depends on how many additional guards you need and for what duration. If you’re an infrequent or new customer, pricing will also differ from properties with routine contracts.
Discuss what type of equipment the guards should have, Coleman advises. Special items like radio communication, vehicle support, or foul weather gear can impact the total cost.
Regardless of how much the package costs, remediating potential loss is always a worthwhile investment.
“The cost of adding extra protection pales in comparison when you consider how quickly the cost of an event can snowball,” says Coleman. “How can you put a price on avoiding insurance claims, physical damage to the building, lawsuits, loss of occupant confidence, or a tarnished
Jennie Morton email@example.com is associate editor of BUILDINGS.