Monthly Archives: May 2011

Corporate Security Services

Let’s face it; VIP’s are not just people who walk down a red carpet amid throngs of popping flashbulbs and screaming fans.  Today’s VIP may be the CEO of your corporation, or the keynote speaker at your next big industry convention.  Corporate security encompasses many images, from the gentleman opening up the door to the car while holding an umbrella, to the guard standing at the doorway checking badges and credentials.  Today’s face of corporate security has changed.  Many times you may not even realize that there is security present.   The person may blend in and be providing a more vigilant but subtle presence, so as not to alert or alarm others.   Because Corporate Security has so many facets to it, it can be hard to know what is available, or what to look for when comparing security companies.

Do you have a special corporate event that is in the planning stages? The best time to start looking at your security options for that event is as soon as possible.  The sooner you start, the easier it will be to match the rest of your event to the flow of the security plan that is in place for the event.  A good security plan needs time.  The more time that an agency has to create a plan, and refine it, the better overall security will be when it comes time for the event.  Let’s look at some of the questions and options that you might want to consider, when looking at once Security Company over another and comparing pricing and services.

Know What You Want
Before you start interviewing security companies, you need to know what you want.  What kinds of security will you need?  Are you going to need transportation/transfer security?  That means accompanying certain VIP’s from their destination points, (like the airport) and accompanying them to their hotels.  Will you be requiring armed or unarmed guards at the event?  Will any need to be in or out of uniform?  In some cases, like a jewelry convention, where items of great value are going to be present, like expensive works of art, it’s important that there be a visible security presence as a deterrent, but there are other places, where it’s more important that personnel blend into the background more.  Are they going to be in or out of uniform?  Most corporate events are spread out over multiple venues, some may be indoors and some outdoors, such as team building components.  There may also be after-hours events where the hotel bar is closed off to everyone but VIP’s, or a special outing is planned.  Security firms need to have the big picture, as so much of their success depends upon planning, logistics, coordination and distribution of their security personnel during the event.

Specialized Security?
Another thing to consider, are their areas of specialization.  This may have a marked influence upon their rates.  If a firm specializes in Corporate Security, they may charge more, but you will be working with a firm that does this sort of thing every day, they do it well and they have developed skill sets that may be worth what they charge.   On the other hand, a General Security company may have all sorts of security services available, but with no real specialty.  In most cases, they won’t charge as high as a black label firm would, but you are not getting the refinements of a specialty company, and they may be re-purposing general staff for your event that most of the time, are standing guard in a mall somewhere or sitting at a guards kiosk; Whether or not this is the right move for you, depends largely upon your assessment of your own risk profile.  Generally speaking, the more at risk, the further you should lean towards looking at a specialized agency.  Going in with a clear outline of your needs, and an understanding of the risks involved can help, but consulting with a security professional is always a wise choice as they may be able to provide valuable insights and suggestions to help best meet your needs.

If you need more information about corporate security services in Houston, please contact Centron Security for a free consultation.  Call Jeffery at 281-664-1297.

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Security Guard

If you’ve done your homework and researched the security companies that you have been considering, following the advice we gave in our last article: A Guide to Hiring a Security Guard Service ,  you will probably have a short list of companies that made the cut.  Performing due diligence in choosing the right security company is not easy, but it is a worthwhile step to consider for your overall peace of mind.  One important function that we have not yet discussed, that a security agency can serve, is taking care of you.  We’ve discussed how they take care of your assets and customers, but we  should also mention that a well performing security system, should make for one less worry that you have to constantly manage.  Peace of mind is an important dividend  to be enjoyed when you know you’ve made the right decision, and the job is in the hands of an agency that you feel comfortable with.

With this in mind, you have this short list of companies.   How do you decide who gets the nod and who gets the cut?  This can be tough, because at this point, there are things that you like about EACH of these candidates on your list, and depending upon how warm and friendly and accommodating these companies were, it is not uncommon to have a fleeting wish that you could “hire them all” much like you might feel when trying to choose a cute puppy (Oh you are so cute I wish I could take you all home).  The next step in the process, will help you manage that decision objectively.    It’s time to ask some pointed questions about their guards.

Your security guard is your point man (or person, as many well trained and capable guards are women) in your security plan.  They will be the one that your customers see.  It’s important that we understand as much about their job, background and training as we can, before they ever set foot on your job site.  Let’s take a look at some questions we might ask.  Depending upon specific situations, not all of these may be needed, so use your best judgment:

History - How long has the guard been with the company?  Has a background check been conducted on this individual, and if so, what kind(s)?   Was there a reference check when the guard applied to join your agency, and if so how thorough?  Is there a drug test policy in place, and if so how is it implemented and when?   Have they had other guard experiences at sites similar to yours?  If so, how long did they serve (a short assignment may indicate that there was a problem, but not always).

Dependability – What is their record of attendance over the past 6 months?  Have they ever been written up?  Have they ever been a no-show at a site?  Have there ever been any customer complaints, either formal or informal on this individual?

Training –  What training did they have to go through to become a guard?   What certifications do they possess?  If dealing with customers, have they had any documented customer service training as a part of their job?  If so, was it on-site (developed within the company) or was it off-site, (through a 3rd party that specializes in this sort of training)?  Have they ever had a formal performance evaluation, and if so, when was their last?  Does the guard have documented proof of assistance skills like CPR and emergency training?

Site Training and Supervision – Who will be training the guard for the post they will be serving at?  How does their direct supervisor manage this guard?  How often will the supervisor be visiting the guard on site?  How many guards does this supervisor manage, and how spread out is his territory? (a wide territory may mean the supervisor is stretched too thin to adequately handle all his accounts)  How long will the site training take?  What forms of documentation will be required of the guard while on duty?    What non-job related activities are the guards allowed to engage in while on-site (Watching TV, Listening to the Radio, Reading a Magazine or Newspaper)?

As you can see, there are a lot of variables that you might not have considered, and as you went through these questions, you probably began to realize just how critical the role of a security guard is.  This list is by no means exhaustive.  You may have even come up with more questions to ask.   By now, your candidate list is much shorter, and you have the answers you need to make a well informed decision.  By following these general guidelines above, you can feel much more confident about making the right decision.  There’s something to be said for peace of mind.

If your considering hiring a security guard company please contact Centron Security for a free security consultation.  please call Jeffery at 281-664-1297.

 

A Guide to Hiring a Security Guard Service

The decision to hire a security guard service is not an easy one.  You are entrusting a company to manage the security of important persons and property, and in some cases both.  There are literally thousands of private security companies out there.  Unless you are an expert in the industry, it is very easy for a company to use your own ignorance against you, in how they market their services, while deftly avoiding mentioning anything which would portray their firm in such a way as to cost them a chance at a contract.  Fortunately, you don’t have to enter the process completely blind.   This guide will give you some tools to help level the playing field a bit, so you can determine the right security company for your needs.

Create a List of Security Tasks

Before seeking the services of a security company, it helps to have a clear idea of what you need.  Will you be requiring armed or unarmed guards?  Are they going to be in or out of uniform?  Uniform cleaning and maintenance can be factors in determining the quote you are provided.  Are they going to be managing a remote site, such as a construction site in which they are protecting valuable equipment from vandalism and theft, or are they going to be the presence at a mall, where they represent your company’s “face” assuring customers that their safety and security is first priority?  It helps to create a list of tasks the guard will perform, so that the contracting agency can best match their resources to fit those needs.  Divide that list into “must have’s” and “would like to have’s”, before approaching the security company to explore your options.

How Have They Represented Themselves?

There are a number of things that you will want to understand concerning any kind of security company.  First, look at the company itself.  Are they well established?  Are you meeting them in offices which are professionally appointed, or look like some sort of temporary lease in a boiler room?  Are you making contact with them by phone?  Are they professional and friendly or high pressured and manipulative, seeming to cater only towards their needs, rather than yours?   Are the staff involved or detached, just “doing their job” when it comes to transferring your calls?  Remember, you are hiring this company to represent yours in a critical function.  How they run their business and treat their people, may be a strong indicator as to how they might treat yours.

Ask for References

Don’t be afraid to ask for references from ongoing and past clients.  Most professional firms, if they are confident with the quality of their service, should be happy to provide you with this information so that you can contact them.  Be wary of any attempts to dissuade you from looking into this direction, as they may know something that they don’t want you to find out.  The “perfect” salesman in the suit in front of you, may have a well crafted and practiced sales pitch, and know how to present his company in the perfect light, but they cannot manage what their real-life clients might say.  That said, it is reasonable to expect their cooperation if they believe in their services.

Ask Plenty of Questions

Ask them about their time in the industry, the number of employees they have and the average time an employee has worked for them.  High turnover may be a sign of poor pay or bad working conditions.  All of these may affect the overall results of your services. Inquire about their licensing and bonding/insurance, and the process to be followed, if you need to make a claim against their company.  Talk to local police about their experience with the company and their guards.  Ask about the guard training and certification process, as well as the level and frequency of supervision.  Finally, research their history of complaints by contacting the Better Business Bureau.  Using these tips, and trusting your gut, should make it easier able to find the right security guard company to suit your needs.

If you are considering the hire of a security guard service in Houston, please contact Centron Security for a complimentary consultation.  Visit their home page at: http://www.CentronSecurity.com for more information.

Houston Construction Site Security

A building site that is under construction, contrary to popular belief, offers a great opportunity for thieves especially if it is not under the close scrutiny of a construction site security detail. The popular belief stems from the appearance of most construction sites where there is a lot of rubble, dust and debris strewn about. But to the trained eye, or even to an observant vagrant, it is almost like coming upon a gold mine.

THE QUESTION: TO SECURE OR NOT?
Undertaking construction site security jobs is one that needs to be done with extreme care. Needless to say, the term ‘security’ is one that states an absolute condition. And therefore, there are only two states with respect to it: that of there being security and it’s opposite that of its absence. There is no grey area. And there is no such thing as ’99.9% secure’. A 0.1% breach of security implies that there is 0% security as anyone can take advantage of that breach to gain access to the whole construction site.
SECURITY CONCERNS
It should be noted that when mentioning construction site security, it doesn’t only cover the prevention of property theft. There are many ways that a construction site can be attacked. For example, defacing property, vandalism of machinery and ruining the constructed edifices are some of the other ways harm can be done to a construction site – the limit is actually up to the creativity of the trespasser.
SECURITY SOLUTIONS
There are many security solutions that need to be put in place to prevent them. A construction company now has to make the decision on whether or not to hire a company or take care of its own security internally. As a business it would make good sense if the company chose to outsource the job. This would help it to concentrate on what it does best: construction. This would leave everything to the security company. This enable the security company to do what it does best: security. There are companies that offer construction site security across the board or a security packet that is designed to meet the specific requirements of a client or the construction site.
CONTACT CENTRON SECURITY
If you happen to have a construction site in Houston, TX you can ensure that all your security requirements are met by hiring the best known businesses in the construction site security industry – Centron Security.