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Safety and security are always important considerations for businesses, events and sites. Hiring a professional security guard not only gives a positive impression about the status of your business but prevents disturbances and provides peace of mind that your business is protected.
The big question is always – how much does it cost to hire a security guard?
Let’s look at some of the most significant factors to consider when calculating your security costs.
Average security guard costs
The exact cost of a security guard service depends on a number of considerations. However, as an indication, the typical cost of a security guard in the UK can vary widely between £25 to £150 an hour.
Some firms will charge hourly rates, and others will provide a fixed quote, but it’s always advisable to have a clear indication of costs before going ahead. This helps manage your budget effectively, and ensure there aren’t any unpleasant surprises.
Cost factors in hiring security personnel:
You may think that there is a significant variance in the prices mentioned above – this is because there are a number of factors that affect the cost of a security guard.
Length of hire
The duration of a security appointment is likely to vary considerably. You might be considering contracting a guard for:
- A fixed number of regular hours.
- A full-time position.
- A one-off event.
- A temporary site security requirement.
Usually, a longer-term contract will be more cost-effective in terms of cost per hour. You’ll benefit from the economy of scale if the work is ongoing, long-term or for an extended period, there are cost savings available.
However, for many businesses, security requirements are prone to change. Having a security guard available during peak times provides valuable assurances when assets need protection, or while specific events or activities are taking place.
Hiring a professional for limited scope work will be slightly more expensive on an hourly basis than a longer-term contract, but brings added value in removing any ongoing cost liability.
Do you require a security dog?
K9 security provides an added layer of protection as the dogs act as a strong visual deterrent for those looking to breach security. Dog units can respond faster, cover larger areas of ground, and can be used for a wider range of purchases (such as sniffer dogs for drug detection).
If you require a security dog patrol, you will need to hire personnel who are trained dog handlers and have the appropriate vehicle, signage and equipment to provide a safe service which may increase the cost of security guard hire.
Type of event
Security guards are often assigned to a diverse range of events. As a multi-faceted professional, they can help with several requirements and provide services for all types of occasions.
Examples of scenarios when a security guard is required include:
- Site security.
- Public events.
- Large-scale corporate events.
- Opening of new facilities.
- Busy periods in high-traffic venues.
- Parties, celebrations and occasions.
- Civic or corporate events.
- Situations where large crowds are expected.
The type of security guard, their experience, and the resources required are dependent on the type of event you’re running.
For example, significant events may need more than one member of staff, who must be experienced in crowd control. Events where minors are likely to be present need security guards well trained in managing disturbances when younger people are present.
Security guards cover a broad range of services. If you need an in-depth and hands-on approach to every aspect of site safety, this more comprehensive level of security is likely to need a higher budget.
Other sites require simple patrols when venues are closed or not in use, although overnight patrols and unusual hours may be more expensive than daytime shifts.
Services available include:
- Manned entrances.
- Mobile patrols.
- Canine units.
- Ticketing management.
- Fire safety controls.
- Surveillance and reporting.
- Emergency response.
- Bodyguard services.
- Valuable asset protection.
Your security guard will need to travel to your site or venue, so a remote location may be more expensive to guard, given the additional travel time required.
Some locations will present specific challenges, and others will carry more rigorous security requirements depending on how public access is, and how many entry and exit points are available.
Examples of service variations dependent on location include:
- Public events hosted in large buildings such as corporate offices or schools will require private access areas to be cordoned off, or guarded.
- Ticketed or restricted entry sites will require entrance security, verification of passes or tickets, and scrutiny of credentials.
- Open spaces such as outdoor sites require more rigorous crowd control and a high level of awareness around entrance points and potential risk factors.
- Enclosed places will require additional security checks around fire safety management.
- Locations with heavy traffic demand more precise control of the flow of traffic, pedestrian access and crowd control.
In any location, a security guard can keep your site running smoothly and ensure that only authorised visitors gain entry. However, the diversity of location and type of venue will have an impact on the overall cost.
It is always advisable to hire security guards who have substantial experience and hold relevant qualifications and accreditations. Specialised events and bespoke services are likely to cost more but are essential for providing adequate protection for sites or occasions carrying a higher risk.
Choosing security personnel in your local area will reduce travel costs, and have the added benefit of local, on the ground knowledge.
The expertise of your security guards is invaluable to your peace of mind, so it is worth stretching your budget where possible to hire outstanding personnel who have the experience to manage your events, sites, staff and assets effectively. Many security companies seem to offer a good service when you read the sales literature, but they’re unreliable, leading to potentially costly breaches. If you’re looking to speak with an experienced security guard hire specialist, get in touch with Clearway today.