Whether you’re using Deggy buttons, RFID, NFC Tags, or QR Codes, establishing checkpoints in the optimal locations plays a key role in efficient guard tour management. No matter your industry or vertical, whether it’s a standing guard or a mobile vehicle patrol, there are several key locations you’ll want to mark with checkpoints to ensure your guards properly check those areas.
Listed below are some of the most common areas, regardless of the industry, that can cause problems and raise concerns on a property. Use this list as a guideline the next time you begin placing guard tour checkpoints on a property.
Setting up an efficient system of checkpoints starts with establishing clear expectations from the client. Each client has their own specific priorities and problem areas, whether that’s securing the pool, checking the gym equipment, etc.
Establishing priorities is key because you don’t want to create too many checkpoints for your guards to properly hit. Some operators make the mistake of thinking more checkpoints mean more accountability, but you’ll deliver much better service if guards can just hit the key areas on the property.
“Don’t use them as a geofence tool to track your guards,” I told Johnny on today’s episode. “Use it to show your client that you’re doing the work and that you’re getting the list of instructions behind it.”
There are three important things to check for client priorities.
- Unique circumstances: Johnny had a client once that wanted them to set up a QR code next to a water fountain. That seemed odd, until they explained that kids continually played pranks by filling it with soap that would bubble all over the entry hall.
- Things that cost money: Check any valuable assets or areas of liability.
- Things that cost time: Get a sense of how the property manager spends there day and figure out what items are occupying their time that you could take care of.
High Risk Areas
The customer has a great deal of understanding about their own property, but you want to bring your own expertise into play as well. There are high risk and liability areas that you, as a security expert, understand the importance of better than the customer. For instance, you might recognize that the HVAC system is importance to check due to the value of copper wiring.
Setting up checkpoints at those locations and explaining their importance to the client positions you as the expert and demonstrates your value. Plus, it can pay off in a big way down the road. I once had a client with a large, expensive koi pond, and because we checked the pump, we caught that it was broken in time to save the fish, and save the client nearly $15 thousand.
Now we’ll dive into more specific items that you’ll want to be checking regularly. Not all of these will apply to every account, but they’re a good starting point when crafting a list of checkpoints for your guard tour system.
- Main threat areas, such as vaults, tellers, cash registers, anywhere high dollar items stored
- Stairways: Transients or loiterers will sometimes hide in stairways and even cook with burners, creating a fire hazard
- Electrical closets
- Boiler rooms (ensuring temperature gauges are all correct)
- Significant obstacles
- Blind spots, any location where someone might hide or store dangerous items such as needles
- Approach routes to significant threat areas
- Access to offices or other areas during non-business hours
- Key data areas or places with sensitive information like server rooms
- Volatile chemicals or flammable materials
As you can see, these roughly break down into two categories. There are valuable assets that need to be protected, and there are places that would go unseen otherwise if not for your guards checking them regularly.
Again, you’ll be looking for the same kinds of things on the exterior, focusing on points of access to valuable assets and areas where people might hide or store dangerous objects.
- The building itself
- Storage structures
- Landscaping, shrubbery, or vegetation
- Common hiding spots
- Entry points, anywhere people might try to gain access outside of business hours
- Power sources
- HVAC units; we can’t emphasize enough how valuable these can be. Johnny talked about how gangs went after a string of shopping centers for the copper wiring on a previous episode.
- Parking lots
- High traffic areas during business hours
- Fence line or gated areas
Remember, you don’t have to check every single one of these items. We intentionally titled this article “Areas to Consider” because it’s important not to go overboard and create more checkpoints than your officers can handle.
Choosing a Guard Tour System
If you're not already using a guard tour system download the guide below to help you begin your research process for a solution that fits your needs. Of course, we encourage you to schedule a demo with our product specialists who can help you learn more about how Silvertrac's guard tour system can work for your operation.