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6 Misconceptions about Professional Security Guards

As with other professional fields, the public is often misinformed about the duties, responsibilities, and career paths of security guards. Comedic films such as Paul Blart: Mall Cop only serve to perpetuate the various misconceptions surrounding security professionals and their jobs. The staff at ADS Guards, one of the leading security companies in San Jose, shares the following myths commonly associated with security guards, which are far from the truth.

1. Security Guards Are Too Expensive to Hire

This is a dangerous misconception that probably originates at the business planning level. For some reason, many business plan templates omit security as a business process, which results in applications for commercial financing to be revised because they do not take this cost into consideration. When you factor in shrinkage, risks, and liabilities modern businesses face, the cost of retaining security guards becomes reasonable and makes perfect sense.

2. Security Guards Are Only Trained to Stop Shoplifters

This tall tale emanates from the fact that many people mostly see uniformed guards posted at stores. While it is true that the retail sector generates a lot of jobs for security guards, they are also retained across many other industries. Security guards can be found at hospitals, campuses, corporate parks, manufacturing facilities, transportation terminals, and just about anywhere else there is a need to protect life and property.

3. Security Guards Are Not Tech-Savvy

This myth has no basis in reality. Security guards assigned to video surveillance rooms happen to know enough about networking technology to conduct their own troubleshooting. Modern security guards are expected to use computers, smartphones, radios, and other devices in the course of their duties.

4. Security Guards Are Out of Shape

This urban legend was one of the plot points of the aforementioned Paul Blart film, whereby the main character of the film did not make the police academy because his poor physical condition resulted in hypoglycemia. In reality, security guards are expected to be physically fit to meet the demands of their jobs, which often entail patrolling on foot, standing for long periods, responding quickly to incidents, and evacuating individuals during emergencies.

5. Security Guards Are Not Properly Trained

This misconception ignores the fact that security guards are expected to undergo dozens of training hours just to get licensed at the state level. Moreover, guards assigned to executive protection, corporate security, and undercover loss prevention receive extensive training so they can carry out their special duties.

6. Security Guards Are Washed Up Veterans and Disgraced Cops

Security guard agencies often give preference to military veterans and former law enforcement personnel because their skills and experience come in handy, but they must present clean discharge papers and service records to be hired. It should be noted that professional security agencies are required to keep considerable liability insurance policies with very high premiums, which would be a lot higher if they took a chance on hiring individuals with questionable backgrounds.

If you’re interested in hiring professional security guards in San Jose for commercial or residential spaces, reach out to ADS Guards. Call 1-800-794-1550 today to get a free quote and speak with one of our friendly representatives.

How to Remain Safe When Staying at a Hotel

Hotel security may be the last thing you think about when you’re on a trip, but you certainly don’t want your trip ruined by theft, fire, or worse. It pays to put security first, especially if you’re traveling alone or in an unfamiliar area. Here are some tips to help you stay safe in your hotel, no matter where your travels take you.

Research the Area and Hotel

Every city has neighborhoods with higher crime rates than surrounding areas. Find out whether certain areas are more secure than others and whether tourists tend to be targeted in the neighborhood. You should also check the security of the hotel itself. Ask if the front desk is manned 24/7, whether there are on-site San Jose security guards, and whether the hotel has surveillance cameras. You may also want to ask if the hotel restricts access to guest floors to people with room keys for extra safety. Finally, check guest reviews of the hotel to identify any security concerns.

Keep the Door Locked

When you’re in your room, make it a habit to keep the door locked with the security chain and deadbolt. For additional protection, you can bring a rubber door stopper to fortify the door against a break-in. After all, even the best hotel may have a crook who did not have a criminal record and can access guestrooms.

Don’t Leave Valuables Visible

When you leave your room, make sure you use your in-room safe for storing jewelry, cash, and other small valuables. Because the hotel likely doesn’t accept liability for any items in your guest room safe, you can also ask the front desk to hold valuables. If you do, just make sure you get a written receipt.

Protect Yourself When Traveling Alone

If you’re staying in a hotel by yourself, you may be seen as a target. To reduce this risk, book your room with just the first letter of your name so it isn’t gender-specific, such as “J. Jones.” If you order room service, call to place your order. If you’re concerned about your safety, ask a hotel employee to escort you from the lobby to your car. Because the peephole can give people outside your room a glimpse inside, put a bandage over it while you’re staying at the hotel.

Avoid Staying on the Ground Floor

It may be convenient for guests, but the ground floor is the easiest for non-guests to access as well. Ideally, ask for a room on floors 4 through 6. These floors can be reached by a ladder truck in case of fire, but they’re far enough from the ground floor that you won’t be an easy target.

Don’t Open the Door for Strangers

If someone knocks on the door and you aren’t expecting anyone, don’t assume they work for the hotel, even if they say they do. Always call the front desk to verify before you open your door and allow someone into your room.

If you run or manage a hotel and want to keep your guests as safe as possible, consider hiring a professional security guard to patrol the premises. At ADS Guards, one of the leading security companies in San Jose, we take pride in providing expertly trained guards for commercial and residential spaces. For a free quote, call 1-800-794-1550 today.

5 Internet Security Myths You Should Be Aware Of

The internet is a place where information and misinformation often collide on a variety of topics. Urban legends, myths, and fake news have become problematic in recent years, particularly regarding cyber security. When dealing with the protection of company, employee, and customer data, the last thing a business owner needs is to fall for internet security myths. At a time when cybercrime activity is generating more than a trillion dollars in global losses each year, it’s important to take note of the following online security misconceptions, brought to you by ADS Guards, one of the leading security companies in San Jose, CA.

1. Antivirus Software and Firewalls Provide Enough Protection

Ever since the “Creeper” virus was first detected in the ARPANET days, there has always been a need for protective measures beyond the standard firewall and antivirus software applications. In recent years, operating systems exploits and social engineering attacks have managed to bypass basic security measures. To this effect, phishing attacks and passwords stolen by various means are proving to be more damaging.

2. Mac OSX and iOS are Secure Computing Platforms

Operating systems developed by tech giant Apple are thought to be more secure than Windows, but this is only because they command less market share. The first computer virus detected in home computers was developed for Apple desktop systems in the early 1980s. If anything, hackers who set out to develop malware for iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and Macs relish the challenge and tend to be more skilled.

3. Online Security Software Slows Things Down

This may have been the case when Intel Pentium processors were the most powerful in the market, but it no longer applies in the era of the AMD Ryzen and Intel Skylake CPUs. Modern security software solutions are being developed to operate more efficiently. They can run in the background without slowing down applications and processes.

4. The New Cloud Computing Paradigm Offers More Security

Over the last few years, massive data breaches on public cloud systems managed by Amazon and Google have ushered a new concern in terms of information security. Part of the problem is the current state of geopolitics, which has seen the leak of cyber warfare weapons developed by the CIA and NSA. Now that hackers have accessed source code and strategies to exploit networks, they are choosing more substantial targets. Companies that put their digital infrastructure in the cloud must not ignore endpoint protection systems, and they should choose cloud computing providers with a proven security record.

5. Hackers Only Focus Their Efforts on Large Companies

Cybercrime groups are shifting their strategies so they involve “casting wide nets,” which means letting malicious processes and routines choose targets automatically. As long as a network presents a vulnerability, it becomes fair game for hackers. Even smart home automation devices such as advanced refrigerators and IP cameras can be targeted by cybercrime groups.

In addition to protecting your company’s internet activity, you might also want to hire highly trained security guards. San Jose businesses can place their trust in ADS Guards. For a free quote, call one of our knowledgeable representatives today at 1-800-794-1550.

How to Enhance Security in an Office Building

The security risks modern office building managers face are more numerous and complex than ever. Until a few decades ago, sophisticated criminals used to focus mostly on the retail sector. However, they are increasingly turning their attention to corporate parks and office buildings because they hope to find more relaxed security measures, and this expectation is fulfilled in many cases. When it comes to security, office building managers should not solely trust their instincts. Here are a few observations to consider when thinking about increasing security in office building settings.

Configure Alarm Systems According to UL 2050 Certification

When the United States Department of Defense seeks civilian contractors, UL 2050 certifications are often required if the work is to be conducted at an office building. This certification sets standards for the installation of alarm systems, monitoring, response, and investigations. Even if the tenants are not actively bidding on Department of Defense contracts, it is a good idea to implement some of the UL 2050 standards, which can later be upgraded to full certification.

Post Uniformed Security Guards

The physical presence of security guards is a strong deterrent against sophisticated criminals whose modus operandi is focused on never getting caught. Armed guards who patrol the parking lots and garages of office buildings can deter vandals and prevent vehicle break-ins. Posting a uniformed San Jose security guard in the lobby provides reassurance not just to tenants and employees but also to visitors.

Control Door Locking Systems

Key card access systems for employees should be closely monitored. Whenever possible, only guards, trustworthy staff members, and company principals should be issued master keys or all-access cards. Door locking systems that offer biometrics functionality tend to be safer, particularly when they are equipped with sensors and connected to networks that provide access logs and usage reports.

Implement Adequate Endpoint Network Security

Office buildings that rent spaces cannot assume responsibility for the network security measures of their tenants. However, building managers should ensure their own networks are secured since they are often the most sensitive. The digital records of property management companies are highly coveted by hackers who can sell them to sophisticated robbery crews. Special attention should be paid to devices that connect to the Internet of Things, which include IP cameras, smart locks, alarm systems, thermostats, and printers.

Draft and Enforce Smart Security Policies

Security policies such as requiring ID badges for employees and checking personal bags and briefcases will only seem excessive when they are not thoughtfully drafted and implemented. These policies should not be forcefully introduced as if they were being implemented at army barracks. Calling a staff meeting and explaining the need for increased security is the right way to do it. One idea in this regard is to look for news reports of security incidents in the region.

If you manage or own an office building and want to hire highly trained security guards, reach out to ADS Guards, one of the leading security companies in San Jose. To speak with one of our friendly representatives and receive a complimentary quote, please call 1-800-794-1550.

5 Safety Tips to Keep in Mind When Attending Summer Festivals

As the summer months approach, the postcard-like weather conditions give way to major festivals. Summer is the season when music festival organizers execute plans they have worked on all year to provide the best in live entertainment in San Jose. Private security is always a concern during these events, and even though organizers do their best to keep these events safe, the following precautions should be kept in mind.

1. Be Aware of Emergency Exits

Ever since the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas, music festival organizers have been publishing maps of the fairgrounds as well as the location of first aid stations and emergency exits. This information can often be found on the website of the festival and on the paper materials issued at the entrance. It is up to those in attendance to become familiar with evacuation routes.

2. Stick to Your Group

Festivals are more fun to enjoy among groups of friends, relatives, and associates, and they are safer as well. The key to promoting safety in numbers is to talk about what should be done in case of an emergency, and this conversation should include where to set rendezvous points, what to do in case of becoming separated, how to stay together, and how to react when confronted with certain situations.

3. Consider Worst-Case Scenarios

It’s crucial to think about worst-case scenarios and other possible situations before arriving at a festival. For example, events that feature massive beer tents and gardens are bound to attract a few individuals who become aggressive after drinking too much. Other festivals may feature bands that are followed by rowdy fans. Situational awareness boils down to acknowledging risks and threats that may occur. Furthermore, this awareness should extend to thinking about how to react in the face of danger.

4. Pack Only the Essentials

Not many festivals allow backpacks or purses these days, which means those in attendance should pay attention to the items they can carry. Bringing a fully charged mobile phone is a good idea. However, it should be kept on airplane mode or turned off to avoid draining the battery. Instead of carrying a wallet, it is better to keep emergency cash in a front pocket along with car keys and a list of emergency contacts written on paper and stored inside a plastic bag. Another good idea would be to bring a clip-on solar smartphone charger.

5. Know Where to Find Security Guards

Summer festivals may heighten the potential for security incidents. Find out where the professional San Jose security guards are located before the festival starts in case you end up needing their help.

If you need expertly trained security guards for a festival or another special event, get in touch with ADS Guards today. We have been protecting the Bay Area for nearly two decades. Call 1-800-794-1550 for a free quote.

5 Things Security Guards Can Do in the Event of an Emergency

A well-trained San Jose security guard can quickly become a key player in an emergency. Whether a minor emergency like a cut finger or a major one such as a shooting, security guards are often the first to respond to the scene and are trained to take appropriate action. A professional security guard can easily be the difference between life and death in a critical situation. Here are five things a security guard can be expected to do when an emergency occurs.

1. Increase Safety 

Medical emergencies can happen at any time. Security personnel are trained to perform first aid and CPR and properly use defibrillators until trained medical professionals arrive. Trained security guards are also willing and able to assess and respond to dangerous situations such as industrial accidents, suspect apprehension, and environmental emergencies. Simply providing directions to the public reduces stress and lowers the chances of an accident.

2. Confront a Violent Criminal 

The prevention of robberies, school shootings, and other violent crimes are in an armed security guard’s job description. Though prevention of violent occurrences may not always be possible, a security guard is uniquely qualified as a first responder by acting in a professional and reasonable manner. If a violent response to a criminal’s actions are called for, the security guard has the training and resources to do what needs to be done.

3. Keep Things Organized

Most people panic during an emergency. A trained guard from a security company in San Jose can be the voice of reason when a calm head is needed. Police and medical personnel may be on the way but have no idea of where to go when they arrive, and the security guard can point them in the right direction. Organizational skills are also needed during an emergency when the security guard is called upon to assess a fluid situation.

4. Act as an Expert Witness 

Security guards are often firsthand witnesses to events and are called upon to provide accurate information and details to law enforcement or in courtroom testimony. Depending on the type of emergency, criminal prosecution may rest primarily on the information the security guard obtains during the emergency. In medical emergencies, the security guard’s observations may facilitate treatment and assist in the proper diagnosis being made when minutes count.

5. Secure the Scene 

Effective control of the scene of an emergency can take many forms. Crowd control during an ongoing crisis is huge because it prevents injuries and crippling interference with first responders. If the emergency is a fire, essential fire control skills can be implemented to reduce the risk of burns and smoke inhalation while preventing the fire from spreading. The trained security guard may be the only person in the building doing what should be done and not making matters worse.

If you need to hire a security guard, get in touch with ADS Guards, a leading provider of private security. San Jose businesses can rely on our highly trained guards to assist in the event of an emergency. Call 1-800-794-1550 today for a free quote.

How Can Hiring a Professional Guard Save Your Business Money?

In March 2018, officers from the San Jose Police Department apprehended a man who was the prime suspect in a string of robberies around the Bay Area. The modus operandi of the suspect consisted of targeting convenience stores that were not protected by security guards. He would wait until late at night to enter the premises and hold the clerk at gunpoint. In all instances, the suspect demanded cash from the register, and detectives estimate he may have stolen thousands of dollars in this fashion.

This example certainly underscores the need for hiring security guards since the safety of the convenience store clerks was compromised. Overall safety is certainly the primary reason for hiring security guards. However, there are also financial advantages to consider. The following situations illustrate how you can potentially save money by hiring San Jose security guards to protect your business.

Lower Liability Policy Premiums

Many insurance companies will charge a lower premium on liability policies after you hire security guards, particularly if you operate in the brick-and-mortar retail sector. The savings on commercial liability premiums can be significant, particularly if the insurance company considers that your business is located in an area where robberies and other incidents have been averted thanks to the presence and actions of security guards. Keep in mind this consideration will not apply in all situations. For example, insurers that provide coverage to condominium associations prefer unarmed security guards who are trained in basic life support.

Reduce Shrinkage

As a retail business owner, you are probably familiar with the concept of shrinkage. One of the best ways to keep shrinkage low and under control is by hiring security guards since they effectively reduce the incidence of shoplifting and employee theft. In all business situations, reducing loss translates into savings.

Deter False Plaintiffs

Serial lawsuit filers know business owners are expected to carry commercial liability insurance to operate their establishments, and they will try to exploit your coverage by staging accidents in your office, shop, or store. If the policy you carry has a high deductible, a staged slip-and-fall accident could create a considerable cash shortage for your business. For this reason, you would save money by hiring a San Jose security guard since false plaintiffs are less likely to take a fall in your establishment.

Prevent Vandalism

A good reason for retaining security personnel is to watch over the physical integrity of your property. If you file a claim each time graffiti is sprayed or glass is broken by vandals, your premiums and deductibles are bound to increase. Once you add the cost of repairs, vandalism and other types of incidental damage can get very expensive. With a security professional guarding your premises, vandals are more likely to stay away. Moreover, your employees and customers are bound to be more careful about causing accidental damage.

If you need armed or unarmed guards for your business, make sure to hire a reliable security company. San Jose businesses trust ADS Guards for good reason. We have been protecting the Bay Area for nearly two decades. Call 1-800-794-1550 today to speak with one of our friendly representatives.

5 Reasons Your Business Needs Security Cameras

In April 2018, the small business community of Alameda was still mourning the death of a restaurant owner who was savagely beaten during a robbery on Webster Street. Although the robbery suspects fled the scene before police officers arrived, detectives assigned to the case were confident they would be able to make arrests based on their evaluation of the recorded video captured by security cameras. Most business owners think the main advantage of security cameras is to help law enforcement handle situations such as this. Nonetheless, there are other reasons cameras should be included as part of security systems. The staff at ADS Guards, one of the leading security companies in San Jose, CA, discuss a few of these reasons.

1. Reduce Insurance Premiums

Many providers of commercial insurance policies give business owners a break on their premiums when they install security cameras. Considering insurance rates have increased in recent years, security cameras can be very cost efficient in the long run.

2. Prevent Vandalism

Painting over graffiti and repairing random damage to retail, industrial, and corporate buildings are unexpected business expenses that can quickly add up. Sophisticated graffiti artists tend to stay away from structures protected by security cameras, and they are good at spotting them even when they are concealed. Footage of taggers and other vandals who disregard security cameras can be turned over to law enforcement so they can track down suspects.

3. Increase Productivity

Employees are known to associate security cameras with the watchful eyes of their supervisors and bosses. Slacking off and excessive breaks can be curtailed by installing cameras. More importantly, managers can review video to evaluate if their work processes are effective. If warehouse workers are taking many breaks because they are exhausted, their workflow may need to be optimized. Cameras can also be used to settle employee disputes and gauge the level of service customers are receiving.

4. Discourage Shoplifting

After a brazen snatch robbery in Union Square, detectives from the San Francisco Police Department made six arrests and identified a shoplifting crew that had been active since February 2018. The arrests were made possible by the review of surveillance video, and the investigation also resulted in the recovery of many designer handbags. The detectives explained that members of this particular crew were amateurs since sophisticated shoplifters do not target stores with security cameras.

5. Provide Peace of Mind

Security cameras provide more than just crime prevention. Store owners can review video to see if their layout is conducive to a good customer experience, warehouse managers can use cameras to check on safety measures, office supervisors can evaluate staff behavior to detect employees who are leaking information or conducting corporate espionage, and clinic directors can document incidents involving patients and front office staff. With today’s modern security systems, a business owner can also access video feeds from a smartphone whenever an alarm is activated.

Security cameras aren’t the only measure that can protect a business. For many companies in San Jose, private security is an important concern. If you’re looking to hire a commercial security guard, get in touch with ADS Guards today at 1-800-794-1550. One of our representatives would be happy to provide a free quote.

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.