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Blog - SecurityGuardSanJose | CA

5 Advantages of Hiring Security Guards for a Business Event

When you’re planning an enterprise event, you should realize having private security professionals at the event will provide several benefits. There are many types of security threats to guard against. Hiring professional security guards will ensure the event is successful, as they’ll prevent disturbances that could threaten safety, cause disruption, or otherwise negatively impact your guests. They’ll also free you up to focus on the purpose of your event while they take care of security issues that may arise. The security experts at ADS Guards, one of the top security companies in San Jose, offer these five reasons for you to hire professional security guards for your next enterprise event.

1. Adherence to Organization and Rules

Security professionals will comb through your guest list, screen your guests as they arrive, keep and update a list of all attendees, and ensure no uninvited person enters your event. Just the presence of uniformed security guards alone often dissuades unwanted individuals from trying to enter or disrupt an event. Security officers also ensure no weapons or suspicious items are brought into an event, and they’ll make sure everyone follows all the venue’s rules and requirements governing your event. Some venues even mandate that you hire event security for certain types of events, such as those with high-profile guests, controversial topics, etc.

2. Crowd Management and Control

Security guards can help you control and manage the crowd and avoid potential risks. You won’t have to worry about such things as drunk and disorderly people, crowd crushes, mob fights, or riots breaking out. Security professionals will know the most effective ways to solve any problems relating to the safety of those present at your event, which shows you value the safety of your guests and want to provide them with peace of mind.

3. Constant Protection and Surveillance

Experienced security professionals will patrol around your event, monitoring what takes place with their eyes and ears and through the use of security cameras, security management software, control room operations, and security gates. They’ll have real-time access to valuable information regarding all the activities going on, and they’ll respond to any problem that occurs. They’ll also intercept potential security threats and prevent a bad situation from ever happening. Furthermore, wrongdoers will know they’re under surveillance, lessening the chance of any improper activity occurring at your event.

4. Good for Branding

Security professionals can actually aid in promoting your business. You can use them as an asset in your branding campaign by having them do such things as wear your company’s uniform and logo to enhance your business image. They can also give your guests a higher level of service by escorting them to their vehicles or the onsite accommodations.

5. Rapid Response Time

Professional guards quickly respond to a situation and secure the area until the police get there. Generally, it can take the police more than fifteen minutes to arrive and take control of the scene. Security guards will stay on top of things and ensure the overall safety of attendees is preserved before the police are contacted and while they’re en route to your event. They’re also trained to quickly and decisively react to medical emergencies.

If you’re planning to host an enterprise event and need reliable, high-quality event security services in San Jose, reach out to the security experts at ADS Guards today. We are a premier provider of security for special events, and we also offer armed and unarmed security guard services for commercial spaces and residential properties. For a free quote, call us today at 1-800-794-1550.

4 Strategies for Preventing Vandalism at Construction Sites


Damage or theft caused by vandalism at construction sites is a serious matter. Dealing with repeatedly cut fences, sabotaged construction equipment, or destroyed shipping container locks can be a costly and frustrating process. The security experts from ADS Guards, one of the most trusted security companies in San Jose, CA, offer these four ways you can prevent vandalism at your construction site.

1. Strengthen the Site

Check all the areas of your site and record areas that could be or have been easily vandalized. Take special note of any areas where vandals can enter and steal, deface, or destroy property without being easily seen. Ensure your site’s perimeter has a high-quality chain link fence and a gate-access control system. Install reliable locks on your site’s storage containers and storage areas. Periodically swap out locks within the site, and consider changing locks multiple times within the same job to further deter vandalism. Make sure all areas of your site have sufficient lighting, and add motion-detecting lights for added security. Quickly repair any cut or damaged fences that are found on routine checks.

2. Install a Monitored Security System

Research options for an advanced security system that has a video-analytics system in place. This security system should have highly positioned cameras that are always active and connected to a separate operating center through a highly secured Internet connection. The high positions of the cameras will provide the monitor a wide sweep of your construction areas and prevent vandals from attempting to damage or steal them. In the event of vandalism, the monitor can contact the police and have the perpetrators arrested before any large-scale property damage or loss can occur.

3. Have a Security Plan

Develop and enforce a security plan. Ensure all employees are trained to follow the security procedures. Construction items should be locked up at the end of each shift or workday. Confront unfamiliar people at the construction site. Employee-search clauses are strongly encouraged for all contracts that involve entrance into the construction site. All employees should wear clearly visible ID badges. A visitor log should be maintained, and all visitors should be required to sign in and out of the construction site. Equipment should be appropriately signed out when in use and signed back in when jobs are completed.

4. Hire Professional Security

Hire professional guards specializing in construction site security in San Jose who can patrol the construction site during off-hours. Security guards provide extra eyes and ears on your construction site, preventing potential vandals from accessing the construction areas or confirming vandal sightings or damage for the authorities. They can also inform you of additional vulnerabilities that vandals could exploit.

For expert advice on protecting your construction site or business against vandalism and theft, call on the security experts from ADS Guards. We have more than 15 years of experience in providing reliable commercial security, and we can create a customized security plan for your specific requirements. For a free quote, call one of our knowledgeable representatives today at 1-800-794-1550.

Patrolling vs. Surveillance: Is One More Important Than the Other?

According to the FBI, more than two million burglaries occur each year. There would be more if businesses didn’t have security measures in place. For a business to secure itself, security personnel and/or video surveillance cameras must be utilized. While both are important, they each have benefits and drawbacks. For expert advice on choosing between cameras and guard patrol security, San Jose businesses should call on the experienced security professionals at ADS Guards. In the meantime, here are a few things to consider.

Crime Prevention

Both cameras and guards contribute to crime prevention. A camera can intimidate criminals and lead them to seek a less secure target, while a guard can actively look for security threats. Cameras can be installed in a variety of locations so the entire perimeter can be monitored and appear difficult to break into. Video surveillance technology has improved drastically. Live feeds, high-definition video footage, and microscopic cameras contribute to the effectiveness of crime prevention. Security guards can be hired to monitor live feeds as well. An ideal system would include both types of security to provide active response with a wide area of surveillance.

Ability to Defuse a Hostile Situation

Security guards can monitor surveillance cameras. If the guards notice anything strange, they can call emergency services right away. Security guards can take action as soon as a threat is noticed. Although it can take some time for the police to arrive, guards can be armed and able to deescalate a situation quickly. They can also communicate by radio to signal for backup if they cannot handle the situation on their own.

Internal Security

Although guards are excellent for exterior threats, cameras are far better for interior surveillance. A security guard cannot keep track of all employees at once. Cameras can ensure money transfers between employees and customers are handled correctly. Additionally, security cameras can monitor employees to ensure nothing is stolen or treated improperly. By placing cameras in important places of interest, an employer can keep track of money exchanges and inventory flow. If an incident occurs, security footage can be used in court.

Cost

Owning cameras without a company to monitor them in real time costs much less than hiring a security detail. Hiring a company to watch over the cameras full-time would still cost less than hiring security guards. Although guards tend to be more expensive, they do provide benefits that cameras don’t offer. Cameras cannot react to threats instantly. In certain situations, criminals may get away before the police can even be notified. Additionally, police forces could be backlogged and unable to respond quickly. In these instances, a security guard would be much more effective in responding to robberies and other acts of crime.

If you need help deciding how to effectively use cameras and guard patrols for your security needs, reach out to the professionals at ADS Guards, one of the area’s premier private security contractors. San Jose businesses can rely on us to evaluate their locations and provide expert advice on which security methods will best serve their needs. To schedule a consultation, call one of our security specialists today at 1-800-794-1550.

Tips for Preventing Insider Crime at Your Business

Businesses large and small often become victims of insider crime. A CNBC report explained that the problem costs American companies $50 billion each year. The problem is particularly distressing for small and medium-sized businesses, second only to the difficulty involved with recovering from the loss. However, there are several precautions businesses can consider implementing to reduce the risk.

Monitor Inventory

Restrict employee access to computer programs specific to their position or need to use. Change passwords frequently. Limit access to cash, equipment, merchandise, and general supplies. Consider taking inventory of physical items more often than once a year. This way, if shortages are detected, it’s easier to pinpoint when the items went missing. Pay closer attention to valuable inventory, document the disposal of all damaged, outdated, or low-selling items, and implement surprise audits of financial and inventory assets.

Divide Responsibilities

Businesses must closely monitor employees responsible for bookkeeping and handling inventory. Establish multiple positions for certain tasks. By dividing up the responsibilities, business owners are more likely to safeguard their assets and increase the chance of identifying potential thieves. For example, the individual who keeps the books shouldn’t be the same person paying the bills or receiving funds. Likewise, employees responsible for receiving merchandise shouldn’t also have the responsibility of discarding or selling the items.

Hire a Security Team

Employees are less likely to commit a crime against a company if they believe they’re being monitored. Businesses might want to consider installing convex mirrors or security cameras that continually monitor in-house activities day and night. Security personnel from one of the top security companies in San Jose are less likely to be biased when it comes to reporting employee crimes. In addition to providing ongoing surveillance, security guards can be used to restrict company access.

Educate Employees

Employees need to know the business policies and procedures concerning fraud and theft. The company should establish a code of conduct and ethics. Employees must be informed of the disciplinary actions the company plans to enact should someone violate the policies. Each employee should be expected to sign a statement verifying their receipt of the information and their understanding of the policies. Businesses should consider providing annual training sessions that further explain expectations and descriptions of unacceptable behavior.

Allow Anonymous Reporting

Along with providing information regarding the company’s expectations related to fraud or theft, businesses must also encourage their employees to report any suspicious acts they might notice. If an incident comes to the attention of personnel, an investigation must be undertaken regardless of the severity of the crime.

Screen Employees

Potential employees should undergo drug testing. Individuals with substance abuse problems are more likely to find illegal ways to support their habits. Companies must also perform background checks on potential new hires. Someone with a criminal past related to fraud or theft doesn’t make a good candidate for employment. 

Businesses that need dependable professional guard services in San Jose have put their trust in ADS Guards for almost twenty years. If you need reliable, highly trained armed or unarmed security guards to protect your business, call one of our friendly representatives today at 1-800-794-1550 for a free quote.

4 Common Outdoor Job Settings for Security Guards

Security is a business process that should be observed across all company operations, including those that extend to outdoor spaces. If a commercial establishment operates an outdoor section, the outdoor area will be evaluated in the security planning, which may in turn call for guards to be posted. Security guards know their assignments won’t necessarily involve indoor locations. In fact, quite a few posts are located outdoors. Here are four of the most common locations security guards may be expected to protect when assigned to outdoor posts.

1. Parks and Recreation Centers

Assigning private security guards to public parks and recreation facilities is part of a trend that has become more visible in recent years. While national and state parks still train their own personnel to work as park rangers, it’s not uncommon to see private guards at county and city parks. Vagrancy is one of the reasons municipalities are posting security guards at parks. While this is normally a task local police departments handle, it’s a low priority for law enforcement. Although private guards usually can’t issue tickets or citations for infractions, their presence deters vandalism and unruly behavior, thereby making public spaces safer.

2. Corporate and Industrial Parks

City councils eager to attract business activity won’t think twice about passing zoning resolutions to build corporate parks and industrial areas. However, it’s up to property managers to sweeten the deal for tenants by providing security. Imagine an office park manager fielding complaints about employees being harassed in parking lots as they prepare to go home for the night. The costs of security personnel posted at corporate and industrial parks can be shared by tenants as part of their lease contracts.

3. Events That Attract Crowds

Indirectly, professional sports leagues such as the NFL and the NBA are some of the most significant employers of security personnel in North America. Major sporting events tend to feature dozens of security guards protecting players, league officials, venues, fans, and journalists. Depending on the business arrangement, security guards may be contracted by teams or venues, and their responsibilities may include general security, crowd control, personal protection, coordination, and patrol security. In San Jose and other large cities around the country, music festivals, block parties, and conventions are other events where security guards are usually assigned to outdoor posts.

4. Parking Lots

Any company that counts parking lots as part of their operations will have to include them within their security plans, and there may be a need to post security personnel for the purpose of protecting life and property. Some guards may be permanently assigned to outdoor parking lot patrols. However, very large facilities may alternate between outdoor and indoor settings so guards don’t settle into routines that compromise their alertness levels.

Whether their locations are indoors or outdoors, businesses looking to hire security in San Jose can rely on the security experts at ADS Guards for premier service. Our expertly trained, experienced staff is ready to serve you, no matter what your unique security needs may be. For more information about our first-rate security services, call us today at 1-800-794-1550.

4 Reasons to Perform Bag Checks at Events

Bag checks haven’t always been standard procedure, but as more potential threats emerge, this security measure is becoming increasingly popular. Although the idea of slowing down entry lines may not seem attractive, the truth is the security benefits far outweigh the inconvenience. By asking security to perform a bag check, you prevent the presence of dangerous items and ensure your attendees are entering a safe recreational environment. Take the advice of the security experts at ADS Guards, one of the leading security companies in San Jose, CA: bag checks at your venue minimize risks in the following ways.

1. Keep Weapons Out

Although it’s possible to conceal a weapon in other ways, it’s often much easier to hide one inside a backpack or purse. Bag checks are a simple way to detect concealed weapons, especially if your event can’t afford a metal detector or other form of scanner. Bag checks should be performed based on the level of threat. A clutch purse may only need a quick glance, but a large backpack could hold something legitimately dangerous. Remember to post notices about required bag checks both outside and inside the event so attendees are aware of the potentially extended wait time.

2. Catch Unauthorized Substances

The overconsumption of alcohol or other substances can create rowdy attendees who may present a problem while the event is in progress. For this reason, many event venues have limits on the number of drinks patrons are allowed to purchase. Occasionally, attendees attempt to use a bag to sneak additional substances into the event. By catching and confiscating these items at the door, you ensure any alcohol consumption at the event stays within the limits of what your venue is permitted to sell.

3. Prevent Problems Later On

Many event venues have a list of prohibited items, from external food and drink to cameras and other electronic devices. Some attendees may be unaware of the requirements and unknowingly attempt to bring prohibited items in with them. A bag check gives event staff a chance to notice these items before the attendee has entered the venue, which greatly reduces the chance that staff or security will need to approach attendees during the event and request they dispose of the item or leave the premises.

4. Give Event Attendees Confidence

No one wants to think about security threats while they’re trying to enjoy a concert, conference, or sporting event. Still, mass gatherings can pose potential dangers, and this fact is likely not lost on your attendees. When bag checks are performed, attendees are alerted to the presence of security staff at your venue and immediately comforted by the knowledge that other patrons’ bags have also been checked. Professional security staff will handle the check efficiently and leave your attendees feeling secure and able to enjoy the show.

If you’re planning to host an event and need reliable, high-quality event security services in San Jose, reach out to the security experts at ADS Guards today. We are a premier provider of security for special events, and we also offer armed and unarmed security guard services for commercial spaces and residential properties. For a free quote, call us today at 1-800-794-1550.

What Is Cybersecurity All About?

Cybersecurity is one of the most critical factors in any business. Today, a lot of small to medium-sized companies aren’t sure what type of security they need and exactly what they’re looking to protect themselves from. ADS Guards, one of the top security companies in San Jose, offers the following insights about cybersecurity.

The truth is that every business should have basic security standards put in place, such as making sure passwords aren’t displayed and educating employees on how to safeguard information best while contractors and other nonemployees are on the premises. Any company that manages financial records or private information has the duty to protect its consumer base and staff from identity theft and hackers.

Kim Komando, the host of a radio show about consumer technology, told USA Today readers that people aren’t going to notice when their computers have a virus. “Many attacks are meant to ensure that you do not notice them,” she stated. “They’re able to take your data, attack other computers, or send spam without you being aware. The only method to intercept them is with protection software.” 

Because threats can be invisible, it’s vital for businesses to ensure their presence in the cyber world is safeguarded with cybersecurity for the safety of the staff as well as their peace of mind. Computer Weekly shared the following answers to a few essential questions regarding fundamental cybersecurity.

Why Would a Small Business Need Cybersecurity?

In addition to guarding against the hazards Komando pointed out, businesses are obligated legally to respect the safety of personal information and data collected from their customers and staff. Regulations such as the Data Protection Act have been put in place to make sure the security of private information is kept intact.

What Kind of Potential Threats Do Cybercriminals Pose?

Cybersecurity is so significant due to how criminals target organizations and businesses and how they accumulate consumer data. They’ll typically utilize this data to obtain credit card information to commit identity theft or take money. Cybercriminals usually go after small businesses that seem to have weaker levels of security.

How Would I Defend My Employees and Guard My Business’s Computer Systems?

The standard of cybersecurity needed will vary according to the requirements of the particular company. However, there’s a minimum amount of safety each company should put into place. Antispam, antivirus, and antiphishing software, including encryption and firewall programs, are must-haves for every computer.

What Additional Security Advancements Are Out There?

Virtual private networks (VPNs) secure all activities within a network by encrypting the network’s traffic. Other developments such as full disk encryption and biometric fingerprint recognition on laptops are recommended additions to ensure your business’s data is 100 percent secure.

Businesses need trained guards to protect their physical locations, and cybersecurity is just as important to their long-term survival in today’s digitized corporate environment. If you need corporate security services in San Jose, call on the security experts at ADS Guards. Reach out to one of our friendly representatives today at 1-800-794-1550 for a free quote. 

How to Monitor the Performance of Your Security Guards

All business owners and event organizers who retain security services firms want the assigned guards to perform their duties as expected. The overall safety of an establishment depends on the ability of guards to be at their posts, observant, alert, and ready to take action. For the most part, security services firms will offer some guarantees to this effect, but if you want to get some personal assurance, there are a few things you can do.

Request Reports from the Security Services Provider

To monitor the effectiveness of security guard services, San Jose business owners can request reports from the security agency. Asking for reports is perhaps the most effective measure because security agency supervisors may already be tracking their employees. If the assessment conducted by the security services firm determines your business or event presents certain risks, the guards posted at your establishment will likely be required to check in and provide frequent reports, particularly if there’s a video surveillance system in place. Security agencies may also be able to provide you with detailed performance metrics for the assigned guards.

Ask for Field Visits from Supervisors

If you suspect the guards at your site aren’t doing their jobs for any reason, you should bring up your concerns to the agency. In most cases, such concerns will result in supervisors visiting the establishment, often without guards being notified. Field visits and inspections tend to be very effective, not only because they keep security guards on their toes but also because supervisors can detect other issues you may not be aware of. When suspicions remain even after field visits, supervisors may implement remote tracking, corrective action, or reassignment.

Engage Your Guards and Ask Questions

Taking time to introduce yourself and get to know your guards can go a long way toward prompting them to do their jobs. You can always drop in unannounced, but doing so in a surprising manner is never recommended. Instead, you should use a social approach that lets guards know you want to get to know them. Security personnel tend to work better when they know more about the life and property they’re assigned to protect. You don’t have to share personal information. Instead, ask the guards professional questions, such as if they’ve observed anything suspicious, what they look for when they make rounds, and their assessment of overall security. Speaking to your guards on a daily basis, even if you only exchange greetings, can have a motivating effect.

Take Time to Evaluate Security Guard Reports

Few business owners and managers take time to read the reports written by their security guards. Reviewing a patrol or shift report with a critical eye can reveal a few aspects of your guards’ work ethic. If possible, read a report written on a day when an incident occurred and compare it to an average day’s report. Look for routine patrols that were marked uneventful despite your knowledge of certain unusual activity at the time.

Because you entrust the safety of your employees and property to security guards, it’s a good idea to know how well they’re performing. The recommendations listed above can ensure you’re being protected with professionalism and expertise. When they want to hire guards from one of California’s best security guard companies, San Jose businesses contact the experts at ADS Guards. Our experienced staff can serve all your security requirements. Call us today at 1-800-794-1550.

5 Ways Security Personnel Are Able to Help When an Earthquake Strikes

As the most seismically active region in the United States, California is known to experience earthquakes on a daily basis. Fortunately, many of these tremors aren’t felt by the public because they register magnitudes lower than 4 on the Richter scale. The problem with the geology of the Golden State is that some of its tectonic faults are uncomfortably close to the surface, which explains why the magnitude 6.7 Northridge earthquake of 1994 was so devastating. Like other natural disasters, earthquakes are a major safety and security concern, which is why security guards are trained to respond appropriately during these situations. Here are five examples that explain how security personnel can help during a major seismic event.

1. Follow a Disaster Preparedness Plan

Among the various duties expected to be performed by security guards, executing safety and security plans is one of the most crucial. If an emergency management plan calls for employees, students, or customers to meet at a designated rendezvous point in a facility, security personnel can make sure this is carried out.

2. Observe Overall Security Issues

Guards are trained to observe and report. To this effect, security personnel will pay close attention to certain situations that may arise after an earthquake. During the 1994 Northridge quake, for example, security guards watched over damaged banks and stores until police officers and members of the National Guard were deployed. If a similar natural disaster occurs in San Jose, security guards can perform this function as well.

3. Sound the Alarm

Even people born and raised in California forget that earthquakes can often be followed by strong aftershocks, which usually means they’ll stay where they are if seismic activity lasts less than 10 seconds. Since a strong, brief jolt usually suggests a long aftershock is coming, it’s better to remind building occupants of this risk by sounding the alarm and getting them to evacuate.

4. Work with Emergency Responders

Security guards are generally the first line of response during emergencies, and they can continue to provide assistance when other responders arrive. If there are multiple injuries that require medical assistance but only one ambulance arrives, guards can help paramedics with following a triage procedure so the most critical victims are treated first. Guards who are military veterans can even help an air ambulance land safely by reporting on the condition of the landing site and guiding the pilot with hand signals they learned in the service.

5. Help After the Earthquake

Taking employee rosters, standing watch at priority posts, patrolling the area for looters, notifying next of kin, searching for survivors, and helping people get home are just some of the tasks security personnel can accomplish after seismic activity. Guards can also help managers with observations about the condition of the structure, secondary incidents, and the effectiveness of the security plan, which is important when drafting a post-disaster report.

Safety is one of the main priorities of security personnel, and that includes responding quickly and effectively during natural disasters. Companies who want their security staff to be highly trained, experienced professionals who can respond well in all types of situations should contact ADS Guards, one of the finest security companies in San Jose. Call us today at 1-800-794-1550 to find out about our dedication to keeping your employees and customers safe.

5 Traits Hospital Security Guards Should Possess

You shouldn’t look for a hospital security guard the same way you look for any other security guard. This type of guard needs the right kind of skills to protect not just one individual but every client and employee within the hospital. As such, make sure the officer has all five of the traits listed below.

1. Good Work History

Make sure your selected security guard hasn’t been blacklisted for reckless behavior. Security officers must be able to think before acting so they don’t accidentally hurt someone they’re supposed to be protecting. The guard’s amount of experience could help you determine whether he or she is ready to work in a hospital. Check out each applicant’s references, especially previous employers. Don’t forget to give each of those establishments a call and ask questions. If the guard has never worked in a hospital before, ask how well he or she can adapt to new situations.

2. Ability to Learn New Tasks

Hospital security guards may not have all of the necessary skills needed for the job. However, it’s the job of the hospital to teach its security team certain tasks. While performing these actions, guards must be constantly aware of their surroundings. You want a security guard who can follow intricate instructions required as part of his or her everyday tasks, including how to properly communicate with patients with certain mental disabilities.

3. Good Communication Skills

Being able to physically protect someone could mean next to nothing if the security guard doesn’t know how to properly communicate. Don’t even consider hiring an officer who doesn’t have solid communication skills. Communicating with staff and patients is essential to keeping everyone safe and helping people remain calm in dangerous situations. Security guards must be able to issue instructions quickly, efficiently, and coherently to nearby individuals during hectic times. Your officer can’t be impatient and yell at employees and clients.

4. Varied Additional Skills

Look over the different industries the potential guard has worked in. The more diverse and numerous the industries, the better, as this means he or she is likely to have a vast amount of skills. Multiple skills can come in handy because the guard likely knows how to handle a variety of scenarios. The guard can adapt better and immediately apply solutions during emergencies without wasting time on figuring out the solution. Special skills can also be useful for completing complex tasks that may require the use of a computer. It’s especially crucial that, when hiring an armed security guard, San Jose hospitals make sure he or she has proper training and permits for handling firearms.

5. Punctuality

You found someone who seems to have all of the traits mentioned so far. However, you may not know if the guard truly has what it takes until he or she begins working with you. Showing up on time to the initial interview is the first test because it shows that the guard is dependable, diligent, and committed to working for you. It’s a sign of respect toward your company. If the guard comes on time, he or she is likely reliable enough to handle emergency situations. 

Hospitals have very specific individual needs when it comes to security, so make sure to screen your security guards or the security company you’re hiring for the traits listed above. No matter what type of professional security your company needs, ADS Guards, one of the premier security companies in San Jose, CA, can provide you with highly trained, experienced guards. Our guards are capable of protecting a wide variety of businesses. Call one of our friendly representatives today at 1-800-794-1550 to receive a free quote.