What Is a Negligent Security Lawsuit and How Can a Security Guard Prevent One?
All businesses want to provide Excellent customer service, competitive pricing, and pleasurable experience. But what about the safety and security of your customers?
As a business owner, it’s your responsibility and obligation to offer some level of protection and security to patrons. What happens to customers on your watch can lead to a laundry list of financial and legal complications.
To avoid legal pitfalls, it’s important first to understand what your obligations are as a business owner and where negligent security comes into play.
Keep reading to discover how to protect yourself, your customers, and your assets.
Negligent Security Lawsuits
To protect yourself against a negligent security lawsuit, it’s important you understand the basics.
These types of lawsuits can involve many different venues and businesses including:
- Retail stores
- Parking garages
- Apartment complexes
Negligent security falls under premises liability law. When a property or business is accused of negligent security it means that the owner didn’t adequately protect the person or their personal property.
It’s important to note that commercial property owners aren’t obligated to provide safety to every person who enters the area. Your responsibility is to appropriately respond to any foreseeable risk.
This is where the lines become a little blurred. What is considered an appropriate response? And what risks are foreseeable?
Both of these factors depend largely on the location of the property and any criminal history or risk associated with the property.
Properties and businesses located in high crime areas or ones that have experienced crime in the past are required to take more serious security measures.
Providing the proper level of security means looking at your location objectively and making smart, researched decisions.
Examples of Negligent Security
Looking for more specifics in terms of what might put you at risk for a negligent security lawsuit? Here are some common weaknesses in security programs to look out for:
- Lack of awareness about surrounding criminal threats
- Outdated or inadequate security plans and procedures
- Failure to maintain locks, landscape, or other safety barriers
- Failure to perform required employee background checks
- Inadequate lighting in and around the property
- Ignoring complaints, threats, or workplace violence
- Lack of employee training, security staff, or physical security measures
Recognizing where your security is lacking is the first step in protecting yourself from a lawsuit.
The next step is taking proper measures to correct these inconsistencies.
Avoid a Negligent Security Lawsuit
Your first priority is keeping customers, tenants, and visitors to your property safe and secure. Secondly, you want to protect yourself from an unnecessary lawsuit.
When it comes to negligent security, it’s crucial you stay proactive. Here are a few methods to keep your patrons safe and avoid legal ramifications.
Hire a Security Guard Company
The number one defense against negligent security lawsuits is hiring a security guard company.
Not only can security guards sense and stop crimes before they happen, but their presence alone is a deterrent for criminals.
When a potential burglar or assailant sees a security guard on-site, they’re much less likely to act. Chances are, they’ll move onto an easier target where they’ll meet little resistance.
From healthcare buildings to warehouses, security guards ensure that no one is on-premises who isn’t permitted. They’re also specially trained in observing anything out of the ordinary or that would pose a threat to unsuspecting victims.
Install Adequate Lighting
Darkness is a criminal’s best friend. It provides them natural cover from sight, making it easy to sneak onto your property, burgle cars, or harass victims.
Installing proper lighting not only prevents criminals from entering the area, but it allows cameras and witnesses to see exactly what’s going on. If something does happen, you’ll have evidence to support your case and story.
Properly Train Staff
Hiring a security guard company to lead your security is number one. Your security guard company should create a security plan which includes training your security on standard and emergency best practices. This might include:
- Aggressive behavior management
- Active shooter response
- CPR/AED/First Aid
All company employees should be trained in security plans and procedures. Provide a detailed list of what constitutes suspicious behavior, violence at work, or work-related threats.
Being aware of the warning signs can help prevent tragedies.
Plan for Large-Scale Events
Does your company host large-scale events like conferences, promotional events, or even parties? If so, hiring the proper security for these occasions is crucial.
Most attacks and other criminal activity occur where there are large groups of people. Crowds are an easy target and criminals can slip-in unseen and undetected. They thrive on the confusion and noise provided by large groups.
Armed guards are the perfect deterrent for criminal activity at an event. When people who are up to no good see a guard with a weapon, they’ll likely think twice about trying anything.
Armed guards are also highly trained in observing any suspicious behavior, helping to prevent a crime before it happens.
Research the Area
Lastly, the area where your business or property is located plays a huge part in preventing negligent security lawsuits. Sadly, you can’t just pick up your business and move it elsewhere. But you can properly plan if your property is located in a high crime area.
Research how many burglaries, homicides, and drug-related crimes have been reported in your area. The more crime present, the more security you’ll need.
Not only will this ensure the safety of your staff and patrons, but providing a certain level of security is a requirement if your property is located in a high-crime area or has experienced criminal activity in the past.
Protect Yourself, Your Employees, and Your Assets
No one wants to deal with a lawsuit. But when it comes to a negligent security lawsuit, more is at stake than just your bank account.
Your reputation, plus the safety and health of both your staff and all those who enter your facility are at risk. Avoid the headaches and heartache associated with negligence by providing adequate security for all.
Contact us today to learn how the OPS Security Group can help you prevent a tragedy before it happens.
OPS Security Group has over 80 years of combined experience protecting executives, businesses, residents, guests and government officials throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C. and New Jersey. As a regional security alternative with a service-first approach, we offer a level of customer service that international providers are too big to deliver. If you’d like to learn more, you can contact us at https://opssecuritygroup.com/contact/