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How to Increase Safety in a Gated Community

Real estate agents are known to advertise homes located within gated communities as being safer than traditional dwellings built in open subdivisions. However, research into the incidence of crime in these walled and fenced neighborhoods reveals a different reality. A 2013 study conducted by researchers from American University and the University of Colorado revealed that gated communities were only safer than traditional suburban districts in terms of opportunistic burglaries. Other types of suburban crime are just as common inside gated communities as they are outside of their gates.

The security of a gated community should always be a priority. Here are four ideas to make the neighborhood a safer place.

Check for Standard Gate Compliance

If the automated gate system of your community was installed prior to 2017, chances are it does not comply with the UL 325 safety standard for residential access systems powered by electrical motors under 600 volts. The UL 325 standard calls for sensors to prevent accidental crushing of cars, residents, guests, children, and pets. Moreover, the standard covers matters related to electric fire prevention. HOAs that upgrade their automated gates to comply with this standard will likely get a reduction in their insurance premium.

Retain the Services of a Security Firm

During the 12th season of the reality television series Real Housewives of Orange County, cast member Kelly Dodd revealed she was leaving her husband of 11 years. In an interview with British tabloid The Daily Mail, Dodd explained she was making plans for moving out, and that she was specifically looking for a home with a guard at the gate. The appeal of gated communities protected by security guards is unquestionable. HOA board members who wish to elevate the status of their neighborhoods while increasing overall security should look into hiring uniformed guards through a reliable security company in San Jose, as doing so may also boost property values.

Bring Residents Together

HOAs should make an effort to plan community activities of interest to all residents. The goal is to encourage neighbors to get to know each other so they can establish amenable bonds. The activities do not have to be elaborate, but they should be diverse. Some examples include potluck lunches, walking and jogging clubs, movie nights for children, arts and crafts exhibits, poker games, and conversational Spanish tutoring. After residents become familiar with their peers in the community, they will be more likely to look out for each other in terms of security.

Discuss Security Issues with Residents

Safety and security are topics all residents of gated communities should be able to discuss. If you are a board member of your HOA, you can suggest holding special meetings dedicated solely to discuss neighborhood security. The goal should be to encourage maximum attendance and invite local law enforcement officers and security guards as guest speakers.

If you’re interested in hiring professional security guards in San Jose for a residential area, reach out to ADS Guards. We also provide highly trained guards for commercial spaces and special corporate events. Give us a call today at 1-800-794-1550 to receive a complimentary quote.

4 Tips for Preventing Employee Theft

Employee theft is more common than many business owners would like to believe. Every year, employee theft or workplace crime costs businesses $50 billion, according to a Hiscox study. Many businesses report that internal theft is a larger problem than external theft, especially considering certain employees steal repeatedly and may not be caught for years. The good news is there are several steps your business can take to prevent employee theft of all types. The staff at ADS Guards, a leading provider of security guard services in San Jose, wants to share a few tips for preventing employee theft.

1. Install Visible Security Cameras

Cameras can be an effective way to deter external theft, but a security system can also dramatically reduce instances of employee theft. When employees know they are being watched, they will be less likely to commit theft. The mere presence of cameras can automatically deter crime and make employees think about the consequences of their actions.

Make sure your cameras are set up to capture most employee activity, especially around the cash register and storage rooms. You should also identify other areas at risk of theft, such as the dumpster and areas where high-value items are stored. You may even want supervision where employees check in to prevent payroll fraud.

2. Don’t Allow Employees to Work Alone

While it’s sometimes unavoidable, theft usually happens when one employee is working alone at the register or in the store. It’s always a good idea to have at least two employees working at opening and closing, as it reduces the opportunity for theft.

A second pair of eyes is also important during voids and refunds, as a common form of theft involves fraudulent refunds in which the employee pockets the cash. You may want to make it a policy that a manager or second employee be present for all voids and refunds.

3. Watch for Warning Signs

If you are vigilant and know your employees, you may spot indicators of possible theft. Potential warning signs that may warrant a closer look include:

  • A preference for working independently or avoiding teams
  • Lifestyle that exceeds salary or new, expensive purchases after complaining about having no money
  • Sudden devotion to working late
  • Strong objections to changes in inventory or financial procedures
  • Problems with expense records, such as repeatedly reporting incorrect hours worked or failing to maintain records of petty cash

4. Hire a Security Guard

A security guard can be a powerful deterrent to theft of all kinds, both internal and external. Potential thieves will quickly realize your store is not an easy mark. Employees considering theft will also realize they have fewer opportunities when you take security seriously. The presence of a security guard means an extra set of eyes on all threats to your business. Working with a trusted security company in San Jose can also make your workers feel safe and valued at work and more likely to report suspicious activity.

If you need highly trained security guards for your business, reach out to ADS Guards, a trusted provider of San Jose commercial security. We also offer professional guards for residential properties and special corporate events. Call 1-800-794-1550 today to speak with one of our friendly representatives.



Signs You Shouldn’t Hire a Security Guard Agency

At a time when security is becoming one of the most important aspects of managing a commercial enterprise, business owners in San Jose should learn to evaluate the companies that offer security guards and protective services. A few sketchy and fly-by-night security companies have emerged in recent years to take advantage of current demand. Prior to retaining the services of a security guard agency in San Jose, business owners should learn to spot certain signs that let them know they are hiring a company they can trust. This is vital because hiring the wrong security guard can increase risk exposure. Here are some red flags and warning signs to look for.

No Licensing

Individuals who work as security guards in California are expected to have the proper state license, and the same goes for the companies that employ them. A San Jose security services provider should be able to produce company and individual license certificates upon request. Furthermore, business owners can check online for licenses on the website of the California Department of Consumer Affairs:

Inexperienced Security Guards

Military veterans and former law enforcement officers often seek employment at security firms that recognize their experience with higher pay. Companies that try to save on payroll at all costs will not attract veterans of the military and police departments, which often means they hire individuals who are new to the field of personal and corporate security. In lieu of military or law enforcement experience, newcomers to the security field should undergo at least 80 hours of training.

Regulatory Issues

In California, security guards and the companies that provide security services are regulated by the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS), which is a division of the Department of Consumer Affairs. If a company has been involved in serious incidents or has received a string of complaints from the public, the Disciplinary Review Committee of the BSIS will look into the issue, take action, and make a record of the proceedings.

Business Complaints and No Referrals

Providers of patrol security in San Jose are known to get referrals from clients, particularly after their guards successfully manage a difficult situation. A complete lack of referrals is a red flag, and the same goes for companies with a record of complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau, which will issue a poor rating if the company does not adequately handle the complaints.

Shoddy Equipment and Unkempt Uniforms

If security guards are forced to use old equipment that has seen better days, this would be a sign of a company that only cares about cutting expenses instead of enhancing the quality of their services. An example would be a two-way radio held together by duct tape. Ill-fitting, torn, and dirty uniforms also suggest the company is stingy.

If you’re looking for a San Jose security agency you can rely on, turn to ADS Guards. Our security professionals are expertly trained, and we have been proudly serving the Bay Area for nearly 20 years. To learn more about the services we provide and receive a complimentary quote, call 1-800-794-1550 today.

5 Weapons Armed Security Guards Commonly Use

As businesses in San Jose become more concerned about modern risks and the need for comprehensive security measures, owners and executives may choose to assign armed guards as part of their security plan. This choice is often made when security directors believe difficult situations may arise in the workplace. In San Jose, armed security guards are a strong deterrent against professional thieves who would not risk getting shot, as well as criminals who plan on getting violent. Here are five common types of weapons security guards carry these days.

1. Semiautomatic Pistol

Semiautomatic pistols are the standard side arm of police officers, soldiers, and armed guards around the world. They are compact, accurate, and easy to carry. Moreover, their safety and firing mechanisms give guards time to thoroughly think about their actions. The amount of ammunition that can be loaded into pistols, coupled with their fast rate of fire, make them ideal for just about any environment. Some of the pistol manufacturers the top security companies in San Jose prefer include Beretta, Colt, Glock, and Ruger.

2. Revolver

This type of handgun works with a single or double action mechanism that activates a firing hammer against a rotating cylinder. Revolvers have a much shorter range than pistols, but the simplicity of their mechanism and their versatility makes them ideal to use in confined spaces and during situations that require extremely fast reactions. The durability and reliability of revolvers cannot be ignored. Malfunctions are extremely rare, and they require far less maintenance than semiautomatic pistols.

3. Shotgun

It is rare to see armed guards carrying shotguns. They are mostly kept unloaded inside armored trucks. Shotguns are used in dangerous situations when criminals seek to overpower others with extreme violence. They are high-caliber weapons that require special training and certification, and they are not practical to carry when conducting foot patrols.

4. Expandable Baton

Security guards are trained to use weapons other than firearms, such is the case with batons, which can be considered alternatives to firearms but should not be treated as completely non-lethal. Expandable batons are easy to carry and quick to deploy. Guards are trained to use them for the purpose of debilitating attackers and forcing them to think twice about carrying out further actions. Training is essential since an incorrect strike with a baton could end up being deadly.

5. Mace or Pepper Spray

These non-lethal weapons of chemical or organic composition can be carried along with firearms or batons to give security guards a range of options in terms of defensive actions. Mace is essentially an aerosol version of phenacyl chloride, a substance also known as tear gas. Pepper spray is made from capsicum, the irritant found in the world’s hottest peppers. These spray weapons are also used in riotous situations when crowd control measures are necessary.

If you need one or more armed or unarmed security guards, reach out to ADS Guards today. We are a trusted provider of residential, commercial, and event security services in San Jose. Call 1-800-794-1550 today to speak with one of our qualified representatives and receive a free quote.

5 Strategies for Preventing Shoplifting

Bay Area shoplifters are already busy making their unpleasant presence known in 2018. In January, a Lucky store clerk confronted a shoplifter in Oakland while thieves in El Cerrito were caught trying to steal electric toothbrushes and shavers from a CVS drugstore. In San Francisco, an alert employee at the Safeway supermarket in the Fairmont Shopping Center noticed a man surreptitiously walking out with groceries without paying. When police officers arrived to confront the suspect in the parking lot, they found a van filled with meat, diaper, dairy products, and other items known to sell very quickly in the growing black market of groceries stolen from Northern California stores.

It should be noted that these cases were reported by news media outlets because they ended up in police investigations and arrests. According to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention, the estimated number of shoplifters operating annually in the United States is greater than 25 million, and less than 10 percent are detected in a year. Although 70 percent of shoplifters confess to stealing impulsively, more than a quarter are professionals who pride themselves on never being caught. Here are five methods business owners can practice to prevent shoplifting, brought to you by ADS Guards, a leading provider of security services in San Jose, CA.

1. Retain the Services of Security Guards

Since sophisticated shoplifters tend to generate the most damaging amount of shrinkage and revenue loss, hiring security officers in San Jose is highly recommended because it lets these seasoned criminals know their careers could be interrupted by the actions of professionals. Shoplifting crews are known to be risk-averse, which means they will generally skip establishments where security guards are posted.

2. Look Out for Distractions

Shoplifters are professionals when it comes to distractions. An overly clumsy thief who grabs an item and runs or a shopper who takes a nasty fall on a dry floor could be providing cover for other shoplifters to ply their wicked trade.

3. Utilize Smart Shift Management

Instead of expecting store clerks and cashiers to start working at the exact time they arrive at the store, give them between 20 and 30 minutes to get briefed and settled in their positions. The idea is to perform a visible shift change that lets shoplifters know incoming clerks are relaxed and ready to pay attention.

4. Train Employees on Loss Prevention

The security agency that provides guards can also conduct training sessions with employees to let them know what to look for during their shifts. Some of the lessons employees may learn include keeping an eye on shoppers who are carrying more than one purse or may be wearing layered clothing in the middle of a humid Bay Area summer.

5. Manage Inventory

Modern point-of-sale solutions that include automated inventory management are provided free of charge by credit card payments processors as a value-added service to their clients. The old pencil-and-paper methods of inventory management often result in misreporting shrinkage and providing a false estimation of loss.

If you’re looking for commercial security in San Jose, reach out to ADS Guards. We have been providing armed and unarmed guards to Bay Area businesses for nearly two decades. Call 1-800-794-1550 today for a free quote.

5 Things to Avoid Doing When Hiring Professional Security

The year 2018 has had a rough start in terms of security for Bay Area businesses. On the first Thursday of the year, an armed suspect robbed the Bank of America branch in the Outer Richmond district of San Francisco, and a Pleasant Hill gas station experienced a break-in during the evening hours of New Year’s Day. In Corte Madera, a morning robbery at The Village prompted a lockdown of the shopping center on January 3rd.

It is easy to understand why business owners in San Jose are more likely to think about implementing security measures in their companies this year. If you are planning on hiring security personnel in 2018, here are 5 things you shouldn’t do.

1. Hire Individuals Instead of Contracting Agencies

During periods of high business activity, company owners are likely to be solicited by military veterans and former law enforcement officers looking to get on a payroll as private security guards. Even though these individuals may have impressive resumes and considerable experience, they rarely have the support system a security agency provides, which means you will have to supply them with equipment, find substitutes when they are not able to work, and even cover their licensing costs.

2. Make Hasty Security Plans

As a company owner, you are probably well aware of your security needs, but you should not draft your own security plan and rush to hire guards unless you have extensive experience doing so. It is a better idea to let a security guard agency in San Jose draft a plan according to your company needs before assigning guards to execute on the objectives.

3. Think You Will Gain an Extra Worker

San Jose commercial security guards tend to be courteous and mindful individuals who occasionally help with certain tasks such as loading supplies and keeping some areas clean, but you should not expect them to be additional employees who help with administrative, operational, and productivity matters beyond their scope of protecting life and property.

4. Overload Guards with Assignments

Security plans should reasonably indicate the duties and responsibilities of the guards you hire. If you operate a warehouse with a large perimeter that requires constant surveillance, you should not expect a single guard to conduct foot patrols and keep an eye on closed-circuit video systems at the same time.

5. Ignore Security Needs

The worst decision you can make would be to disregard potential security issues. Hiring uniformed guards can elevate the profile of your business by making your customers feel safer. Moreover, the increased physical security may result in lower liability insurance premiums. Even if your company has not recently experienced a security incident, this does not mean something will not happen in the future. Keep in mind security guards protect more than just inventory and equipment. They also protect your customers and employees.

If you run a business and are considering security guard services in San Jose, reach out to ADS Guards. Our expertly trained guards can protect your business, and we also provide professional security for special corporate events. Call 1-800-794-1550 to learn more.

4 Tips to Help You Stay Safe When in a Large Crowd

Judging by what American society experienced in 2017, activism is bound to increase in 2018. In the past, large gatherings required careful planning, which is no longer the case in a time when disruptive flash mobs can materialize through strategic social media postings. Individuals who work for companies operating in controversial sectors should not be surprised to find demonstrators posted outside their offices in 2018, and they may not even be the targets of protesters. For example, people who work in the Mission District of San Francisco are bound to encounter large crowds gathered to protest in front of the new Uber headquarters office. Here are four recommendations people who encounter large crowds should consider.

1. Follow Security Instructions and Measures

Individuals working for companies that retain security guards should learn to follow the prompts and instructions of these trained professionals in case a large number of protesters are gathered near the office. Security guards in San Jose, CA, stay on top of the issues that could affect their clients, and thus they are bound to be familiar with the typical behavior and tactics of certain activists and groups. Guards can also escort employees to their vehicles or to a safe place.

2. Carry Only Essential Items

Pickpockets are known to take advantage of large gatherings. To this effect, individuals should not carry valuable items when they expect to walk through crowded spaces. When a crowd is unavoidable, it is a good idea to transfer valuable items to front pockets and shift purses and backpacks to the front. An ankle pouch is a good idea in case the need arises to transfer identification documents, cash, bank cards, smartphone, and car keys.

3. Expect Risky Situations

Individuals should always think about worst-case scenarios when they end up in the midst of a crowd they did not anticipate. Physical injuries are often part of a worst-case scenario, but they can be prevented by staying away from pockets of agitation, walking in a sideways or diagonal pattern in the case of a human stampede, and seeking escape routes that can be reasonably reached.

4. Practice Safety in Numbers

Humans are generally better at taking care of others than taking care of themselves. For this reason, individuals should always try to stick together in crowded situations. It is always better to pair up when in large groups. Phone numbers should be exchanged and a rendezvous point should be agreed upon. Physical size and life experience should also be considered when pairing up. Veterans can walk alongside people without military experience, and larger individuals who can resist the push and pull of crowds can be paired with smaller partners. The goal should always be to stay together and make it to safety as a team. Constant communication and situational awareness should be practiced until safety is reached. If you get separated from your group, look for a San Jose unarmed security guard who can help you.

If you need professional guards for a big event that is likely to draw a large crowd, get in touch with ADS Guards, a leading provider of San Jose security services. Call 1-800-794-1550 to speak with one of our friendly representatives and receive a complimentary quote.

Facts About Security That Might Interest You [Infographic]

Burglaries and break-ins are among the greatest fears homeowners face. One way to prevent crimes such as these is to have a good security system in place. If you’re interested in learning some important and interesting statistics on home burglaries and how high your chances might be, take a look at this infographic, brought to you by ADS Guards, a leading provider of San Jose security services.


6 Signs a Business Needs to Hire Professional Guards

If you are a business owner who thinks in terms of growth and expansion, there may come a time when you realize security personnel should be incorporated into your operations. You may not realize it now, but security has always been an important aspect of your business. Security is what you have in mind when you lock the office doors and when you install firewall and antivirus software in your office workstations. You know your business will need a San Jose security officer when you observe the following signs.

1. Increased Crime

Moving may not always be an option when crime rates start going up in your neighborhood. When local business owners and police officers start discussing a wave of break-ins in your commercial district, you should reasonably think you could be next.

2. Multiple Liability Claims

If workers’ compensation and general liability claims have been gradually stacking up against your company, there is a good chance they will slow down after you retain security services in San Jose, CA. Workers, customers, and associates tend to be more mindful of their actions when they see security guards.

3. Shoplifting

If you are a retail store owner whose retail shrinkage has turned into serious loss, your next move should be to post uniformed security guards on the premises, particularly if you already have a video surveillance system that is not detecting losses. Stealth shrinkage could be the work of professionals or insiders. These malicious operators tend to stop the moment they see security guards.

4. Safety Concerns

Large establishments do not have to be dedicated to construction, warehousing, or manufacturing to have safety concerns. By being a large establishment that employs a lot of workers, even a call center may have safety concerns in terms of foot traffic, parking lot activity, and employee interaction. Security guards can be trained to be safety officers, and they often serve as first responders in emergency situations.

5. Political Animosity

You already know political sentiment has become a thorny and even dangerous aspect of American life. Let’s say you are the founding partner of a law firm that has taken on a significant lobbying contract to advance a controversial bill at the state or federal level. Once details of this lucrative contract are made public, activists may target your office and staff. As a founder, the right thing to do would be to protect your employees, partners, and premises by hiring a San Jose armed security guard.

6. Liquor on the Premises

Whenever liquor is involved, the potential for trouble increases. Even if you do not operate a tavern or a restaurant, there may be times when liquor will be served on the premises. A beauty salon may offer wine, an auto dealership may plan a Fourth of July picnic complete with beer and grilled burgers, or you may decide to throw a holiday party for your staff.

ADS Guards can provide the protection your business needs, any time of day or night. Our highly trained armed and unarmed guards are reliable and professional industry leaders. Call 1-800-794-1550 today to receive a free quote.

5 Reasons to Hire Professional Guards for Car Dealerships

Hardly a day goes by without news reports about crime and security incidents at car dealerships across the United States. In late October, a daring auto heist in South Dakota involved high-speed chases that took police officers as far as Missouri. The cars had all been stolen from a dealership. Closer to the Bay Area, a routine traffic stop in Santa Clara County revealed the driver had stolen 20 sets of valet keys from a local dealer. An investigation later revealed he was a disgruntled employee who had recently been terminated from the dealership.

Car theft is hardly the only reason to consider posting guards in an auto dealership. Here are five potential situations security guards in San Jose can handle as they guard your office, showroom, and lot.

1. Enhance the Profile of Your Dealership

Visibly posting security guards during business hours will be welcomed by your customers. Perks such as a cafeteria, gift shop, and lounge are always nice, but customers truly appreciate a sense of safety while they visit your lot. If your business is located in a major metropolitan area, your customers will take notice of the dealerships with security guards.

2. Control Crowds

If you are the type of dealership operator who likes a lot of store traffic, you probably arrange Fourth of July barbecue challenges and family events to attract more customers. The only issue with these events is that they may also attract gropers, pickpockets, loiterers, and other individuals who take advantage of crowds. Security guards can help you keep these miscreants away from your lot.

3. Protect Inventory

When you lock down for the night, the cars sitting in your lot and showroom are not the only inventory thieves may be interested in. If you have a shop and parts department, thieves might consider these ideal targets since the goods will be easier to move. If you only rely on automated security systems, your dealership may be targeted by professionals who can defeat such measures. On the other hand, sophisticated thieves will notice the presence of a San Jose armed guard and move on to a different target.

4. Discourage Criminal Activity

Car dealerships are often chosen by criminals who wish to ply their wicked trade in places they think are inconspicuous. You may think thieves and fraudsters are the only criminal threats to your business, but this is not the case. In recent years, organized crime rings have been choosing auto dealerships for money laundering and drug trafficking. Security guards are trained to spot suspicious activity. Furthermore, their mere presence may prompt careful criminals to choose other spots.

5. Handle Confrontations

A high-pressure sales environment can sometimes result in emotional and temperamental situations that escalate into confrontations. Customers may get upset if a sales transaction does not go as expected or if an auto repair service fails to address a mechanical issue. Similarly, disgruntled employees may let their temper get the best of them, and these are situations security guards can handle.

If you need commercial security in San Jose for a car dealership or another type of business, get in touch with ADS Guards today. We also offer professionally trained guards for residential properties and special corporate events. Call 1-800-794-1550 to speak with one of our representatives and receive a free quote.