The presence of security guards at a business can help customers and employees alike, feel safe and protected throughout the day, while sending a clear message to any potential intruders, burglars or trespassers, that all criminal acts will be spotted, stopped and acted upon swiftly.

If you haven’t yet hired a security service to help protect your business, perhaps now is the time to give it the best protection possible. But, should you hire armed or unarmed guards?

Read on to determine which type of security guard would offer the most appropriate level of protection for your business:

What is the level of risk?

Some businesses are typically more at risk of physical security threats than others, and your business might benefit from armed security guards if any of the following apply:

  • You have high value assets on site
  • You have large amounts of cash on site
  • You host large, publicized events
  • You deal with sensitive data or large sums of money
  • You provide accommodation for large numbers of people

Alternatively, your business may benefit from unarmed guards if any of the following apply:


  • You need to protect a school or a church
  • You need to control traffic
  • Security is needed at a recreation area, museum or gallery for example


These are considered to be low-risk businesses, and ones in which the presence of armed guards may cause consternation or unnecessary fear.


What is your budget?


Due to the level of training armed guards have undergone, and the skills they’ve developed to perform their role and handle a weapon with expertise, they will always cost more per hour to hire than unarmed guards. Not only that, but you’ll need to pay for liability insurance due to the risk of injury or death in the event that an armed security guard on your premises discharges their weapon.


That said, armed guards may be worth the additional cost if you’ve got more to protect and are at a higher risk of crime than some other businesses.


Unarmed guards will cost you less per hour as while they do undergo training to carry out their role effectively, it isn’t as extensive as that of an armed guard, and you won’t need to purchase liability insurance. They are still able to provide you with a high level of protection though, and can make arrests if necessary, monitor surveillance systems and generally keep an eye on the comings and goings at your business.


If you want to keep your business safe but your budget won’t quite stretch to armed guards, then these would be the next best thing.

Whether you opt for armed or unarmed guards, having a security service presence at your business is always going to give you the peace of mind that you, your employees and your customers deserve.

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