How Many Security Guards Do I Need For My Warehouse Or Distribution Centre?

Warehouses and distribution centres are commonly targeted for thefts, ranging from small-scale employee theft to large-scale organized heists. Each instance of theft reduces a warehouse’s margins, increases costs, and decreases trust with partner retailers. It's crucial for warehouses to strike the right balance in their security staffing. Overstaffing with security guards can drive up costs unnecessarily, while insufficient staffing exposes the property to increased security risks.

How do you determine the right number of warehouse security guards to hire? In this blog, we’ll detail the types of security guards most commonly deployed to warehouses as well as factors that determine the number of warehouse security guards needed at a site.

Uniformed security guards provide a visible deterrent factor and act as frontline support in cases of security incidents. They patrol key areas within the warehouse, enforce security protocols, conduct regular perimeter patrols, and respond swiftly to incidents or alarms.

Types of Security Guards Deployed To Warehouses

Warehouses typically utilize a variety of specialized security guards to maintain the best security possible. In this section, we’ll explore the roles of each type of security guard:

Front Desk Security Guards Log Visitors

Front desk security guards play an important role in controlling and monitoring visitor access. They log all incoming and outgoing visitors, verify identification, and ensure that only authorized personnel enter the premises. For warehouses that handle valuable inventory, front desk security guards can also perform bag checks to ensure that employees and visitors don’t leave with stolen inventory.

Security guards stationed at the front desk provide several other services, such as CCTV camera monitoring and providing directions to site visitors. At Blackbird Security, our front desk security guards receive customer service training to equip them to best handle a variety of customer-facing situations.

Depending on the level of traffic a warehouse experiences, warehouses typically employ 1-2 front desk security guards.

Uniformed Security Guards Ensure Site Security

Uniformed security guards provide a visible deterrent factor and act as frontline support in cases of security incidents. They patrol key areas within the warehouse, enforce security protocols, conduct regular perimeter patrols, and respond swiftly to incidents or alarms. Uniformed security guards also supervise truck loading and ensure the security of any access points and loading bays throughout the facility.

For effective coverage, the number of uniformed security guards typically varies based on the warehouse size and traffic levels. Smaller warehouses generally require 2-3 guards, while medium facilities might need 3-4 guards. Larger warehouses or those with high traffic often employ 4-6 guards to ensure adequate security coverage.

Gatehouse Security Guards Monitor Vehicle Visitors

Gatehouse security guards stationed at entry points monitor vehicle traffic and conduct thorough checks of incoming and outgoing vehicles. They verify shipments, inspect identification, and enforce access control measures to prevent unauthorized entry.

Warehouses typically only need to deploy one gatehouse security guard.

Mobile Security Guards Provide Added Protection

Mobile security guards conduct patrols in a highly visible security vehicle equipped with flashing overhead lights. These patrols can be scheduled 24/7, making them a great option for warehouses that don’t require a full-time overnight security presence, but could benefit from added night-time protection and alarm response.

Mobile patrols are an effective method of deterrence. Patrols can be scheduled on a randomized basis, making it difficult for thieves to commit the variety of large-scale thefts most damaging to warehouses. Should an alarm be triggered during hours of coverage, the Blackbird Security 24/7 Control Centre team will deploy the nearest mobile security guard to assess the situation and take action.

Typically, just one mobile security guard is sufficient to cover a warehouse during overnight hours.

Blackbird Security mobile security guard warehouse

Factors That Impact The Number of Security Guards Needed

Security is not a one-size-fits-all affair, and each individual warehouse will have different factors that affect the number of security guards needed.

1. Site Size and Layout

Larger warehouses require a larger security presence than smaller ones due to the increased area that needs to be monitored and secured. Factors to take into consideration are the number of access points, the number of loading docks, and the square footage of both the warehouse and exterior site property.

2. Hours of Operation

Warehouses that operate around the clock or outside of standard business hours, such as night shifts, require continuous coverage to safeguard against potential threats and vulnerabilities. However, warehouses that are closed overnight can also benefit from additional security provided through mobile patrols.

3. Level of Activity

Potential criminals may take advantage of a warehouse’s peak hours to commit crimes. Busier warehouses that receive frequent shipments and deliveries, or personnel movement, require heightened security measures and more security guards to maintain control and deter theft and trespassing. To reduce opportunities for theft, warehouses must have enough security personnel on hand to adequately monitor the site during its busiest hours.

4. Security Risks and Vulnerabilities

Factors such as the safety of the neighbourhood the warehouse is located in should be taken into consideration when hiring warehouse security. Warehouses within neighbourhoods that have a higher crime index should invest in more robust security measures. Additional risks, such as a lack of perimeter security or any vulnerabilities found during a security audit can impact the need for additional security personnel to mitigate risks effectively.

5. Value of Inventory Stored

Warehouses that handle high-value inventory, such as electronics, luxury items, or cars should invest in additional security personnel to ensure adequate protection. High-value inventory warehouses are often victims of employee theft, so ensuring that employee bags are checked after shifts and security guards are able to monitor employees during shifts is critical.

uniformed security guard warehouse security

Partner With Canada’s Number One Warehouse Security Guard Provider

Determining the right number of security guards for your warehouse or distribution centre involves evaluating the factors detailed in this blog. Ensuring the safety and security of your warehouse not only protects valuable assets and inventory but also promotes a safe working environment for employees and visitors alike.

For a comprehensive breakdown of the exact number of security guards needed at your warehouse, a security audit is necessary. Your chosen security guard company will provide an audit at the beginning of your partnership together to accurately assess the exact number of guards needed.

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