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Security Guards and Non-Lethal Weapons

Posted by Michelle J. on 4/28/2017

Security Guards and Non-Lethal Weapons

Security guards are constantly in the line of danger when it comes to intruders or unruly individuals, and they're sometimes forced to take drastic measures when intruders become hostile. But using lethal weapons, such as firearms and knives, to defend themselves in these situations can actually leave both your company and security guards liable for injury if your security guards exhibit negligence. The good news is that there are alternative solutions that your security guards can utilize to protect themselves and the communities they serve. Here are a few you need to know about:

1. Mace or Pepper Spray

Chemical agents, such as mace or pepper spray, can prove useful as non-lethal weapons that your security guards can use to slow down a violent individual. Although frequently used interchangeably, mace spray and pepper spray are two different products. First, mace spray causes pain in the mouth and eye's mucous membranes and is often associated with the Mace brand spray. It is also milder than pepper spray because it takes effect at a slower pace. Pepper spray is made up from pepper chemistry and registers between 2 million and 5 million units on the Scoville chart, depending on the brand used. That's hotter than the Himalayan ghost pepper or a jalapeno, which measures below 5,000 units on the Scoville chart. Guards can use these sprays to immediately halt violent intruders from a distance. Pepper spray causes the violent individual to immediately shut their eyes upon contact. Some of the effects they may experience include, eye pain, a "boiling" or "bubbling" sensation and temporary blindness. This lasts for about 30 to 45 minutes, which can provide ample time to get backup support from nearby guards and law enforcement.

2. Baton

Batons are useful for protection if forcible action is necessary and are part of a less-than-lethal method of gaining control of a situation. These devices are commonly used as alternatives to firearms and other deadly weapons because they have the power to still slow an intruder or violent individual down without killing him. When used correctly, the baton can temporarily halt intruders that get out of control and violent. However, it is important to educate your guard patrol about proper use of batons and where it is permissible to create contact with the baton and the intruder.

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3. Stun Gun or Taser

While stun guns and tasers are often used interchangeably, there are different non-lethal weapons that can be useful to security guards in a violent incident. Tasers are useful non-lethal weapons that send electric shock waves to individuals within 15 feet of you, while a stun gun must be used when a violent person is in direct contact with you. These non-lethal weapons are helpful to temporarily incapacitated assailants in the event contact becomes violent.

Final Thoughts

While keeping your security guards armed with non-lethal weapons, such as batons, tasers and pepper spray, can help prevent possible personal injury lawsuits or other liability incidents, they should only be part of your security strategy. It's worth exploring a complete strategy that includes taking preventable steps to mitigate crime. This can include educating staff and community members on protocol and proper use of security equipment, employing a technologically-enhanced guard tour solution and implementing the right guard patrol strategy. By taking these steps, you can help safeguard your security personnel in the case of violent situations.