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Security patrols are an important part of any energy company’s security plan. They provide a visible presence that can deter potential criminals and help to quickly respond to any incidents that do occur. Security patrols typically consist of one or more security guards who regularly patrol the premises on foot or in a vehicle. They may also be equipped with two-way radios and other security equipment, such as CCTV cameras. In addition to deterring crime, security patrols can also provide a rapid response to any emergencies that do occur. By having a dedicated team of security personnel on hand, energy companies can ensure that their premises are well protected at all times.

How can security patrols help reduce crime and protect energy company property and employees?

Security patrols can help reduce crime and protect energy company property and employees in a number of ways. First, they can act as a deterrent to potential criminals, making it less likely that they will target the company’s facilities or staff. Second, security patrols can help to quickly identify and respond to any incidents that do occur, minimizing the damage and disruption caused. Finally, security patrols can provide a valuable source of intelligence, helping to identify any potential security risks and taking steps to mitigate them. In short, security patrols play a vital role in keeping energy companies safe and secure.

What are some of the benefits of using security patrols for energy companies?

Energy companies are responsible for critical infrastructure that is essential to the functioning of our society. This means that they are a target for a wide range of threats, from vandalism and theft to terrorism. To protect their assets, energy companies often use security patrols. Security patrols can provide a highly visible presence that deters potential criminals, and they can also respond quickly to any incidents that do occur. In addition, security patrols can play an important role in monitoring activities around energy facilities and providing information that can help to improve security arrangements. As a result, security patrols offer a valuable asset for energy companies in protecting their employees, equipment, and facilities.

Are there any other ways to improve security for energy companies beyond using security patrols?

Energy companies are increasingly turning to security patrols to protect their facilities from vandalism, theft, and other forms of crime. However, there are a number of other security measures that can be taken to further improve security. For example, installing high-security fences and gates can help to deter criminals from even attempting to enter a facility. Motion-activated lighting can also be used to discourage trespassers and deter crime. In addition, CCTV systems can be used to monitor activity around a facility and quickly identify any suspicious behavior. By taking a comprehensive approach to security, energy companies can greatly reduce the risk of crime and keep their employees and facilities safe.

 

Security patrols are an important part of protecting energy company property and employees. They can help reduce crime, keep employees safe, and provide peace of mind for management. The cost of security patrols can be budgeted for in organization expenses, and there are other ways to improve security beyond using them. However, the use of security patrols is one of the most effective methods of protection available and should be considered by any energy company looking to improve its security posture.

High school sports are a cherished tradition in many communities. They provide a sense of unity and pride, and give students a chance to showcase their skills and talents. However, in recent years, security at high school sporting events has become a major concern. With the increased risk of violence and mass shootings, schools have been forced to take measures to protect their students and staff. Metal detectors, bag checks, and updated security protocols have become the new norm at high school sporting events. While these measures may be disruptive, they are necessary to keep everyone safe. In addition, schools have also been working to create a more positive and inclusive environment at sporting events. This includes promoting good sportsmanship and discouraging bullying and heckling. By taking these steps, schools can ensure that high school sports remain a safe and enjoyable experience for all.

Measures are already being taken to protect attendees

Spectators and athletes alike expect a certain degree of safety when attending or participating in sporting events. In recent years, however, there have been a number of high-profile incidents of violence at sporting events, which has raised concerns about safety. To address these concerns, a number of measures have been put in place. For example, security screening is now commonplace at most major sporting venues, and metal detectors are often used to prevent weapons from being brought into the arena. In addition, CCTV cameras are often used to monitor the crowd and identify potential threats. By taking these precautions, organizers hope to create a safe environment for everyone involved.

Why you should hire security guards at your school sports event

School sports events are a great way to bring the community together and showcase student athleticism. However, they can also be a magnet for unruly behavior. Hiring security guards is one way to help ensure that your school sports event goes off without a hitch. Security guards can help to deter potential troublemakers from causing problems, and they can also provide a visible presence that can help to put attendees at ease. In addition, security guards are trained to deal with potential incidents, so you can rest assured that your event will be in good hands. Whether you’re looking to prevent theft, vandalism, or other problems, hiring security guards is a smart way to help keep your school sports event safe and enjoyable for everyone involved.

 

As we head into the final weeks of the high school sports season, it is important that we remember the importance of safety. We must come together as a community and support one another in order to create a safe environment for all. Let’s work together to make sure that our children can enjoy these events without fear of violence.

 

If you’re hosting a gun show event, it’s important to take extra security measures to ensure the safety of everyone present. Here are a few things you can do to help keep your guests safe.

Plan your event in a secure location

When hosting an event, it’s important to choose a secure location. This means choosing a venue that is safe from criminal activity and has adequate security measures in place. One way to ensure a secure location is to choose a venue that is well-lit and visible from all sides. Another way to ensure security is to choose a venue that has security staff on site at all times. Finally, be sure to choose a venue that is close to emergency services in case of any problems.

Have security personnel on site

Ensuring the safety of employees, visitors, and premises should be a top priority for any business. One of the best ways to do this is to have security personnel on site. Security guards can help to deter crime, respond to emergencies, and provide a visible presence that can make everyone feel safer. In addition, they can also provide valuable information to law enforcement in the event of a crime. By having security personnel on site, businesses can send a clear message that they are committed to safety.

Only allow authorized attendees into the event

In order to ensure the safety of all attendees, only authorized personnel should be allowed into the event. All attendees must have a valid ticket or pass in order to gain entry. Have security conduct bag checks and patdowns at the entrance. Any unauthorized items will be confiscated and attendees who do not have a valid ticket will be escorted off the premises.

Make sure all firearms are unloaded and secured with trigger locks

Firearms should always be treated with care and respect. Before handling any gun, it is important to make sure that it is unloaded and secured with a trigger lock. This will help to prevent accidental discharge and ensure that the gun cannot be used by unauthorized individuals. When storing firearms, they should be kept in a locked cabinet or safe. Ammunition should be stored separately from the gun, and both should be out of the reach of children and other unauthorized individuals.

 

By following these simple tips, you can help ensure the safety of everyone at your event. Remember, firearms are dangerous weapons and should be treated with caution at all times. If you have any questions or concerns about how to safely manage firearms at your event, please contact us for more information.

 

Planning for city security during a major event such as the Super Bowl requires careful preparation.Read on to learn what you need to do.

Assess the risks associated with hosting a major event like the Superbowl

As any city that has hosted a Super Bowl can attest, hosting such a large-scale event comes with a number of risks and challenges. Chief among them is the risk of security breaches. With such a high-profile event, there is always the threat of terrorist attacks or other forms of violence. In addition, there is the challenge of managing crowds. With tens of thousands of people descending on the city, there is a heightened risk of crime and property damage. All of these risks must be carefully considered before deciding to host a major event like the Super Bowl.

Develop a security plan that addresses those risks

Any business, no matter its size, needs to have a security plan in place to protect its employees, customers, and physical assets. There are many potential risks that need to be considered. Once these risks have been identified, steps can be taken to mitigate them. For example, security cameras can help to deter thieves and so, too, can security guards.

Train and equip your security team

A well-trained and equipped security team is essential for any business or organization. Security teams should be trained in a variety of areas, including safety procedures, emergency response, and first aid. They should also be equipped with the latest technology, including two-way radios, surveillance cameras, and body armor. By investing in training and equipment, businesses and organizations can help ensure the safety of their employees and customers.

If your city is hosting a major event like the Super Bowl and you don’t have a security team in place, you should hire one as soon as possible. Experienced security professionals can provide expertise on how best to protect your organization and ensure a safe environment for everyone involved. They can also offer advice on crowd control measures and other ways to ensure the safety of your city.

Monitor activity during the event and respond quickly to any incidents

As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This is especially true when it comes to event security. By monitoring activity during the event and responding quickly to any incidents, you can help prevent potentially dangerous situations from spiraling out of control. Of course, this requires careful planning and coordination. You’ll need to have a clear understanding of the event layout and flow, as well as the capabilities of your security team. But with proper planning and execution, you can help keep your event safe and secure.

The Superbowl is a major event that brings millions of people to the host city. While the game and the festivities are enjoyable for most, there are also risks associated with hosting such a large gathering. A comprehensive security plan is essential for mitigating those risks and ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone involved. Security teams must be properly trained and equipped to handle any incidents that may occur, and public awareness campaigns should educate residents and visitors about what to expect during the event. It is also important to monitor activity during the event and respond quickly to any incidents. Finally, after the event is over, it is necessary to evaluate your security plan and make changes for future events.

 

The holiday season is a time for celebration and making memories with family and friends. Unfortunately, it’s also a time when criminal activity is at its peak as criminals take advantage of the fact that people are out of their homes, stores and businesses and have money to spend. As an event planner or host, it’s important to take the necessary precautions to secure your event and protect yourself, your attendees and your property. Here are a few tips on how to keep your holiday event safe.

The importance of security for your holiday event

When hosting a holiday event, it’s important to take security into consideration. Depending on the size and location of your event, you may need to hire professional security guards. Even if your event is small and takes place in a private home, it’s still a good idea to have someone keeping an eye on things. This will help to deter potential thieves and also give you peace of mind knowing that your guests are safe. Security becomes even more important if you’re hosting an outdoor event. In addition to hiring security guards, you’ll need to take measures to secure the perimeter of your event space. This can include setting up barriers and posting signs to deter trespassers. By taking the necessary steps to secure your event, you can ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday season.

What to look for in a security company

There are a few key things to look for when choosing a security company. First, you’ll want to make sure that the company is licensed and insured. This will protect you in the event that something goes wrong while the security company is on your property. Second, you’ll want to ask about the training and experience of the security guards. You’ll want to make sure that they’re properly trained to handle any situation that might arise. Finally, you’ll want to ask about the company’s response time. You’ll want to make sure that they can get to your property quickly in the event of an emergency. By taking the time to research these three things, you can be sure that you’re choosing the best possible security company for your needs.

Questions to ask your security company

When hiring a security company, it is important to ask the right questions in order to ensure that you are getting the best possible service. Here are some key questions to ask:

  • What experience does the company have? Make sure to check that the company has experience providing security for businesses like yours.
  • What type of security do they offer? There are many different types of security services, so you will want to make sure that the company can provide the specific services you need.
  • How much do they charge? Be sure to get a clear understanding of the pricing structure before you sign any contracts.

Asking these questions will help you narrow down your options and find a security company that is a good fit for your business.

 

Planning a holiday event can be stressful, but ensuring the safety and security of your guests should not be. By following these tips and asking the right questions of your security company, you can rest assured that your party will go off without a hitch. Have a happy and safe holiday season!

During the holiday season, retail stores face an increased risk of theft and shoplifting. It is essential for retailers to take active steps in securing their premises and protecting both employees and customers from theft. Here’s how they can do just that.

The importance of retail security during the holidays

The holiday season is a busy time for retail stores, as shoppers scramble to find the perfect gifts for their loved ones. This increase in foot traffic can also lead to an increase in crime, as pickpockets and shoplifters take advantage of the chaos. That’s why it’s important for retail stores to step up their security during the holidays. Surveillance cameras can help to deter crime, and security guards can help to keep an eye on customers and identify potential threats. In addition, retailers should take care to secure their inventory, as items that are left out in the open are more likely to be stolen. By taking these precautions, retailers can help to create a safe and enjoyable shopping experience for all.

The different types of retail crime

Retail crime is a broad term that covers any type of criminal activity that takes place in a retail setting. Common types of retail crime include shoplifting, employee theft, organized retail crime, and credit card fraud.

Retail crime is a serious problem for businesses, and it can lead tolost revenue, higher prices for consumers, and even violence. Businesses can take steps to prevent retail crime, such as investing in security systems and training employees to be aware of suspicious activity. However, the best way to combat retail crime is through collaboration between businesses and law enforcement. By working together, we can help make our communities safer for everyone.

Use a security firm to protect your business from theft and fraud

Any business owner knows that security is essential to protecting their livelihood. Unfortunately, even the most well-run businesses can be vulnerable to theft and fraud. That’s where a security firm can help. Security firms offer a wide range of services designed to keep businesses safe, from armed guards and surveillance systems to employee background checks and in-depth security plans. By working with a security firm, you can rest assured that your business is in good hands. In addition to deterring crime, a security firm can also help you respond quickly and effectively in the event of an incident. When it comes to protecting your business, there’s no substitute for a professional security firm.

Other tips to prevent crime in your store

Every business is vulnerable to crime, but there are steps you can take to minimize the risk. Start by taking a close look at your store’s layout and design. Is there good visibility from the street? Are there security cameras in place? Are cash registers located in a central area where they can be easily monitored? These are just a few of the things you can do to deter would-be thieves. You should also make sure that your employees are properly trained in store security procedures. They should know how to handle suspicious situations and be aware of the store’s policy on addressing shoplifters. By taking these precautions, you can help create a safe environment for your customers and employees alike.

 

For more information on protecting your store with security guards, speak to a member of our team today.

Warehouse security is of the utmost importance for any business that stores goods and materials. It is essential to have a warehouse security plan in place to protect personnel and property, reduce theft, and ensure no unauthorized access.

If you’re looking to secure your warehouse, here’s everything you need to know.

What is warehouse security and why do you need it?

Warehouse security is the set of measures taken to protect the contents of a warehouse from theft, vandalism, and other risks. One of the most important aspects of warehouse security is ensuring that only authorized personnel have access to the premises. This can be done through the use of electronic access control systems, security guards, or a combination of both. Another key element of warehouse security is surveillance. Closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras can help to deter crime and assist in investigations if an incident does occur. In addition, regular security checks and patrols can help to identify potential vulnerabilities and take steps to mitigate them. By taking these measures, warehouses can help to ensure the safety of their contents and minimize the risk of loss.

How can you protect your warehouse from theft and vandalism?

Protecting your warehouse from theft and vandalism requires a multi-layered approach. First, make sure that the exterior of your facility is well-lit and free of debris or hiding places. If possible, install security cameras to deter would-be criminals and provide evidence in the event of a break-in. You should also consider security gates and alarms to further secure your property. Inside the warehouse, be sure to store valuable items in a locked room or safe, and keep track of inventory levels to quickly identify any missing items. Finally, regular security sweeps of the premises can help to identify any potential vulnerabilities. By taking these simple steps, you can help to protect your warehouse from theft and vandalism.

Why do you need a security firm to protect your warehouse?

A professional security firm can provide around-the-clock protection, deterring criminals and responding quickly in the event of an incident. In addition, a security firm can develop and implement security protocols tailored to the specific needs of your business. By working with a professional security firm, you can help keep your warehouse safe from crime.

 

Warehouse security is an important issue that should not be taken lightly. Thieves and vandals can cause a lot of damage and steal valuable merchandise, which can lead to losses for the business. If you need help protecting your warehouse, give our team a call today.

 

Celebrities need extra security for a lot of reasons. They are constantly in the public eye, and their fame can make them targets for crime or harassment. Protecting celebrities from harm is an important job that requires the use of sophisticated strategies and technology. Here’s what you need to know about celebrity security protection.

What is celebrity security protection and why do celebrities need it?

In today’s celebrity-obsessed culture, it’s not uncommon for celebrities to be followed by paparazzi and hounded by fans. As a result, many celebrities hire security guards to protect them from overzealous fans and intrusive photographers. Security guards can provide a number of services, including escorting celebrities to and from events, deflecting unwanted attention, and even acting as a bodyguard in dangerous situations. While the level of protection provided by security guards can vary depending on the needs of the client, their presence is often essential for keeping celebrities safe from harm.

How much does celebrity security protection cost and what services are included in the price tag?

When it comes to celebrity security, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The level of protection that a celebrity requires depends on their profile and the specific threats that they face. However, some security experts estimate that the annual cost of protecting a celebrity can range from five to seven figures. The services that are included in this price tag can vary depending on the needs of the client, but they often include armed bodyguards, 24/7 surveillance, and secure transportation. In addition, celebrities may also need to beef up security at their homes and offices, which can further increase the overall cost. For most people, the cost of celebrity security protection is out of reach. But for those who are willing to pay, it can provide peace of mind in a sometimes dangerous world.

How can you tell if a security company is reputable or not?

There are a few key things to look for when trying to determine if a security company is reputable. First, check to see if the company is licensed and insured. This will protect you in case something goes wrong while the security guards are on duty. Second, take a look at the company’s training program. A good security company will have a comprehensive training program that covers everything from emergency procedures to conflict resolution. Third, ask around. Talk to your friends, family, and neighbors and see if they have any recommendations. Finally, do some research online. Read reviews and compare pricing before making your final decision. By following these steps, you can be sure that you’re choosing a reputable security company that will meet your needs and budget.

What are some of the most common threats to celebrities and how does their security team mitigate those risks?

In recent years, the number of threats against celebrities has increased dramatically. While some of these threats are simply cases of overzealous fans, others are much more serious, involving stalkers, paparazzi, and even kidnapping. As a result, celebrities must take measures to ensure their safety. One common tactic is to hire security guards. These guards are trained to identify and respond to potential threats, and they often work in close consultation with law enforcement. In addition, celebrities often employ other security measures, such as background checks for new employees and GPS tracking devices. By taking these precautions, celebrities can minimize the risk of becoming the victim of a violent crime.

 

When choosing a security company, it is important to do your research and find one that can meet all of your needs and preferences. The most common threats to celebrities are varied and complex, but their security team is up for the challenge. With careful planning and execution, they are able to mitigate these risks and keep their clients safe and sound.

 

Employee terminations are always a difficult process, but they can be especially challenging when you need to ensure the security of your business. If you’re not careful, sensitive information could be leaked or former employees could seek revenge. In this blog post, we will discuss the best ways to carry out employee terminations in a secure way. We’ll cover everything from preparing for the termination meeting to ensuring that all company property is returned safely. Follow these tips and you’ll be able to terminate employees with minimal risk to your business!

Compile necessary paperwork

The first step in any termination is to ensure that you have all of the necessary documentation. This includes the employee’s contract, performance reviews, and any other relevant paperwork. Once you have everything in order, it’s time to schedule a meeting with the employee. Make sure to choose a time and place where you will not be interrupted or overheard. During the meeting, be clear and concise about why the termination is taking place. It’s important to avoid getting emotional or making any personal attacks. Once you’ve explained the situation, give the employee a chance to respond. After they have had their say, it’s time to end the meeting. Thank them for their time and let them know what the next steps are.

Hire physical security

In some cases, you may need to provide security during and after the termination meeting. This is especially true if there is a risk of violence or revenge. If you’re concerned about safety, make sure to have security guards present during the meeting. You should also consider changing the locks on your doors and installing an alarm system. These measures will help to keep your business safe in the event of any retaliation. You should also take some time to update your company’s security procedures. This includes revoking access to sensitive areas, and updating your alarm system. By taking these precautions, you can help to prevent any future security breaches.

Check data security

Another important consideration is data security. Before you terminate an employee, you need to make sure that all of their passwords and access codes are disabled. You should also change any shared passwords, such as those for social media accounts or email. If the employee has access to sensitive information, you may need to hire a professional to help you secure it. By taking these steps, you can help to protect your company’s information from being leaked.

Return company property

Once the termination is complete, you need to make sure that all company property is returned. This includes laptops, phones, keys, and credit cards. You should also collect any uniforms or ID badges. If the employee refuses to return company property, you may need to take legal action. Once you have all of the company’s property, you can begin the process of moving on.

Once the termination meeting is over, it’s important to take some time to debrief with your team. Let them know what happened and why the employee was let go. This will help to prevent any rumors from spreading and ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Terminating an employee is never easy, but it is sometimes necessary. By following these tips, you can ensure that the process is carried out smoothly and securely. If you need additional physical security at your business, please reach out today for a free quote.

On-site security assessments are an important part of keeping your business safe. By performing regular security assessments, you can identify potential vulnerabilities and fix them before they turn into a real problem. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of on-site security assessments and why you should consider having one performed for your business.

1. What is an on-site security assessment and why is it important for businesses to have one done regularly?

An on-site security assessment is an examination of a business’s physical security measures. This type of assessment is important because it can help to identify potential vulnerabilities that could be exploited by criminals. By having regular on-site security assessments, businesses can ensure that their premises are as safe as possible.

There are many benefits to having an on-site security assessment performed for your business. One of the most important benefits is that it can help to deter crime. When criminals see that a business has strong physical security measures in place, they are less likely to target that business. This can help to keep your premises safe and reduce the risk of theft or vandalism.

Another benefit of on-site security assessments is that they can help to identify potential weak points in your security. If you are not aware of a weakness in your security, it can be difficult to fix it. By having an assessment done, you can be sure that your premises are as secure as possible and that any weaknesses are addressed.

2. The different types of threats that businesses face and how on-site security assessments can help protect against them

There are many different types of threats that businesses face. Some of the most common threats include burglary, vandalism, and theft. On-site security assessments can help to protect against these threats by identifying potential vulnerabilities and helping to fix them.

Burglary is one of the most common crimes that businesses face. By having an on-site security assessment, you can identify potential entry points that criminals could use to break into your premises. By addressing these vulnerabilities, you can make it more difficult for criminals to break into your business.

Vandalism is another common threat that businesses face. Vandals may target a business because they do not like the products or services that it offers. They may also target a business because they see it as an easy target. By having an on-site security assessment, you can identify potential weak points in your security that vandals could exploit. By addressing these vulnerabilities, you can make it more difficult for vandals to damage your premises.

3. How on-site security assessments are conducted and the benefits of having a professional conduct them

On-site security assessments are conducted by examining a business’s physical security measures. This includes looking at things like entry points, lighting, and alarm systems. By having a professional conduct an assessment, you can be sure that all potential vulnerabilities are identified.

One of the benefits of having a professional conduct an on-site security assessment is that they can provide you with an impartial opinion. They will not be biased towards your business and will only be looking at your security from a neutral standpoint. This means that you can trust their opinion and be sure that any weaknesses in your security are addressed.

Another benefit of having a professional conduct an on-site security assessment is that they can offer you advice on how to improve your security. They will have a wealth of knowledge and experience in the security industry and will be able to offer you suggestions on how to make your premises more secure.

 

Overall, on-site security assessments are essential for businesses. They can help to deter crime, identify potential weak points in your security, and offer you advice on how to improve your security. If you have not had an assessment conducted for your business, now is the time to do so.

If you need help finding a professional to conduct an on-site security assessment for your business, please contact us. We would be more than happy to provide you with a quote. Please get in touch today.

According to a recent study, there has been an increase in violent crimes in the United States. This is alarming news for business owners and citizens alike. The need for armed security guards has never been greater. In this blog post, we will discuss the statistics behind the rise in violent crimes, and why businesses need to take steps to protect their employees and customers.

Why violent crime is on the rise

There are a number of theories as to why violent crime is on the rise. One theory is that the economy plays a role. When times are tough, people are more likely to turn to criminal activity in order to make ends meet. Another theory is that the increase in drug use plays a role. Many experts believe that drugs and alcohol can lead to more violent behavior. Whatever the reason, the fact is that violent crime is on the rise, and businesses need to take steps to protect their employees and customers.

How armed security guards can help deter crime

Armed security guards are a valuable asset in deterring crime. Studies have shown that the presence of armed security guards can act as a deterrent to criminals. In addition, armed security guards are trained to respond quickly and efficiently to any potential threat. This is why businesses need to consider hiring armed security guards, especially in high-crime areas.

The benefits of armed security guards

There are many benefits to hiring armed security guards. In addition to deterring crime, armed security guards can also provide a sense of safety and security for employees and customers. This can go a long way in creating a positive working environment. Armed security guards can provide peace of mind for business owners, knowing that their business is protected.

What to look for in armed security guards

When hiring armed security guards, it is important to look for guards that are highly trained and experienced. The best armed security guards will have extensive experience in law enforcement or the military. They should also be licensed and insured. In addition, it is important to find an armed security guard company that is reputable and has a good track record.

The bottom line

The bottom line is that businesses need to take the threat of violent crime seriously. The statistics show that violent crime is on the rise, and businesses need to take steps to protect their employees and customers. One way to do this is by hiring armed security guards. Armed security guards can deter crime and provide a sense of safety for employees and customers. Businesses need to consider the benefits of armed security guards, and take steps to protect their businesses.

For more information on hiring armed security guards for your business and get a free quote, get in contact today.

The POTUS’ infrastructure bill is a huge win for the construction industry. This bill will invest billions of dollars into repairing and building new infrastructure projects across the country. This is great news for construction workers, who have been struggling to find jobs in recent years. The passage of this bill means that many new construction projects will be created, which will provide much-needed jobs for American workers.

What is the infrastructure bill?

The POTUS’ infrastructure bill is a bill that was recently passed by Congress. This bill will invest one trillion dollars into repairing and building new infrastructure projects across the country. This includes things like roads, bridges, tunnels, and other transportation infrastructure. The goal of this bill is to improve the nation’s infrastructure and create jobs.

The bill is huge. Of the $1.2 trillion bill, there is an estimated $550 billion devoted to new spending above baseline levels. Every part of the infrastructure is set to benefit, including transportation, energy, and even broadband. That being said, most of the spending will be focused on transportation.

What is the current state of the construction industry?

The bill has had an immediate impact. The Government has said that there are already 4,300 construction projects underway with more than $110 billion in funding. What’s more, President Biden and members of his administration have made more than 125 trips to highlight infrastructure investments.

White House senior adviser Mitch Landrieu, says these projects are laying “a foundation for tremendous growth into the future.” “I think that if Americans step back, we will all have to admit that for the last 50 years we’ve had the need to do this and we haven’t found the will or the way to get it done,” Landrieu said.

What construction projects are underway?

The list of projects underway includes the following:

  • Roads – There is $52.5 bullion in Federal Highway Apportionment for 2022. OVer $350 billion in highway programs will be invested over the next five years.
  • Highways in rural areas – There is $1.2 billion for highways in rural Appalachia for the Appalachian Development Highway System.
  • Bridges – Over $27 billion is being invested to replace, repair and rehabilitate bridges across the country
  • Local infrastructure – There is $2.9 billion invested in local infrastructure projects.

More construction means a greater need for security

As construction projects increase, so does the need for security. Construction sites are often targeted by thieves looking to steal valuable materials or equipment. This can be a major problem for construction companies, as it can lead to delays and cost increases. A good security system and team of security guards can help to deter thieves and protect your construction site.

If you are in the market for a security company to protect your construction site, be sure to reach out for a quote. We are a leading provider of security services in the United States. Our experienced security guards can help protect your construction site from theft, vandalism, and other risks. Contact us today to learn more.

As a business owner, you know that safety is of the utmost importance. You have put in place security measures to protect your employees and your property. But did you know that not all security guards are created equal? In order to ensure that you are getting the best protection possible, it is important to make sure that your security guards are state trained and certified.

Security guards are an important part of any business or organization

Security guards are responsible for deterring crime, detecting suspicious activity, and responding to emergencies. They may also be responsible for providing customer service, monitoring CCTV cameras, and writing reports. However, not all security guards are created equal. In order to ensure that you are getting the best protection possible, it is important to make sure that your security guards are state trained and certified.

Why is it important to have state-trained and certified security guards?

State-trained and certified security guards have the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively perform their duties. They have undergone background checks and are familiar with state laws and regulations. In the event of an emergency, they will know how to properly respond.

State training and certification is required for security guards in most states

While most states do not require security guards to be licensed or certified, there are some that do. States that require certification often have specific training requirements that must be met before a security guard can be certified. These requirements ensure that security guards are properly trained in the use of force, first aid, and other important topics.

In order to ensure that your security guards are properly trained and certified, be sure to ask about their training and certification status when you are hiring them. You can also check with your state’s licensing board to see if they have any requirements for security guards in your state. By taking the time to verify that your security guards are properly

There are many benefits to having state-trained and certified security guards

Some benefits of having state-trained and certified security guards include:

  • They are better prepared to handle emergencies
  • They have a deeper understanding of the law
  • They can provide expert testimony in court if necessary
  • They can help deter crime

Trust EPS for state-trained security guards

Hiring state-trained and certified security guards is the best way to ensure that your business or organization is properly protected. These guards have the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively perform their duties. In the event of an emergency, they will know how to properly respond. If you are looking for the best possible protection for your business, contact us today for a free quote.

The interconnectedness of the world’s supply chains has created new opportunities for businesses, but it has also led to a number of security risks. These risks are particularly acute in industries that are dependent on just-in-time delivery, such as retail and manufacturing. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most pressing security issues caused by supply chain disruptions. We will also offer some tips for companies that want to mitigate these risks.

Cargo theft is the biggest concern for brands and retailers

Another security rick associated with supply chain disruptions is the possibility of theft. This can occur at any point in the supply chain, from the manufacturing facility to the retail store. In some cases, thieves target high-value items, such as electronics or jewelry. In other cases, they may steal large quantities of lower-value items, such as clothing or food. Either way, theft can lead to significant losses for businesses.

Cargo theft is a particular issue when there are supply chain issues. When cargo is sitting stationary in railyards, shipping ports or distribution centers, it becomes a target for thieves. For instance, research by CargoNet showed cargo theft on the US West Coast grew by 42% year on year

In September alone, $45 million in cargo thefts was reported, according to CargoNet. Compare that to almost $68 million in thefts for the whole of 2020 and $49 million in 2019 and you can see the impact the global supply chain crisis has had on thefts.

Worse still, the rise is only expected to continue. “What we’re going to see next year is probably going to be similar to what we’re going to see this year, as far as electronics and the same type of commodities,” says CargoNet’s Keith Lewis. “I don’t see us coming out of that for a few years.”

Cyber attacks break supply chains, too

Specialized cyber-attacks that aim to infiltrate a supply chain not only cause damage and disruptions for multiple companies, but also puts them at risk of being exploited. The manufacturing process of getting a product from beginning to end includes raw materials suppliers, manufacturers, and distributors; therefore, creating many possibilities for vulnerabilities which can affect anyone downstream in that chain.

An organization’s supply chain network can be exploited by attackers from a variety of sectors. Companies in the financial industry, oil sector, and government are not immune to supply chain assault.

Attackers gain access by installing a rootkit or malware somewhere in the software vendor supply chain. They sometimes obtain credentials through remote access solutions like RDP, VPN, and others. Then they may successfully compromise the vendor’s network to tamper with firmware, software programs or their updates, or product manufacturing processes. If this happens, customer businesses might install malicious software into their most secure network segments.

How to protect your cargo

There are multiple ways to protect your cargo during supply chain issues. First take cybersecurity seriously by speaking to a cybersecurity company.

Another way to mitigate the risk of theft is to use GPS tracking devices. These devices can help you to track your cargo and to know its whereabouts at all times. This information can be used to help recover stolen cargo or to prosecute thieves.

A final way to mitigate the risk of theft is to hire security guards to protect your cargo. This is especially effective when your cargo is sitting in a railyard, shipping port or distribution center. Security guards can deter thieves and help to protect your cargo. Contact us today for more information on how we can help and to get a free quote.

If you’re looking for a security company to help protect your business, it’s important that you work with one that is fully insured. When you partner with an uninsured security company, you’re taking on a lot of risk. If something happens while they are providing security for your business, you could be held liable. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of working with a security company that is fully insured. We’ll also talk about what to look for when choosing a security provider.

What is insurance and why do security companies need it?

Insurance is a contract between a security company and an insurance provider. The insurance provider agrees to pay for any damages that occur as a result of the security company’s negligence. This protects the security company’s clients from being held liable in the event that something goes wrong.

It’s important to partner with an insured security company because it shows that they are taking responsibility for their actions. It also protects you from being held liable in the event that something goes wrong.

What happens if I partner with an uninsured security company?

Working with an uninsured security company is a risky proposition. If you partner with an uninsured security company, you could be held liable if something goes wrong. For example, if one of their employees damages your property or hurts someone while on the job, you could be sued. In some cases, you may even be held liable if the security company fails to provide adequate security and something happens as a result.

The benefits of working with an insured security company

When you partner with an insured security company, you can rest assured knowing that they are taking responsibility for their actions. This protects you from being held liable in the event that something goes wrong. It also shows that the security company is committed to providing quality service.

Other benefits include:

  • Peace of mind: You’ll know that you’re protected in the event that something goes wrong.
  • Improved security: Insured security companies are more likely to have quality control measures in place to prevent accidents from happening.
  • Financial protection: If something does go wrong, you won’t be held liable for the damages.

 

How to find a security company that is fully insured

When you’re looking for a security company, be sure to ask about their insurance coverage. You should also verify that they are indeed insured by asking to see a copy of their insurance policy.

You can also check with your local Better Business Bureau to see if the security company has any complaints against them. If they do, this is a red flag that you should avoid working with them.

The bottom line is that you should only partner with a security company that is fully insured. This protects you from being held liable in the event that something goes wrong. It also shows that the security company is committed to providing quality service. Find out more about our insurance or request a quote from a full insured security company today.

It seems like everywhere you turn these days, someone is talking about how slow the police are to respond to emergencies in Philadephia. In fact, research shows wait times have gotten 20% longer. There have even been lawsuits filed against various departments because of the slow response times. But what many people don’t realize is that there are several reasons why police times are slow. In this blog post, we will discuss some of those reasons and provide some solutions on how to improve response times.

1. Lack of officers

One of the main reasons why police times are slow is because there are simply not enough officers to respond to all of the emergencies that occur. In many cities, the police department is understaffed and overworked. This means that they are often unable to keep up with the demand for their services.

2. Staffing shortages

Another reason for slow police response times is staffing shortages. This can be due to a number of factors, such as officers taking medical leave, being on vacation, or quit the force. This often leaves the department short-handed and unable to respond to all of the calls that come in.

3. Poor communication between dispatch and officers

Another reason why police times are slow is due to poor communication between dispatch and officers. This can happen for a number of reasons, such as the dispatcher not being able to understand the officer’s radio code or the officer not being able to hear the dispatcher. This often leads to confusion and delays in getting the officers to the scene of the emergency.

4. Limited resources

Another factor that can contribute to slow police response times is limited resources. This can include things like a lack of vehicles or not enough operators being available to respond to a call. This often leaves the department stretched thin and unable to provide the level of service that is needed.

For instance, the head of Philadephia’s 911 dispatchers union has said a shortage of police officers and dispatchers has meant the prioritizing of calls, with some operators having as many as 30 calls on hold.

5. Traffic congestion

Another reason why police times are slow is traffic congestion. This can be due to a number of factors, such as construction, accidents, or simply the time of day. This often leads to delays in getting the officers to the scene of the emergency.

Hire armed security guards instead of waiting for the police

In many cases, the police are simply too slow to respond to an emergency. This can be due to a number of factors as discussed above. If you find yourself in a situation where you need immediate assistance, your best bet is to hire armed security guards.

Armed security guards can provide you with the protection you need immediately. They are trained to handle a variety of situations and will be situated on the scene when issues arise. In addition, they can provide you with the peace of mind knowing that someone is there to protect you and your property.

If you are looking for armed security guards, contact us today. We will be happy to provide you with a free quote and help you find the right guards for your needs.

If you’re looking for a security officer who is both highly skilled and well-trained, then you should consider hiring a State Trooper. State Troopers are some of the most highly-trained law enforcement officers in the country, and they have a wealth of experience dealing with security issues. They are also known for being professional and courteous, which makes them excellent ambassadors for your company or organization. In this blog post, we will discuss the many reasons why State Troopers make excellent security officers.

What is a State Trooper?

A State Trooper is a law enforcement officer who is employed by a state government. In most cases, State Troopers are responsible for patrolling state highways and providing security at state facilities. State Troopers also have the authority to make arrests and issue citations, and they often work closely with local police departments.

State Troopers undergo extensive training, and they are required to complete a rigorous training program before they can be certified as law enforcement officers. State Troopers also receive ongoing training throughout their careers, and they must maintain a high level of fitness. In addition, State Troopers are armed with firearms and have the authority to use force when necessary.

The Benefits of Hiring a State Trooper

There are many benefits to hiring a State Trooper as a security officer. Here are just a few of the reasons why State Troopers make excellent security officers.

State troopers receive extensive training

State Troopers are highly skilled and well-trained. They have undergone extensive training in law enforcement, and they have a wealth of experience dealing with security issues. State Troopers are also known for being professional and courteous. They understand the importance of customer service, and they will go above and beyond to ensure that your customers or clients are happy.

State troopers are excellent communicators

State Troopers are also excellent communicators. They know how to handle difficult situations, and they can defuse tense situations quickly. State Troopers are also excellent at working with other law enforcement officers, which is an important skill for security officers.

State Troopers are dedicated

State Troopers are highly motivated and dedicated to their jobs. They understand the importance of safety, and they will do whatever it takes to keep your property or event safe. State Troopers are also willing to work long hours, and they are not afraid of working in difficult or dangerous situations.

State Troopers have extensive firearms experience

State Troopers are also armed with firearms and have the authority to use force when necessary. They have extensive experience in using firearms, and they know how to handle them safely. State Troopers also have a great deal of experience in dealing with difficult people, and they can quickly defuse tense situations.

If you’re looking for a security officer who is highly skilled, well-trained, professional, courteous, and motivated, then you should consider hiring a State Trooper. State Troopers are some of the most highly-trained and experienced law enforcement officers in the country, and they will go above and beyond to ensure that your property or event is safe.

When planning an event, it is important to know the difference between event staff and security guards. Event staff are responsible for providing customer service and ensuring that guests have a good time. Security guards, on the other hand, are responsible for protecting guests and property from harm or theft. In this article, we will discuss the roles and responsibilities of both types of personnel, so that you can make an informed decision about which type of staff you need for your event.

What are event staff and what do they do?

Event staff are responsible for a variety of tasks, including greeting guests, directing them to their seats, answering questions, and helping with any problems that arise. They may also be responsible for providing customer service, such as handling complaints or assisting guests who need help. Event staff must be able to remain calm and professional at all times, even when dealing with difficult guests.

What are security guards and what do they do?

Security guards are responsible for the safety of guests and property. They may be stationed at entrances and exits to check for weapons or other prohibited items, or they may patrol the event area to look for signs of trouble. Security guards also monitor CCTV footage and may be called upon to give testimony in court if a crime is committed at the event.

So, what’s the difference between event staff and security guards? Event staff are there to provide customer service and make sure that guests have a good time. Security guards are there to protect guests and property from harm or theft. When deciding which type of staff you need for your event, consider the nature of the event and the level of security that you require.

Why you can’t use security guards for customer service

Security guards are there to protect your event. Asking them to multitask and take care of guests at the same time is a surefire way to weaken your event’s security. Any time their full concentration is not on your event’s security significantly increases the risk of an incident.

What’s more, while security guards are trained to deal with difficult situations, they are not trained in customer service. This means that they may not be able to handle complaints or assist guests who need help in the way that event staff can. Additionally, security guards may not be as familiar with the event layout and amenities, which can make it difficult for them to answer guests’ questions. For these reasons, it is important to have event staff on hand to provide customer service, even if you also have security guards present.

In conclusion, event staff and security guards serve two different purposes. Event staff are there to provide customer service and ensure that guests have a good time. Security guards are there to protect guests and property from harm or theft. When planning your event, be sure to consider the nature of the event and the level of security that you require in order

Philadelphia is seeing a dramatic rise in its murder rates and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. More than 120 people have been killed in Philadephia since the beginning of the year, an increase from the year before.

This has caused many people to question what is causing this spike and whether or not the police are doing enough to keep citizens safe.

How fast are murder rates rising?

There’s been a meteoric rise in the city’s murder rate since 2014. Back then, the murder rate was 249. By 2017 it had risen to 317. By 2020 it was 499 — a 40% increase from 2019. At the same time, homicide clearance rates have been falling. And 2020 was a low point with just 42% of cases solved.

What’s behind the rising murder rates

There are a number of factors that could be contributing to the rise in murder rates. One is the ongoing opioid epidemic, which has led to an increase in drug-related violence. Another is the city’s gun laws, which are some of the laxest in the country. This makes it easy for people with criminal records to get their hands on firearms, which then leads to more gun violence.

The police department is also facing budget cuts, which has led to a decrease in the number of officers on the streets. This makes it harder for them to respond to crimes and prevent them from happening in the first place.

So what can be done to stop the rise in murder rates?

It’s going to take a concerted effort from both the government and the citizens of Philadelphia to make a dent in these numbers. The first step is to address the underlying causes, such as the opioid epidemic and gun laws. Then, more resources need to be put into the police department so that they can adequately protect the city. Finally, people need to be more engaged in their communities and willing to report crime when they see it.

Why security officers are needed when murder rates rise

Hiring security officers from a company like EPS is essential when murder rates are soaring. Security officers can help to deter crime and make people feel safer in their communities. They can also provide a vital link between the police and the community, which can help to build trust and improve communication.

While security officers alone cannot solve the problem of rising murder rates, they can play an important role in making Philadelphia a safer city for everyone. If you are interested in hiring a security officer (or becoming one yourself) please contact us today. We would be happy to discuss your options and help you find the right solution for you.

Church leaders have a duty to protect their congregations from crime. This means creating a security plan that will keep everyone safe. There are many things to consider when creating a security plan, such as the layout of your church and who will be responsible for various tasks. In this blog post, we will discuss how to create a security plan for churches and provide some tips on protecting your congregation from crime.

Assess the risks to your church and congregation

The first step in creating a security plan is to assess the risks. What type of crime is most likely to occur at your church? Is your church located in a high-crime area? Are there any areas of your church that are particularly vulnerable to crime? Once you have identified the risks, you can begin to create a plan to mitigate them.

Make Security Policies

After you have assessed the risks, you need to create policies and procedures to address them. What type of security measures do you want to put in place? Do you want to install security cameras? Hire security guards? Train your congregation in self-defense? There are many options available, and the best way to choose is to consider the risks and what will be most effective in mitigating them.

Create a Budget

Once you have decided on the security measures you want to put in place, you need to create a budget. How much money do you have available to spend on security? What are the costs of the security measures you have chosen? Make sure to include both one-time and recurring costs in your budget.

Determine who will be responsible for security

Who will be responsible for implementing and enforcing the security plan? This is an important question to answer as it will help to ensure that everyone is on the same page. It is also important to consider who will have access to keys, alarm codes, and other sensitive information. You may want to create a security team that is responsible for these tasks.

Developing policies and procedures

What type of policies and procedures do you need to put in place to ensure the safety of your congregation? For example, you may want to develop a policy for who can enter the church and when. You may also want to establish procedures for what to do in the event of an emergency.

Appoint security personnel

If you have decided to hire security guards or install security cameras, you need to appoint someone to oversee these tasks. This person should be responsible for training security personnel, monitoring the security system, and responding to emergencies. Alternatively, you can hire a professional security guard service like EPS to handle these tasks for you.

Review and update your plan regularly

Your security plan should be reviewed and updated on a regular basis. As your church grows and changes, so too will the risks. Make sure to reassess the risks periodically and update your security plan accordingly.

 

By following these steps, you can create a security plan that will help to protect your congregation from crime. By taking the time to assess the risks and put policies and procedures in place, you can ensure that your church is a safe place for everyone.

Retail security is a huge issue in today’s world. With online shopping becoming more and more popular, it is more important than ever to make sure your business is safe from thieves and hackers. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most important retail security lessons you need to learn. We will also provide tips on how to keep your business safe!

Learn the most effective theft prevention methods

As a retail business owner, it is important to learn the most effective theft prevention methods. There are many different ways to prevent theft, but some methods are more effective than others. One of the most effective theft prevention methods is CCTV surveillance. CCTV cameras can deter thieves and help you catch them if they do steal from your store. Another effective theft prevention method is to use security tags on your merchandise. Security tags make it difficult for thieves to steal your merchandise and can help you track down stolen items.

Invest in a good security system

Investing in a good security system is one of the best ways to keep your business safe. A good security system will deter thieves and provide you with the tools you need to catch them if they do steal from your store. A good security system will also help you track down stolen merchandise and recover it quickly.

Building security partnerships

Building security partnerships is another important retail security lesson you need to learn. Security partnerships can help you share resources and information with other businesses in your area. These partnerships can also help you build a network of support that can help you keep your business safe.

Use perimeter surveillance

Perimeter surveillance is another important retail security lesson you need to learn. Perimeter surveillance can help you deter thieves and catch them if they try to break into your store. Perimeter surveillance can also help you track down stolen merchandise and recover it quickly.

Train your employees in security procedures

One of the best ways to keep your business safe is to train your employees in security procedures. Your employees should know how to spot a potential thief and what to do if they see one. They should also know how to use your security system and how to properly handle merchandise.

 

By following these tips, you can keep your business safe from theft and other security threats. By investing in a good security system and training your employees in security procedures, you can deter thieves and catch them

 

Construction sites can be dangerous places if proper safety precautions aren’t taken. Workers can be injured if they fall off of a scaffold or are struck by a piece of equipment. Property can also be damaged if it’s hit by a construction vehicle. In this blog post, we will discuss some tips to keep workers and property safe at a construction site.

Understand the security risks associated with construction sites.

Most construction sites are located in urban areas, which means they’re susceptible to crime. Construction sites are often targets for theft because they have valuable tools and equipment on site. In addition, construction workers may be targets for robbery or assault. It’s important to understand the security risks associated with construction sites so that you can take steps to protect workers and property.

Minimize entry points to the construction site.

One way to help protect a construction site is to minimize the number of entry points. This will make it more difficult for criminals to gain access to the site. In addition, you should post signs at all entrances that state that only authorized personnel are allowed on the property.

Install security cameras and lighting

Another way to help protect a construction site is to install security cameras and lighting. This will deter criminals from targeting the site and will also help you identify any suspicious activity that does occur.

Deter equipment theft with GPS tracking devices

Another way to protect construction equipment is to install GPS tracking devices on all of the vehicles and tools. This will help you recover any stolen property and will also help you identify the culprits.

Hire security guards

If you’re really serious about protecting a construction site, you can hire security guards. Security guards can provide an extra layer of protection and can also help deter crime.

Strengthen online security

Construction sites are often targeted by cyber criminals. This is because construction companies usually have a lot of sensitive data, such as customer information and financial records, stored on their computers. To help protect this data, you should strengthen your online security by implementing a firewall and encrypting all of your data.

Protect employees with safety training

It’s also important to protect employees by providing them with safety training. Employees should be trained on how to safely operate all of the equipment on site. They should also be aware of potential hazards and how to avoid them.

React fast when a breach occurs

Even if you take all of the necessary precautions, there’s always a chance that a construction site will be targeted by criminals. That’s why it’s important to have a plan in place for how to react if a breach does occur. The first step is to call the police. You should also have a list of all of the employees and contractors who were working on the site so that you can contact them and let them know what happened.

By following these tips, you can help protect a construction site and the workers and property on it. Construction sites can be dangerous places, but if you take the proper precautions, you can help keep everyone safe.

Camera systems are a staple in security operations, whether it be for monitoring public areas or tracking the movement of individuals. While they are effective on their own, they can be enhanced through the use of LiDAR technology. In this blog post, we will discuss how LiDAR augments camera systems and improves security operations.

What is LiDAR?

LiDAR is short for Light Detection and Ranging, and it is a remote sensing technology that uses laser light to map out an environment. LiDAR systems can be used to create three-dimensional (03D) models of an area, which can then be used to augment camera footage. When used in conjunction with camera systems, LiDAR can provide a more complete picture of an area and improve security operations.

What are the advantages of Lidar in security systems?

There are several advantages of using LiDAR in security systems. First, LiDAR can provide a more complete picture of an area than camera systems alone. This is due to the fact that LiDAR can penetrate through fog, smoke, and other obscurants that may block cameras. Additionally, LiDAR can see in the dark, which enhances the capabilities of camera systems.

Another advantage of LiDAR is that it can provide more accurate tracking of individuals and objects. This is due to the fact that LiDAR can create a three-dimensional map of an area, which allows for better tracking and identification of individuals and objects. Additionally, LiDAR can be used to create virtual fences and tripwires, which can trigger an alarm when breached.

Lastly, LiDAR can be used to improve the efficiency of security operations. This is because LiDAR can help security personnel quickly and easily identify potential threats. Additionally, LiDAR can be used to create automated reports that detail the movement of

How does LiDAR integrate with camera systems?

LiDAR can be integrated with camera systems in several ways. One way is to use LiDAR to create a three-dimensional map of an area, which can then be overlaid with camera footage. This provides security personnel with a more complete picture of an area and can help them quickly identify potential threats. Another way to integrate LiDAR and camera systems is to use LiDAR to create virtual fences and tripwires. These can be used to trigger an alarm when breached, which can help security personnel respond quickly to potential threats.

In conclusion, LiDAR can be used to augment camera systems and improve security operations. LiDAR provides a more complete picture of an area, can see in the dark, and can be used to create virtual fences and tripwires. Additionally, LiDAR can help security personnel quickly and easily identify potential threats. If you are looking to improve your security operations, consider integrating LiDAR into your camera system.

Conclusion

In conclusion, LiDAR can be used to augment camera systems and improve security operations. LiDAR provides a more complete picture of an area, can see in the dark, and can be used to create virtual fences and tripwires. Additionally, LiDAR can help security personnel quickly and easily identify potential threats. If you are looking to improve your security operations, consider integrating LiDAR into your camera system.

 

Car dealerships are increasingly becoming targets for catalytic converter thefts. Converters can be easily stolen and sold for their precious metals, which can fetch a high price on the black market. In this blog post, we will discuss some ways that car dealerships can protect themselves against these thefts. Read on to learn more!

Why are catalytic converter thefts on the rise?

There are a few reasons for the uptick in converter thefts. For one, the price of metals like platinum and palladium have increased in recent years, making converters more valuable to thieves. Additionally, many newer cars have catalytic converters that are located in easy-to-access areas, making them even more tempting targets. Finally, the pandemic has led to an increase in crime rates overall, which may be contributing to the problem.

Which cars are targeted?

While any car with a catalytic converter can be targeted, thieves often prefer smaller vehicles like SUVs and trucks. This is because it is easier to access the converter on these types of cars. Additionally, older cars are more likely to have converters made with metals that are in high demand, making them even more attractive to thieves.

How can car dealerships protect themselves?

So, how can car dealerships protect themselves against catalytic converter thefts?

Install CCTV cameras

There are a few things that dealerships can do to deter thieves. One is to install CCTV cameras in and around the property. This will help to deter thieves and also assist in identifying them if a theft does occur.

Install lighting

Another way to deter thieves is to install lighting around the dealership, both inside and out. This will make it more difficult for thieves to operate undetected and will also make it easier for CCTV cameras to capture footage.

Install an alarm system

Another way that car dealerships can protect themselves is by installing an alarm system. This will make it more difficult for thieves to operate undetected and will also notify the authorities if a theft does occur.

Educate employees

It is also important to educate employees about the issue of converter theft and what they can do to help prevent it. Employees should be aware of the signs of suspicious activity and report any suspicious people or activity to management.

Hire security guards

Finally, one of the best ways to protect against converter theft is to hire security guards. Security guards can patrol the property and keep an eye out for suspicious activity. They can also provide a physical presence that will deter thieves from attempting a theft.

By taking some simple precautions, car dealerships can protect themselves against increased catalytic converter thefts. By deterring thieves and making it more difficult for them to operate, dealerships can help to keep their property and inventory safe. Thanks for reading!

There are many different access control standards out there, but which one is the best for your business? One of the most popular standards is OSDP. This standard offers a variety of security benefits that can help keep your business safe. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the key security benefits of using OSDP access control standards.

What is Open Supervised Device Protocol?

Open Supervised Device Protocol (OSDP) is a communication protocol that provides a secure channel between access control devices and security systems. OSDP was developed by the Security Industry Association (SIA) to improve interoperability between different types of access control devices and systems.

What are the benefits of OSDP?

A higher level of security

The main benefit of using OSDP is that it offers a high level of security. OSDP uses 128-bit encryption to protect data transmissions, making it very difficult for hackers to intercept and decode information. In addition, OSDP supports the use of two-factor authentication, which adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide a second form of identification (such as a fingerprint or retina scan) in order to gain access.

Lower service costs

Another benefit of using OSDP is that it can help to lower service costs. Because OSDP is an open protocol, it is supported by a wide range of manufacturers. This means that you can choose the access control devices and systems that best meet your needs, without being locked into a single vendor. In addition, the use of standard protocols can help to simplify installation and reduce the need for specialized training.

Improved interoperability

OSDP also offers improved interoperability between different types of access control devices and systems. This is because OSDP was designed to be compatible with a wide range of existing technologies. As a result, you can easily integrate OSDP into your existing security infrastructure.

Constant updates

Finally, OSDP is constantly being updated to include the latest security features and technologies. This ensures that businesses are always using the most up-to-date access control standards.

Adopt OSDP access control standards today

As you can see, there are many security benefits of using OSDP access control standards. If you are looking to improve the security of your business, then we recommend that you adopt OSDP today.

If you have any questions about OSDP or any other access control standards, then please contact us. We would be happy to help you choose the best access control solution for your business.

 

Auto dealerships are a hot target for thieves. In fact, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, auto theft is on the rise across the United States. This is why it is more important than ever for auto dealerships to hire security officers. Security officers can help deter criminals and keep your dealership safe. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of on-site security and how it can benefit your business.

Why are auto dealerships a target for thieves?

Auto dealerships are a popular target for thieves because they typically have a large inventory of high-priced items. This makes them an attractive target for criminals looking to make a quick buck. In addition, auto dealerships are often located in high-traffic areas, which makes them easy targets for thieves.

How can security officers help deter criminals?

Security officers can help deter criminals by providing a visible presence on your property. This can act as a deterrent for would-be thieves and help to keep your dealership safe. In addition, security officers can also provide a quick response in the event of a theft or other emergency.

Security guards can help deter crime and protect employees and customers

Theft is not the only concern for auto dealerships. In addition, auto dealerships are also at risk for violence and other crimes. This is why it is important to have security officers on-site. Security guards can help deter crime and protect employees and customers from harm.

Security guards can provide a sense of security and peace of mind for customers

In addition to deterring crime, security officers can also provide a sense of security and peace of mind for customers. This is especially important for luxury dealerships, where customers may be concerned about their safety. Having a security officer on-site can help to put customers at ease and make them feel more comfortable doing business with your dealership.

Security guards can also provide other services, such as parking lot patrols and lost and found assistance

Security guards can also provide other services, such as parking lot patrols and lost and found assistance. This can help to further improve the safety and security of your dealership.

Hiring a security guard is an investment in the safety of your dealership

Hiring a security guard is an investment in the safety of your dealership. This is why it is important to choose a reputable and experienced security company.

On-site security is an important consideration for any business, but it is especially important for auto dealerships. By hiring security officers, you can deter criminals and keep your dealership safe

At Echelon Protection & Surveillance, we have decades of experience in providing security solutions for businesses like yours. We can help you create a custom security plan that meets the unique needs of your dealership. Contact us today to learn more about our auto dealership security services.

 

Retail stores have a lot of inventory to keep track of, and it’s important to make sure that none of it goes missing. Theft can be a huge problem for businesses, and can lead to significant losses in revenue. That’s why it’s important to use anti-theft devices in your store. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the best anti-theft devices on the market today, and how they can help you keep your inventory safe!

Merchandising security tags

Merchandising security tags are one of the most popular anti-theft devices used in retail stores. These tags are attached to merchandise and sound an alarm if someone tries to remove the item from the store without paying for it. Security tags are a great way to deter potential thieves, and can be used on a variety of items including clothing, electronics, and even small items like jewelry.

Electronic article surveillance (EAS) systems

Another great option for anti-theft devices is an electronic article surveillance (EAS) system. These systems use sensors to detect when an item has been removed from the store without being paid for. EAS systems are often used in conjunction with security tags, and can provide an extra layer of protection for your inventory.

Video surveillance

Video surveillance is another effective tool for deterring theft in retail stores. A well-placed security camera can help you keep an eye on your inventory, and can also be used to identify thieves after the fact. Video footage can be helpful in prosecuting criminals, and can also be used to improve your store’s security in the future.

Anti-theft signage

In addition to physical security devices, anti-theft signage can also be a helpful theft deterrent. Signs that warn potential thieves of the consequences of theft can help discourage them from attempting to steal from your store. Anti-theft signs are often used in conjunction with other security measures, and can be a great way to deter would-be criminals.

Display locks and closed cabinets

Another way to protect your inventory is to use display locks and closed cabinets. This can help to prevent thieves from being able to access your merchandise, and can also make it more difficult for them to remove items from the store without being detected. Display locks and closed cabinets are often used in conjunction with other anti-theft measures, and can be an effective way to deter criminals.

Security guards

Finally, one of the most effective anti-theft measures you can take is to hire security guards. Security guards can help deter potential thieves, and can also provide a quick response if theft does occur. Guards can also be used to monitor your store’s security cameras, and can provide additional peace of mind for your business.

No matter what anti-theft measures you take, it’s important to be vigilant in protecting your store’s inventory. By taking steps to deter thieves and improve your store’s security, you can help keep your business safe from loss. If you have any questions about hiring security guards for your retail store, please don’t hesitate to contact us! We would be more than happy to help.

Every business should be aware of the fire and security trends for 2020. By being aware of these trends, you can take steps to protect your business from potential threats. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most important fire and security trends to watch out for this year. We will also provide tips on how you can keep your business safe!

Impact of COVID-19 on fire and security

The outbreak of COVID-19 has had a major impact on the fire and security industry. One of the most significant changes is the increased focus on health and safety. Businesses are now more aware of the importance of protecting their employees from potential health hazards. As a result, many businesses are investing in new fire and security systems that can help to protect their employees from potential health risks.

Another trend that has emerged as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is the increased use of technology. Businesses are now relying on technology more than ever before to help them manage their fire and security systems. This includes the use of mobile apps, cloud-based solutions, and artificial intelligence.

Artificial Intelligence to reduce false alarms

One of the most promising trends in the fire and security industry is the use of artificial intelligence (AI). AI can help to reduce false alarms by identifying potential threats and responding accordingly. This technology is still in its early stages, but it has the potential to revolutionize the way we manage fire and security systems.

The switch to cloud-based solutions

Another trend that is gaining popularity in the fire and security industry is the switch to cloud-based solutions. Cloud-based solutions offer a number of advantages over traditional on-premise solutions. They are more scalable, easier to manage, and more cost-effective. This trend is likely to continue in the coming years as businesses increasingly adopt cloud-based solutions.

Mobile apps for fire and security

Another trend that is becoming more popular is the use of mobile apps for fire and security. Mobile apps offer a number of advantages over traditional methods of managing fire and security systems. They are more convenient, easier to use, and allow businesses to manage their systems remotely. This trend is likely to continue to grow in popularity in the coming years.

Environmental concerns and commitment

The final two trends we want to discuss are environmental concerns and commitment to sustainability. With the devastating effects of climate change becoming more evident, businesses are under pressure to reduce their carbon footprint. Many businesses are now investing in sustainable practices, such as using recycled materials, renewable energy, and green construction methods. This trend is likely to continue in the coming years as businesses increasingly focus on sustainability.

Final thoughts

The fire and security industry is constantly evolving, and it is important to stay up-to-date with the latest trends. By being aware of these trends, you can take steps to protect your business from potential threats. If you have any questions about these trends or how to keep your business safe

 

CONFERENCE SECURITY MANAGEMENT

Times have changed and so should our expectations of security

By Karl de la Guerra, PPS, CLSS
Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Karl de la Guerra, Inc.
Fort Mill, South Carolina (USA)

Eighteen years ago, I embarked on a professional journey as a Conference Security Director that has taken me around the world to countless airports, beautiful resorts and some of the finest hotels imaginable.  In this article I discuss a very unique line of work within the protective services industry.  It is specialized, it is high dollar, it is intense, and it has proven to be an absolute necessity as meeting planners for conferences and conventions face new and demanding challenges to the safety and security of their attendees and staff.

For us here in the United States, the shooting incident at the Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 1, 2017, proved to be a game changer, a wake-up call for all those responsible for the safety and security of others while attending functions in a hotel and convention setting.  Today, meeting planners and security professionals have teamed up internationally to address potential threat situations that in the past, were nothing more than fascinating topics within a crime novel.

Each one of us, in our professional capacity, regardless of our industry, attend meetings and conventions.  Some local and some international.  Your safety and security as an attendee at these events begin long before your arrival for the first day of the event.  Take a few minutes and discover what exists behind the scenes in today’s modern world of conference security.

The role of a corporate meeting planner is vast and encompasses numerous responsibilities.  The closer a meeting gets to attendee arrival day, meeting planners find themselves pulled in many different directions.  All while satisfying their client and ensuring the comfort and business continuity of their attendees. Why make this harder than it is?

That’s where an individual like me comes in.  A security professional who specializes in conference security management.  Now, I’m not the licensed security officer who’s working the doors and parking lots of your event or securing your audio visual equipment.  As a matter of fact, I’m probably not even from the country or state where the venue is located.  But I’m the one who’s been an intricate part of the meeting planning team since the contract was awarded and the venue selected.  I’m the one who has stepped in and given the meeting planning team that much needed piece of mind when it comes to the many concerns of ensuring the safety and security of conference attendees and staff.  From the moment the attendees arrive at their destination airport, until the time they depart, I’m at the side of the meeting planning team.  I’m your Conference Security Director.

So, how is it that I facilitate the professional life of a meeting planning team?  Well, I would never ask a certified meeting planner to do the job of, or have the same job knowledge as, a security professional like myself.  Just as I would have no expectation of my staff and I to know how to be a meeting planner.  While both are knowledgeable in a variety of similar tasks, neither of us is professionally trained, and experienced, in each other’s skill sets.  There are meeting planners, and there are security directors.  When these two professions come together in a harmonious union of collaboration and coordination, the results are amazing!  I know, because this has been my world for the past fourteen years, working internationally with meeting planners who support some of the largest companies in the world.

Selecting Your Conference Security Director 

Every meeting, regardless of the size or topic, needs two things; planning and security.  For the meeting planner who is responsible for that meeting, finding the perfect fit of a conference security director is a must.  But what qualities should one look for?  Many meeting planners look toward former law enforcement officers as the answer to their solution.  But, having been a former law enforcement officer myself, I can tell you that this qualification, in and of itself, isn’t enough.  I’ve found that three specific areas of expertise have helped me immeasurably in providing that “right fit” to support meetings, conferences and conventions around the world.  A background in law enforcement is one, but the other two are experience in the hotel industry and experience in the aviation industry, specifically in hotel security and airport/aviation security.  Because so much of our time on the meeting circuit is spent in both airports and hotels, these two backgrounds have proven absolutely invaluable to me in providing expert advise and assistance to overall meeting operations.

In addition, a background in international operations comes in very handy as well.  As a conference security director, you’re being asked to support international meetings. As for the transportation aspect, a quality conference security director should have a solid understanding of transportation logistics and security operations as they relate to ground transportation activities and interacting with a variety of destination management companies (DMC’s).

Overall, the meeting planner should look for a conference security director who is a good communicator, both verbal and written, and someone who can maintain a command presence in the face of a critical situations.  Bottom line, the meeting planner should ask themselves, “Do I feel safe around this person, or not?”.

Understanding the Role of the Conference Security Director 

In understanding the role of the conference security director, look at them first and foremost as a part of your overall meeting planning team.  Bring your security director onto your team as soon as you have secured a contract and selected a venue.  The more informed your security director has, the better they will be able to serve as both a consultant and as an advisor.

The conference security director, looks at themselves, above all else, as a facilitator.  There is no one on your team that is more prepared, qualified and experienced to be that “go-to” person in the event that something just can’t get done, than the conference security director.  Their entire career in protective services has been about being a problem solver, whether on the street as a patrol officer, as an investigator, or in the corporate world as a security specialist.  Security directors pride themselves in the fact that there is nothing they can’t resolve.  Their ability to bring an answer and a solution to the meeting planning team can be a strength exploited by just asking for their assistance,

You would think my job has been all about securing facilities and escorting VIP’s.  But in reality, the majority of what I do is problem solve for the meeting planning team.  Everything from “where is the nearest 24-hour emergency dentist?”, to “how can a meeting attendee be expedited through the hospital emergency room process to see a doctor at the local hospital”.  And this doesn’t apply just in one city, but every city in which I work, both here in the U.S. and abroad.

Of course, all the expected duties of a security director are also in my wheelhouse, such as finding locally licensed security agencies, planning for medical emergencies, coordinating with local law enforcement agencies and venue security directors and to assist in facilitating any needs of conference attendees and staff that are asked of me.

Your Client’s Liability Comes First 

Any conference security director should know that their primary responsibility is the liability of the client.  While not an attorney, the security director should have an excellent understanding of due diligence and risk assessment.  Seeing a situation or event from the 30,000 foot level and being able to advise the meeting planner of a potential impending liability, makes the security director worth every cent the client is spending on them.  The cost of one incident caused by a lack of due diligence can be harmful not only to people’s lives, but also to countless business reputations.  Finding a security director that takes a strong stand on supporting the liability of your client can save many worries as planning and execution of the meeting agenda moves forward.

The Cost of Good Security 

Cheap security benefits no one.  By understanding what the client’s expectations are of safety and security for their event, combined with understanding the potential associated risks, one can then determine just the right type of security for your program.

Some clients want nothing more than a security presence to cover their insurance requirements.  Others want more of a robust, full-service security plan.  Regardless the level of security needed, it is necessary for the senior meeting planner to present a professional security protocol to their client.  Helping the senior meeting planner determine the right type of security posture, should rest with the conference security director, since conducting risk assessments and threat analysis are part of what they do. Going with the lowest bidder (above operational skill) when it comes to security, does not benefit anyone.

What You Can and Cannot Do When it Comes to Meeting Security 

First thing to know is that the majority of states in the U.S. require that security services be performed by state licensed security professionals.  There are specific regulations as to who may provide and perform security services.  In addition, and what many people don’t realize, is that most countries around the world are exactly the same.  That means either using off-duty police officers or licensed security officers for your meetings.

While a non-licensed management team may perform administrative / non-security related duties as a support function, the security officers themselves, those performing a security function, must be licensed within the jurisdiction where the meeting is being held.  So what does this look like?  A Conference Security Support Team usually consists of a Conference Security Director, one or more Conference Security Managers, a Command Post Operator (we’ll address written reports shortly), a logistics support staff member and a medic. These are all individuals that perform an administrative or non-security related duty to support of the overall security function of a meeting.

Many jurisdictions, through their designated law enforcement agency, conduct on-site audits of security programs and should non-licensed security personnel be found working the event, in many states, it is your client and the security company, who will be issued a very hefty citation and summons to court.  My recommendation is to spare yourself that embarrassment and utilize only licensed security staff.

Written Reports: Documentation for Liability 

In the previous section, I mentioned the use of a Command Post Operator.  For larger meetings this is a position that should not be overlooked.  For smaller meetings, this function can be integrated into the security director or security manager position.

There are three primary written reports that should be accomplished by the security team, and presented through the meeting planner to the client, at the end of every meeting:

  • Daily Duty Log – This document is a chronological log of all activities that involved the security team. It also includes all security personnel, listed by name, indicating their time on duty and time off duty.
  • Medical Incident Report – This document is a standardized report of any medical incidents that occurred during the meeting.
  • Security Incident Report – This document is also a standardized report of any security type incidents that have occurred.

I have never come across a client that did not appreciate this documentation.  At the end of the day, the ability to complete these type of reports not only speaks to the professionalism of the security team, but also greatly improves the ability of the client to defend themselves in the event a situation involving liability should arise after the fact.

Within these few pointers I’ve provided, you will hopefully find a starting point and a foundation for the safety and security of your future meetings and conferences.

About the Author

Karl L. de la Guerra is at the helm of an international security consulting and tactical operations training firm based in the Carolinas.  He is a 43-year veteran of the protective services industry with experience in military law enforcement, civilian law enforcement, government security contracting and international corporate security management.  Throughout Karl’s career, he has remained focused on the topics of dignitary protection and counter terrorism.  Karl is a professional public speaker and an on-air TV personality reporting on breaking news in the areas of international terrorism and law enforcement.

There is no question that private security and law enforcement collaboration is essential in today’s world. With the increasing threat of terrorism and other forms of crime, it is more important than ever for these two groups to work together. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the reasons why private security and law enforcement need to collaborate, as well as some of the benefits that can be achieved through cooperation.

Working towards a common goal

One of the main reasons why private security and law enforcement need to collaborate is because they both have a common goal: to keep people safe. By working together, they can share information and resources, which will help them to better protect the public. In addition, by collaborating, private security and law enforcement can learn from each other’s strengths and weaknesses. This will help them to improve their overall effectiveness and better serve the community.

Protection built on trust

Another benefit of private security and law enforcement collaboration is that it can help to build trust between the two groups. When law enforcement and private security work together, it sends a message to the public that they are united in their effort to keep people safe. This can help to improve the relationship between law enforcement and the community, which can be beneficial in cases where there is tension or mistrust.

How can private security and local law enforcement collaborate?

There are many ways that private security and local law enforcement can collaborate. Some of the most common ways include:

– Sharing information: Private security and law enforcement can share information about threats, incidents, and investigations. This will help them to stay informed about potential dangers and be better prepared to respond if necessary.

– Training: Private security and law enforcement can train together to learn how to better work together in a crisis. This will help them to be more effective when they are working together.

– Joint operations: Private security and law enforcement can team up to conduct joint operations. This will help them to better tackle crime and terrorism.

– Cooperation at events: Private security and law enforcement can work together to provide security at events. This will help to ensure that everyone is safe and secure.

– Partnerships: Private security and law enforcement can partner with each other to provide services to the community. This can include things like safety education, crime prevention programs, and more.

– Coordination: Private security and law enforcement can coordinate their efforts to better protect specific areas or events. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goal.

Conclusion

Private security and law enforcement collaboration is essential in today’s world. By working together, these two groups can share information and resources, which will help them to better protect the public. In addition, by collaborating, private security and law enforcement can learn from each other’s strengths and weaknesses. This will help them to improve their overall effectiveness and better serve the community.

If you’re interested in learning more about private security and law enforcement collaboration, please contact us today. We would be happy to discuss this topic further with you.

 

The security guard industry is booming right now, and for good reason. With the increasing rates of crime and terrorism, businesses and individuals are looking for ways to protect themselves. The problem is that finding qualified security guards is becoming increasingly difficult. In this blog post, we will explore some of the reasons why it’s hard to find security guards right now, and what you can do to make the hiring process a bit easier.

A competitive industry

One of the main reasons why it’s hard to find security guards is that the industry is becoming increasingly competitive. There are now more security guard companies than ever before, and this means that potential employees have a lot of choices when it comes to finding a job. As a result, you need to make sure that your company offers competitive pay and benefits if you want to stand out from the competition. Add that to the fact that security guards are in constant demand and it means guards have a lot of options open to them.

Stringent job requirements

Another reason why it’s hard to find security guards is that the job requirements are becoming increasingly stringent. In order to be a security guard, you now need to have a lot of experience and training in the field. This means that you need to be willing to invest in your employees, and you need to be able to provide them with the necessary training and resources. At Echelon Protection and Surveillance, for instance, our security guards must meet incredibly strict qualifications. Once hired, they go through rigorous on-site training to ensure they have the skills our clients require.

Unqualified candidates

Finally, the biggest reason why it’s hard to find security guards right now is that the job market is flooded with unqualified candidates. This means that you need to be careful when selecting candidates, and you need to make sure that you only hire the best and the brightest. If you are willing to put in the effort, however, you can find qualified security guards who will help your business thrive.

The solution? Hire security guard services instead

If you are finding it difficult to hire security guards, don’t worry – you’re not alone. The good news is that there is a solution: you can simply hire security guard services instead. By working with an experienced security guard company, you don’t have to worry about finding the right security guard, all the hard work is done for you. There’s no need to vet or train your security guard professional, either.

At Echelon Protection and Surveillance, we provide top-tier security guard services that are sure to meet your needs. Contact us today to learn more about our services, and see how we can help you protect your business.

 

Car dealerships are a big target for thieves. In fact, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reports that car dealerships are robbed more often than any other type of business in the United States. This is because dealerships have a lot of valuable inventory on site, and they are often open late at night or on weekends when most businesses are closed. In this blog post, we will discuss the security challenges facing car dealerships and offer some strategies dealers can use to protect their businesses from theft.

What security challenges threaten car dealerships?

The security challenges facing car dealerships are many and varied. Some of the most common threats include:

Robbery and car theft:

Car dealerships are a target for robbers because they have a lot of valuable inventory on site. Thieves can steal cars from dealerships, or they can rob the dealership of money and other valuables.

Vandalism:

Car dealerships can also be targets for vandals. Vandals may damage or destroy property, or they may steal items from the dealership.

Employee theft:

Employees can be a major security threat to car dealerships. They may steal money or inventory from the dealership, or they may sell confidential information to competitors.

Theft of customer information:

Dealerships can also be targeted by thieves who want to steal customer information. This type of theft can be very costly for dealers, as it can result in the loss of customer trust and business.

How can dealerships protect themseleves

There are a number of strategies dealers can use to protect their businesses from theft. Some of the most effective strategies include:

-Installing security cameras: Security cameras can help dealers keep an eye on what is happening at the dealership and can help identify thieves if they are caught on camera.

-Using security gates: Security gates can help deter thieves from attempting to rob the dealership.

-Installing security lighting: Security lighting can help make it difficult for thieves to operate in the dark and can help identify perpetrators if they are caught.

-Strategically parking vehicles: Car dealers can make it more difficult for thieves to steal vehicles by parking them in well-lit areas and making sure they are locked and secured.

-Training employees: Employees should be trained on how to protect the dealership from theft. They should be aware of the common threats facing the business and know what to do if they encounter a robbery or theft.

-Hiring security guards: Hiring security guards can provide an extra layer of security for the dealership and can help deter criminals from targeting the business.

-Implementing additional security policies: dealerships should implement security policies and procedures to help protect their business from theft. These policies should include procedures for securing inventory, protecting customer information, and reporting suspicious activity.

-Monitoring inventory: Dealers should regularly monitor their inventory to ensure that no items are missing.

Conclusion

Protecting a car dealership from theft can be a daunting task, but by using the right security strategies, dealers can reduce the risk of crime. By installing security cameras, security gates, and security lighting, and training employees on how to protect the business, dealers can make it difficult for criminals to steal from them. Additionally, dealers should hire security guards to protect the premises day and night. For more information on how our guards can help, speak to a member of our team today.

 

The U.S. is reliant on gas pipelines to transport energy across the country. These pipelines are constantly under threat from criminals and terrorists, so it’s important that the people responsible for pipelines are doing everything they can to protect them.

In this blog post, we will discuss the current state of gas pipeline security and the specific threats that security guards can help protect them from. We will also talk about how security companies can work with local law enforcement to create a comprehensive security plan for gas pipelines.

The Current State of Gas Pipeline Security

The current state of gas pipeline security is a cause for concern. Criminals and terrorists are constantly looking for new ways to exploit these pipelines, and the consequences could be disastrous. For instance, a 2017 U.S. Department of Energy report noted the electrical power sector’s over-reliance on natural gas energy generation and the security vulnerabilities associated with gas pipelines.

The Threats to Gas Pipelines Security Guards Can Prevent

There are many different threats that security guards need to be aware of when protecting gas pipelines. Some of the most common threats include the following.

Sabotage

Criminals and terrorists have been known to sabotage gas pipelines in order to cause damage and disrupt the flow of energy. Security guards can help deter these activities by patrolling the pipeline and keeping a close eye on any suspicious activity. These events are common across the globe, particularly in countries like Nigeria and Saudi Arabia. Thankfully, they are less common in the U.S. but they still present a risk.

Theft

Pipeline theft is a growing problem in the U.S. Thieves can steal valuable equipment and materials from pipelines, which can cause serious damage. Security guards can help prevent theft by patrolling the area and keeping a lookout for suspicious activity.

Terrorism

Terrorists are always looking for new targets, and gas pipelines are a prime target due to the country’s reliance on them. Security guards can help protect pipelines from terrorist attacks by monitoring the area for suspicious activity and working with local law enforcement to investigate any threats.

Civil protest

There is always the potential for civil unrest near gas pipelines. Security guards can help prevent violence and property damage by monitoring the area and keeping the peace.

Working with Local Law Enforcement

In order to provide comprehensive security for gas pipelines, it’s important that security companies work closely with local law enforcement. Local law enforcement can help identify threats to pipeline security and provide resources to help protect the pipelines. In addition, law enforcement can help track down criminals and terrorists who are involved in pipeline crimes.

By working with local law enforcement, security guards can create a comprehensive security plan that will keep pipelines safe from harm. In addition, security companies can provide valuable training and resources to help law enforcement agencies combat pipeline crime.

We hope this blog post has provided you with some valuable information about gas pipeline security. If you would like more information, or if you need security services for your business, please contact us today. We would be happy to help!

 

Yes is the short answer to that question. It’s predicted President Biden’s $1.2 trillion plan to rebuild the U.S’s infrastructure will create millions of jobs.

But how will the construction sector fare in particular? Read on to find out.

An Overview of the Bill

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a historic bi-partisan deal to heal America’s ailing infrastructure. Specifically, the bill includes:

  • $110 billion for roads
  • $73 billion for power infrastructure
  • $66 billion for rail
  • $65 billion to expand broadband access
  • $55 billion for clean drinking water
  • $39 billion for public transit
  • $25 billion for airports
  • $21 billion for environmental remediation
  • $17 billion for ports
  • $11 billion for transportation
  • $7.5 billion for EV infrastructure
  • $5 billion for zero or low-emission busses
  •  $1 billion to demolish or reconstruct infrastructure that divided communities

According to analysis from S&P Global, it’s estimated that the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will boost employment by more than 880,000 jobs. Industries that will benefit the most are construction, accounting and engineering.

What Types of Jobs Could it Create?

Scott Blumsack, SVP of research and insights at Monster Worldwide, has highlighted a series of specific jobs that will be created as a result of the bill. From a construction point of view, these include site workers, truck drivers mechanical engineers and architects.

The bill could also result in higher-paying jobs. That’s the belief of Robbie Hunter, president of California’s State Building and Construction Trades Council, which represents almost 500,000 construction workers. That’s because the bill requires projects to pay workers a prevailing wage set by the state. In Sacramento County, for instance, that wage for construction workers is at least $32.31 per hour.

But It’s Already Hard to Find Construction Workers

While many of the roles created by the bill will go to the construction sector, many contractors are already having difficulty finding workers. Data from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction found 88% of contractors couldn’t find the workers they needed, meaning projects had to be delayed. Of those who said they were facing a shortage of workers, over one-third said they had turned down work because of it.

Part of the problem lies in baby boomers leaving the workforce, says John M. Irvine, a senior vice president at Anchor. “I’d be surprised if there’s any firm out there saying they’re ready for this.” His company is currently hiring skilled laborers, concrete finishers and popper layers. More hires will be needed to handle the work created by the bill. “We will have to staff up,” Mr. Irvine said. “And no, there are not enough skilled workers to fill these jobs.”

Ultimately, investment in workforce development is also needed if contractors are going to find qualified construction workers in the future. Many of the new roles created in the construction industry could be filled by displaced workers, but they will need to develop their skills first.

If you’re serious about hiring security guards, not just any guard will do. In truth, many of the best security guards are former law enforcement officers.

In this article, we’ll look at why law enforcement officers make better security guards and how you can best protect your business as a result.

They Have the Training

Law enforcement officers have significantly more training than security guards. It takes up to 20 hours of training to get certified as a civilian security guard. That means it’s relatively easy to do so and opens the door to a wide variety of people becoming security guard officers.

On the other hand, police officers require extensive training. They can spend up to a year in the academy and have weeks of on-the-job training to boot. Training isn’t just longer, it is much more intensive and covers a wide variety of situations, making them a more versatile option as a security guard.

They Have Experience

Certified and professional law enforcement officers are highly trained and have experienced almost every scenario possible. A standard security guard will have witnessed their fair share of drama and will know how to deal with most scenarios. But their experience still pales in comparison to a former law enforcement offer with decades of experience. They know when the right time to diffuse a situation is and have the authoritative tone to achieve the best outcome. They know when to take action and escalate matters, too.

They Know the Law

Part of being a good security guard is knowing your rights with regard to the law. While this is covered in training to some degree, most civilian security guards will have to learn as they go. Former law enforcement officers, on the other hand, will know the law inside out and understand exactly where they stand in any given situation. This makes them a much more authoritative and reliable presence at your office or event.

Don’t Rely on Law Enforcement

By this point, you might be thinking why bother with security guards in the first place if law enforcement officers are better. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. On private property, private security guards have more authority than the police because they represent the owner and not the city, state or general public.

A security guard can also be available at short notice and act without having to wait for backup. The same can’t always be said of police officers.  Finally, security officers can be flexible in appearance. There may be times when you want your guards to blend in at events. Police officers are almost always required to wear uniforms, but security guards (even ones with law enforcement experience) can wear whatever they want.

Choosing a security guard rather than the police is almost always the best bet. But try to choose a security guard with a background in law enforcement. Ultimately, any law enforcement officer could become a security guard if they wish. But no security guard could become a law enforcement officer without significantly more training. It’s why the vast majority of Echelon’s security guards have law enforcement experience. Contact us today to find out more.

Gun crime is surging in Philadelphia, PA. In 2020, 447 people died as a result of gun violence. That was the most gun-related homicides in 30 years.

Things were no better in 2021. Last year homicides reached a record high of 557, making it the deadliest year on record. The percentage of deaths by gunfire was also incredibly high. In 2021, 89% of homicides were a result of gun violence — a figure that is 15% higher than the national average.

What’s Causing It?

Experts say the reasons behind this spike in gun violence could take years to discern. Several once-in-a-lifetime events have occurred at the same time (a pandemic, economic uncertainty, nationwide protests and political unrest), all of which can cause the kind of stress and anxiety that results in a rise in gun crime.

Is the City doing anything to stop it?

City officials have taken several steps to combat the rise in violence, but they are also hamstrung by state laws.

Philadelphia’s city council approved a 2022 fiscal budget that invests more than $155 million into violence prevention programs, including $22 million in grants for organizations that reduce “violence through trauma-informed healing and restorative practices and safe havens and mentorship.”

The state’s Governor, Tom Wolf, has also urged violence prevention groups to apply for state grants and called for tighter gun control laws.

Unfortunately, officials are hampered by the state’s preemption law that prevents cities from enforcing local gun ordinances. The city is in the process of seeking legal action to overturn this law, but it may be some time before a result.

What Can Businesses Do About It?

Businesses big and small are at risk of gun violence. Dozens of these attacks happen every year, resulting in hundreds of deaths. Attackers vary from disgruntled employees, irate customers, or opportune thieves.

In 2017, for instance, there were 351 gun homicides in US workplaces, averaging almost one person killed every day. Since 1999, there have been four times as many mass shootings in the workplace than in schools.

If you feel your Philadelphia business is at risk of gun violence, speak to the local police first. They will be able to visit your business and discuss how you can best prepare. You should also speak to third-party consultants. Consultants can talk to your employees about how to behave in an active shooter scenario, pointing out the safest places for shelter and the best escape routes.

Ultimately, the best protection for your business will be an armed shooter. They have the experience to handle any kind of violence in your workplace as well as the means to disable anyone posing a threat.

At Echelon, all our armed security guards are certified to carry firearms on duty, observe a strict corporate training policy and have experience protecting businesses, executives and celebrities.

Please get in touch for more information on how we can help.

Smash and grab theft poses a threat to businesses big and small. From local stores to designer retailers, coordinated robberies during open hours are on the rise. Businesses must take steps to prevent themselves from becoming the next victims.

What Is Smash and Grab Theft?

Smash and grab theft is where one or several thieves force their way into stores, filling arms or bags with high-value products and running out of the store into vehicles. These events typically happen when the store is open to the public and occur so quickly that retail workers, otherwise preoccupied with their daily tasks, do not have time to react.

Are These Attacks On the rise?

In short, yes. In 2021, organized retail crime resulted in a loss of $719,548  per $1 billion in sales. That’s up from 2019’s figure of $703,320 per $1 billion sales. It is the fifth year in a row that the figure has risen.

During the holiday season, these kinds of attacks were frequent. For example, five thieves attacked an LA-based Nordstrom department store and made off with $25,000 of merchandise. Fourteen criminals forced their way into a Louis Vuitton store in Chicago and stole $120,000 of product. Four individuals attacked a Sunglass Hut in California, assaulted employees and made off with $30,000 of stolen goods.

So what’s the reason for these attacks increasing?

One of the reasons for the increase is the supply chain issues that have been plaguing American businesses. Now is an opportune time for criminals to get their hands on as much product as possible while stocks are low.

What Can Retailers Do About It

It’s common for businesses big and small to be poorly protected against this kind of theft. Thankfully, there are several actions businesses can take to protect themselves against smash and grab thefts.

Installing security alarms and cameras should be your first step. These provide a small deterrent to would-be thieves and can help catch criminals in the aftermath. But they don’t create a physical barrier that prevents attacks.

Next, make sure your business insurance is comprehensive and up to date. Good business insurance will provide protection for both the premises and your property in the event of theft. It will even cover lost revenue as a result of business disruption.

Finally, hire a security guard. Only an armed or unarmed security guard can properly protect your business against smash and grab theft. The sight of armed security will put off the vast majority of would-be thieves. For the small percentage that still try to attack, armed guards have the means and experience to stop them.

Echelon’s armed and unarmed security guards are the perfect way to protect your store from this kind of theft. They are highly trained, certified and have experience protecting businesses and VIPs. For more information on how our team can protect your store, get in touch today.

The school year is officially in full swing. With the back-to-school season underway, many students are boarding buses to get to and from their homes and school. It’s imperative that the safety of these children be considered at all times when managing this transportation system. That means looking into new technology that protects passenger welfare.

Equip school buses with stop-arm cameras

Passing a stationary school bus is a dangerous and unlawful act. Minimizing these incidents and punishing offenders is essential to keep children safe.

A stop-arm camera is a camera placed on the outside of a bus that photographs passing motorists who violate stopped school buses’ traffic laws. These cameras assist in the enforcement of state legislation by identifying unlawful passings of stopped vehicles.

With this footage, law enforcement officials can better identify and ticket offenders, thus punishing people who break the law and endanger children while deterring other drivers from committing the same offenses.

Integrate RFID and GPS capabilities into

Keeping track of where children and school buses are can also help keep children safe. RFID chips can be used to track the location of a bus and its passengers, as well as monitor things like fuel levels and engine status. This information is especially beneficial in emergency situations when knowing the whereabouts of every bus is crucial. GPS capabilities also help ensure that buses are on schedule and not lost. Both measures add an extra layer of security to transportation.

Minimize the spread of COVID-19 With Electronic Verified Inspection Reporting Systems

The continuing pandemic also puts children at risk. As the school year progresses, it’s important to be aware of potential risks and take necessary precautions. On top of vaccinations, one way to help minimize the spread of the virus is through the combination of regular sanitization and electronic verified inspection reporting systems. EVIR solutions automate the process following sanitization procedures by recording which spaces are disinfected, when they are cleaned, and who cleans them. This technology also aids drivers in maintaining a cleaning schedule while adhering to CDC standards.

Protect Student Data

Student safety is of the utmost importance, but their data must also be protected. As school districts undergo technological advancements in order to keep students safe on buses, it’s important that they also take measures to protect the privacy of these children. One way to do this is through the use of strong passwords and encryption software. These tools make sure that student data is only accessible to authorized personnel.

With these safety measures in place, school districts can feel confident that their students are well taken care of during their time on and off the bus. Implementing new technology advancements is just one part of creating a safe and secure transportation system. By working together, we can help keep our children safe this school year.

 

The security team at a university is tasked with many responsibilities, but one of the most important goals is to help reduce crime. This blog post will discuss strategies for fighting crime on college campuses and how they can be implemented by a university’s security team.

Step 1: Implement ID Cards

One strategy for fighting crime on campus is implementing identification cards that are required to access certain parts of the school. This ensures only authorized individuals are in certain areas of the building or facility while also preventing people from impersonating others who may have lost their card or had theirs stolen.

Step 2: Use Technology to Monitor Campus Activity

Another great strategy for reducing crimes at universities is using technology like IP cameras and video surveillance systems to monitor what is happening on campus. Having cameras monitor the hallways, doors and parking lots will help reduce crime by providing video evidence that can be used in court after a crime has been committed.

Step 3: Educate Students and Staff on Crime Prevention

In addition to implementing security measures, it is important to educate the students and staff about crime prevention. This can be done through posters, pamphlets, emails and even presentations from the security team. By providing information on how to protect oneself from becoming a victim of crime, you can help reduce the number of incidents on campus.

Step 4: Have a Security Team that is Trained Professionally and Well-Equipped with the Right Tools for the Job

Another crucial aspect of reducing crime on college campuses is having a security team that is well trained, professional and equipped to handle any situation they may face during their shift. Having an effective security team in place will help send a message to potential criminals that the university is not an easy target and they are prepared to take action against anyone who attempts to harm students or staff.

Step 5: Engage with Community Partners

Lastly, it is important to engage community partners in order to help keep the school safe. This can be done by working together with local law enforcement or even hiring off-duty police officers to patrol on campus during some nights and weekends when crimes may be more likely than others.

These are just a few of the many strategies that security teams can use to reduce crime on college campuses. By using a combination of these methods, universities can help make their campus a safer place for students, staff and visitors. For more information on how to create or improve your university’s security program, please contact us today.

If you would like to learn more about how security teams reduce risks on university campuses, please contact us today. We would be happy to discuss this topic with you in further detail and answer any questions that you may have. Thank you for reading!

 

Workplace violence incidents are one of the most common security threats. Every year, over 2 million people in the United States experience some type of workplace violence, ranging from verbal abuse and harassment to outright physical assault. Half of these incidents happen in the healthcare sector, with nurses working in emergency department departments being the most affected.

The statistics are only getting worse, however.

Over the last year, assaults on healthcare workers increased by 20% as more hospitalizations rose. While the number is significant, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. The pandemic’s effects have driven many to feel anxiety and uncertainty. Corporate security experts recognize that an overworked medical staff combined with the issue of workplace safety adds up to a security risk.

It’s a serious risk, but one a trained security team can deal with in the following ways.

Implement Real-Time Officer Reporting

With an increased number of people in need, hospitals are often overworked. This means that there aren’t enough staff to take care of everyone at all times. These situations create opportunities for workplace violence perpetrators . If you’re able to identify the risks before they happen, then your security team is better prepared to mitigate them effectively.

Working with healthcare workers, security teams can develop incident response plans that include real-time officer reporting. This means officers will be in direct communication with hospital staff to help them assess and respond to potential threats as they happen.

Use Video Surveillance Software

In the age of mass shootings and other forms of attack, video surveillance is an essential part of any security plan. Video footage can help identify perpetrators and provide evidence that can be used in legal proceedings.

Hospitals are no different. In fact, they may be even more at risk for workplace violence given the number of people who come and go. By installing video surveillance software, your security team can have a birds-eye view of the entire hospital. This allows them to quickly identify and respond to any potential threats.

Create an Emergency Plan

No matter how well you plan for an emergency, there will always be some element of surprise. That’s why it’s important to have a comprehensive emergency plan in place. This plan should include protocols for workplace violence incidents.

Your security team should work with hospital staff to develop a response that includes the following:

– How to handle an incident when it first occurs

– How to communicate with law enforcement

– Lockdown procedures

– Evacuation plans

By having a well-rehearsed plan in place, you can help medical staff feel more secure and confident when handling a workplace violence incident.

Conclusion

In the end, your healthcare security team needs to be proactive in order to reduce—if not eliminate—workplace violence incidents altogether. This ensures that every member of your hospital is safe from harm’s way whenever they’re on the job.

While this may require additional training, the benefits will be well worth it in terms of both safety and cost-savings.

Security guards can help reduce workplace violence by implementing real-time officer reporting with video surveillance software that creates an emergency plan for hospitals. By initiating these measures into their security plans, healthcare security teams can keep their workers and patients safe from harm.

 

Body cameras have been a hot topic in policing for years. But what about other industries? Body worn video surveillance is quickly becoming a much more widespread solution, with the potential to change the way we interact not just with law enforcement but also with healthcare providers, retail associates and teachers. In this article, we will explore how body worn video cameras are extending beyond their traditional role of policing and transforming security in many different industries.

Healthcare

Body-worn video has proven useful in a wide range of areas, according to the healthcare sector. On average, workplace violence occurrences are four times more common in healthcare than private business, according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Wearable camera solutions in healthcare settings — especially emergency rooms — provide chances to prevent these kinds of attacks.

In many cases, the simple presence of a wearable camera — coupled with a notification from hospital staff that employees are filming – is enough to prevent or quickly resolve an aggressive situation. In these situations, the camera preserves a record of what occurred from the staff’s perspective during an investigation or subsequent prosecution. It also gives healthcare providers the capacity to learn from these events.

Retail

Wearable cameras are already providing significant advantages to the retail industry. Retailers, be it department stores, grocery chains, or restaurants, are concerned with enhancing the customer experience and wearable cameras recording employee-customer interactions provide an excellent tool for ensuring that they learn how to improve customer interactions while also preserving a record of circumstances linked with false liability claims.

Transportation

The top priorities for providers and operators in the transportation sector are passenger and employee safety as well as efficient, on-time operations. Video recording has grown in popularity among transport professionals because it provides both security and assurance that precautions were taken on their behalf.

There are strict federal, state, and local rules regarding transportation — whether it’s an airline, railway, sea route, or bus service. It’s critical that passenger safety be maintained throughout these modes of transport by means of regular inspections and maintenance. They know the deployment of such systems may be a question of life and death, which can influence liability.

Education

Wearable body cameras may help ensure the safety of students while also supporting class-wide operations. School resource officers and local police departments can utilize body-worn cameras to demonstrate compliance with school rules, verify adherence with policy, and execute appropriate procedures in the event of an emergency on campus.

Schools are increasingly eager to have their own video (versus depending on local law enforcement) in order to maintain control of the event video and conduct extra research into any scenario without relying on other organizations for documentation and a record of the event.

 

An access control system is one of the most effective current security solutions. It assists construction site managers in protecting their sites from those who are not authorized to be there, reducing crime, managing and monitoring traffic flow, and improving health and safety standards. In the past, just locking up a worksite after hours was the standard. Many firms, however, expect more from their security as a result of new and clever technologies.

We’ll go through the four main types of access control systems and their benefits and drawbacks.

Discretionary Access Control (DAC)

This is the most adaptable access control solution since it offers the site owner or manager complete control over who can enter specified portions of the site or premises. Every entrance point will have its own Access Control List, which will list the individual or groups of workers, suppliers, or other types of visitors who will be allowed to access using a DAC system. A DAC system is often easy to use, as it runs on common computer operating systems like Windows, making it simple to operate and configure for most administrators.

One disadvantage of such an access system is that administrators may have too much power, which means they might theoretically grant access to the incorrect individual, endangering assets and site workers. Furthermore, compared to other forms of access control systems, this system may be more prone to malware.

Mandatory Access Control (MAC)

A MAC system is the most stringent of all access control systems, making it ideal for government agencies and other high-security locations. These systems work by imposing severe limits on all entry points, such as gates or doors, based on the administrator’s or manager’s settings. This means that employees and other visitors to the site have no influence over access permissions, and can only enter and exit at the locations designated by the site’s administrators based on their specific categorization.

If the system administrator wants to grant a person a different degree of access, they must first create a new profile and classification for that individual, as earlier permissions cannot be readily overridden.

Because of the strict nature of this sort of access control, MAC is unlikely to be required on most construction sites.

Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)

The most extensively used type of access control is RBAC. People might be given access permissions based on their job within the organization or the construction site. A “construction project manager,” for example, will be allowed the same access permissions as someone with that job title. This could imply they have access to all sections of the site or only some zones, depending on the rights granted to them based on their role.

Many firms benefit from this type of access control approach since it is simple to set up and operate.

However, issues may arise when employees require access to areas they are not authorized to access, such as in an emergency or one-time situation, in which case only the system administrator can edit permissions, which may not always be possible depending on how the system is configured.

Rule-Based Access Control

Rule-based systems, not to be confused with the above, issue permissions based on specific rules or constraints. A rule-based approach would be handy, for example, if you only want personnel to attend the site at specific times of the day or on certain days of the week.

Similarly, rule-based systems can prevent users from entering if they are not at the correct location or are not using the correct device. Permissions may also be refused based on the number of previous tries to get access in rule-based systems for further security.

This technique is suitable for firms that require accountability and require site owners to regulate the hours and locations that employees are allowed to enter. It’s also more adaptable than the others, allowing administrators to change permissions and restrictions in response to the constantly changing nature of a construction project, which is quite useful.

The security sector has evolved as a result of new technologies and client demands from many industries. Security operations are being transformed by new technology and digital solutions, but the role of security is changing as well. A study revealed how leaders think about security and what solutions they require today and in the future. There are six major shifts among these tendencies that, taken together, point to a new security picture.

From entry to occupancy

Today’s security procedures, albeit with limitations, tend to focus on access control. Many organizations, for example, know how many people have arrived but not how many have departed a secure site. Imagine the power of a 360-degree view of a facility that reveals who is inside, where they are, and what they are doing. Real-time headcounts with specific locations can save time and make a vital difference in an emergency case, such as a fire, earthquake, or active shooter situation.

From structures to people

Only securing physical places is no longer sufficient. Managers saw the need to secure the organization and its employees wherever they were as more individuals worked remotely. Because security teams are becoming more mobile and may not work in the locations they protect, having seamless mobile access is critical. Businesses are considering solutions such as biometrics and facial recognition that grant access based on who someone is rather than the fobs, cards, and badges they’re carrying.

From forensics to prevention

Rather than proactively lowering risk, many firms still devote significant security resources to responding to incidents. While many businesses are collecting more data, they are having difficulty interpreting it quickly enough to avoid incidents. Organizations are looking for simple-to-use solutions that direct security staff to specific actions before an incident occurs.

From cutting-edge to acceptable

Cutting-edge technology is appealing, but it is impractical. Some residents are hesitant to utilize biometric readers that require touching because of the ongoing pandemic, while firms are hesitant to debut new technologies in lightly inhabited premises. Other solutions are overly sensitive, triggering alerts so frequently that they become background noise. Businesses are seeking for what is viable, practical, and straightforward to implement rather than what is cutting-edge. Leaders seek scalable solutions that work with their existing infrastructure. They want actionable warnings and analytics that automatically extract usable information from large amounts of data.

From stuff to service

New security choices may allow budgets to move from product purchases to problem-solving services. Infrastructure as a service is gaining popularity in various industries since it often lowers costs and allows businesses to focus on their goal. Some businesses, however, prefer to own their equipment because of potential tax benefits, customization opportunities, and privacy concerns. The ideal answer might be a hybrid of security as a service and DIY security, with companies being able to pick and choose what is owned and what is a service, moving smoothly between the two as circumstances dictate.

From independent to fully integrated

It’s time to move on from discrete solutions’ compatibility issues. Leaders are looking for components that not only work well togetherbut also share information. Security components should be easy to integrate and function with non-security systems, regardless of brand. Security cameras in a retail establishment, for example, could be used as learning tools on the shop floor. They can also provide operational views that help optimize processes, such as notifying when consumers are waiting too long at the checkout. Organizational efficiencies and savings could be improved by sharing information across divisions.

 

Depending on the nature of the project, a typical construction site can have anywhere from ten to a hundred people. There are simply too many moving parts for anyone to keep track of them all. It is for this reason that construction sites are particularly vulnerable to theft and vandalism.

Unfortunately, the majority of construction thefts are done by employees and subcontractors. You believe the perimeter is secure, oblivious to the danger lurking within. Employees may steal for a variety of reasons, including money. The basic defense of those who were apprehended is that “the opportunity is there.”

For this reason, the construction site access control system is quite beneficial.

Job sites in the construction industry provide both value and opportunity

 

The following are some of the reasons why theft is so widespread on construction sites:

 

  1. Construction site staff could not cover all of the ground on large job sites 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  2. Multiple entries and exit points make it simple to get in and out.
  3. After a while, the workforce grows complacent.
  4. The weather has an impact on how security responds. They are less inclined to inspect the location while it is raining.
  5. Some opportunistic people take advantage of the connection because of the overly welcoming security.
  6. With each step of the job site’s development, there is a high turnover rate of security employees.

Taking Advantage of Industry Innovations

The construction sector has undergone significant changes in recent years, particularly in terms of enterprises’ use of new technology to reduce spillovers, enhance timeliness and productivity, and reduce losses.

Construction Site Access Control

It’s easy to keep track of tiny job sites with only five employees. If there is theft, it would be easy to identify the criminal following a quick inquiry. One security officer for three to four CCTV cameras should be sufficient to cover all bases. However, at certain large locations, it would not be the same because hundreds of workers would be working in numerous shifts 24 hour a day, seven days a week.

This is where access control for building sites comes into play. It will provide eyes everywhere on the project site that no human construction security guard could.

The tool can accomplish this in several ways:

  1. Layers of security. With the help of the tool, you may assign allowed access to different individuals based on the job locations you want to access. You can rest assured that masons and bricklayers will remain in their designated locations. Delivery vehicles will also park in designated areas while unloading products. You can better monitor everyone by layering security access.
  2. Biometrics access. This biometric access allows an authorized person to enter sensitive locations on the job site. It can also be used to log in and out workers to keep track of their daily hours.
  3. RFID. You may now track everyone on the job site using radio frequency identification (RFID). If a worker tries to enter a restricted location, it’s much easier to catch them. You can also keep track of visitors by giving them RFID-enabled plastic cards.

With the help of your access control system and several CCTV cameras, theft and vandalism events will be decreased and eradicated. However, the primary goal is to be cautious. Workers will be less likely to steal if they are aware that their every step is being tracked and monitored.

Everyone desires a society in which peace reigns, everyone lives in harmony and togetherness, and the country is prosperous. However, as humans, we cannot live together without having arguments or quarrels from time to time. Civil unrest is one of them. It is not uncommon for people to go against an unjust social system or deed. Civil unrest is triggered by a variety of factors, including government failure and undesirable forces in society wanting to usurp the government, among others. Regardless of whatever it is, security guards play a critical role in times of civil disturbance.

As the use of civil disobedience grows, law enforcement organizations will prepare for protests across the country. Because political turmoil is likely to continue, private security professionals must be ready with a tactically sound plan that protects people and property.

We look at how they can help amid civil upheaval in this article.

They provide people with a sense of security.

During times of civil upheaval, there is a widespread worry that someone will be hurt. Aside from its work as a private security contractor for huge retail chains and small local businesses. If you’re a store owner or CEO, for example, your customers or workers may fear for their safety if they visit your business or come to work during social upheaval. This is where security guards come in to ensure that consumers and employees feel protected, regardless of continuing civil disturbance.

They aid in the maintenance of public order.

Although the police are tasked with preserving order amid civil unrest, security guards also have a part in keeping things in order. They could, for example, help to ensure that your store is not looted by vandals who seek to take advantage of civil turmoil to commit crimes. Planning and coordination with all parties involved, including the security agency, the business owner, and local law enforcement, is required to protect businesses during riots. The security guard serves as the company’s eyes, ears, and muscles. Using the right defensive tactics, security can better manage hostile behavior and keep people and property safe.

They stop security threats in their tracks.

Security guards typically receive specialized training to prepare them to deal with security threats during civil unrest. Rather than instilling fear in people anytime, there is a security danger or threat during civil unrest, security personnel will be on hand to help and competently handle the situation. Members of quick-response teams are taught how to use force in a way that is objectively acceptable, required, and proportional.

Do not hesitate to enlist their assistance if there is any civil unrest in the area. As events show police power abuse, it’s more necessary than ever to teach private guards the proper use of force. The security officer is simply a trained citizen who has been given an additional duty to protect property, people, and objects, but still be aware of their limitations as “trained citizens.” Outside of the Use of Force rules, guards must not use force or use lethal force. When force is employed, it is standard procedure to call the cops.

 

 

Multi-layered security is a network security method that employs numerous components to safeguard your construction site’s activities with multiple levels of security. The security of your building site is critical to guarantee a smooth production process at all stages of the project. Implementing a multi-layered security plan can create the groundwork for a successful security strategy at a reasonable cost. 

It is typical practice in several industries, such as industrial facilities, logistics, warehousing, and construction, to have multiple sites spread across several geographical regions, some of which will be unmanned and some of which will be isolated. In some circumstances, a building site may span a broad geographical area, necessitating a larger centralized security network.

In these situations, a multi-layered security approach is critical. Security networks may now be developed and changed to fit each construction site thanks to recent technological breakthroughs. A multi-layered method can include deploying an advanced system from one area to another, with everything reporting to a central station as needed.

 Perimeter protection via Intruder Detection

Intruder detection at the perimeter is the first ‘layer’ of good security. The goal is to spot invaders and deal with them before they obtain access. Every site’s unique qualities should be addressed with custom solutions. Having an access control system as well as manned security guards, for example, can help detect intruders and stop prospective criminals from entering your building site.

Protection against false alarms

When a bespoke assembly of multiple solutions is brought together to sense, assess, and respond appropriately to security threats in the most effective way possible, with the fewest possible false alarms, construction site security is usually very effective.

A sophisticated intruder detection system, such as a highly controlled passive infrared detector, combined with CCTV cameras can substantially aid in areas where environmental elements such as straying wild animals or harsh weather conditions may be problematic in sending off false alerts. In this method, if the infrared detector detects unlawful entry, the CCTV can act as a secondary layer to determine whether the intruder is truly an intruder or just a false alarm. This results in less squandered time and money, making it a far more effective strategy.

Combinations with finesse

Intruder detection systems are integrated with recorders and audio and video transmitters so that when an intruder is detected, high-quality audio, picture, or video data are instantaneously broadcast to a smartphone or a distant monitoring center, allowing operators to rapidly determine how to respond. For added security, police response alarms can be combined with intrusion detectors and real-time video links. Because of the degree and flexibility of these systems, there are a lot of possibilities and room for developing a solution that can provide the ultimate level of security.

Some operators of many remote sites may want to be able to interact efficiently with onsite staff in addition to monitoring. Operators can use a central management system to efficiently control many levels of communication and protection, including intrusion detection, in such instances. It’s critical to have multiple layers of protection on your construction site to reduce the risk of theft, trespassing, and putting the public at risk.

 

Construction site theft is one of the leading problems for contractors. This is why security should be part of the project planning to prevent losses and associated risks. But aside from locks, CCTV cameras, and ground personnel, contractors can also utilize the latest security technologies.

These latest innovations improve your site’s security while helping you reduce costs in the long run. It will also yield substantial returns as part of the company’s overall investment.

Here are some of the latest security technologies that suit construction projects:

Drone technology

CCTV coverage can be quite challenging for vast construction sites. Also, not all parts of the construction area can be reached with stationary cameras. This is where drone technology comes in.

Drones have been in use for many years. This technology played a significant role in military missions and the film-making industry. And as technology keeps innovating, drones can now be utilized for security purposes.

Contractors can operate CCTV drones in a pre-programmed path. The drone camera can also access specific areas that are not covered with traditional security technologies.

For example, if your security system detects a trespasser, a drone can be sent to inspect the area. This allows security personnel to respond fast and assess the intruder risk. It can also help identify or gather information about the intruder’s appearance.

Building Information Modeling

Also known as BIM, Building Information Modeling allows site planners to evaluate the project in every phase. This will let them plan CCTV installation and deployment of security personnel as the project progresses.

This digital model serves as site planners’ security map. It will save them from excessive maintenance and dead spots that intruders may use for theft.

Moreover, BIM can be scaled up or down based on the size of the project. It can also be used throughout the building process.

Cloud integration

Cloud technology isn’t new, but it’s been left untapped by many site planners. By integrating security systems into the cloud, everyone involved in the project can access CCTV footage, security database, and breach reports remotely.

In addition, cloud technology allows information sharing to assess security issues easily. It suits all construction projects across industries.

Moreover, cloud integration also allows project managers to limit who has access to the security features of the site. This is to prevent the ‘inside jobs’ of unscrupulous employees.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence or AI is a powerful way to bring burglars to justice. It can be integrated into drone CCTVs to identify the facial features of intruders. This reduces the need for human intervention while providing faster and accurate results.

Moreover, artificial intelligence will adapt to changing lighting, environment, and weather conditions. It’s a scalable security solution that could be the ultimate solution to construction site theft.

Conclusion

Construction site security boosts occupational safety while cutting back losses due to theft. As burglars become advanced with their tactics, site planners shouldn’t be left behind. The latest innovations in security technology provide them with additional tools to combat safety issues. Harnessing these new technologies can revolutionize construction site security in the future.

Operating a construction site necessitates the coordination of numerous logistical methods and factors. To secure your site and assets from thieves and trespassers, construction site security is critical. Tools, surveying equipment, breakers, generators, diggers, and rollers are the most common items taken from construction sites. Thefts can cause project delays, increased insurance premiums, and additional replacement costs. The easiest way to protect your investments is to register and track your construction equipment. The capacity to track down stolen construction site equipment and machinery is crucial in the recovery process.

Here are some pointers on how to track down assets taken from a construction site.

Creating a Stock List

You can keep track of each thing by creating an inventory and maintaining up to date on your assets. Regular inventory inspections can aid in the tracing and recovery of your assets by quickly identifying if a piece of equipment has been stolen. Making a note of any distinguishable marks on your equipment, or whether you’ve chosen to purposefully engrave or stamp equipment with a recognizable name, number, or symbol, allows you to quickly identify the item as yours and part of your inventory.

Having identifiable marks can also function as a deterrent for thieves because tagged equipment is more difficult to sell and they are less likely to steal equipment that could expose them to detection. Should other safeguards fail, taking images of your assets to add to your inventory database can be a helpful backup to aid police in identifying your stolen goods.

Registration system for CESAR and TER

The Construction Equipment Security and Registration (CESAR) program was created to combat the resale of stolen construction site machinery. It also intends to look into and track down the stolen tools and other construction equipment.

It was put in place due to collaboration between the police and the Plant Theft Action Group (PTAG), and was pushed by the Construction Equipment Association (CEA). They agreed that to help prevent theft in this area, a national registry and labeling program should be developed. The method employs several technologies such as Datadots, Glass tags, unique plant identification plates, and high-tech scanners to determine whether a given piece of equipment has been flagged as stolen. Registering your valuables with this system aids in the identification of the stolen goods’ owner.

The Equipment Register (TER) is similar to the CESAR scheme in that it requires registration and then offers important information that assists the appropriate individuals in identifying your stolen equipment. If your valuables are registered under this system, they will be reported by an auction company or the police, who will check the ownership and stolen status with TER and return it to the proper owner.

Forensic Identification

Using simple techniques and equipment, forensic marking can be a cost-efficient and effective way of protecting and tracing items against theft. A warning label stating that the products use advanced ID technology will deter would-be thieves. The forensic approach of marking goes hand in hand with registering to a central database such as CESAR, because registering makes it easier to recover stolen goods in the event of theft.

When compared to labeling or engraving on your tools, forensic marking kits are more effective. It’s impossible to resell forensically tagged tools since the marking is nearly impossible to remove and is undetectable to the human eye.

Security risk assessments are a crucial aspect of ensuring the safety of your construction site. They allow you to identify weak points, especially for crime-prone construction projects. However, it’s important to perform and implement such assessments properly to prevent theft and crimes.

Most of all, security risk assessment should be done periodically. This will allow site planners to stay abreast of new security challenges in their projects.

Below, we discuss the basic steps of conducting a security risk assessment that you can use on your construction site:

List down potential security risks

The first step in security assessment is to identify the risks. Any construction site, regardless of size, will have numerous security issues. This may include trespassing, equipment theft, lumber theft, and so on. By identifying these risks, you’re setting a solid foundation for your security plan later on.

Most of the time, the number of security risks is directly proportional to the size of the project. The number of employees, cost of equipment on site, and location will also impact your list.

Aside from the obvious, you should also check for the following weak points:

  • Lack of equipment identification
  • Poor site lighting
  • Poor site fencing
  • Insufficient security personnel
  • Lack of CCTV cameras
  • The crime rate in the area
  • History of unauthorized site access
  • Prioritize the risks

Once you have a complete list of security threats to your site, the next step is to prioritize them in order. It’s best to consult the local police and fire department to assess the risk level of your site. This will give you a better idea of what to prioritize.

Moreover, you can partner with a security expert for a professional assessment of your construction site. This will take the guesswork out while ensuring that your project will receive a topnotch security plan.

Devise a security mitigation plan

With the security threats all laid out, the next thing you need to do is come up with a solid mitigation plan. This plan should include practical steps the security team needs to follow in case of a breach or threat.

Moreover, the plan should include a comprehensive integration of security technologies like CCTV cameras, drones, and access control systems.

In addition, most site planners will invest in more security personnel, securing site equipment, and intensive employee background checks. All of these are intended to make the construction site a safer place while preventing losses on the company’s part.

Conduct periodic security reviews

You can never put your guard down when it comes to construction site security. It’s essential to review and update your mitigation plan to keep up with the project’s changing demands. As your site scales up, so should your security.

If you’re partnering with a security service provider, you should ask for monthly or quarterly assessments. This will keep you updated on any changes to your construction site security.

Conclusion

Security risk assessment is an indispensable aspect of construction planning. It will help prevent substantial losses due to theft and security breaches. Like any other part of the project, site planners should put a lot of weight on security.

Engineers, builders, contractors, plumbers, electricians and other tradesmen often oversee their skilled construction site crews. They help ensure that the construction process happens smoothly without any liability issues or costly delays.

Usually, construction companies make security upgrades only after they’ve received several complaints or experienced recurring jobsite security issues, such as trespassing, vandalism, theft or unreliable onsite access control. When these security problems start to outweigh the cost of replacing security equipment, a building company often only has two choices: 

Update what you can while trying to make it compatible with your older equipment or start fresh with a comprehensive security plan. 

Improving your jobsite’s security can be challenging, expensive, and time-consuming. However, you can get great results and a measurable return on your investment if you plan your construction security correctly. Below are a few key strategies that will help you modernize your building’s security.

CCTV cameras integrate well with a security guard patrol

Investing in CCTV installation offers construction site managers an effective way to keep an eye on their crew, subcontractors and the overall jobsite. Security camera footage can be used as effective evidence in an accident, hazard, theft, arson, or vandalism cases.

The features you should look for in your monitoring surveillance include:

  • Infrared lights that enable night vision to pick up important details like a license plate, hoody logo or facial features.

  • The capability to monitor a large jobsite area 24/7 remotely from a PC or Smartphone

  • The flexibility to allow site managers to pan, zoom, and tilt remotely to see what’s going on in real-time and take the appropriate action. 

  • Motion sensor cameras with floodlights, alarms and live intruder warnings to support onsite security patrols. 

  • All outdoor cameras should be able to withstand harsh environments and not be easily tampered with.

Access control systems streamline and document your jobsite

With the right systems in place, you can eliminate time-consuming visual card checks and clipboard paper-based systems, for better streamlining and documentation in the long run.

A modern access control system can identify what tasks each individual or group is working on and who they are affiliated with, enabling you to centralize logistical information, prevent unauthorized access, and ensure all necessary security and safety measures are in place.

Leading-edge organizations have adopted the CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) card service. A valid ID certifies workers’ identities and qualifications as well as confirms they have the right to work on-site to prevent fraud. Biometric access control is preferable over other types of access control for construction sites. It uses biometrics to verify workers’ identities making it is exceedingly difficult to gain access without the right data.

Companies are embracing virtual reality safety training

With virtual reality, construction companies can offer a better safety and technology training program for their employees. Virtual reality training can put construction crews into a variety of critical situations with complete safety. This allows them to test and master safety and hazard protocols as well as practice their skill and aptitude to make the right decisions under stressful conditions.

New hires are able to experience real-world situations through simulations, while more experienced workers are able to hone their skills in a cost-effective way.

Wearable technology is next level safety 

Current advances in wearable technology serve as a viable complement to traditional hard-hat and personal protective equipment (PPE) systems used for site safety. Wearable technology is being increasingly incorporated into worker’s safety gear on construction sites to provide better information access about health and safety risks to reduce worker exposure. 

These devices supply a variety of important information, such as temperatures above a safe level, noise that could cause damage to their hearing, poor air quality that could affect their health, and other hazards and environmental dangers.

These are several development methods that you can employ to modernize your system for more efficiency on your construction sites.

Construction sites tend to contain a large number of tools, materials, and machinery of a high monetary value. These assets unwittingly attract unwanted attention from outsiders, including children playing, young vandals, community trespassers and thieves looking for anything of value.

To provide protection on construction sites, owners and managers must put into place a series of security measures aimed at preventing theft of equipment, damage of equipment, vandalism of property, and costly building disruptions.

While many businesses will already have security policies, there are still essential procedures to ensure their physical assets remain safe.

Risk Analysis

Risk analysis is the assessment of potential threats, risks and adverse factors in all stages of planning and implementation of construction projects, including the early stages of the decision-making process.

A comprehensive risk analysis should be carried out for every jobsite to identify potential security challenges. If ongoing issues are identified, they should be documented and communicated up the management chain to key members of the team.

This should include physical security risks, operational risks, and changes in operating conditions over time. Risk assessments should be carried out on a semi-regular basis to help stay out in front of risks that may change due to seasonal, social, environmental or other factors.

Physical Security

Physical security involves the material measures which are designed to maintain the integrity of a construction jobsite and support the infrastructure. Physical security includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • CCTV and Highly Visible Signage.

CCTV offers remote monitoring and recording as a deterrent to intruders as well as quickly alerting the authorities should anything go wrong. Likewise, posting signs in highly visible locations across the construction site that advertising security on duty and contact information is important.

  • Access Control

Access control systems can integrate with any other card-based or biometric devices to deter trespassing and ensure safe access to your premises. They help you manage the arrival and departure of personnel and vehicles, which makes it easier to track those present on the site at any given time. A low-tech version of access control is a security guard on post with a smartphone, approved admittance list, and sign-in sheet.

  • Fencing and Barriers

As per RISC guidelines, construction sites must meet established security requirements for construction site fencing and barriers of at least 2.4 meters high.

In addition, anti-climb, palisade, welded mesh fencing can be utilized as an effective deterrent against trespassers and intruders. Security guards should be aware of and report any fence gaps or damage.

  • Lock Systems

Experienced construction sites provide lockable storage areas for tools, equipment, and materials to ensure that they can be secured when not in use. These costly items should be locked using tamper-resistant lock mechanisms to deter criminals.

Operational Security

Operational security is a vital aspect of any construction site and refers to the human involvement in the security of the jobsite. If no actual humans are employed to oversee the other aspects of your security, then overall operational security may suffer. For instance, hiring licensed security guards to patrol the site after working hours. In fact, most states mandate by law a security guard presence at certain stages of construction, such as a fire watch during the alarm and sprinkler system installs.

These individuals are properly trained and fully authorized, which enables them to provide crucial support for high-security locations or large building projects.

A vital part of operational security is to ensure all on-site staff are trained in basic safety and security protocols. It’s a great way to raise awareness and helps guarantee employees handle security measures correctly during the day-to-day running of a site to avoid liability.

All of these essential security procedures work together to keep the construction site as safe and secure as possible, which helps guarantee that you stay on schedule to safeguard your industry reputation.

The pandemic comes with all sorts of risks. A greater dependence on the Internet has exacerbated an already-existing threat in the form of identity theft. The crime continues to frighten and jeopardize the public on a vast scale.

In fact, the US Federal Trade Commission recorded 2.1 million reports of fraud in 2020 alone, most of which were imposter scams. Despite the efforts being made to protect systems, properties, and assets, it is anticipated that breaches will only increase in frequency and severity in the coming years. In such cases, hiring private investigators could be an option to solve identity theft if you’re targeted.

What Identity Theft Looks Like Today

No matter the type of identity theft committed, it is counted as a severe crime. According to the Department of Justice, identity theft is when unauthorized persons wrongfully obtain and use another individual’s data to commit fraud and deception for economic gain. These crimes are often carried out to access and steal money, called financial identity theft. It can also be a way to evade charges, which is called criminal identity theft. There’s also something called identity cloning which conceals their identity using yours, while medical identity theft involves using someone else’s insurance benefits to access healthcare for themselves. There is also child identity theft, which occurs when a minor’s identity is used for various forms of personal gain.

The impact of identity theft cannot be taken lightly. Financial losses can be significant, especially if criminals succeed in targeting individuals of influence, such as company leaders and government officials. It can cost businesses millions of dollars in the worst-case scenarios. Individuals also suffer the consequences, such as damaged credit scores and stolen personal finances. In addition, some criminals may work for large organizations that go on the offensive via terrorist acts or financial heists. Identity theft can occur practically anywhere, including in your very own property or network, so being prepared is of the utmost importance.

Private Investigations and Solving Identity Theft

Identity theft is a difficult situation to remedy, which is why professionals like private investigators are integral to your recovery and protection. This is particularly important when security is breached on your property. Private investigators can work to track down the criminal and advise you on ways to prevent it from happening again in the future.

Involving the authorities is essential because identity theft is considered a serious crime, especially when the thief has caused damage to you and your property. You can file a report with your local law enforcement so they can connect you to a professional with experience working in criminal justice. Aside from being trained in investigation processes and law enforcement, they will also have first-hand experience working with similar criminals in court cases. This knowledge gives them an edge in understanding the motives behind the crimes.

While identity theft can have a significant impact, taking steps to improve your on-site security can prevent it from happening again. Whether you are securing a construction site, your consulting firm, or even a school, taking measures such as installing security systems, performing background checks, hiring a watch guard, and registering any valuable equipment can all help to reduce the likelihood of identity theft. If your property deals with lots of supplies, then monitoring your inventory and standard lock-up procedures more closely is also something you should implement immediately. We at Echelon Protection & Surveillance can help you put a solid security infrastructure in place. As a privately-owned business, we can guarantee we will provide personal attention to every single one of our clients, so you know you’re safe with us.

Identity theft can be a harrowing experience, and feeling safe again may take some time. However, knowing that the right professionals will do what they can to recover what is lost can help you keep yourself and your property safer. 

 

A guest blog article by Ada Travis

Everyone sees and feels prices rising. In the past year alone, prices increased 4.3%. The cost of food, gas, clothing, cars and trucks all have gone up because of many factors, including the pandemic. In a broad stroke, the halt of life activities in the U.S. and around the world due to public health crisis restrictions caused business to slow down or stop for most industries and individuals. Everyone struggled with the stress, but was also forced to react and reflect during the long period of uncertainty.

Businesses took stock, audited every expense, and made the necessary deep cuts. Individuals decided what was best for them and their families from a health and financial perspective. Many decided to stay at home and collect unemployment, parents faced childcare challenges, others had health concerns, and the majority were mandated to work from home. One thing is certain — everything changed. So many people left the workforce that employers had no choice but to offer higher wages, better benefits and even signing bonuses. All the uncertainty put hourly workers in the driver’s seat for the first time in decades.

Raising hourly pay to a living wage was long overdue. On January 1, 2021, the minimum wage increased to $13.00 to $14.00 per hour, depending on the number of employees a business had. Before that, the last time Congress raised the minimum wage was from $6.55 to $7.25 in the summer of 2009. And before that, the minimum wage was $5.15 per hour for a decade. Once hourly wages began to rise at the big box stores, businesses were forced to follow suit to be competitive – and the security industry is no exception.

In our case, we were already paying a few dollars more than industry standard. So, when half our security guard pool disappeared due to the pandemic, we again had to offer higher wages in order to maintain a large enough guard pool to service our clients. The median pay of our security guards has driven our labor costs up about 50% in 2021 and we have no choice but to pass that cost along to our clients. In general, our clients are not surprised at the rate increases because they’re in the same boat. Their business is returning, but they’re short-staffed and cannot recruit fast enough because the job market has drastically changed. When they can hire, they must pay more.

Solving our workforce shortages made us become more innovative. We decided to focus on leveraging our vast relationships in law enforcement and pay a premium for better security guards. We reached out to retired State Troopers, County Sheriffs and others. Although they command significantly more per hour than guards with less experience, the benefits are clear.

  • Security Guards with a law enforcement background have a more professional skill set that clients appreciate.
  • Security Officers with a law enforcement background have key certifications and vetting
  • Private Investigators with a law enforcement background can more easily coordinate with local authorities and represent our brand better.
  • Security Agents with a law enforcement background know how to take the initiative and lead.
  • Bodyguards with a law enforcement background are trained to work as a team, take pride in their security assignments.

Our new inventory of higher-end security guards means our building construction, retail, hospitality, property management, event and school clients now all pay more for a security guard than they did atthe beginning of the year. It has always been true that people will pay more for a better or luxury product. In our industry, top guards equal higher-level security services — and peace of mind. The result has been that our clients are impressed with the new level of guards and have been contacting us more often with praise and high marks for our security guards.

Fire can ravage your expensive construction equipment within minutes. With all the chemicals and materials used in construction, fires can become uncontrollable. It will cause serious damage to property and may even result in casualties. You have to know what to do in case of fire accidents to avoid these kinds of disasters.

Construction sites have their share of hazards, from falling objects, electrical problems and injuries. However, fire prevention is often put on the sidelines. If you’re caught in the middle of a construction site fire without a plan, here’s what you need to do:

Set off the fire alarm

The moment you discover a fire, you should set off the nearest fire alarm right away. This is to alert the entire site to the hazard.

All workers and employees in the construction site should be aware of the sound of a fire alarm. You should also discuss evacuation procedures for the next step.

Evacuate as fast as possible

Once the fire alarm is sounding off, you should vacate the area right away. Keep doorways and corridors clear so others can pass through easily.

Moreover, you should touch doorknobs gently to check if it’s hot. If so, it’s a sign that the other side is already engulfed in flames. Take this as a sign of fire danger, and you must seek another way out.

Call the fire department

Once you’re in a safe spot, you should call the local fire department immediately. You need to get the fire contained as soon as possible. Make sure that you provide the construction site address properly.

Use the nearby fire extinguishers

All construction site workers should also know how to use a fire extinguisher. This can help contain a small fire before it spreads into a larger area. All construction sites need to have fire extinguishers as part of fire code compliance.

To use a fire extinguisher, you need to pull the pin to break the seal. Next, you should point the nozzle in the direction of the fire. Lastly, squeeze the lever at the top of the tank to release the extinguisher. You should target the base of the fire in a sweeping motion.

Stay close to the ground

If smoke has already occupied an enclosed location, you must stay low to the floor. Hot air and smoke rise, so standing will just increase your risk of breathing smoke and losing consciousness.

You can crawl your way out of the building to reach safety. Most importantly, you should know the exit points of the construction site.

Stay in a safe area

While waiting for the firefighters, you must stay in a safe place away from the fire. You should also wait for further instructions to avoid injuries on the site.

The company should also take the fire incident as a wake-up call for training. The contractor should also observe fire safety measures to avoid the same thing from happening again.

Conclusion

Knowing what to do during a construction site fire can save lives. You should never assume a ringing fire alarm as a mere test unless you’re informed ahead.  With enough precautions and knowledge, everyone will come out of a fire unscathed. This is something that contractors should also include in their project plan.

 

Construction site theft causes massive losses to companies. Worse, it often gets unnoticed until the losses have accumulated. This could be prevented if you can mitigate common vulnerabilities already present in your construction site.

Site managers and contractors alike must take note of the following flaws that compromise their assets.

Unregistered equipment

One of the biggest mistakes you’ll ever make is not registering your construction equipment. Although registration won’t make your equipment theft-proof, it will make it easier to retrieve.

Each equipment manufacturer has its own UCC or Uniform Commercial Code for the equipment they produce. Engraving this on a hidden spot of the equipment will give your equipment an identity. When someone steals it from the lot, you can clear disputes in case other companies also file their claim.

Absence of security cameras

Security cameras are basic components of on-site security. It won’t stop thieves from entering, but it will give you solid proof of the theft. It will also help identify the perpetrators.

While video security may seem expensive, it will pay off in terms of theft prevention. You can also assign someone to monitor the video feed to spot theft attempts.

Lack of security personnel

Aside from security cameras, it’s crucial to invest in security personnel as well. Physical security has been proven to deter theft. You can also coordinate with the local police, though they can only provide occasional checks. Remember that on-site security must be scaled based on its size and the asset value at stake.

Security inconsistency

Thieves can easily pick up patterns if you are inconsistent with your security. Therefore, you should never stop and start based on the patterns of theft. Otherwise, you’ll be giving in to the whims of burglars, which should never happen.

Poor on-site surveillance positioning

It’s not enough that you have on-site surveillance; you should also position it strategically. Your cameras should be easily seen so as to deter thieves planning to steal equipment. The right positioning will also help capture clear footage.

The same goes for your security agents. They should watch over your equipment so they can spot theft attempts as it happens.

Absence of theft prevention measures

Without theft prevention measures, your construction site is a sitting duck to thieves. It’s only a matter of time before burglars know of your lax security. You have to implement a theft prevention plan, which includes your on-site equipment, documents, and manpower. This will reduce the risk of theft while letting you address the problem quickly if it occurs.

Putting all your faith in insurance

Lastly, you should never put all your faith in insurance. Insurance providers hate gross security negligence. Even though they cover theft, they will soon deny claims once the insurer proves that your negligence played a part in the incident. Your premium costs will also skyrocket.

Conclusion

Construction site theft should be a contractor’s priority aside from the completion of the project. Avoiding the common pitfalls of security will drastically reduce theft incidents. Proportionally, it will also cut the losses of the company.

When you require security to protect and secure your building and construction job site — it all starts with an onsite security assessment. Once the security contract has been signed, it’s essential that your site manager meets with your security provider onsite to see the physical property and review specific duties and expectations. 

The right security partner will want to take the extra time to meet with you face-to-face to be sure the job is kicked off right. The majority of building and contracting stakeholders worry about securing their site from theft, fire, hazard, trespassing and vandalism. A little due diligence, communication, and preplanning saves time, effort and aggravation when your project is in full swing. Below are a few key security assessment strategies to consider in your initial walkthrough.

Share and Utilize Your Site Map

Start your assessment by sharing the site map and using it to mark areas of special interest and concern. Your security company can then digitally enhance the site map to use in the security directives they prepare for the actual guards who will be assigned to secure your site. A well-labeled, color-coded, site map should include as much detailed information as possible, such as lock codes, location of guard parking, entrances and exits, porta-potties, fire extinguishers, etc. Nothing replaces the clarity of a complete site map to familiarize guards with the site in the initial stages of the job.

Examine Perimeter Fencing for Gaps

Most job sites utilize chain-link panel perimeter fencing, rented from large national companies as an effective secure barrier around your construction site. Depending on the project location, stage of construction and site layout, managers can add barbed wire or a privacy/dust screens. As you walk through the job site, take note of fencing gaps, damage, or entire missing sections. If the fencing is not reliable, adjust your security plan to protect vulnerable areas with more patrols, deterrent signage, surveillance cameras and lighting. Understanding your site and environment, including the regional crime rate, seasonal climate, etc. should inform your security decisions.

Develop a Detailed Patrol Plan

Your site assessment is the perfect time to define security protocols. Protocols should including where your guards will patrol, and the locations of the scan tags which electronically verify their rounds and duties. Posting scan tags in areas of high-value assets or potential risk help guards stay on-point while on patrol by verifying the time and frequency. There are many excellent security officer reporting software applications that keep clients informed while also safeguarding against liability. Once your security protocols have been agreed upon, we suggest varying the guard patrol times and regularity so they’re less predictable to anyone watching. Random patrol times keep bad actors guessing and help prevent guards from becoming complacent.

Your security patrol should include easy access to areas where high-value assets are stored. A comprehensive security patrol provides real value by taking note of any current and prospective problems on-site, such as damaged gates, shattered windows, broken lights and unlocked trailers. Security guards on patrol document everything in a daily digital report that is available to all stakeholders. Your final security protocols should incorporate a call-down list of property owners, site managers, local law enforcement, and fire hazard authorities.

Adapt Security for Each Phase of Construction 

From the first delivery of materials to project closeout and turnover, your security needs to adapt. The site assessment is the time to determine the areas to secure all tools, materials and heavy equipment. The signing in and out of tools takes a little longer, but is well worth the extra effort because it keeps gear from “walking away” and adds to the overall organization and safety of your job site. The access control of deliveries should also include a sign-in and sign-out process, as well as a designated secure spot for materials. In addition, heavy equipment should be corralled in a well-lit area and arranged in a way that limits damage by inhibiting movement. Capturing all these areas on the site map with your security provider helps them visualize the project and understand your expectations. Be sure to discuss insurance, use of force, guard supervision and daily reporting.

Since 2001, successful building & construction companies of all sizes have chosen Echelon Protection & Surveillance to keep their job site safe and secure from unwanted and illegal activity, including theft, fire, vandalism, trespassing and safety hazards that cause costly delays. Call 610-831-0277 or email sales@epsagents.com today for reliable, flexible and professional security guard services.

 

Raw lumber, buckets of paint, electrical equipment and scattered debris. These are some of the things you’ll find at a construction site. It’s not unusual for basic materials to be out in the open when structures are being built. But, their presence significantly increases the chances of fires breaking out.

Fires are devastating to any business – but perhaps even worse for building and construction companies. Besides causing damage, they impact your budget and delay the completion of the project, damaging your reputation.

Site managers must keep construction sites safe by eliminating fire hazards and other potential threats. By law, they must take measures such as a fire watch to prevent fire-related damage and related injuries by workers, visitors and the public. They also protect structures and building materials from catching fire. Remember, a structure fire is also dangerous to nearby public and private buildings. Should a fire occur, diligent site managers have already limited the risk of fire spreading and causing more damage by taking every precaution.

Fire Risks and How to Protect Against Them

A fire can start from many things at a construction site. Flammable materials, cordless tools, battery-operated equipment, and heaters are just some of the most common sources of fire.

Workers who smoke or engage in work such as soldering and welding may also cause a fire. In recent years, arson or intentional fire has become increasingly common. Depending on your location, social environment, and climate, your probability of fire varies.

Here are 8 things you can do to reduce the risk of fire:

  1. Flammable materials must be stored and disposed of properly. The amount of materials stored at a time should be kept to a minimum so large fires can be avoided.
  2. Electrical equipment and battery-operated tools should undergo regular maintenance and be kept in safe, proper storage. Tools must be charged in stations located outside the building.
  3. Site managers must inspect portable heaters and fans that are brought onto the construction site. They should be approved for use and not be left unsupervised when switched on.
  4. Workers shouldn’t bring cooking equipment at the site, and they shouldn’t be allowed to cook either. Examples include grills, hot plates, and microwaves.
  5. Site managers must impose a strict no smoking policy on site. A smoking and cigarette disposal area can be allowed but it must be in a safe location away from the site.
  6. Secure the site by setting up fences, lighting on motion detectors, and perimeter controls. You should also hire licensed, bonded and insured security personnel who can monitor the site for access control and after-hours.
  7. While the building is being constructed, make sure that there is access to fire extinguishers on site and that you know where the closest fire hydrants are.
  8. Educate workers about the steps you’ve taken to avoid fire, and what they can do should a fire break out.

More Ways To Prevent Fire At Construction Sites

Structures that are under construction usually lack fire protection. This is normal since there are no sprinklers, fire alarms, and fire walls installed. For the meantime, you can set up wireless fire alarms. It is a simple and cost-effective solution to protecting your construction site against fires. Wireless fire alarms detect heat and smoke. They are linked to one another via radio. You can monitor them at all hours, even when the construction site is closed. Note that by law, most cities and counties require fire watches performed by trained security and safety officers while alarms and sprinkler systems are not operational.

 

Since 2001, successful building & construction companies of all sizes have chosen Echelon Protection & Surveillance to keep their jobsite safe and secure from unwanted and illegal activity, including: theft, fire, vandalism, trespassing and safety hazards that cause costly delays. Call 610-831-0277 or email sales@epsagents.com today for reliable, flexible and professional security services. 

 

No matter the location, construction sites are vulnerable to various risks and threats. When everyone is done working for the day, expensive equipment, tools, and materials are often left unsecured. Bad actors may steal, vandalize, or intentionally destroy your valuable assets for no reason at all.

We’ve seen everything from neighbors sabotaging million-dollar gear just because they didn’t like the noise, to vandals pouring sugar in heavy equipment tanks, to “inside job” theft of valuable materials and tools.

Here, we described some of the scenarios that might take place at a construction site. Studies show that while passive security measures such as fencing, lighting, cameras, and deterrent signage help — on site security guards provide better security protection. Guards often act as a real-time deterrent, stopping unwanted activity before it starts. Passive security measures are often helpful, only after the damage has already been done.

Below are 5 tips on hiring security for your construction site.

Tip #1: Look for a construction site security expert

Most security companies offer their services for different kinds of properties. Even though there are general practices that can be applied, each industry has its own security needs.

In this respect, it’s better to contract with a company that specializes in construction site security, rather than a company that provides general security to the public and private sector. They will have the knowledge and experience needed to protect your property and assets, while understanding the special needs and flexibility that the building and construction industry expect.

Being familiar with your industry also allows for easy transition from one stage to another. They can easily adjust to your city or rural jobsite environment and are less likely to have missteps that create liability.

Tip #2: See which services they offer

Construction site security is not a one-size-fits-all affair. Your jobsite may have areas that cannot be actively patrolled or monitored and require wireless security. Sites with a lot of traffic may need on-site access control security during work hours. Most sites need to be patrolled overnight for theft, vandalism, fire and other unwanted activity. An experienced security company will be able to meet all of your building and construction security needs.

Tip #3: Read reviews from former clients

An impressive client list doesn’t always mean they do well on their job. If you want to get an actual picture of their performance, you have to do your due diligence by researching what customers have to say about their capabilities and management. Did their clients leave positive reviews? Are there any active lawsuits or complaints? Are they properly licensed and insured? These are just some of the questions to consider to determine whether your security company is an asset or liability.

Tip #4: Talk to your insurance provider

Hiring construction site security will drastically reduce the liability and threats to your business, including: trespassing, theft, arson, hazard and destruction of property. By reducing these risks, your insurance company will have greater confidence in your project. In turn, you will pay less for your coverage and avoid costly delays that hurt your reputation and profit margin.

Tip #5: Sign a detailed, but flexible contract agreement

As soon as you’ve decided on a security company that’s a good fit, the last step is to sign an agreement. But before you do, there are still a few things that need to be considered.

First, you need to agree on the shifts and number of security personnel that will be assigned to your project. Second, list estimated start and end dates. Third, discuss your security expectations and work toward a flexible contract that allows for security changes throughout the stages of construction work.

Of course, most jobs take longer than expected. Plus, you may end up needing more or fewer guards or shift coverage than estimated. Anticipating common sense adjustments based on industry experience is the best way to manage unexpected costs.

Since 2001, successful building & construction companies of all sizes have chosen Echelon Protection & Surveillance to secure and protect their job site from unwanted and illegal activity, including: theft, fire, vandalism, trespassing and safety hazards that cause costly delays. Call 610-831-0277 or email sales@epsagents.com today for reliable, flexible and professional security services.

Homebuilders are facing a big threat: construction site theft. Cases continue to soar, which is highly attributed to the skyrocketing prices of construction materials. If you have an ongoing construction project, it’s important to take safety precautions to keep the thieves at bay.

The problem with most construction sites is their poor security. Since construction isn’t finished yet, project managers often overlook the security aspect. But in the eyes of thieves, construction equipment is gold.

This makes construction site theft a low-risk but high-reward pursuit for burglars. Once the workers are out, it’s a piece of cake to funnel out expensive construction equipment and materials.

For big projects, the losses can rise to millions. As much as the numbers are daunting, you can do something to stop the burglary. Here are a few quick steps you can take:

Keep your construction site secured.

Construction site safety should be more than just putting up a ‘No Trespassing’ sign. You have to lock up your tools, secure heavy equipment, and don’t leave construction materials lying around.

Many construction sites take weeks to realize that something has been stolen because of poor supplies inventory. Therefore, it’s essential to keep tabs on your supplies. This will let you report theft once something has been stolen.

Also, manufacturers have since adapted a standard, a 17-digit identification number for the equipment they produce. Ensure that this PIN is embedded on two parts of the equipment, with one hidden to prevent tampering.

Register your equipment

The National Equipment Register allows contractors to register their heavy equipment so law enforcers can easily recover the item once stolen. It’s also solid proof that you own the equipment should other contractors raise their own claim.

Hire a watch guard

Keeping the construction manned will deter burglars. This isn’t the sole solution, but it will make a big difference in preventing construction site theft. You can also work with local authorities in securing your construction site.

Moreover, it’s important to impose a zero-tolerance policy for employees and contractors who will play a part in the theft.

Install a security system

Aside from hiring security personnel, you should also invest in top-of-the-line security cameras. This will be your additional eyes on the construction site. And should anyone steals, you can easily present video evidence to the authorities.

The good thing about having security cameras is you can easily check the construction site anywhere. In addition, it will let you spot burglary attempts, vandalism, and accidents.

Perform an employee background check

You should be careful who you trust on the construction site. Take the time to perform a rigorous background check on each employee to ensure they have a clean record.

Past theft records should raise a red flag. This will allow you to hire smarter, especially for expensive construction jobs where prized equipment will be used.

Conclusion

Construction site theft should never be put on the sidelines. Property managers and construction companies should invest in construction site security as much as they do on the actual project. This will help them save large sums from stolen equipment and the hassle of litigation.

No one would want to wake up to the news that their construction site has turned to ashes. Whatever you’re building, a 24-hour fire watch guard should be your first line of defense against fire hazards. These professionals will patrol and secure your property before a fire breaks out.

The truth is that only a few business owners and construction managers hire fire watch guards. While their role isn’t widely known, these watch guards can save property, money and lives.

Here are the top reasons why you should consider hiring a fire watch guard for your property:

Saving lives and preventing injuries

The ultimate role of fire watch guards is to prevent fires that would compromise the safety of the people and property. A potential fire hazard will be mitigated through their proactive services before it turns into a deadly catastrophe.

These watch guards will also prevent the occurrence of fire-related injuries across industries. This protection applies to the occupants, workers, and visitors of the property.

Preventing expensive property damage

A fire can ravage millions’ worth of assets within hours. Flames don’t spare anything, no matter how costly the damage will be.

This major financial loss can be prevented with the help of fire watch guards. They are on duty 24/7 to ensure that your property, equipment, and facilities are free from major fire hazards.

The difference between the cost of hiring fire watch guards and recovering from a fire is astronomical.

Abiding by the OSHA Fire Prevention Guidelines

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) imposes strict guidelines to minimize fire hazards. Business owners and property managers are obliged to abide by these rules. Otherwise, you’ll be slapped with a massive penalty and potential jail time.

Instead of defying the law, you should consider hiring a fire watch guard. They are trained to comply with the OSHA guidelines to ensure that the law won’t come after you.

Complying with insurance company requirements

Insurance companies often require property owners to provide a regular maintenance log. This is to prove that the insured has preventive measures in place to avoid fire accidents.

Fire watch guards can produce such maintenance logs to keep you compliant with your insurer’s terms.  You can sleep soundly at night knowing that your property’s fire safety is at par with the industry standards.

Receiving professional fire management

Above all, fire watch guards provide professional fire management services. They are trained to respond to fire accidents and mitigate hazards. The watch guards also adhere to strict protocol to prevent lapses that could result in a fire.

Aside from meeting regulations, fire watch guards can help save you hard-earned investments. It’s something you can’t put a price on, especially for multi-million dollar properties.

Conclusion

A fire can happen anytime and anywhere. Instead of exposing your construction site to such risk, it’s best to hire fire watch guards. These professionals are an investment to secure your property, employees, tenants, and visitors.

The benefit will also trickle down to your insurance premiums and reputation as a business owner. In the long run, fire watch guard services will pay for themselves.

phila fire department

The threat of fire on building and construction sites presents a huge risk to people and property, including the surrounding community. To that end, the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections issued new code requirements in September of 2020 for fire watches regarding construction and demolition sites. The new code states that all active building and construction sites in the city of Philadelphia must comply with the outlined requirements by November 1, 2020. Below are the new policy requirements directly from the City’s website.

POLICY

A Fire Watch shall be required under the following circumstances:

  • A building’s fire alarm, fire sprinkler, or fire suppression system is impaired, including planned impairments as required by Code Bulletin F-1601;
  • Hot work activity occurs within the building;
  • Combustible, new construction exceeds 40’ in height or includes an aggregate area exceeding 50,000 square feet;
  • Other hazardous activity occurs, as determined by the Site Safety Manager, Fire Code Official, or the courts.

At a minimum, a Fire Watch shall be maintained at the following times:

  • During an emergency or planned impairment of a fire protection system;
  • During and at least 30 minutes after the conclusion of hot work activity;
  • During non-working hours from the time that combustible construction reaches a height above 40’ or an area of 50,000 square feet until the fire alarm or fire suppression system has been certified.

A Fire Watch shall meet the following criteria:

  • The primary duty of fire watch personnel shall be to perform constant patrols and watch for the occurrence of fire. The combination of fire watch duties and security duties is acceptable.
  • Fire watch personnel shall be trained in all duties and responsibilities outlined in the Site Safety Plan.
  • Fire watch personnel shall be provided with at least one approved means for notification to the Fire Department, including but not limited to a cellular phone.
  • An adequate number of fire watch personnel shall be on duty to ensure that all areas of a property are inspected every 30 minutes. In multi-story buildings there shall be at least one fire watch for every five floors.
  • In the event that the fire watch observes smoke or fire, the Fire Department shall be notified immediately.
  • Maintain a record of all time periods of duty, including the log entry each time the site was patrolled, and each time a structure was entered and inspected. Records shall be made available for review by the Fire Code Official upon request.

The Site Safety Plan shall be reviewed during the initial meeting with the building inspector. Any changes to the plan shall be documented and made available for review by the building inspector or fire code official upon request.

Add value to your fire watch by taking a more comprehensive approach to the overall site security and safety of your property and people. Security guards on patrol should have clear general protocols in addition to the specific and mandated fire watch directives. Your guards should act as a strong, highly visible deterrent against illegal or unwanted activity. This includes awareness of any unsafe or unusual activity at adjacent structures or lots that could affect your property.

With over 45 years of experience as a volunteer firefighter, I personally developed Echelon’s fire watch protocols and processes. Since 2001, we’ve kept fire watches of every size and duration – from 1-day special projects to years-long remediations. Our fire watch services are responsive, well organized, and carefully managed in tandem with the local Fire Marshal and authorities.

Echelon uses decades of high-level fire watch experience combined with the latest technology in order to guarantee a safe and effective fire watch. Contact Echelon Protection & Surveillance for your next fire watch. Call 610-831-0277 or email sales@epsagents.com today to learn more.

Echelon blog art July

Building & construction firms have a long list of responsibilities, worries and challenges. Many times, security planning falls low on the priority list. However, a simple calculation of prospective losses, liability and reputation-crushing costly delays shows that partnering with the right security company is a wise return on investment. Indeed, in many states, a security presence is now mandatory during certain phases of construction. In this blog installment, we’ve collected a few of our most relevant tips for performing a “smarter” construction site patrol.

1) “S” stands for… Stay aware of onsite assets

Security guards are often patrolling job sites that contain millions of dollars worth of construction vehicles, machinery, tools and building materials. During these phases, it’s vital that security officers stay fully informed of all subcontractors, visitors, deliveries and where the more costly assets are stored. This is best achieved through a consistent access control plan featuring daily logs, reporting and signage. High-value assets of interest to prospective vandals and thieves should be kept in a well-lit, fully fenced area and patrolled more often.

2) “M” stands for… Maintain a safe distance

Security guards must exercise extreme caution when addressing unknown visitors and trespassers. Any verbal engagement with unauthorized visitors should be done in a confident, authoritative tone at a safe distance. We train Echelon guards to provide a stern verbal warning, informing the offender(s) that they’re unlawfully trespassing and must leave the property immediately. Additionally, a guard may choose to let the perpetrator know that they’re under camera surveillance and the local police have already been notified. To avoid liability, a security guard should never put hands-on a trespasser unless it is in self-defense. The best overall security strategy is to deter — warn — call the police — and keep eyes on the offender until authorities arrive.

3) “A” stands for… Arrive prepared for anything

To protect your job site against common and unexpected challenges — your onsite security guards must come prepared with the proper equipment. If the job site is not in a high crime area, there is no need for construction site guards to carry a weapon while on patrol. However, whether your guards are armed or unarmed, be sure they have the tools they need to contend with unwanted or illegal activity such as trespass, vandalism, union issues, fire or hazard. Basic equipment should include a smartphone, flashlight, emergency call-down list, site map, and a working knowledge of any emergency shut-off switches, sprinkler or alarm systems. Knowing what to do in an emergency will improve response time in case of injury. There are many other defensive items that may be an option as allowable within your state jurisdiction.

4) “R” stands for… Random patrol schedules are a great strategy

Security guards are typically asked to inspect various checkpoints while on patrol to ensure key points are being watched. We use technology in which the guards scan the checkpoint with a smartphone application to verify their rounds. However, if patrol duties are not done properly, they can create unintended opportunities for criminal activity. If guards become complacent by taking the same route to their checkpoints, their movements become easy to track. Altering your patrols also can create the appearance of more robust security coverage. Being predictable makes your job site vulnerable, so smart security companies direct their guards to vary their patrol schedule by day, route and time, including backtracking their route at random.

5) “T” stands for…Tactical uniforms improve performance

Make certain that your guards are outfitted for peak performance. A highly visible security presence is the best deterrent, so it’s important that your guards are outfitted with a tactical, seasonally appropriate, branded, professional and comfortable uniform that includes; ID badge, safety vest and hard hat. Security guards are among the top occupations where long periods of standing, walking and running are required. All guards should have footwear that is comfortable during a long shift, protects their feet from harmful debris and keeps them from slipping. A poorly considered choice of uniform may restrict movement and put guards at a disadvantage during unexpected or critical situations.

6) “E” stands for… Expect the unexpected

Something unexpected can happen any moment a guard is on security patrol duty. The best security firms train their guard’s to be vigilant. Professional security guards are always mindful while performing their patrols. They make it a point to periodically stop, look around, and carefully listen to their surroundings. Although it sounds obvious, these planned engaged pauses are part of the situational awareness needed for optimum security performance.

7) “R” stands for… Remember lawful limits

Know which situations require specialized support or assistance. Remember, your guards are trained to observe, report, deescalate, and call the proper authorities. Although many security guards have state-certified training such as ACT 235, SORA or NASRO, do not expect them to be trained to handle civil unrest, public safety hazards, bomb scares, engineering issues or personal injuries. Be certain you know what your guards can and cannot do under the law, and determine the proper protocol to deal with extraordinary circumstances — always have emergency numbers ready and contact the trained professionals best suited to handle a situation.

Since 2001, successful building & construction companies have chosen Echelon Protection & Surveillance to secure and protect their job site from unwanted and illegal activity, including theft, fire, vandalism, trespassing and safety hazards that can cause costly delays. Call 610-831-0277 or email sales@epsagents.com today!

In every construction site, tools and equipment are one of the necessary assets. These construction items are important to adhere to the schedule. Of course, no one wants to encounter delays especially when you are under a tight budget.

Safeguard Your Tools and Other Construction Materials

  1. Allocate an area for equipment storage, or perhaps, build secure sheds for storage purposes. If not, you can always rent storage.
  2. It is important to have an inventory of all equipment, tools, and materials. This is particularly important for heavy duty equipment and expensive construction tools.
  3. There should be a uniform system for the checking in (and out) of tools and equipment. Place a visible sign stating that, “ALL TOOLS MUST BE CHECKED OUT!” Securely store the tools in locked storage facilities.
  4. Seal gas or oil tank caps because would-be criminals can use these to their advantage.
  5. Provide parking for heavy equipment, and make sure there is enough lighting to secure the area. Aside from that, install anti-theft devices to important construction equipment.
  6. All heavy equipment should have a unique identifier and put a warning sign that these ID numbers are monitored.
  7. There should be an on-site inventory of everything, including the materials, tools, and equipment. For the lighter tools and equipment, lock them during non-working hours. Store these items in a closed room or secure them using lockable gates.
  8. Designate a spare key (or a supervisory key) to control the use of motorized equipment. Not everyone should have access the main key and only supervisors can get a hold of emergency keys.
  9. If you no longer need equipment or materials, remove it from the construction site. You are inviting would-be criminals. Refrain from storing too many items in the site storage.
  10. Lastly, monitor even the trash removal because you will never know what the perpetrators hid in the trash bin.

Security solutions for your small business

Time is money, and if many hours are wasted because of construction site crimes, this could mean loss of resources, and more importantly, loss of profit.

At Echelon Protection & Surveillance, we have security experts that will assess your construction site, and help you develop stringent security protocols with the aid of modern technology.

If you choose Echelon Protection & Surveillance as your business’ security partner, we will give you the daily security records, and even digital records such as photos and video footages. Moreover, we will also assign you a security account manager, free of charge, so that you can easily know the site’s status and other relevant updates.

Working hand in hand with the local police

Your security is our utmost priority! That’s why we are continually coordinating with the local police to enforce strict security measures on the construction site. For more details about Echelon Protection & Surveillance, kindly call us at 1-610-831-0277 or email us at sales@epsagents.com.

Whatever the nature of your business, whether you are from the retail industry to the airline industry, you need a specific policy for handling visitors at the jobsite. The policies are there not just to consider the welfare of the visitors, but also the employees and the business in general. Visitors, at an unfamiliar workplace, can injure themselves, harm others, and even damage the property.

Moreover, there is also a possibility of theft, sabotage, and scare tactics. Each organization may encounter distinctive and varying problems. Of course, multinational companies are expected to have more visitors than small and mid-size enterprises.

An organization should develop a visitor access policy to prevent unauthorized visitors. These people can steal construction materials, tools, and equipment. You can even protect intellectual property through adding clauses to the policy. In order to safeguard your business from a potential hazardous situation, a policy needs to be written to look after the visitors and the employees.

  • Visitors must check in and check out.

    • Before anything else, a visitor must sign up and state the purpose of this official visit. Additionally, the other details that should be included are: visitor’s name, affiliation, and duration of the visit.
  • Visitors must wear their badge at all times.

    • After checking in, each visitor should have a photo ID badge. The ID should come with a photo if possible, and it should visibly show visitor’s name. The visitor’s badge should be worn at all times.
  • Visitors should be accompanied by an employee.

    • All visitors should not be left unattended. An employee should escort a visitor within the company premises. There should be a security director to oversee such visitor and employee arrangements.

Strictly no photographs

Remind all visitors that they are not permitted to take photographs of the site without approval. Even if such photographs are allowed, the visitor cannot publish it without the approval of the company officials.

Sign an NDA

To ensure a strict policy, visitors should sign a non-disclosure agreement when entering the site.

The Importance of Having Certified Security Officers

Encourage employees to report visitors, who are not wearing badge. The visitors should be immediately reported to the security guard. The first thing the security personnel should do is to enact the visitor access policy. In an emergency situation, the security guards should help the employees evacuate the premises.

If you choose Echelon Protection & Surveillance as your security partner, we will deploy officers in order to effectively keep the trespassers and would-be criminals away from company premises. At Echelon Protection & Surveillance, we truly understand that theft and vandalism are pervasive in the country.

Before coming up with a detailed security plan, a security expert will have to conduct an on-site assessment first. The preliminary construction site evaluation will help identify major security flaws that could be used by criminals. If you want to know more, please give us a call at 1-610-831-0277, or you may send a message to sales@epsagents.com.

Keeping Records and Documentation

As a volunteer fire fighter for over 45 years, I wanted to share my fire watch experience to benefit other business owners like me. So, when I founded Echelon Protection & Surveillance in 2001, I personally developed all of our fire watch procedures.

Although the law varies by state, a fire watch should be performed by a trained fire safety officer with at least a few of the following credentials:

  • Basic fire prevention training by the security company
  • Fire safety school classes with training in occupant and fire department notification
  • Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) classes
  • At least 1 year of experience as a fire fighter, regional fire police or similar experience

As I said in my previous blog, after the property owner or building manager has vetted and scheduled the fire watch, it’s all up to the security company. They are responsible for making sure thefire watch officers have their directives and know exactly what’s expected from a documentation and reporting perspective. Ultimately, the goal is to protect the property, people and surrounding area from fire, hazard and liability.

An Effective Fire Watch Means Careful Record Keeping

All fire watch officers are responsible for record keeping that documents all patrols and activity. The records may be digital or written in an old school log book. The fire watch officer on duty must report any risky or hazardous conditions to the security supervisor, building owner, and Fire Marshal so they’re fully informed at all times. In most cases, the fire watch report must be sent to the Fire Marshall’s office at the end of each day. Up-to-the-minute security companies will have the ability to monitor fire watch officer patrols via GPS technology in real time. It is also possible to set up temporary scan tags at each patrol stop that work in tandem with the officer’s smart phone to verify fire watch tours in real time. Temporary camera surveillance is also an option so officers can view multiple areas of the property right from their smart phone. Echelon uses aApp called Officer Reports that combines GPS sign-in/sign-out, patrol scan tags, and fire watch reporting capabilities with photos all in one place. Below is a check list of the bare minimum record keeping that should be required:

  • Property address, owner and all related contact information
  • Date and time of each patrol with a detailed patrol report
  • Name of the security company and a copy of their license and certificate of insurance
  • Names of all security personnel conducting the fire watch
  • Documentation of all communications with all stakeholders, including the fire department, property manager and general contractor

It’s Not Just About Fire

Keep in mind that a fire watch is not exclusively about fire. To get the most value from your fire watch detail – your security officer’s protocols should be comprehensive and take a wholistic approach to the overall security, safety, protection and well-being of your property and people. This means the security guard should be vigilant at all times — looking for any type of illegal or unwanted activity such as hazard, vandalism, emergency or theft. This includes awareness of any unusual activity at adjacent structures or lots that could affect your property.

Echelon uses real world experience and the latest technology to document activities and keep records in order to guarantee an effective, professional fire watch. Build a relationship with a reliable fire watch security services company — Contact Echelon Protection & Surveillance to guide you through your next fire watch. Call 610-831-0277 or email sales@epsagents.com.

No matter the size or experience of your company, security policies are a necessary part of any smart construction plan. A good rule of thumb is to have security protocols in place as soon as equipment and materials are delivered. So, even in the very early stages of the building process, the construction site should be protected from vandalism, theft, and liability if you want to mitigate costly delays.

Tested and proven jobsite security policies will assure employees, visitors, and contractors that you are doing your best to keep your construction site safe and secure for all stakeholders. Security policies are designed to avoid damaged or stolen tools, equipment and materials. Moreover, policies can include data privacy, and physical security.

7 Quick Tips to Secure Your Construction Site

Implement an ID system with a strong security password

First, you need to make sure that everyone has a unique identifier. It is not enough that employees wear their ID cards. Also, there should be personal identification number (or PIN code) for accessing certain tools, materials, storage trailers, and equipment. Avoid using easily guessed PIN codes, like birthdays.

Control access to high value materials and equipment

Tools and equipment should be locked in a safe place when not in use. Access cards should be granted to authorize personnel only. If employees quit their job or have no background check on file, the access should be revoked. All employees should be reminded to protect their PINs from others. At the same time, you should assess whether employees need to access what tools and equipment.

Restrict usage of smart phones

Limiting personal cell phone use at the construction site will help stop accidental security breaches, such as taking photos of unguarded access points, where valuable tools are stored, what type of materials are on-site, or sharing other sensitive information – especially on social media. As you develop jobsite phone policies, try to strike a balance between employee needs and common-sense construction site security. Most employees need to contact their families sometime during the day. However, any jobsite photos should be seen as proprietary information that is not to be shared.

Report losses and damages to support all stakeholders

Develop, explain and enforce clear steps for reporting any jobsite vandalism, loss or damage. Managing an organized jobsite includes documentation for accounting, legal issues and security purposes.

Maintain a visitor access control policy with physical security

When subcontractors, deliveries, or visitors enter the construction site, proper ID verification and documentation is a must. Visitors policies should include check-in and out with security guards at access control points. The guards should be supplied with a current checklist of all those who may enter the site. This list includes: materials to be delivered, subcontractors, equipment, or any other visitors you anticipate. If someone is not on the list and requests entry, the security guards should be provided with a “call down list” of who to contact to gain permission to enter, including the Foreman, Construction Manager or Supervisor.

Empower your workers buy getting buy-in.

For on-site security strategies to be effective, it is important to engage and empower your team by explaining why these procedures are important and how they affect the real-world bottom line. Make it easier for them by writing clear and practical policies. Mandating unrealistic policies that are too strict or time consuming may encourage employees to do the exact opposite. Good security plans need practice and oversight — until the practice becomes standard operating procedure.

A Detailed Construction Site Security Plan for Your Business!

Remember, unwatched construction sites are easy targets for vandalism, arson and theft. Damaged equipment and stolen materials can lead to costly delays, affecting your reputation, business operations and bottom line. At Echelon Protection & Surveillance, we work with you to develop a tested and proven plan for your construction site security in order to deter unwanted and illegal activity while mitigating risks, threats, hazard and liability. For more information, please contact us at (610) 831-0277 or sales@epsagents.com.

Fire Watch Duties

As a Volunteer Fire Fighter and later Fire Police Captain of Worcester Township, I’ve been first on the scene more times than I can count, have fought hundreds of deadly fires, been injured on the job by falling through the floor during an active fire– and sadly have seen too many people die. So, when I founded Echelon in 2001, I wanted to use my (then) 30 years of firefighting experience to help other business owners like me navigate the uncertainties of a fire watch. To that end, I personally developed and directed all Echelon’s fire watch policies, processes and directives.

Although it varies by state, according to the law, a fire watch must be performed by a specially trained fire safety security officer. Training should include a few of the following credentials; basic fire prevention training by the security company, attending fire safety school, Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) classes, and training in occupant and fire department notification. As I said in my previous blog, after the owner has set up the fire watch, it’s the security company’s job to ensure their fire watch officers are on task and have the latest patrolling and reporting technology. Use the list of duties below as a check list to be sure your fire watch covers all your bases to protect you from risk and liability.

Fire watch officers should be trained to perform the following duties

  • Follow all Occupational Safety and Health Administration(OSHA) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards.
  • Maintain conditions and requirements stated on fire and safety permits.
  • Continually patrol the construction jobsite or area of concern a minimum of once every 30 minutes and document your activities.
  • Inspect all areas of the property or building(s) that are affected by the fire alarm or sprinkler systems.
  • Document and report any risky or hazardous conditions to the security supervisor, building owner, Fire Marshal and local authorities.
  • Be trained to use a fire extinguisher and have access to all fire safety equipment on site.
  • Have a priority call-down list and be able to communicate effectively and clearly with the owner, building occupants and the fire department in case of fire, emergency or hazard.
  • Be familiar with the entire jobsite, including: site map, floor plans, building occupants, potential hazards, on-site materials, emergency shutdown procedures, fixed fire alarm systems, and access to portable fire protection gear.
  • Work with your general contractor to be sure your fire watch officers are knowledgeable in all aspects of the jobsite and maintain all fire watch records for inspection by the Fire Marshal.

In my next blog installment of How to Establish Construction Fire Watch Security, I’ll layout how Echelon uses real world experience and the latest technology to document activities and keep records in order to guarantee a professional fire watch. Build a relationship with a reliable fire watch security services company — contact Echelon Protection & Surveillance to discuss and advise on your next fire watch. Call 610-831-0277 or email sales@epsagents.com.

Property Owner Obligations

As a volunteer fire fighter for over 45 years, I’ve seen a lot of tragedies that could’ve been avoided with a little planning, common sense or basic maintenance. When I founded Echelon Protection & Surveillance in 2001, I was confident I could utilize my firefighting training by offering fire watch services to our growing list of clients. In the past 20 years we’ve performed fire watch projects of every shape and size for clients who needed a reliable security partner. Some were large properties that required services for many months after the fire, many were city  mandated building fire watches, and some were smaller public or private watches that lasted only a few weeks. Reliable fire watch companies are hard to find because they need to be specially trained, respond immediately, be well organized, extremely flexible and know how to work in tandem with all sorts of clients, the local Fire Marshal and county authorities.

Philadelphia has mandated fire watch services.

In September 2020, our home city of Philadelphia issued a Code Bulletin from the Department of Licenses and Inspections mandated that all active construction sites must maintain a fire watch on building construction and demolition sites.The Code was enacted because unattended jobsites present a real potential risk to the people and properties in the surrounding community.

A fire watch is required on a construction site if a building’s fire alarm, sprinkler, or suppression system is compromised, including special hazard conditions or planned impairments as determined by a Safety Manager or local Fire Code Officials.A general rule is that if any of these fire safety systems are down for more than 4 hours in a 24-hour period the building must evacuated or begin a fire watch. The main duty of fire watch personnel is to perform frequent patrols watching for signs of fire. Fire watch responsibilities may be performed by state licensed security guard firms in addition to their regular security duties.

It is the property owner’s responsibility to establish the fire watch during building and construction anytime fire safety systems are not working properly. If a proper fire watch is not in place, you will likely be fined or issued a citation by the local Fire Marshal. If you do not comply, the fire department will facilitate a fire watch for you — and bill you for the services.

Key steps the property manager should take to avoid liability.

  1. Notify the fire department when a fire safety system is being installed, not working, and after it was been repaired.
  2. Hire a licensed contractor to install the fire safety systems, to make repairs and to pull the required regional permits.
  3. Contact a state licensed security partner that has experience with fire watches.
  4. Work with your general contractor to be sure your fire watch officers are knowledgeable in all aspects of your jobsite, including:site map, floor plans, building occupants, potential hazards, on-site materials, emergency shutdown procedures, fixed fire alarm systems, and access to portable fire protection gear.

Once the owner or property manager has completed their due diligence in setting up the fire watch, it’s the security company’s job to be sure their officers are on task and accountable using the latest patrolling and reporting technology. In my next blog installment, I’ll layout the tested and proven practices Echelon uses to guarantee a successful fire watch.Build a relationship with a reliable fire watch security services company. Contact Echelon Protection & Surveillance to discuss and advise on your next fire watch. Call 610-831-0277 or email sales@epsagents.com.

In Part 1, we reviewed keeping your construction site well-lit and strategically placing security cameras. Here in Part 2, I will share additional tested and proven tips to improve construction site security during the current building boom.

  1. Keep a daily record of tools and equipment

Documentation is important in tracing who has the equipment and when it was checked-in and checked-out. Also, assign a reliable employee to be responsible for keeping a main inventory of the materials and equipment. For insurance purposes, take photos and list serial numbers of every tool, making it easier to identify in case an item gets lost or stolen.When employees know items are being inventoried each day, they’re less likely to try to walk away with something.

  1. Post highly visible “No Trespassing” signage

Having a “no trespassing” sign may seem outdated, but it’s still an effective deterrent that sends a clear message that only authorized personnel are permitted to enter. My security company posts multiple highly visible signs at each of our construction sites that read: This Site is Patrolled by Echelon Protection & Surveillance. We choose to add our contact information so the public can alert the police if anything looks suspicious.

Based on factors such as the regional crime rate and community access, most construction companies know that security fencing is an important part of risk mitigation and access control. It’s a good idea to limit access by assigning only one entry and exit point. A high 8’ to 12’ fence with locking gates heightens security during overnights when contractors have left for the day.

During working hours a security guard can easily monitor everyone that enters and exits the site. A good strategy is to post a guard that documents each person as they enter. Clients may also provide lists of contractors and materials are to be delivered each day that are checked-off as they arrive. Posting signage also protects against the liability of trespassers accidents on your jobsite.

  1. Schedule delivery of materials

Do not use the construction site as a storage dump. Instead, you should plan ahead and schedule the deliveries in tandem with your security partner. Develop a timetable and determine what materials you will need for the week. When they arrive, they should be documented by a security guard posted at the entrance. Having less building material and tools sitting around on the jobsite means less temptation.

Do not leave the materials and tools lying around. At the end of the day, tell your workers to organize and secure them in the designated storage areas. If you cannot store them on the site, rent a trailer and take it home with you. Park the heavy equipment in well-lit areas facing the street. Add chains to lock them in place, and most importantly, do not leave the keys in the ignition.Organizing your jobsite will not only help manage inventory, but will also lessen the chances of theft. If you want to catch up the previous post, you may refer to Improving Your Construction Site Security (Part 1).

Choose Echelon Protection & Surveillance to secure and protect your construction jobsite from unwanted and illegal activity like loss, theft, fire, vandalism, hazard and costly delays. Call 610-831-0277 or email sales@epsagents.com.

 

For many contracting businesses, construction equipment vandalism and theft are rampant problem in the industry. It is a major concern because the number of stolen construction equipment and materials amounts to $1 billion each year. The risk is different depending on many regional factors and overall industry losses include costly work delays that also hurt reputations.

Surprisingly, only 25% of stolen construction equipment is reclaimed by local authorities. Construction site theft is a lucrative business for thieves because building tools, materials and machinery are often left out in the open or poorly secured. Moreover, there is no DMV database for construction equipment, materials or tools. Easy access, low security, no records and ready to sell high-value items create the perfect environment for thieves.To reduce the potential threat, we’re providing these tested and proven security tips to follow in order to prevent it on from happening on your construction site.

  1. Light up your site at night.

Did you know that most construction site theft are inside jobs, perpetrated by employees themselves? This is because they’re already familiar with the jobsite layout, work schedule, tools and equipment. Thieves, vandals, and yes, even union activists see unsecured construction sites as opportunities. If a worker knows the layout of the construction site, they know where to go, what they’re looking for and how to slip past less secure areas by taking advantage of blind spots.

If bad actors are not confident that their illegal activity can go undetected, they usually move on to an easier target. The best deterrent for this problem is to keep your site well-lit. If the bad guys know they may be seen by security patrols or nearby properties, they’ll often think twice. A simple idea like lights, make the site more visible from the road and less desirable. A well-lit site also helps security guards and local police patrols keep eyes on your jobsite.

  1. Make surveillance cameras part of your security plan

One of the most effective solutions is a temporary surveillance camera system that is backed-up to the cloud. After strategically placing a few cameras at the construction site, let everybody know that these cameras will be monitor the site 24/7. When buying surveillance cameras, there are a few key things that you should know:

  • You’ll need a power source. There are solar powered cameras, which is a convenient choice if the construction site is located in a remote area. You maynot need power to operate it during the day, but you will need the batteries during overnights. Especially if the site is unattended.
  • Sophisticated surveillance camera models are equipped with additional features such as high definition, infrared, motion sensor, Wi-Fi connectivity and SMS notifications, giving you real-time update to a monitoring facility or right to your smart phone by text alerts.
  • A more affordable option is the installing motion sensor only lights. It uses less power consumption than cameras, but it will still be sensitive to movements. When the motion sensors notice movements on the construction site, a light will turn on to draw attention to that specific area. Some systems include a audio warning, alarm or immediately alert the monitoring or security guard company.
  • Whatever surveillance camera you choose — the placement is equally important. You need to place the lights near the storage trailer, equipment or materials.
  • Remember, it’s not much good if the camera only shows a blurry bad guy in hood after all the damage is done. The main idea is to deter or stop incidents before it happens. More tips to be discussed on Improving Your Construction Site Security (Part 2).

Build a relationship with a reliable and responsive security guard company.

Choose Echelon Protection & Surveillance to secure and protect your construction site from unwanted and illegal activity like theft, hazard, fire, vandalism, loss and costly delays. Call 610-831-0277 or email sales@epsagents.com.

As the number of fully vaccinated Americans increases and the country begins to reopen, the issue of how we stay safe looms large. Many of the original public health concerns still apply as new risks arise. As a top security, protection and surveillance company, we try to anticipate how to assist in securing the industries we serve. While clients like construction site security may decide they do not need vaccine passports, hospitality, education, events and property management clients may determine it makes sense, in order to encourage consumers to return with less anxiety.

The current administration recently stated that although private entities have the right to develop vaccine passport systems, the federal government will not be involved and there will be no federal vaccination credential database. With the current political climate, terms like “passport” should be carefully considered because it naturally brings up fears about personal liberty, forced vaccinations, government overreach and a host of conspiracy theories. As security professionals, Echelon agrees that a laissez faire policy is better for our country in general. However, when clients request any type of common sense Covid compliance enforcement, we’ll provide our best personnel, guidance and support.

At the time of this blog [April 2021] approximately 30% of the country is fully vaccinated and clients are already requesting additional Covid related access control. What was basic enforcement of masking and social distancing compliance,will likely soon add some sort of access control credential check. So, how will the security guard industry play a role in this next step of Covid risk mitigation?

First, remember that systems like hand written cards have been used for decades to prove people have been inoculated against diseases. However,previous cards were on paper and easy to falsify. The most likely solution is an electronic record of vaccination, such as a QR code accessible on your cellphone. An electronic record will need to show which vaccine a person received, what batch, and date of vaccination. Unfortunately, the current system was designed for healthcare professional access, not consumers, so there is no universal way to prove anyone has been vaccinated. However, many governments and organizations around the world are developing and testing digital vaccine credentials in order to bring them to market first.

From a security operations perspective –too many alternate checking systems will cause confusion, making it difficult to access someone’s vaccination status in a real-world access control situation such as an airport, concert or sporting event. Another challenge is that any vaccination status requirement maybe considered discrimination against those who do not have equal access to the shot or those unwilling to get a shot. There also remains doubt about the transmission of the virus after inoculation.

Another industry-wide difficulty is that security guard companies are still recovering from the overwhelming economic impact of the pandemic. As clients cancelled security contracts, firms lost employees who took other jobs, or decided not to return to work until their unemployment and stimulus checks run out. Other security personnel do not want to take the risk of exposing themselves to virus while on duty. Regrettably, some clients assume that security guard companies have guards “sitting on the self”, ready to jump right back in where they left off over a year ago. The reality is that guard inventory will continue to be sporadic as security companies endeavor to meet the growing and immediate need ofold and new clients.

You may be surprised to learn that the United States security guard industry is comprised of over 1.2 million people, but there are no statistics available on how many have died due to Covid-19. However, according to the Office for National Statistics research, security guards in the U.K. (specifically males in this study) have died at one of highest rates of any profession.

It’s interesting to note that even with all the inherent risks, security guard work is still sought after because it remains a steady industry and a good road to a decent paycheck. No matter what the national climate –businesses depend on security guards to stop, deter and deescalate unwanted or illegal activity. Although public security and private protection is typically underappreciated,the pandemic and civil unrest have highlighted the essential role security guards play in the hierarchy of public safety and law enforcement support.

Security guard work isn’t easy, although It’s sometimes tedious with shifts on nights and weekends and assignments that are subject to change weekly. The best guards are flexible, reliable, alert, follow directives and practice good common sense.According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, security professionals often work without benefits at an hourly rate of $12.00 -$15.00. In 2019, security guards earned a median $29,680 annual wage with some positions offering health benefits and higher hourly rates from $15.00 to $25.00 for specially certified guards. In short, the security and protection industry is experiencing a hiring boom that has created over a hundred-thousand jobs over the last year, with the largest security companies leading the way.

The hiring frenzy is fueled by big businesses and national chains that don’t want their own untrained employees confronting customers about mask-wearing and social distancing. As clashes between personnel and patrons became common place, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, requested that businesses institute safety measures, including hiring contracted guards to implement compliance control. During the pandemic, security guards have been requested to act as per say public health officers law enforcement, often without having the experience or actual authority to do either.

For liability reasons, guard training and protocols often focuson what not to do, including no physical contact unless it’s self-defense. The most buttoned-up security companies train their guards in public safety andthe management of aggressive behavior, but many less professional security companies don’t. The best strategy to limit everyone’s liability is to develop clear directives for guards to enforce the client’s policies and call local police as backup as needed. When you consider all these on-the-job security challenges and add in extended unemployment and stimulus checks, it’s no wonder security companies continue to struggle with recruitment and industry turnover is so high.

Before the pandemic, a security officer’s main duties included, front desk posts, property patrols, directing deliveries, preventing vandalism, and deterring loss prevention.During a pandemic,a security presence is badly needed in retail, construction, property management and other industries for compliance of public health regulations such as wearing a mask and social distancing.

While there have been no national numberson instances of security officers attempting to enforce pandemic protocols, there have been many documented accounts of violent and deadly encounters with anti-maskers, Covid hoaxers, and virus-related conspiracy theorists. Unfortunately, many security guards find themselves at the center of a culture war where they risk infection, plus violent extremism. To help mitigate these additional risks, states like Pennsylvania have introduced legislation making it a felony to assault any employee tasked with Covid compliance enforcement.

With all that security officers must worry about and navigate every day, it’s time to give them more respect, a living wage, and a little compassion when you encounter them in public. Remember, they’re on duty to at the business owner’s request to keep their customers and property safe and secure.

As a security guard company grows, it often expands its footprint. In our case, that means being licensed in four states and having reliable strategic partners in several others, in order to serve our security partners. With dozens of security locations running at the same time, our Scheduling and Operations platforms empower Echelon to accomplish what used to be impossible — to be everywhere at once. We know exactly what each of our security guards is doing whenever they’re on duty. Our guards know they’re accountable for their time and our clients have confirmation that they’re getting what they paid for. Here’s a brief rundown of what platforms we use and how they benefit all stakeholders.

Our scheduling platform keeps everyone informed

Echelon’s uses a security guard scheduling platform called Humanity that let’s our employees know what shifts are available, where they need to be, what time and when, all in real-time. The platform helps guards stay on point by sending automatic alerts and reminders about their shifts. On the backend, it helps our office staff advise guards of any shift changes or new information while also allowing them to review shift hours. The platform is loaded as an app on the guard’s cell phone, or any device they choose and the entire staff can access it anytime, anywhere.

Geofencing keeps security guards honest

Our security officer scheduling platform also comes equipped with Geofence technology which allows us to specify a virtual boundary on a map using GPS. It’s basically an invisible fence that allows security companies to monitor the check-in and check-out of their security guards at jobsite locations. When a guard enters the geofence zone for their shift, the app sends an automatic report which documents the time spent in that location. If the guard leaves the jobsite during his shift, our Operations and Scheduling staff gets a GPS notification of the guard’s location.

Echelon uses Geofence for clients like construction sites, property management, institutions and other industries, which require shift confirmation. It’s an easy solution that allows us to document and file reports that are useful when issues or inquiries arise. The technology is affordable, user-friendly and doesn’t require complex setup or training.

Time cards provides shift records

In addition, our Humanity platform supplies a time card feature that can be crossed referenced to the Geofence reporting to make certain the guard who was scheduled showed up for his shift on time and at the right location. The time card feature confirms shift hours and the data is used to evaluate guard performance and double-check payroll numbers internally and externally.

Officer reports keeps guards on task

Echelon also utilizes an Operations platform called Officer Reports, which lets guards easily document their foot or vehicle patrols in real time. When we develop security directives with our clients, it includes specific posts or patrol schedules. Once the guard’s security protocols are finalized, Echelon can attach QR Code Tags at each check point of a guard’s tour. A QR code is a readable time-stamped optical label that informs us when the officer has performed his rounds as instructed. The guards simply scan the QR Code Tags with their cell phone as they make their rounds and the report is automatically sent to Operations for review. The guard also has the ability to take notes and photograph anything out of the ordinary; such as mechanical issues, jobsite hazards or unwanted activity.

Supervisor site visits build rapport with guards

Although our Operations and Scheduling platforms are nearly fool-proof in terms of verifying check-ins, reviewing hours, and confirming guard patrol duties — nothing beats an old school supervisor site visit. If something doesn’t look quite right on a report, or the client has any concerns, we send a Supervisor to the location to assess the situation. A site visit may be in the middle of the night, scheduled on-site, or a surprise. It’s not always to solve problems; sometimes we just observe them for a while or offer them a 15-minute coffee break. Once a Supervisor has firsthand knowledge, they can either mitigate the problem immediately or discuss the challenge with our team to determine the best solution. When you consider all the built-in redundancies in our process, platforms and people, we can actually supervise and manage all our security locations at once.

Clients sometimes ask why our hourly security guard rate is higher than industry competitors. The short answer is: we pay our security guards more because you get what you pay for. Behind the scenes, providing professional security services requires around the clock management of a full-service infrastructure. Operations works closely with accounting so every expense and guard hour are accounted for, so our clients know exactly what they’re paying for. To that end, we’d like to present a look at the unseen costs behind providing the best in professional security guard services.

Licensing Costs

To conduct business as a security guard company, you must be licensed as a Private Detective by the County, plus have a separate Business License authorized by the Township. To obtain a license, you must have a minimum of 5 years criminal justice or law enforcement experience. The application and licensing feesa re a few hundred dollars each and must be renewed every few years. Without these licenses, you cannot employ security guards or open satellite offices. Technically, security guard employees work under the business owner’s license to operate.

Insurance & Bonding Costs

Due to the inherent risks involved in security guard services, our biggest single expense is General Liability and Worker’s Compensation insurance coverage. Our insurance premium rates are examined annually and paid monthly based on our full-time payroll. Our insurance costs alone run about six figures annually and are subject to rise if law suits are filed. With clients like construction site watches, school security, warehouse patrols, and retail establishment posts, security companies are occasionally named in law suits that have nothing to do with our performance or services.

Healthcare Costs

Federal law requires that security firms offer healthcare to all full-time employees. In our case, only about 10% of our employees participate in the plan. We offer vision and dental plans that basically split the cost of healthcare with our employees. We promote our healthcare as part of our benefits package, which includes paid time off and national holidays. This expense is always changing based on the political climate and tends to climb each year.

Recruiting Costs

Our security guard hiring process uses new technology, combined with old school recruiting expertise. Posting on multiple job boards comes with a monthly fee, but creates a steady flow of hundreds of resumes each month that are carefully reviewed by our salaried HR Director and support team. Our video interview platform also comes at a monthly cost and facilitates a more streamlined approach to face-to-face interviews. Even when the pandemic is over, we’ll continue paying for the video platform because it has enhanced efficiency. Each candidate is thoroughly vetted, including State and Federal background check certifications paid for by our company after a brief guard probationary period.

Training Costs

Once a guard is hired, they’re trained by our experienced in-house Operations, Security and Human Resource team. The curriculum includes, classroom learning, instructional videos purchased from prominent national security organizations, proprietary materials, reporting and shift scheduling technology instruction, general orientation,plus on the job management and supervision. All staff and materials are not billable. Specialized training, such as SORA, NASRO or ACT 235 Armed, is paid for by the officers, since they retain the certificate. Add in the cost of branded uniforms, radios, officer reporting software, and the expenses for guard training are substantial.

Operations & Supervisor Costs

In order for guards to perform well, they need the proper training, direction, technology, discipline and motivation. This management is made possible by our full-time supervisors. Supervisors make the initial job site visit, develop security assessments, write security directives for the guards to follow, review shift check-in/check-out times, oversee job training, respond to guard questions, fix problems and make surprise location inspections.

Finance Costs

Every hour a guard works is accounted for by our Finance department with support and confirmation of hours from our full-time Operations and Scheduling staff. Like nearly every business with a large number of employees, we retain the services of a national payroll company to be sure our people are paid correctly. Since Scheduling is a 24/7 task, we maintain a staff of 3-4 schedulers at all times.

The Value of Peace of Mind

We all know how frustrating it is to have a question or complaint and not be able to get a real person on the line to resolve it in a timely manner. When you hire Echelon, you’re not just paying for security guards – you’re paying for the value of an experienced security solutions team that understands business and respects our clientele.

When we peek behind the curtain and add up all the unbillable expenses, it’s easier to understand the actual cost of providing truly reliable and effective security guard solutions. In an effort to be transparent, Echelon often takes the time to outline these unseen costs to our clients. In this way, they understand the benefit of paying a little more for the peace of mind that comes from working with a true security partner.

In the U.S., construction site crimes are quite common. However, not many contractors and builders implement strict security measures. A construction site should be protected from any form of vandalism, theft, and anything that can delay the business operations.

As a general rule, in order to avoid trespassers and thieves, there are security measures that you should enforce. Here are some safety tips to follow on site:

  • First, you have to secure the perimeter and enclose your construction site. Build a security fence along your property of business.
  • Next, there should be enough lighting especially at night. Provide lighting to specific areas of the construction site.
  • Do not just allow anyone to enter (and exit) the premises. There should be limited access to the construction site. If you can, install lockable gates to certain areas allocated for storage.
  • Speaking of lockable gates, invest on high quality locks so that trespassers cannot easily tamper with the locks. Additionally, never leave keys anywhere. Never keep the locks open at all times. It is very counterproductive if you install high quality locks, and then, you just leave the gates open for everyone to enter.
  • Clear the area near your security fence, and place warning signs to refrain unauthorized persons from entering the construction site.
  • After a long day, inspect the construction site before locking the gates to make sure nothing has been tampered or stolen.
  • Limit the vehicle access to the construction site, and if they need to, visitors should park outside the site. Allocate certain areas for visitors and other guests to park, and they should only enter through a designated entrance.
  • If the scope of the site is too big, you might want to hire security guards to ensure the safety of the location. These guards can patrol the construction. Additionally, you should be able to coordinate with them using a communication device.
  • Have a CCTV monitoring system installed in order to capture every visitor or guest entering the premises. Everyone, entering and exiting the construction site, should be monitored.

A Construction Site Security Plan to Help You Save Money

The price of lost materials or damaged equipment can have a huge impact on your business. Delays, due to vandalism and theft, would mean work delays. This will hamper the operations of your business, and it will lead to the damage of your brand’s image.

Bigger companies can implement a forceful construction site security protocols because they have the budget. However, small contractors, more often than not, neglect these security measures. This is where we can help you!

At Echelon, we will let you choose from a variety of construction site security options. We can even customize your security protocols depending on your allocated budgetary demands and changing needs. To inquire for a quote, you can call us at 1-610-831-0277 or email us at sales@epsagents.com.  Visit the Echelon Protection & Surveillance website for more information.

When you own a business, the first thing you need is, of course, to protect it. Knowing how to protect your business, along with your employees and equipment, can ensure that your business will grow. Hence, it is necessary to take construction security very seriously.

Yes, there would be risks involved. After all, each construction site will have its own problems. However, I am sure that you will agree with me when I say that there are some practices that can lessen construction site hazards.

General Safety Measures for a Construction Site

Below, I have listed a number of tips to implement a better construction security. This way, you can plan better, and eventually, develop a construction security plan that perfectly fits your specific business:

  • Start with writing a security policy for the construction site. Make sure to put it on paper and everyone involved has a copy.
  • As I have said early, each construction site will encounter specific risks. You have to identify these unique threats in order to formulate an effective construction site security plan.
  • In any business, there should be a hierarchy to follow. You should assign certain people to supervise the site. Appoint someone reliable for the organizational security responsibilities.
  • Just because you have assigned an administrative security personnel, it does not mean that other employees will not do their part. There should be security awareness from the top to the bottom.
  • Coordinate with the local police and fire departments before starting a construction. Moreover, get in touch with the businesses located in your property. Inform them to report if they noticed anything suspicious on the construction site.
  • Encourage all your workers to report theft and vandalism immediately, and they have to report all the losses to the police.
  • Lastly, you should always keep a log of all security records. Whether minor or major incidents, there should be a record of it.

Need Help with Your Security Plan?

At Echelon, we provide solutions to your problems. Echelon Protection & Surveillance is dedicated to secure your business. We understand that each business is unique so we will formulate a specific construction security plan that fits your needs.

Echelon Protection & Surveillance can guarantee highly-trained guards because we are members of the Associated Builders and Contractors, Building Owners & Managers Association, and many more.

Before implementing a security plan, Echelon Protection & Surveillance will conduct an on-site inspection of the site. A preliminary site evaluation is a crucial step for us to develop a comprehensive and robust security plan.

Once we have identified the key points, we can discuss with you a detailed security plan based on our initial observation. If you want a price quote, please do not hesitate to call 1-610-831-0277 or email us at sales@epsagents.com. You can also get in touch using the contact form on our website.

The minimum wage dispute goes back to the 1938 New Deal legislation that established the first minimum wage, and the endless fight over the government’s economic role in regulated capitalism and corporate influence over public wellbeing. Today, workers making minimum wage earn less per hour than their counterparts did half a century ago, while CEO’s average 320 times as much over the same period of time. You don’t have to be an economist to know that’s not right.

An apolitical look at decades of evidence shows raising the minimum wage is essential to the economic wellbeing of tens of millions of Americans, and even worst-case studies suggest a net neutral effect. The bottom line is that raising the U.S. minimum wage is not a magic bullet or a recipe for economic collapse, but it will help solve some serious issues for Americans of all parties. In short, Echelon decided to ignore political ideologies– and raise our employee starting rate to $15.00 per hour. Here’s how we did it and what we learned.

Watch the Market

Over the past several years, Echelon struggled more than ever to hire security guards. In many industries, hourly workers will jump jobs for less than a dollar per hour increase. We noticed that big brands like Walmart, Costco, Starbucks, Target, Best Buy and Wayfair had raised their hourly wages to $15.00 and knew that if we wanted to remain competitive in our recruiting, we had to pay our guards more. In addition, promoting our new starting rate on job boards help lift our resume responses.

Pay Attention to Retention

We noticed that our guards, on the lower end of the pay scale $10.00 – $12.00, were less reliable and generally unmotivated. They worked a full week, often overnights and weekends, and still weren’t making ends meet. When we raised our starting rate to $15.00, it created greater loyalty because guards valued their job more. They also knew our rate was higher than most other security companies, which created better retention.

Merit Based Advancement Policy

Creating a $15.00 starting rate put us ahead of the minimum wage curve. However, we were concerned that existing guards may be upset that they had seniority, but were being paid the same as new hires. As a result, we changed our internal policy to explain that pay raises are merit based, not time based. This meant all guards start at $15.00 and if you perform well, you’re eligible for a raise after a year. Of course, guards who obtained special certifications could be paid more.

A Few Dollars More

The current pandemic upended the entire economy and changed all the status quo in many industries. We turned this negative into a positive by reassessing every aspect of our operations. This ultimately led to raising our client rates. Now, it cost us more to recruit, pay and insure guards and we let our clients know this translated to a higher quality security services. During times of great uncertainty, civil unrest, elevated stress and record unemployment – people need security services. We decided that clients that can’t pay a few dollars more for better service are not a good fit for us anymore. The outcome was that no clients left due to the rate increase and all were more satisfied overall.

Research Studies Support our Decision

The latest research on the effects of raising the minimum wage by leading experts in the United States and Brittan in 2019 found that even if some workers lose jobs, those costs are greatly surpassed by increased wages for those who keep their jobs. If employment does fall, it’s by less than wages rise by, and benefits low-wage workers. The real danger to lower-wage hourly workers is the technology that will ultimately replace them… but that’s another blog.

Recent national economic studies show only about 5% of the American workforce currently earn less than $9.00 per hour. Consider that states like New York, New Jersey, California, Massachusetts, DC, Maryland and Illinois are all steadily increasing their minimum mages to $15 an hour, while pastoral lower-wage states like Maine, Missouri and Arkansas are slowly increasing their minimum wage to $11.00 or $12.00 per hour.

This wage data disproves the old talking point that “raising the minimum wage will hurt small and midsize businesses” because the increase is neither too much or too fast. The current Raise the Wage Act lays out a plan to slowly build wages to $15.00 by 2025. The Act will lift pay for almost 21% of the U.S. workforce and be the first federal minimum wage increase in over ten years.

In addition, states without a $15.00 minimum wage, pay more for public support programs for underpaid workers and their families. Social welfare programs like the Children’s Health Insurance Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, cost federal and state taxpayers over $107 billion a year. That’s why more and more industry organizations representing thousands of small businesses support a $15 minimum wage.

Studies based on decades of research also show that there is no correlation between tax cuts and deregulation benefiting low and medium-income earners. Who wants a “trickle” anyway? Smart companies realize that a successful hiring strategy includes finding and keeping good people, because better employee retention means less turnover, satisfied customers, and more focus on growing your business.

Feb-Blog-Regulation-Compliance-Policy-Rules

By: Stuart J. Visnov, CEO, Echelon Protection & SurveillanceFeb-Blog-Regulation-Compliance-Policy-Rules
Word count: 618

Insiders know that in everyday practice, the security guard industry is the most poorly regulated in the emergency response field. While law enforcement, firefighters, EMTs, recovery & response managers, security analysts and even lifeguards must comply with state laws — security guard companies are not held to the same standard of training and certification. In fact, each state has its own unique rules and regulations regarding security guard qualifications.

  • 40 states mandate a license to become a security officer.
  • 10 states; Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming and Pennsylvania do NOT require a license to become a security officer.
  • 22 of 50 states require no training for unarmed security guards, which includes 15 that require no training for armed guards.

Some clients wrongly assume there’s no difference between one security guard company and another. However, if a state doesn’t mandate security guard training, it’s up to the individual security firms to provide an appropriate level of training to adequately secure and protect people and property. Proper training benefits all stakeholders because both security firms and consumers want a clear delineation of duties, documentation and accountability with as little risk as possible.

As a security company licensed to operate in several states, it’s much easier to answer the question “how are your guards trained?” when we can tell clients that all our officers are trained according to state security guard curriculum. Instruction includes several days of education, testing and periodic recertification. As an example, we are able to tell our New Jersey and Maryland clients that NJ has the Security Officer Registration Act (SORA) and MD security guards fall are under the jurisdiction of the Maryland State Police Licensing Division. Then we share the specific training aspects of each so our clients have clarity and confidence regarding guard responsibilities, skill set and legal limits.

Over time, consumers of security guard services have begun to demand price over effective threat mitigation. This has slowly turned the selling of security into a commodity with very little thought for guard qualifications and performance. If firms can’t charge a fair rate, they end up paying guards less, which causes more employee turn-over and less experienced and motivated guards.

All security guard salesmen will promote that their officers are the most experienced, highly trained and certified. However, unless training is standardized by the state, most security guards only receive a few hours training and orientation plus on the job training, in addition to whatever experience they’ve already acquired. That is not to say that less security experience cannot have its positives, such as; no bad habits brought over from other security companies, fresh perspectives and insights, bringing additional professional and technical skills from other industries, and the motivation that comes from starting a new career.

At Echelon, our standard vetting and training process for non-state certified guards includes:

  1. A comprehensive resume review.
  2. Video Introduction evaluation.
  3. In-Person Interview assessment.
  4. State & Federal Background Checks, plus a Child Safety Certificate.
  5. Full day training course, consisting of three videos, personal instruction, technical training and general orientation.
  6. On the job training with experienced guard or supervisor.

Today, the security guard industry is suffering from a lack of requests for quality security guard services on the part of the buyers, and a limited amount of certified and well-trained security officers from security firms. The entire issue is made worse by the lack of a regulatory environment to impose quality control throughout the entire industry. At a time of historically high civil unrest and domestic terrorism, security companies, clients, law enforcement and government leaders must get together to raise the regulation bar of the private security industry.

 

 

Training-Orientation

By: Stuart J. Visnov, CEO, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 1090

Training-OrientationIf you were in need of full-time or part-time workers — the last few years have been a recruiting nightmare. First, there were no workers. Then, there were too many. Then, the pandemic curveball changed everything again.

According to the latest Labor Department data, nearly 59% of the United States workforce are now paid on an hourly basis. Out of those 78 million American hourly workers, 70% are under 30 years old, 8% are in their 40s, and another 8% are in their 50s and 60s.

One of the main recruiting challenges for employers is that the average annual turnover rate for hourly workers is at least 49%. Of course, some industries have better retention rates than others based on factors like employee satisfaction and the economy. In addition, the growth of the “gig economy” (a popular term used for companies like Uber, DoorDash, Gopuff, and Instacart that hire freelance hourly workers) has made it even more competitive to recruit hourly workers. About 57 million Americans have found work in the gig economy, which is almost one-third of the entire working population. These hiring complexities don’t even include the pandemic ramifications, which cannot be fully assessed yet.

Below are several issues that have impacted security guard recruiting efforts.

  • Nearly 100,000 businesses that shuttered due to the pandemic are now out of business
  • Many part-time security officers are afraid to return to work for fear of exposure to Covid-19
  • Some security guards make more collecting unemployment and stimulus checks
  • Parents and employers must accommodate daycare and virtual learning schedules
  • Unarmed and armed security guards are concerned about violent civil unrest
  • Many untraditional candidates are now applying for security jobs

After several years of struggling to recruit security guards because of record low unemployment, the whiplash of record unemployment, plus the uncertainty of the pandemic, has forced progressive security companies to re-think their entire process.

Here’s how we rebooted our recruiting strategy over the past year.

ASSIGN A RECRUITING TEAM

We assembled a recruiting team led by our HR Director, responsible for all research, daily process, reports, interviews, training, orientation, monthly meetings and weekly reports. We understood the entire economy was changing due to the pandemic and made recruiting our priority. We couldn’t afford to miss any recruiting opportunities because that would affect our ability to service our remaining clients as well as any new business we were lucky enough to acquire.

RESEARCH & STRATEGY

Our team began to explore new recruiting ideas and technology, including new job boards and platforms. Our challenge was to reach a wider demographic of potential security guard candidates who all used media differently. We kept in mind that the pandemic and resulting economic downturn also was creating a prospective new group of skilled workers who had recently become unemployed. Informed by national research, we discussed ideas, assigned tasks, and began to execute our plan. We used a classic overall marketing strategy.

  1. Test new recruiting ideas (observe data and look for insights)
  2. Measure all results (adjust messaging and process as needed)
  3. Repeat successes (don’t double-down on ideas that didn’t yield results)

UPDATING JOB ADS

We started by updating our current security guard job ads by highlighting the issues that are most important to hourly workers, according to national recruiting research. As you rewrite your recruiting ads, remember the classic advertising adage WIFM — “what’s in it for me.” Meaning, the main thing your candidate audience is thinking is, how do I benefit from this information.

Examples of how we improved our recruiting ads to increase response.

  • $15.00 starting pay rate – Highest industry starting rate!
  • Healthcare & PTO benefits – You’re eligible if you work FT / 32 hours per week
  • Work close to home – No long commutes or big vehicle expenses
  • Flexible days & hours – Choice of job schedule
  • Start work immediately – Get paid in 10 days
  • Work nights and/or weekends – Keep your days free
  • No experience necessary – We train you
  • On the job experience – Build your industry resume
  • Clear path to advancement – Grow with our company
  • Make your own luck – Reinvent yourself

SWITCH JOB BOARDS TO INCREASE RESPONSE

After reviewing and demoing several job boards we switched from the underperforming Indeed to Betterteam. It was less expensive and yielded 7 X the response rate. We went from about 100 resumes per month to over 700 in the first month!

INTRODUCED VIDEO INTERVIEWS FOR EFFICIENCY

Once we created a pipeline of weekly resumes, we needed an efficient way to evaluate applicants quickly and safely. The obvious choice was video interviews. After testing several new video platforms, we settled on myinterview, which enables us to invite best applicants to take a prerecorded video interview where they answer 5-10 basic questions. Additionally, we developed a 1-minute introduction video in which our CEO personally encourages applicants to take their video interview. The platform created many recruiting organizational efficiencies while being applicant friendly.

MEDIA SUPPORT

We negotiated a 75% discount with a billboard company that ran for 3 months on a major highway near our main office. The billboard was designed to work hard by echoing our recruiting messaging. In addition, we updated our website’s Careers Page and reposted recruiting ads on social media like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Most companies stop advertising during times of economic uncertainty. However, smart businesspeople know this is the time that ad rates are lower and the market is less competitive.

JANUARY 2021 RESULTS AND ASSESSMENT

  • 781 resume applicants
  • 204 candidates were invited to take video interviews
  • 25 video interviews were completed
  • 10 face-to-face interviews were scheduled
  • 5 new security guards were hired!

Our resume response was 7 X our old monthly average. This allowed us to invite many more applicants to take our video interview. Based on how many people actually took the video interview, we decided to try to increase our interviewee numbers by adding a short personal video from our CEO encouraging them to “take the next step.” We will measure the impact of the video on our interview response numbers and adjust the message as necessary. If we’re able to get more applicants to take the video interview, that will in-turn increase our face-to-face interviews, and ultimately the final number of security guards hired each month. To date, we’re pleased with our monthly hiring average, but believe we can do better. We’ve also noticed that our new recruiting efforts have yielded a higher caliber of security guard officer in terms of professionalism and reliability.

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By: Stuart J. Visnov, CEO, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 1036

man-with-scribble-Security Companies Must Make Friends with Uncertainty

Since the Covid-19 pandemic was declared a national emergency, every industry has been affected. No business was immune, but small businesses suffered greatly as 100,000 closed forever. However, some businesses fared better than others because either they were deemed an essential business and allowed to stay open, or they happen to have been a company that benefited from the products and services that were in demand as a result of the pandemic. As restaurants failed, food delivery apps like DoorDash and supermarkets thrived. As movie theatres reeled, streaming services like Netflix prospered. As Malls pulled their gates, online retailers like Amazon soared. And while hotels, convention centers and event venues closed their doors, Workspace Solutions and online conference companies like Zoom, boomed.

Although essential worker categories varied by state, many major sectors overlapped. Industries like energy, child care, water, agriculture, food production, grocery stores, hardware stores, mechanics, transportation, nonprofits, social service organizations, and trades like construction workers, electricians, plumbers and security companies were able to keep working to serve the public.

As an essential business, we were able to stay open to service our clients and support law enforcement as needed. If police were otherwise engaged, certain types of security work, such as patrols, protection, surveillance, fire or flood watches would find its way to regional security companies. As it turned out, civil unrest was a serious national concern as several crises rocked the United States at the same time.

  1. Lack of a national pandemic plan contributed to 200,000 deaths, record unemployment and economic chaos. Each political party blamed “the other” as culture wars and conspiracy theories erupted over the most basic facts and issues.
  2. Government-imposed coronavirus shutdowns resulted in armed anti-lockdown demonstrations supported by the current administration.
  3. Thousands of protestors took to the streets against police brutality and decades of bad civil rights policy. Frustration, violence and property damage ensued while outside agitators poured fuel on the fire.
  4. Extreme weather caused massive floods and wild fires which taxed the resources of states already plagued by pandemic suffering.
  5. Mixed messages regarding all of the above from the Whitehouse, government, scientists, public health officials and the media culturally divided America even further.

How should businesses proceed during a time of such extraordinary discontent, disorder and uncertainty? I can only speak based on my direct experience as CEO of Echelon Protection & Surveillance. Security Companies Must Assess, Plan and Pivot:

Assess. Don’t Guess.

Very quickly, we understood that the pandemic was going to change everything, especially the way we conduct business. Common sense dictated that we’d lose all clients involving large groups of people. We anticipated losing events, hospitality, school and retail security clients – and watched them disappear almost overnight.

As unemployment climbed from a low of 4.2% to a historic high of 14%, we found that many of our security guard personnel were afraid to return to work for health reasons. We respected their health concerns, but offered hazard pay as an incentive to return to work. By law, we also informed employees that if they refused work, it may affect their unemployment status. Many people simply calculated that based on unemployment benefits, plus the CARES Act economic relief, they could make more money staying home than going back to work. Understanding these dynamics allowed us to begin to plan our way through Covid-19. Our first goal became to bring our monthly budget in line with our reduced revenue to protect all stakeholders.

Plan for Sustainability.

Over time, we began to see some industry trends caused by the pandemic and methodically reviewed clients and expenses for sustainability, practicing what Buddhist’s call “beginner’s mind.” We examined expenses weekly, made tough cuts, prioritized long-term clients, resigned accounts that weren’t profitable, concentrated on collections, initiated operations efficiencies, retooled recruiting, renegotiated contracts, reconsidered our marketing strategy, and increased rates based on demand. Our mantra was “be decisive, but don’t make decisions based on panic.”

When we learned that the Government was offering a Payroll Protection Plan (PPP), we applied, secured the loan, and carefully complied to the changing guidelines. The PPP loan basically worked as intended by allowing us to maintain our payroll and bills for 16 weeks, while we pondered next steps. Once we were satisfied that we’d considered every cost cutting option, our CFO created a new budget projection to guide us through the end of the year.

Pivot to Opportunity

As the pandemic continues, the companies must be flexible to navigate multiple challenges while searching for opportunities within the crisis. Businesses must pivot or become a statistic. As we sharpened our pencils on the financial side, we kept an eye out for emerging opportunities.

We found that the high unemployment rate boosted our recruiting efforts. We witnessed competitors who specialized in school districts, large event and nightclub security either go out of business or pause their advertising. A less competitive online arena gave us a marketing edge, so we reallocated some of our advertising dollars into targeted recruiting billboards and shuffled our Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to focus on our most profitable regions and services. In short, we focused on our strengths. The result was the phone ringing with more qualified leads.

In addition, competitors became short-staffed which caused operations problems. As a result, prospective clients had less options for security providers, so our sales and hourly rate increased. Client communication also improved because all parties were aware of the inherent new business disruptions associated with the pandemic.

We noticed employees were more grateful as they watched millions across America lose their jobs. This allowed us to revisit employee roles and responsibilities for maximum effectiveness. In the early stages of Covid-19, several employees decided to leave for personal reasons, including: caring for family elderly members, childcare challenges, early retirement and health concerns. This allowed us to reduce our salary expenses even further, and prompted us to reassign office space for better collaboration.

Over the last 6 months I learned that the security industry is bulletproof. We can take a direct economic hit and survive. Even in the worst case scenario, we’re truly essential. Surfing the wave of 2020 is equal parts observation, planning, taking the long view and making friends with uncertainty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACME Guard_with mask

By: Stuart J. Visnov, CEO, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 650

ACME Guard_with maskLike most industries around the world, security companies of all sizes are experiencing financial losses as they struggle to navigate the unprecedented business challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In general, the businesses that used security guards to interact with the public have shut down, while other businesses that use security to patrol buildings, jobsites and campuses have maintained or decreased their security plans during the shutdown. There have also been requests for emergency security services as clients respond to this novel and ever-changing set of circumstances. The increased requests for security services specifically related to the lockdown include but are not limited to:

  • Grocery and wholesale stores that require additional crowd control
  • Shipping warehouses that need employee social distancing enforcement
  • Car dealerships and auto malls that have inventory sitting unprotected
  • Property management and residential groups mitigating civil unrest
  • Cultural and religious institutions that fear panic induced hate crimes
  • Shuttered wholesalers or retailers with valuable merchandise
  • Construction and building companies that require jobsite and equipment watches
  • Healthcare facilities impacted by the pandemic

Whether it’s protecting buildings, equipment, inventory or educating and enforcing social distancing within the public or private sector, many industries may discover a need for security services in this unprecedented international crisis. However, it seems certain that event security will be the last to restart until widespread testing is available. As a result, security companies that specialize in event staffing, access and crowd control for large venues will suffer financially. Smaller events, such as concerts, holiday gatherings, celebrations, festivals, runs and fairs will continue to be cancelled as well.

With so many clients cancelling or postponing services, many companies have had to layoff, furlough or cut salaries in order to survive – causing a lack of security guard availability. This has caught security firm owners in a double-bind of having to reduce staff and expenses, while still maintaining the ability to respond to emergency requests. Due to this shortage of security guards, some corporations have had to rely on “security service consolidators” to provide the coverage they require. Although consolidators can often provide the national coverage chain stores and franchises need, they do so via a network of un-vetted regional security partners which often results in a lack of quality control or supervision.

This day-to-day uncertainty has caused a variety of new human resource and staffing complications for security companies. For instance, many officers who are collecting unemployment compensation, are turning down shift work because they’d rather stay home safe and avoid the risk of becoming infected and exposing their family. Many guards have chosen to take other work to make ends meet and may not return to work after the crisis. Those guards who want to work will require hazard pay and professional personal protection equipment (PPE) such as gloves, face masks and hand sanitizer in order to do their job safely within Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. Remember that before Covid-19, unemployment was at a record low and recruiting was the most competitive it has been in decades. As we post this blog, the pandemic has caused over 26 million Americans to lose their jobs, which is more than all the jobs added over the past 10 years. This complete reversal in the job market will make recruiting quality security guards easier going forward.

The best plan of action for security companies is common sense: Stay calm, gather information, be flexible, don’t make rash decisions, communicate with employees, and adhere to state and federal directives in order to make the most informed decisions. Security industry leaders and influencers must look deeply at this national emergency to determine how they can be most effective and helpful, while looking for the hidden business opportunities within this crisis. The best of the best will come through this storm, better prepared for the next security challenge.

Security companies are essential during the Coronavirus crisis.

By: Stuart J. Visnov, CEO, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 634

usa-flag-mask-with-eagle_blogThe U.S. Government classifies security professionals as essential during the Coronavirus crisis. Not only are security guard firms exempt from state lockdowns but we have a special responsibility to maintain our normal work schedule during this national emergency. In fact, security guard companies like Echelon must play a dual role because we are tasked with continuing to provide security services to our clients while assisting law enforcement in their regional efforts to keep order and flatten the curve of the coronavirus. As the crisis progresses, it’s likely the National Guard will also be deployed to help at hospital sites to prevent panic related unwanted and illegal activity. However, the public and private sector will continue to rely upon security officer firms for guard posts and patrols of essential businesses – as well as those unnecessary businesses, facilities and institutions that must close their doors, leave their jobsite, board-up their building, close their lot or secure their campus.

One of the best ways security companies and their staff can assist during this unprecedented international health crisis is to understand how to identify, protect ourselves and act in response to the virus if we’re exposed. Below are helpful recommendations from the Center for Disease Control for security protocols regarding security guard officers, supervisors and office staff as well as the general public.

  • Know the warning signs and symptoms of the coronavirus. Stay observant in the office, on post and while patrol. Be aware of who you are coming in contact with and watch for signs of exposure. The symptoms of COVID-19 may include a tickle in the throat, a high temperature, dry cough, and shortness of breath. Symptoms after exposure can may emerge in 2 -14 days.
  • Protect yourself and colleagues from contact with the coronavirus. Guards should practice social distancing by maintaining at least 6 feet away from co-workers and the public – especially those showing virus symptoms. Wash your hands several times per day and try NOT to touch your face. If you have trained EMS or EMT personnel on staff, use them to assess anyone suspected of having the COVID-19 virus. If trained healthcare professionals are not available, security guards should instruct anyone with symptoms to self-isolate and call their physician immediately.
  • Development of a corporate coronavirus plan of action. A companywide plan should include how to limit employee office and jobsite exposure, work space and common area cleaning and fraternization protocols, information sharing regarding best practices, the latest expert health information, projected employee government relief options, as well as who is able to work from home and who is needed in the office for everyday operations.
  • Purchase and use professional protection equipment (PPE) to mitigate exposure: If available, purchase and distribute face masks, disposable gloves, single use coveralls, protective eyewear, hand sanitizers and alcohol wipes for surfaces. Take off security uniform and office clothes and wash them as soon as you enter your home each day to protect your loved ones.
  • If you’re exposed to any individual with COVID-19: Watch yourself for symptoms, clean and disinfect your clothing and gear before you reuse it. Make sure that you document any possible exposure. Self-isolate, consult a doctor, or get tested if you think you may have contracted the virus.

Remember, security professionals are a key component in public safety, helping to combat the coronavirus and keeping your region, community, co-workers and family safe. Eat well, stay hydrated, open windows for fresh air, exercise, get plenty of sleep and shelter in place as much as possible. Although there are still many unknowns, we learn more each day and it is certain that current unprecedented public health measures like social distancing, sheltering in place, and self-quarantine are impermanent.

Let us not forget – we are truly all in this together!

 

caronavirus-blog

By: Stuart J. Visnov, CEO, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 860

caronavirus-blogNew deaths each week, stock market instability and a rate cut by the Fed, means businesses of all kinds should cautiously plan for the overall impact of the coronavirus in the United States. History suggests that big economies like the U.S. are naturally more at risk when people stay home to avoid a virus. It’s not hard to understand that if factories across the globe slow or stop production the supply chain will be disrupted to the point of “supply shock” and lead to a worldwide delay in business. However, we may have more to worry about from the “demand shock” that could develop if people begin to stay home for any extended period of time. No matter the circumstances, the Coronavirus will be contained, run its course and eventually stop. In the next few months we speculate there will be an increased need for security services that protect people and property – while facilities and institutions that temporarily close will employ less security guards until they reopen. Let’s review some key industries and how they could be impacted by the Coronavirus.

Schools are already being temporarily shut down and that means hourly security guards would lose work for an unknown period of time. However, many educational facilities are inquiring about pandemic planning that includes online learning. According to the latest information from health experts, warmer weather may slow the spread of the coronavirus as it does with the seasonal flu.

Construction would likely slow down or see costly delays either because workers are sick or the building materials are not being delivered on schedule. Projects in-progress often have millions in construction materials and equipment on site that will need to be protected for the duration of the delays. A standard “construction watch” could last for months longer than usual if delays become a reality.

Arenas that host concerts, sporting, cultural and entertainment events may be attended less, cancelled or televised without an audience as people choose to avoid unnecessary public interaction for fear of the disease. Professional sports is big business in the U.S. that would effect numerous supporting industries. Access control protocols may start to include mandated hand sanitation stations overseen by security guards. If event, expo and convention centers close down for any period of time, many services that work in tandem with the venue such as food & beverage services, retail, event staff, maintenance crews, parking control and security will be financially effected.

The healthcare industry will suffer as people stop going to their dentist, doctor, the gym or the hospital during an outbreak if a visit isn’t necessary. Health spending is 17% of the U.S. economy. Security companies may see increased requests from health facilities due to long lines, patient stress, unruliness and access control. Infectious disease experts will surely help limit the spread of the virus and work quickly to find a treatment or cure. In addition, many American workers lack paid time off and about 8.5% more don’t have health care coverage. This means people will be less likely to seek proper medical attention or have the financial choice of staying home from work if they’re ill. Going to work when you’re sick is one of the fastest ways the Coronavirus would spread in countries without universal healthcare.

Restaurants could surely experience a drop in business as patrons begin to fear that the cooks, kitchen and wait staff may spread the virus. The restaurant industry makes up a large part of the U.S. gross domestic product. This has already resulted in public panic-buying in some areas as people begin to hoard food, disinfectant products, masks and other perceived necessities. Consumer hoarding is a real problem because it may inadvertently cause actual healthcare workers to go without the basic supplies they need on the front lines.

Retail panic could in-turn spark an increased need for security guards at grocery stores, big box wholesalers and hardware stores. Brick and mortar retail stores are already suffering due to the ease of online shopping. Why take the chance of going to the mall when you have the option of shopping online with no health risk?

The travel, hospitality and tourism industry is already being effected. Americans take about three flights per year on average. Recently, Italy, Iran, China and South Korea were moved into “Warning Level 3” the highest CDC notice level in which travelers are directed to avoid these countries. If travel is absolutely necessary, the CDC advises travelers to speak with their health-care provider regarding best practices. The public and private sector are already postponing and cancelling personal, business and educational trips of all kinds, especially flights and cruises. If this continues, it will have wide reaching effects for retail, hotels, restaurants, rentals, and tourism destinations of all shapes and sizes.

To date, there has been no talk about locking down entire American cities. However, experts are asking citizens in affected areas to practice “voluntary social distancing.” If you own a security guard company, it’s prudent to tell your employees not to come to work sick and provide a paid sick days policy for part time security guards who can’t afford to miss a few days.

2 security agents at basketball game_1

By: Stuart J. Visnov, CEO, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 735

2 security agents at basketball game_1As you may know, Pennsylvania has mandated that all schools comply with the new ACT 67 School Security Personnel Law which requires school security guards to complete the Basic School Resource Officer Course of Instruction offered by the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) or an equivalent approved by Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD). Those currently serving as school security guards must complete training by early 2020 to continue to work at any Pennsylvania school that receives state funding.

Act 67, Senate Bill 621, in the 2019-20 legislative session makes changes to Article XIII-C of the School Code, including changing the title to “School Security.” Most of the changes involve school security personnel, including: school police officers, school resource officers (SROs) and school security guards. Learn more about the new ACT 67 School Security Personnel Law at https://www.psba.org/2019/07/act-67-of-2019-school-security-personnel/

Although all state funded PA schools and associated security guard providers must comply, there are a few perspective challenges to the new ACT 67 School Security Personnel Law that I’d like to share.

TRAINING COSTS
The first hurdle is the cost. Training is about $500.00 for a 40 hour class. If a guard is a salaried school district employee, the school would pay for the training as continuing education. However, if the guard is employed by a security guard company, it’s unclear who should pay for the training because the guard is a 1099 independent contractor. In this case, it’s most likely the guard would pay for their own training because the certification benefits them directly in terms of marketability. If the security company invests in the guard training, they take the risk of the guard leaving the company after they’ve been trained.

TIMING & LOGISTICS
According to the current law, school guards must be trained within the next 6 months. This means that most districts would have to hire several temporary guards for a week, while their proprietary guards are receiving their 40 hours of training. The best solution would be to schedule guard training during the summer, when most school guards are not working due to summer break. However, the timing of the new law doesn’t currently allow for this type of planning.

CALL-OUT COVERAGE
Another challenge will be guard call-outs. In the past, if a PA school security guard called out sick or took a PTO day, they could easily be replaced with another guard who had the same basic training and PA mandated vetting, including child abuse, FBI and PA background checks. Now that PA guards must be ACT 67 certified, it will not be easy for schools and security companies to pay $500 for guard training for employees that are only used as a back-up for school call-outs. The district’s only option may be to train a few salaried employees, so someone is always on staff to cover guard call-outs.

LAWFUL EXCEPTIONS
Often, new laws of this nature feature some type of built-in exemption, waiver, or grandfather clause which allows similar certifications or training to be accepted. These exceptions create a middle path of compliance until the new law can be fully implemented and all stakeholders are up to speed.

ENFORCEMENT
PA counties or townships don’t have the resources to set up a district ACT 67 enforcement process in addition to their current responsibilities. However, no law has teeth unless it includes a mechanism of enforcement. To start, this new ACT 67 School Security Personnel Law must be policed by the school district itself. The only way for the school to comply with the law is to strictly forbid any school security guard to work on campus unless the school district is in possession of every guards training certificate. The school would also be responsible for recertifying each guard as required by the law.

No law will be able to please everyone, but in my opinion, ACT 67 is a good idea, because until now, there was no professional standard for security guard training in PA. Setting guard standards also benefits the security industry as a whole, because it keeps low-cost security providers from selling schools on price instead of safety. There are hundreds of news items each year featuring un-vetted, unqualified security guards who caused problems instead of solving them. If the commonwealth is serious about keeping our students, faculty and staff as safe as possible – certified security guard training is a good common sense way to start.

Bouncer-Guard-Photo

By: Stuart J. Visnov, CEO, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 651

Bouncer-Guard-PhotoSince I founded Echelon in 2001, we’ve provided security guard services for hundreds of clients associated with the hospitality industry. We cover everything from high-end institutions hosting corporate meetings, holiday parties, and galas, to covered establishments like restaurants, bars and nightclubs, to large outdoor events like festivals and concerts. In order to manage client expectations and mitigate liability, we are very clear with our clients regarding what our security guards are responsible for when alcohol management is involved. Often, we must explain that security guards are not bouncers, and lay-out the specific differences between the two. So what is the difference between Security Guards and Bouncers?

BOUNCERS

A bouncer is often hired directly by a bar, nightclub or other entertainment venue owners to maintain order. Bouncers are useful where clientele or alcohol consumption may result in unwanted or illegal activity that creates an unsafe environment for patrons and staff. A bouncer’s duties may include:

  • Checking for ID to ensure patrons are of legal drinking age
  • Refusing entry to intoxicated patrons
  • Requesting that a patron leave when they’re drunk or disorderly
  • Knowing when to call law enforcement
  • Protecting patrons from harm
  • Using appropriate force to defend themselves

By law, a bouncer can physically engage or restrain a person as long as it’s in self-defense or in service of the protection of other patrons or staff. When physical force is initiated by a patron, the bouncer has the right defend himself with an equal amount of force. However, bouncers are taken to court so regularly, it’s considered the single most preventable loss within the tavern industry. So, if you’re the owner or manager, you’re still likely to be sued for assault and associated damages such as medical bills, pain and suffering and lawyer’s fees.

As a result, many states have passed laws requiring that bouncers be trained, licensed, and vetted, including criminal background checks. For instance, Philadelphia instituted a City Ordinance, which requires that bouncers must be registered and receive proper training. The law also mandates that people with certain past criminal convictions may not be hired as bouncers, all under very specific regulations.

SECURITY GUARDS

Security Guards are usually employees of a security company, rather than hired directly by venue or bar owners. This benefits the proprietor because the guard is additionally licensed, bonded and insured under the security company. Additionally, a security guard is trained and certified according to State law to further protect against liability. Echelon is licensed in PA, NJ, MD and DE and we comply with each States unique security guard standards.

Pennsylvania distinguishes between individuals who own security guard firms and those employed by them. The Private Detective Act of 1953 sets requirements for watch, patrol, and guard businesses while mandating minimum standards for hiring guards.

New Jersey security officers must meet requirements under the Security Officer Registration Act (SORA). Security company owners must be licensed, but employees and subcontractors are registered as security officers. NJ guards must meet specific vetting and training requirements. Security officers employed by businesses rather than security companies are subject to a different set of rules.

Maryland security guards are under the jurisdiction of the Maryland State Police Licensing Division. The Division recognizes multiple security officer job roles including those for corporations.

Delaware’s security guards are licensed by the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security. To become a security guard, they must fulfill training, pass a proficiency test, and submit to a thorough background check. In addition, they must be eighteen to work as an unarmed guard, and 21 to work as an armed guard. Private security licenses are not offered to law enforcement employees.

Security Guards (unarmed and armed) are best used as a highly visible deterrent to prevent unwanted or illegal activity before it starts or grows out of control. They can perform all the same duties as a Bouncer, plus additional tasks to lessen liability and keep everyone safe. For example:

  • Access control and ID verification
  • Bag checks for weapons and substances
  • Metal detection services by wand or magnetometer
  • TIPS alcohol awareness training
  • MOAB management of aggressive behavior training
  • RAMP certified via the LCB
  • Digital security guard reporting and documentation
  • GPS sign-in / sign-out jobsite verification
  • Emergency, hazard and crisis training, protocols and drills
  • Active shooter protocols
  • VIP escorts and transportation
  • Comprehensive threat assessment reports
  • Coordination with local law enforcement

Establishments should consider additional training such as TIPS, MOAB and RAMP for both security guards and bouncers to address everyday challenges such as protocols for dealing with underage patrons, reducing alcohol service liability through awareness, understanding when the use of physical force is permitted and using verbal communication to deescalate aggressive behavior.

TIPS is a skills-based, online alcohol training and certification program that is designed to prevent intoxication, underage drinking, and drunk driving by enhancing awareness and skills of servers, sellers and consumers of alcohol.

MOAB training presents principles, techniques, and skills for recognizing, reducing, and management of aggressive behavior both in and out of the workplace.

RAMP certification is a set of training and resources available to licensees and their employees. In order to become certified, businesses must complete a five step program, which includes: Manager training, seller or server training, employee orientation, posted signage, and affidavit request. The program provides certification for two years.

A quick story…

A few years ago, we had an inebriated patron start a public fight at a posh holiday event. When our security guards stepped-in to break up the fight and protect other guests, the belligerent patron punched one of our guards. The guard responded with appropriate force, restored order to the small crowd, restrained the drunk patron, contacted the police, and then escorted the troublemaker outside to wait for the police. When local authorities arrived soon after, the patron tried to attack them as well. Guess what? The event venue, local authorities, caterer responsible for the bar, and our security company were all named in the subsequent lawsuit. We had clear surveillance video and written documentation, our guard certifications were in order, our training manual was current, and we’re licensed, bonded and insured – several months later, we won the lawsuit.

In my view, Bouncers and Security Guards can both be effective depending on your specific goals. However, it’s a real benefit for clients to have the assets of a full service security company at their disposal because it eliminates much of the time and effort associated with hiring, training and managing your own security staff. In addition, you can add seasonal security staff, increase security during a national threat, or replace a guard who’s not the right fit with just a phone call.

 

 

 

 

 

residency-investigation photo

By: Stuart J. Visnov, CEO, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 651

residency-investigation photoOver the past several years there has been a clear increase in school districts focusing on residency investigations. This year alone, my company will complete over 100 residency investigation cases within several school districts. These school districts hire private investigators to collect evidence on students who are suspected of living outside the district – so are therefore illegally enrolled in their school. If the investigators can prove a student lives outside the school district, then the school can drop them from their rolls. This benefits the district because it’s one less student they must pick up the tab for. Although most people would agree that every child deserves the best education available, it’s difficult for districts to accommodate schoolchildren from outside of the district and still ensure enough resources for the tax paying families.

On average, public elementary and secondary school districts in the United States pay about $15,000 per student, so spending a few thousand dollars on an investigation to remove a falsified student from their roster is a good return on investment. Although, a school district would have to remove a lot of unlawful students to measurably affect the bottom line, it’s still a smart strategy to enforce residency rules because it acts as a deterrent. It’s likely that the more a school district makes people aware that private investigators have been hired to guard against residency scams, the more offenders may decide not to risk it.

For years, school districts have used a variety of staff to monitor potential fraud, including: registrars, social workers, attendance and truancy officers, and even high level school officials. In my direct experience as a detective, I’ve found that sources such as state and federal investigative databanks can suggest where someone may be living – but the only way to actually prove residency is through surveillance observation. This means your best residency enforcement solution is to hire a private investigation firm to focus exclusively on fraud, so the school administrators can focus on education and daily operations as intended. An investigator can often work on several cases in a day to create efficiencies and keep cases moving. On average, a residency investigation requires from 4 to 60 investigative hours to gather enough evidence for a provable court case. The average rate for a licensed private investigator is from $90 to $125 per hour.

These trained professionals use tested and proven surveillance techniques to establish a pattern, specialized gear, and database research software that allows access to a host of public records to accurately determine where families actually reside. After gathering key evidence, the deliverable is a comprehensive court-ready report including: times, dates, records and photos that helps the district win their residency fraud cases.

Although residency fraud is wrong, expensive and unfair to taxpayers, many people still view district lines as an obstacle to educational opportunity and therefore don’t want their schools to prosecute these less fortunate families. The good news is, that typically the district’s first action is to send a written notification explaining that their student has been unenrolled due to fraudulent residency claims. If the family pushes back, the district further states that they could be held financially responsible for the money the school has lost. Generally, the family has no choice but to return to their own school district.

My company’s residency investigations business model is unique, because we provide the district with a dedicated Investigative Coordinator, rather than just a single investigator. The benefit of a coordinator is that they have the full power of our security company’s infrastructure, relationships and assets behind them, which allows them to navigate any investigative related challenge. The coordinator has several experienced private detectives on-call and oversees the entire investigation process from the initial intake of the case information to the final thorough report. In addition, we keep all case information and the final report on file in a secure database for future reference.

 

Run Hide Fight

By: Stuart J. Visnov, CEO, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 689

Run Hide FightAs of early August 2019, there have been 255 mass shootings in the U.S. It’s hard not to become numb to the violence or the fact that we’re no longer completely safe at our schools, malls, concerts, churches or place of employment. If we’re not mindful, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the hate and violence that causes our fear and anxiety. Although the chances that you will be a victim of a mass shooting are low, the more prepared you are, the better your chances of survival in a worst case scenario. Although, there will never be a “one size fits all” rule for active shooters, I tell my loved ones to “run, hide, fight” because it’s easy to teach, remember and understand.

RUN away from the shooter

If you become aware of a shooter or hear gunfire, your best chance of survival is to try to escape. Whether you’re in familiar surroundings or a new location, take a few minutes to note the nearest exits. When possible, take the stairs instead of the elevators and remember that windows can also be used to escape. Students at Virginia Tech escaped the gunman in 2007 from a second-floor window. If you believe you could possibly be in the line of fire while you’re running, zigzag from cover to cover so you’re a harder target to hit.

Do not pull the fire alarm because it causes confusion and may send people out into open areas, where they could be easier targets. Instead, yell “gun” or “shooter” to inform people it’s not just a drill. Find out who the security director is at your school or work and ask them about active shooter drills, lockdowns and evacuations.

HIDE, if you can’t escape

If you cannot escape, attempt to hide anywhere there is a door. Lock or barricade the door to help deter access. Consider that office walls are often made of thin drywall, so if you can hide in a room that has an outside wall or no windows, you’ll be safer. If there’s no time to find a room with a door, hide under your desk. Your goal is to remove yourself from the shooter’s line of sight.

Do not play dead, because shooters have been known to come back and fire into wounded people. However, a teacher at Sandy Hook remained still after being shot and then escaped when the shooter left the area. Also, a student at Virginia Tech was shot while trying to escape but kept running and survived. The most important thing is to get yourself away from the shooter!

Once you’ve found a hiding place, turn off lights and call 911 to explain what’s happening. Then, mute your phone and be as quiet as possible, but leave your cell phone on so the dispatcher can continue to hear what’s going on. Stay low, but do not laydown, because that would make it harder to attack the shooter if he finds your hiding place. Remember that social media could give away your hiding place or alert the shooter to the location of the police.

 FIGHT as a last resort

Experts agree that confronting a shooter should be a last resort because most people do not have the proper training to have a good chance at stopping a gunman. Your only option is to find some type of object to use as a weapon against the shooter. Although a broom stick, coffee pot, baseball bat, scissors, hammer or chair may be the only weapons at hand, no level of force is inappropriate when it comes to saving lives.

It’s disheartening to think that although recent polls show at least 70% of Americans want common sense gun laws – less than 10% believe their representatives will do anything about it. In my view, when our representatives begin to remember that their job is to represent their constituents, instead of the big businesses who fund their campaigns, we’ll have a safer country. All we can do right now is educate ourselves on gun violence, stay vigilant and call our state representatives to lobby for faster change regarding gun control.

 

 

 

 

hate crimes

By: Stuart J. Visnov, CEO, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 669

hate crimesTechnology has inadvertently connected us all to a nonstop stream of customized news and social media, creating a tsunami of easily shared misinformation and propaganda in the form of videos, posts, memes and tweets. Recent data shows that Facebook and YouTube struggle to monitor and remove the recruiting efforts of online domestic extremists and foreign terrorists. Add a perpetual “us versus them” narrative to a lot of the media we consume, and you have a recipe for anxiety and fertile ground for the seeds of hate. Just add water.

It’s no wonder that my company receives hundreds of calls each year from religious, scientific, research, or educational nonprofit organizations requesting solutions to their growing security concerns. According to the Hate Crime Statistics Act passed by Congress in 1990, hate crimes are characterized as “crimes that show evidence of intolerance based on religion, disability, sexual orientation, race, gender, or ethnicity.” Hate crimes are committed against people, property or society, and can involve violent attacks, theft, arson and vandalism. The most recent data available from the FBI reported 7,175 occurrences of hate crimes in 2017 which is a 17% increase from the prior year, and an uptick for the last three years. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the number of hate groups in the U.S. is the highest in 20 years.

As if that wasn’t enough to keep us all up at night, consider that shootings are a daily occurrence in the United States, https://www.gunviolencearchive.org/reports/mass-shooting. It stands to reason that the more a nonprofit matches a specific hate category – the more of a target they become for planned, politically inspired violence by domestic extremists and foreign terrorists. We tend to think of hate groups as neo-Nazis, white supremacists, black nationalists or neo-Confederates, but there’s no shortage of narrow-minded groups who blame “the other” instead of looking deeply at the root cause of their own suffering.

As a result, nonprofit stakeholders are looking for new and creative ways to protect their people and property while creating a welcoming environment where people aren’t scared to attend an educational program, cultural event or place of worship. The challenge is that non-profits often don’t have the budget they need to implement a meaningful security strategy. Below, I present 7 tested and proven ideas to raise funds and enhance security for your nonprofit.

7 Ideas to Raise Funds for Nonprofit Security

  1. Launch a security themed fundraising campaign to raise money for additional protective measures or meet with your top 10 donors and ask for a large gift.
  2. Establish a per person security fee, add a security surcharge, or mandate a minimum security donation.
  3. Apply for federal security grants available to nonprofits. Experts agree there will be a record number of applicants for the $60 million in available federal security grants. Professional grant writers are readily available.
  4. Replace a traditional receptionist with a trained security officer who can perform greeter and administrative duties.
  5. Professionally train volunteers or selected congregation members most suited to assist with security responsibilities.
  6. Ask local law enforcement to perform a vulnerability assessment of your place of worship and make more frequent patrol checks to augment your security.
  7. Create a consortium of local nonprofits to share the cost of security such as: handheld metal detectors, roving security guard patrols, radio communications, professional crisis training, etc.

Understand that these radical extremists are looking for an easy target where they can do the most damage and get the maximum media attention. So, when they see any type of visual deterrent, like a uniformed security guard on patrol or an access control system that may slow them down – they’ll think twice and often move on to a softer target. Although the state of our union shows reason for legitimate concern, the threat level of your nonprofit can be lessened by taking action. We suggest a skilled vulnerability assessment, timely implementation of the most efficient security solutions, trained security officers, and staff training that cultivates vigilant situational awareness.

 

hidden security costs

By: Stuart J. Visnov, CEO, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 702

low cost security providersOne of the biggest problems businesses face is competition from low-cost providers. A low cost provider is a business that charges the lowest price it can, while promising about the same quality so that it can draw customers to the market. What they do not tell you, is why their product or service costs so much less than their competitors. The reason, of course is that they deliver poor quality, less service and cut corners wherever possible – even if it’s borderline dishonest or unethical. Sooner or later, customers come to realize the difference in value and begin to look for a new provider. In the security industry, hiring a low cost security provider based only on price very often translates to customer dissatisfaction, including:

  • No security guard vetting, training or certifications
  • No GPS verification of hours and incorrect invoicing
  • Unreliable guards who are consistently late, leave early or call out
  • No officer patrol reporting or documentation software
  • No written security guard protocols or directives
  • No on-site security guard supervision or discipline
  • Lack of proper insurance coverage or licenses to operate
  • Unprofessional guards in untidy uniforms
  • No business infrastructure for Operations, Finance, Sales or HR
  • Poor customer service

This absence of best practices has an overall negative impact on the entire security industry.  The clients are dissatisfied and aggravated, security providers get a bad reputation, fair market industry rates decline, good companies cannot make a fair profit, security and safety are compromised and liability increases for everyone involved. Many low-cost security providers carry much less overhead, because they’re generally owned by some type of career law enforcement officer who has recruited a few of his retired colleagues and operates the business from a small home office with little more than a book keeper and perhaps a salesman. These small companies typically have a lot of security know-how, but very little business experience, funding, or ability to scale up according to client demands.

In contrast, the best-cost provider strategy relies on offering customers better value by focusing both on fair pricing and a full-service infrastructure that’s able to deliver measurable results. Statistically only 500 security companies in the United States generate $5,000,000 or more in annual revenue and I’m pleased to count Echelon Protection & Surveillance among them.

As a business owner, I understand that controlling expenses is a key component of profitability. However, when it comes to security guard services, what may appear to be a savings that improves the bottom line – is also be a hidden liability waiting to happen. Although a basic low cost uniformed guard may act as a good visual deterrent, it is no substitute for a reliable security presence trained to respond appropriately to a real challenge, emergency, crisis or hazard. Remember, that if something goes wrong, everyone and anyone involved may be sued – and that can be a long, stressful and expensive process.

We’ve all seen the news videos of security guards making poor decisions, hesitating to engage, or worse, running the other way when a problem arises.  If you’re the final decision maker regarding security services, I urge you to take the time to perform your due diligence and consider your real risk and return on investment. The last thing you want is a high profile crisis that damages your business, a negligence law suit, or your boss challenging your judgment.

Crime in the United States is usually split into two broad classifications, violent crime and property crime. Although violent crimes steal the headlines, non-violent property crime is currently the leading problem afflicting the United States by a large margin. However, in today’s environment of civil unrest, easy access to firearms and misinformation… everyone should take public and private security seriously. As in any good relationship, you should be striving for a partnership where both parties mutually benefit. Meaning, the client enjoys peace of mind knowing that their people are safe and their property is secure, and the security provider is allowed to make a fair profit so they can continue to grow and provide the high value services. As the great Warren Buffet once said, “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.”

Week's-Marine-Supervisor-1

By: Stuart J. Visnov, CEO, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 641

Week's-Marine-Supervisor-1One of the most important components of a well-run security company is the supervision of the officers on duty. Whether you’re in the public or private sector, it’s the supervisors that provide the hands-on quality control that keep your site running smoothly. If your security partner hasn’t invested in regional supervisors, you can be sure that your guard performance will suffer. The best security firms maintain a layered approach to guard performance that incorporates professional training, officer reporting software, GPS tracking and consistent supervision. Below are the key responsibilities of a supervisor.

Planning – A supervisor will often do the strategic planning for the security at your location. This may include: choosing the right guards, deciding where they’ll be posted, developing a site map, writing protocols, coordinating with local law enforcement and communicating with the client to be sure everyone’s on the same page.

Preparation – In the chain of command, supervisors report to the Director of Operations. As part of the team, supervisors are responsible for making sure the guards have everything they require to succeed in their duties according to protocols and expectations. They study the site footprint, develop site maps, determine areas of vulnerability, post scan tags for patrols, and secure equipment such as radios, deterrent signage and lock boxes needed for the job.

On-Site Training – As the person most familiar with the site, a supervisor’s responsibilities frequently include the on-site training of new guards. It is standard operating procedure for the supervisor to meet the guard(s) on or before the first day of the job to review security protocols, answer questions, communicate client expectations and even coordinate with local law enforcement. Supervisors spend as much time on location as needed to make sure the guards are on point and the client is satisfied.

Administration – Once a new client is up and running, the supervisor begins focusing on the quality control aspects of the job, such as time clock check-in and check-out, verifying guard location via GPS, client communication, scheduling changes, reviewing daily officer reports and overseeing shift changes. All information is documented and reported to the Director of Operations and Human Resources so they can evaluate the guard’s overall security performance.

Field Inspections – Remote locations, long hours or overnight shifts are a recipe for security guards to become bored or fatigued…no matter how good their intentions are. However, if a guard knows that their boss tends to show up randomly, they’re more likely to stay on their toes. These surprise inspections are important to either correct bad habits or simply bring the guard doughnuts and coffee to let them know they’re a valued team member.

Customer Service – When a client hires a security firm, there’s an implied guarantee that they will provide solutions with a certain level of urgency. In general, if the guard can’t solve the problem through their training or directives, they’ll report it to the supervisor who has access to the full assets of the security company at his disposal.

Discipline – In many respects, supervisors are the eyes and ears of the company. They work with the guards to improve their performance and relay guard input back to operations. In this way, the company has the front line information it needs to help them make more informed decisions. Guards who consistently demonstrate reliability and professionalism receive commendations and pay increases, while those who do not meet expectations receive documented corrective guidance. Since the security company and the guard have a mutual investment in each other, it benefits everyone to work together to keep the clients people and property safe in any situation.

As you can see, a great supervisor is not only the eyes and ears of the operations team, but the day to day grease and glue that provides the quality control that clients expect of professional security firm.

Event security

By: Stuart J. Visnov, CEO, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 497

Event securityWhen you consider the variety of assets and organizations it takes to put on a successful event – it’s almost like managing a small town.

Our security firm has built a solid reputation in event security. Over the last 18 years we’ve had the opportunity to provide security and event staffing for such prominent events as: the NFL Draft, Democratic National Convention, NJ Renaissance Fair, Country Spirt Music Festival, Philadelphia Love Run, Made In America, Philly Fashion Week, and the Atlantic City Iron Man Triathlon. This year alone, we’ll provide security for over 100 events in the tristate area.

Providing security for events like these involves careful planning, scheduling, site mapping, transportation, equipment, directives, site visits, coordination with law enforcement and various other event related organizations.

Depending on the venue location, type of activity, amount of days and number of attendees, each event will have different challenges. As an example, while some events may need security guards trained in ID access control, first aid, and alcohol management, others may require metal detection and personal protection. At smaller venues, a professional security guard presence alone may be enough to deter unwanted or illegal activity. This is why security officers are often posted in areas where they’re highly visible and have the best ability to observe, report, and if necessary – intervene.

The best security firms learn from their missteps, by taking the time to debrief after each event. These reviews are used to explore what went well, and where improvement is needed. When a security company is responsible for thousands of people’s safety, stakeholders must be certain security is prepared for any contingency. Over time, these protocols become standard operating procedure in order to minimize risk and maximize enjoyment.

For larger events, there are dozens of details and logistics to consider because of all the player’s involved: Promoters, event planners, tour directors, staffing, transit, associations, media, businesses, institutions, venue managers, hospitality services, unions, retailers, law enforcement, emergency medical services and security firms.

Although public mass shootings are only a small segment of our country’s gun related deaths, they are very distressing to event planners, patrons, sponsors and security firms, because these shootings happen randomly in the most ordinary places. Based on recent shootings at national events, only the top 500 security companies have the infrastructure, technology and training to keep everyone safe at larger events.

If you want peace of mind at your next event, take the time to communicate anticipated concerns to your security partner, and don’t settle for just “a security guard.” The objective is to find guards with the right experience, temperament and skills to fit your brand personality. The biggest vulnerability to any event is not unknown outside elements, but rather hiring the wrong security guards.

Be aware that no amount of training or planning is foolproof. However, knowledge is power, so the more information that a security company has prior to the event, the more prepared you’ll be for any incident, crisis or emergency.

How to choose a security guard company

By: Stuart J. Visnov, CEO, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 817

How to choose a security guard companyUnderstanding the industry

The U.S. Department of Labor statistics reports that there are over 1.1 million private security guards in the U.S. working within about 10,000 companies. The exact numbers are hard to determine because the industry standards vary nationally. Some states mandate unarmed and armed security guard licenses and others do not. In states that don’t, the individual security companies are responsible for vetting and training their own guards. For instance, in Pennsylvania, a person with a private detective’s license hires security guards to work under their license. In New Jersey, each guard must obtain their own license to be certified as a security guard. In addition, a national security company doesn’t need a license to operate in every state, they only need a relationship with a state licensed security company to do business in that state. The better you understand the security industry, the more informed your decision will be when hiring a security partner.

Choosing the right security partner

The key to finding the right security partner is to consider what services you’ll require, and communicate those needs or concerns to your perspective security partner so they can develop a solution. Will you need unarmed guard who can interact with the public or an unarmed overnight patrol guard with technical abilities? Should they be bilingual or have any special training or certifications such as first aid, management of aggressive behavior, or access control? Should the guard wear a uniform as a visual deterrent or be casually dressed to fit your brand. The possibilities are many, but the more you consider what you’ll need, the better they can provide the right security solution. If you’re unsure of what you may need, start with asking if the security company has direct experience working in your industry.

How you know if guards are doing their job?

Most security companies sell themselves as having experienced guards that will be on-time, stay alert, and respond appropriately when an incident occurs. However, how do you know what your guards are doing when you’re not watching them? The solution is a GPS based guard reporting technology that verifies check-in/check-out, and documents patrols and duties so you know exactly what you’re paying for. Technology like this should be standard with any reputable security company, and it gives the client the ability to track guard activity, confirm billing hours, and protects against liability.

What’s a consolidator?

In the security industry it’s common practice for large companies to outsource their work to smaller regional companies. The consumer thinks they’ve contracted a regional security guard provider, but they’ve actually hired a national security guard “consolidator.” Here’s how it works: When you call for local service, their telemarketers quickly contact several security companies in your region to try to cover your request. Consolidators make their money on volume by marking-up the price of the companies they use to fulfill your request. Using a consolidator effects the quality of service because they’re often not familiar with the security companies they’re outsourcing to. Their entire business model is telesales and paperwork. To determine if you’re speaking with a consolidator, ask them if they outsource to other security companies. If they say yes, ask them how long they’ve been working with the company providing your guard services and how those guards are trained.

The right size means the right service.

As with service providers in any industry, size is important. If you’re security partner is either too big or too small, customer service may become an issue. Although the big boys can provide a range of professional services, they often fall short on personal attention and responsiveness, because you’re just one of a thousand clients. At small security companies you’re important because you’re one of 25-50 clients, so you’ll often have access to the owners or decision makers. However, these smaller companies very often lack organizational infrastructure, so they struggle with basic back office operational challenges such as answering phones, invoicing and guard recruiting.

Rates and terms of agreement

Respectable security companies will ask you the right questions and then suggest the proper services and hourly rates. Fees are based on standard hourly rates that vary based on factors such as: type and level of service, response time, location, length of job, risk or known threat.

Ask for references

When it comes to hiring a security firm, it pays to do your homework. A security partner is like a walking, talking insurance policy. So, take the time to research several companies, review their websites, and contact your top three. Start by asking if they’re licensed, bonded and insured. Then, inquire about their services, infrastructure, and experience in serving your industry. Lastly, request a list of client references and speak with at least 3. The right company will take the time to meet with you to discuss your needs, provide insights and review your final security agreement until you’re satisfied.

 

Uniformed EPS guards

By: Stuart J. Visnov, CEO, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 489

Uniformed EPS guardsSecurity guards are seen by many owners as a substantial business expense. But this is the wrong way to look at it. Rather than an expense, security guards are an investment in your business. That’s because security guards can save businesses money in a lot of different ways. The truth is that virtually any business could see an increase in their bottom line if they employed one or a team of security guards. Here’s why security guards are worth the money.

They create a better, more profitable environment

When people feel safe in a store or office, they are more likely to come to that store and they are more likely to work harder or spend more money. Security guards offer both offices and retail stores this benefit. When security officers patrol your offices, employees feel safe coming to work. When security officers patrol stores, customers know they will be safe shopping there and will be protected if something happens.

Reduce damage and vandalism

One large, inconvenient expense for both offices and stores occurs when property is damaged by vandalism. When a workplace or a retail store gets vandalized, it is important that everything is replaced and repaired immediately to reduce negative impacts on the business. No one wants to spend money in a vandalized shop or do business with a firm in a vandalized office. A security system comprised of both security guards and surveillance cameras is an excellent way to remove the threat of vandalism completely. With your business monitored day and night, vandals won’t have a chance to damage your property.

Fewer unaccounted for products

Shoplifting is a huge problem for stores that do not have a sufficient security presence. Of course, the risk of shoplifters can never be eliminated completely, but when you have both security guards and CCTV cameras in operation, thieves have very little chance to successfully make off with your goods. That means fewer lost products and more sales.

Increased security

In the same vein as the previous point, security guards can also eliminate the possibility that stores or offices are robbed. Businesses that hold large amounts of cash on-site are prime targets for would-be criminals, and thefts can result in big losses. A strong security presence is often enough to discourage thieves. And armed security guards can neutralize a thief, should one try to perpetrate a crime regardless.

Not just any security guard will save you money, however. If you are serious about increasing the safety and security of your business — and seeing an increase in profits as a result — then you need to take time to make sure that you only hire experienced and well-trained security officers. This means speaking to a number of highly rated security service providers like Echelon Protection & Surveillance. Call our team today at 610 831 0277 for a free consultation to discuss your security plan.

Pope Mobile

By: Stuart J. Visnov, CEO, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 614

Pope MobileIf you’re a successful individual, it means you’ve undoubtedly taken some calculated risks in your career. You had a goal, did your due diligence, developed a plan, considered your return on investment, and then executed your plan. Of course, when it comes to a person’s well-being, the risk equation changes because no amount of success is worth their physical safety. Therefore, if someone has reason to believe that they or their loved ones are vulnerable, they will take the precautions necessary to mitigate that risk or threat until it has been resolved. One such solution is hiring personal protection.

My security company gets several calls every week from businesses or private individuals who have received credible threats or perceive a risk from clients, employees, spouses or family members. They call requesting protection solutions from volatile ex-husbands or uncles who want to ruin a wedding, patients who threaten doctors, defendants intimidating prosecuting attorneys, fear of retribution from disgruntled employees, and high profile executives, celebrities or dignitaries who hire protection for home, office or travel, or simply for their own peace of mind.

Personal protection units are comprised of highly trained, vetted and insured professionals who often have state or federal law enforcement, military, intelligence or investigative experience. In order to protect their clients effectively, they work in teams of at least two, because the situation often calls for a range of skilled services performed in unison. These services may include: advanced planning, background checks, protection directive, emergency protocols, location sweeps, patrol routes, travel itinerary, vehicle transport, covert communications, and concierge-like customer service.

Although the type and degree of risk varies greatly based on the industry, demographics and other factors, below are my top reasons why people hire personal protection:

  • You have a high level of public exposure. Executives, politicians, dignitaries, celebrities, athletes, professionals, activists, and their loved ones are all at more risk than the average person, especially if they are regularly in the public eye.
  • You have a high net worth. In an increasingly interconnected world, it is easier than ever to find out how much someone is worth through public records, news articles or corporate annual reports. If you are known to be wealthy, own a business or even appear to be wealthy, you could be vulnerable at your home or office.
  • You have received threats of any kind. If you or your loved ones start receiving threats, whether in person or electronically, your life can quickly become very stressful. The rule of thumb is to take every threat, no matter how casual or seemingly ridiculous, seriously. Often a few days or weeks of protection and surveillance is all that’s needed until the risk has subsided.
  • You have a business or provide services in high crime areas. If you work within, or travel to high crime areas, you’re statistically more likely to be targeted for theft or violence. This might include professions such as a traveling nurse who may carry prescription medicines, or a traveling salesperson with valuable merchandise.

In my experience, the need for personal protection can arise at any moment, so it’s wise to stay informed of your options, including: private investigations, surveillance cameras, access control and alarm systems, trained drivers or armed and unarmed security guards. Depending on the level of security that you require, the cost of personal protection will vary, but services are available for as little as one day to 24/7 coverage. Like Echelon, most security companies are glad to have a private consultation and provide guidance at no charge.

Learn more about Echelon’s Executive Protection Division at https://www.epsagents.com/services/personal-protection/ or call (610) 831-0277 and speak with James Dambach, our VP of Executive Protection.

door_guard_2

By: Stuart J. Visnov, Chief Executive Officer, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 884

door_guard_2As a former Social Studies Teacher, Juvenile Probation Officer, 2nd Amendment supporter, NRA member and security company owner, my opinion on the nationally debated topic of arming classroom teachers is based on more than 40 years of professional and personal experience.

Recently, a program to train and arm school staff members in nearby Tamaqua School District, in Schuylkill County, Pa. has been put on hold as two lawsuits against the school district make their way through the court system.

While school districts in other parts of the country have already adopted armed educator programs, the Tamaqua School District would have been the first one in my state. I can’t think of a more opportune time to voice my opinion on arming public school teachers.

Bluntly stated, I’m against it.

Gun violence in our country is at epidemic proportions and active shooters are a symptom of that problem. We all agree that increased campus security is greatly needed, but turning teachers into armed officers is a recipe for continued heartbreak. The best answer to combat school shootings is to have members of the local police department in every school. Besides having an armed, highly trained law enforcement professional on patrol, the social benefits of exposing our youth to positive community role models would be invaluable.

Knowing that the cost for police officers to be in every school would be unsustainable for taxpayers, that leaves us with two basic options: Train and arm the teachers or hire an armed security guard company.  I stand on the side of partnering with an armed security guard company… and here are just a few reasons why.

1.      The arming of teachers in no way replaces a professional security staff as educators with a secured sidearm would be no match for the barrage of an assailants’ semiautomatic rifle. Assuming school budgets and time restraints could provide teachers with adequate weapons training, educators with little or no “immediate back-up” coupled with “inferior firepower” could never replace the proactive duties or immediate response of properly trained and certified security officers.

2.      There is no question that every teacher and student deserves the right to a safe and secure environment in which to learn, but our teachers never signed up for the double duty of educator and armed guard. In fact, national studies suggest that most teachers do not want to carry guns, and would not avail themselves of the option to do so.  This could easily create an imbalanced system where some school teachers are armed, and others must wait for the police to arrive.

Teachers do not want to be security guards, they want to be educators. Professional security guards can maintain an authoritative rapport with students to stay well informed of threats or perspective unwanted behavior. Professional guards also act as good-will builders with responsibilities to assist visitors and help students. Most school shootings are carefully planned, and students can easily find out which teachers are most-likely to be armed. Either way, it means that those teachers become the first targets. In addition, shooters often have experience with their target school and therefor know the layout, bell schedule and access control weaknesses. However, if security guards are posted and follow smart access control protocols, the school becomes a much harder target.

3.      The idea that a shooter would see an armed teacher as a credible threat is incorrect, because in the most recent school mass shootings, the perpetrators were suicidal and ready to die. However, if that shooter knows the school is less vulnerable due to consistent access control lock-down drills, and vigilant armed guards the shooter may choose a softer target. To suggest that we should arm teachers because gun-free zones invite shooters, ignores common sense and research.

4.      Arming teachers creates an increased liability for them, school administration and their school district. Research shows, that individuals who own or have access guns are statistically more likely to have gun-related accidents than use than ever use the gun for self-defense. The same holds true for armed teachers, especially when you considers that a school environment has more opportunities for “incidents and accidents” than private homes. The financial liability to the school alone, makes the idea of arming teachers unrealistic. Add the general lack of school funding and the idea becomes even more untenable. Since all reputable security companies are licensed, bonded and insured, it’s also bad business for a school to spend their limited funds for extra insurance, rather than educational needs.

5.      By arming teachers, we are essentially asking educators to make a choice between securing their students or pursuing the active shooter. A highly trained security officer doesn’t face that moral impasse, because it’s their job to engage the shooter while the teachers safeguard the students.

6.      If you’re a leader in your community, it’s your moral duty to ensure the safety of the students, teachers and visitors in your school district. Please take my advice and follow these simple steps.

1.      Invest in a vulnerability assessment for your campus.

2.      Develop a comprehensive security plan that includes guards and technology.

3.      Hire a reputable security firm to partner with to execute your plan.

4.      School shootings are not an act of sanity.  You can you prepare for irrational behavior by preparation and practice… prepare and practice.

 

retail_suit_armed security

By: Stuart J. Visnov, Chief Executive Officer, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 562

retail_suit_guardAs a business owner, you aren’t just responsible for strategy, finance, marketing, sales and HR. You are also liable for the safety and security of your employees and customers. In today’s world, every business requires a minimum of safety and security precautions such as access control, surveillance cameras, evacuation planning and first aid equipment. However, there are many businesses that can benefit from an additional level of protection in the form of armed security guards. The question is whether your business is one of them. If you’ve ever found yourself even considered the possibility of hiring an armed guard – the answer for your business is most likely yes.

An armed guard is more than just a person who can respond to shoplifters and vandals. When a person seeking to do harm sees that your business employs a guard carrying a firearm, they understand they will have to contend with someone who has the lethal force to stop them. Just the presence of an armed guard is usually enough of a deterrent to make most bad actors move on to another, softer target.

It’s much more than the threat of force, however. Armed guards have to undergo many hours of state certified training and classroom testing. Typically, a high percentage of armed guards have backgrounds in personal protection, law enforcement, public safety or the military. That means they have the skill set to bring much more to the table in a crisis situation than just a weapon in a holster. In fact, because the majority of armed guards are full time employees of professional security companies, they have the experience and assets to keep your people and property safe in nearly any situation. Whether you’re responsible for property management, retail stores, construction sites, religious institutions, critical infrastructure facilities, or a business that has large amounts of cash, merchandise, inventory or valuables of any kind – armed guards are essential to prevent loss.

If you think you may need enhanced security, the first step is to have a comprehensive threat assessment in which experts consider and review the vulnerable areas of your business. The deliverable is an in-depth executive level report on areas in which you can improve the internal and external security of your business. Then you choose if and when you’d like to implement the security strategies and tactics outlined in your report.

In addition, top security companies offer armed close personal protection for the secure transport, safeguard and escort of Executives, Dignitaries and Celebrities. These elite services provide the highest level of protection available.

Some organizations may prefer to opt for an unarmed security guard. These guards can also be highly trained and still do a lot to prevent unwanted or unlawful activity. The right security officer can also provide other valuable services such as acting as a good will builder or in a customer service capacity.

As an owner or CEO, you’re focus is business, but all you have to do is click on the news to remind yourself of the unfortunate reality and prevalence of violent crimes and mass shootings in our society. That’s why it’s crucial to seek the advice of experienced security service providers. As CEO myself, I know leaders in the public and private sector want to sleep easy at night, knowing they did their due diligence regarding the safety and security of their people.

 

Educating Your Religious Organization on Armed and Unarmed Security Guards

By: Stuart J. Visnov, Chief Executive Officer, Echelon Protection & Surveillance

Educating Your Religious Organization on Armed and Unarmed Security GuardsIn the wake of the tragic attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in October of this year, there has been an increased debate on the merit of installing armed security guards at Synagogues and other places of worship.

It is an unfortunate fact that acts of violence and hate crimes in places of worship are on the rise in this country, regardless of whether that place of worship is a church, a synagogue or a mosque. Yet unlike schools and other public institutions, religious organizations have been the slowest to adopt increased security measures.

For many, installing armed or unarmed security officers at religious institutions has become a serious consideration. Many worshippers would rather be slightly slowed down by increased security checks than have no professional security measures in place whatsoever. Others, however, feel that the presence of security guards may feel intimidating and threatening.

That being said, professionally trained security guards are one of the most effective ways that religious organizations can protect their congregation and minimize or prevent future attacks on their place of worship. Not only will highly trained professionals be able to respond to an attacker quickly and safely, the visual presence of security guards — even if they aren’t armed — is often enough to deter would-be attackers because you are no longer viewed as an easy target.

These professional security guards don’t have to be intimidating to worshippers, either. There are several steps that both professional security companies and religious leaders can take to make worshippers feel safe and secure during services. This can include dressing officers down so that they don’t look intimidating. Religious leaders can also introduce officers to their congregation so that they know the people protecting them and stand with security officers at the entrance to the place of worship so that worshippers see a friendly face at the door.

Even if you aren’t ready to commit to armed security officers, there are steps that every religious institution should take to maximize their security. For instance, installing a modern, comprehensive security camera and access control system can help to prevent vandalism, robbery and active shooters. Locking the doors while service is in progress may slow down or ward off would-be attackers. Having an evacuation plan, whether in the event of a fire or an active shooter, is also a must-have.

It is clear that however they feel about armed guards, every religious organization should educate themselves by having a discussion and security threat assessment with industry experts about how they can increase the level of security at their place of worship. The cost of security will understandably be a big factor for religious organizations, but this figure will depend on several factors such as the type and number of structures as well as the size of your congregation and the level of protection that you desire. What’s more, a professional security company can help you build a custom security plan for your budget.

If you’d like to speak to a leading security provider in your area, call Echelon Protection & Surveillance at 610 831 0277 for your free consultation today.

Security drone with camera and building

By: Stuart J. Visnov, Chief Executive Officer, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 802

Security drone with camera and buildingThe inclusion of drones in security operations is becoming increasingly more common, and more necessary. Drones have many advantages over traditional security and reconnaissance methods. On their own, drones can be a very valuable security asset. When combined with other types of security and surveillance measures, a real powerhouse security plan can be created.

Drones have an advantage over traditional surveillance methods (i.e. helicopters and cameras) because they are:

  • Less expensive
  • Easier to operate
  • Quieter and not easily detected by those being surveilled
  • Able to access remote areas and transmit findings quickly
  • Able to operate in various weather conditions
  • Equipped with infrared and thermal sensors that allow for night vision

So, what are the ways in which drones can be used? There are three key areas where drones have made a significant impact on security and protection: Events and Crowd Control, Commercial Usage, and Everyday Security.

Events and Crowd Control

Whenever there is a large crowd, there is a concern for safety. Large venues that host concerts, conventions, EXPOs and sporting events are exciting, but they are also serious security risks. Appropriate measures need to be taken to ensure personal safety and the security of the entire venue against any kind of unwanted behavior, hazard, attack or unlawful incident. Drones can play a key role in making sure an event runs safely by observing any challenges before they grow out of control.

Before the event happens, drones can be deployed to conduct remote advance reconnaissance of the venue. Being able to get an aerial view of the entire complex, including surrounding infrastructure like roadways and parking lots, can give a security team the information needed to analyze and evaluate the situation and put together a complete plan to handle any issues that may occur.

On the day of the event, drones can be used to monitor traffic and parking. This can prevent major delays, and possibly accidents, as cars can be directed or re-directed to appropriate areas. Drones also can monitor foot traffic. High traffic areas often lead to pushing and shoving, which can lead to fights and stampedes or trampling.  Drones can help manage high pedestrian traffic areas and prevent congestion, averting tragic accidents.

Commercial Usage

Drones can keep businesses safer and more secure. They can monitor buildings, facilities, and properties in ways that were not possible in the past. Nothing replaces the on-site responsiveness of well-trained security guards and well-planned surveillance cameras, but drones can bring additional level of security.

Drones can conduct perimeter surveillance to protect a company from sabotage, theft, and vandalism. For instance, they can monitor building complexes for trespassers by covering areas out of a normal surveillance camera’s sightline, or too remote or dangerous for vehicle or foot patrols. If a trespasser is observed on the property, they can be followed more safely because intruders are monitored from a safe distance before being apprehended, protecting security guards and police officers involved in the arrest. The oil and gas industry is a good example of an industry that has benefitted from drones as a way to protect their pipelines.

Port surveillance and shipping protection is another area where drones are important. Drones can monitor borders, ships, cargo, and the port itself. They can help send visual information when there is an accident and when search and rescue operations are needed, and they can also help in preventing piracy. While this may conjure up images of Blackbeard and Captain Jack Sparrow, the fact is that modern piracy is a real threat to the shipping industry, as is smuggling and illegal trafficking. Drones can follow ships, watching out for potential invaders. If a threat is found either at sea or at port, drones help authorities respond quickly, before a ship or cargo becomes vulnerable to theft or hijacking.

Agriculture and Farming rely on drones to protect their crops and their livestock. Drones can make routine trips over acres of land that otherwise may not have been easily guarded. Farmers can ensure their crops are healthy and haven’t fallen prey to disease, theft, or sabotage. The same is true for their livestock. Drones can be equipped with thermal sensors and sniffers that detect predators, poachers, and hazardous gases. And since drones are quiet and unobtrusive, they can track animals without scaring them and track poachers without being heard.

Everyday Safety

Drones are great additions to public safety efforts. Authorities can use drones for various everyday needs such as:

  • Daily traffic reports
  • Locating missing persons
  • Security for parking lots and other open areas
  • Protection of parks and landmarks
  • Search and rescue missions after disasters

There is no question that drones are a valuable security resource. They are inexpensive and provide a unique perspective for authorities and they should be considered whenever an extensive outdoor security plan is being put into place.

homeland security graphic

By: Stuart J. Visnov, Chief Executive Officer, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 554

homeland security graphicAs we observe the passing of the 17th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has reissued the National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin to underscore the ongoing terror threat at home that continues to demand our attention.

The NTAS has been reissued seven times since it was first released in December of 2015. The Department of Homeland Security deemed it necessary to reissue the bulletin at this time based on assessments of the current environment.

Foreign terrorist organizations want to sow chaos and fear by attacking Americans both at home and abroad. These groups have become increasingly sophisticated in their ability to exploit technology, including social media applications, to instigate or guide individuals already in our country to commit terrorist acts which may include the use of vehicles, small arms or homemade explosive devices.

DHS is actively engaged in efforts to disrupt such activities and is committed to preventing threats to the public, working closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as well as foreign counterparts. DHS and FBI provide information and assessments to state and local law enforcement and business owners in the private sector. Heightened law enforcement and security activity may be visible at some public events and spaces.

Crowded places and other soft targets, such as sports arenas, shopping venues and transportation centers draw large numbers of people but have limited security in place. This can make them vulnerable to attack. Terrorist groups are well aware of the opportunity soft targets present to easily inflict harm to many people using unsophisticated methods such as attacks using rented vehicles.

Because DHS’s primary mission is to protect the American people, the Department actively fosters collaboration between the private and public sectors to heighten security and minimize risks in crowded spaces, large events and public gatherings. The public and private sectors working together on security efforts is critical to enhance the safety of people in locations such as parks, restaurants, transportation centers and event venues. The Department offers free tools and resources to assist communities in implementing security measures.

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen recognizes that communities are the first line of defense in keeping the public safe and secure and that one of our greatest assets against terrorist activities at home is an informed and vigilant public.

You can stay informed by listening to public announcements from local and safety officials concerning potential threats. You can also help by reporting any suspected terrorist-related activities to local law enforcement or by dialing 911.

Resources are also available for businesses to plan and be ready for incidents or attacks. A four-step plan can be applied to help businesses and their and employees be better prepared to ensure their safety: Connect, Plan, Train, and Report.

An engaged community along with informed and prepared individuals provide a strong defense against possible terrorist threats to our homeland. However, DHS does not want to discourage Americans from continuing to attend public events, travel, or freely go about their daily lives. Simply being alert and prepared can help all of us increase our collective safety. Be responsible for your own personal safety, know where emergency exits are located, be vigilant in public spaces and report suspicious activity.

For more information, and to read the full DHS bulletin, please click here.

event security stage

By: Stuart J. Visnov, Chief Executive Officer, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 537

event security stageHiring the proper personnel to staff a special event is a unique challenge to any security event company’s recruiting team.  An individual that is seemingly perfect for your Tuesday night event, could end up being the wrong fit for the Saturday night event.  So, when putting together the best team for an event detail, each event has to be viewed as its own separate function, with its own particular protocols, and needing a specific style of guard. Recruiting for a special event is truly not a one-size-fits-all style of recruiting.

By the same token, attempting to hire a full time event staff in order to handle all of your special events will present its own challenges.  When compared to hiring staff for your standard, 40 hour a week, recurring security jobs, the special events staff has to be more accommodating and flexible with their schedule.  The special event staff needs to have both a security guard mindset and a healthy understanding of customer service; thinking on your feet is mandatory and last minute changes in shifts and directives are the norm.  Both of these skills will come in to play when working an event.

Of course, the type, size and frequency of your event will dictate just how many experienced security guards you have available to work each event. The event staff that tend to be the best fit are people who are: responsible, enjoy various types of events (musical concerts, festivals, fairs, races, celebrations, weddings, holiday celebrations, etc.) have a flexible schedule, and are customer service oriented. In addition, event staff should have training in standard event duties such as: crowd and parking control, bag checks, ID and access control, alcohol management, perimeter patrols, VIP security, and coordination with local police departments and EMTs.

That’s why college students, retirees, municipal workers, and people who work part-time often make up the majority of the typical event staff.  Remember, the other main pool of event personnel will come from the full-time (and part-time) security guards, who are often tasked with providing supervisory and administration duties that require more experience, specific training or a special skill set.

The training of this style of personnel becomes a main issue, because each special event will come with its own unique challenges and protocols.  Always confirm with the client exactly what they are expecting from the event staff.  Is the staff member requested to be a higher-end guard or concierge type of staff?  Or does the event call for a more physical, visual deterrent style of guard?  Often, one cannot be expected to do the job of the other. And, as with many events, your team will most likely need a combination of the two.

The bottom line is that it becomes incumbent upon those of us in the security industry to make the necessary commitment and investment to be certain that all event staff are trained to a competent and capable level.  The most successful security companies have the ability to deliver a mix of personnel to any event. That is, a staff that is well trained, groomed, and able to follow and fulfill all of the client’s directives while responding to last minute requests with professionalism and grace under pressure.

 

 

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