The Pros and Cons to a Prefabricated Guard Booth

What is a Guard Shack?

A guard shack, also known as a guard house or security guard booth, is a compact building, often pre-engineered, prefabricated, modular and sometimes portable. The purpose of the guard booth is to house security personnel and equipment on properties where a security presence is needed. As an important part of your overall security plan, a guard house ensures the protection of your people, property, and business assets.

Branded security booth at a corporate parking lot entrance

A prefabricated guard shack can be a wise investment as part of your security strategy, but it also has some limitations. In this article, we’ve laid out the advantages and potential drawbacks when considering the purchase of a modular guard shack.

Pros:

1. Better Security

Duh! Although obvious, this is often overlooked in the initial construction phase of larger projects. When placed at the entrance to your facility, and with appropriate fencing, a prefabricated guard shack gives security staff greater control over who and what enters and exits the property.

Guard booths are great central hubs for security surveillance, and they’ve been proven to make a measurable difference in crime rates in facilities that use them. A study from the USC’s School of Policy, Planning, and Development shows a 17.8% decrease in property crimes after installation of a video surveillance system. Guard shacks can be equipped with electrical power, internet supply, desk space, and monitors to be a video surveillance center and serve as the eyes and ears of your security staff.

Surveillance camera fixed to a white wall

Photo courtesy of Nathaniel Dahan

A security booth can also be outfitted with monitors for video surveillance so that guards can keep an eye on other areas of the facility while they are in the booth. At the same time, a guard booth can support visitors and deliveries because it serves as a check-in point for vehicles to be routed to their proper areas.

In warehouses and storage facilities where products, goods, or other valuable assets are stored, a guard booth on the property helps secure the facility by providing a central location for on-foot security personnel to keep equipment and documentation. In addition, government facilities and military bases can use guard shacks to boost traffic control and as a strategic location to monitor the ins and outs of the facility.

The presence of a booth deters criminal activity and can be made more effective with added features – especially with tinted windows. This increases security because potential criminals can’t tell whether they’re being monitored by someone in the booth.

2. Provides a Central Point

Security booths will serve different purposes depending on your facilities. What most of them have in common, though, is the fact that they can serve as a central point for several uses.

For example:

In parks and outdoor recreational areas: A security booth provides a central location where visitors can go to for information, such as maps, and to report emergencies or suspicious activity. It can also be an effective way to control access to locations where entry is otherwise prohibited, or to control the entrance to locations requiring an admission fee, such as parks.

Parking booth outside an enclosed parking lot being manned by an attendant

In commercial and residential parking lots: A guard shack is a dedicated place for parking staff and security, and an accessible, central location for visitors and/or residents to report suspicious activity. Having a guard booth in your organization also sends a clear message to everyone who interacts with your facility – whether employees, customers, visitors and residents – that you care about their safety and the security of the premises.

3. Saves Your Company Time, Materials and Hassle

Buying a prefabricated guard booth saves time, materials, and hassle, because they’re built in a factory and then shipped to the site fully assembled and ready to use. When compared to building a guard booth on-site, prefabricated guard booths save companies hassle and wasted materials.

They’re also more cost-effective being built in a factory rather than on-site for another reason. For example, if you were to opt to build your booth on-site, it would require a large section of company property to be closed off for construction. Plus, if you choose to build it yourself, your staff would need to be allocated away from their regular work to plan for the construction of the enclosure, costing your business more valuable money and resources.

Guard booths can also be relocated to a high level on top of a mezzanine, freeing up space on the ground floor. Many companies offer custom mezzanines as an optional add-on feature to a portable prefabricated guard shack.

4. Can Be Customized to Suit Your Needs

Custom designs, standard orders, and special upgrades are all possible when purchasing a guard booth. Many providers allow you to choose add-on features depending on your needs, and can be outfitted with HVAC to provide comfort for employees in all sorts of weather conditions.

Other features include:

  • Built-in restrooms so that guards don’t have to leave their post as often and are less exposed to the elements.
  • Extra doors to create ease of access into and out of the booth, which can prove useful in emergency security situations.
  • Extra desk space for computer hardware.
  • Sliding screen windows so that guards can easily communicate with visitors.

5. Portables Provide Space Efficiency and the Advantage of Easy Relocation

Although most guard booths are built to be permanently placed in position, portable prefabricated guard booths can be relocated quickly and easily. You can relocate them either by having caster wheels installed (this is more easily done on smaller models), purchasing a trailer booth, or using a forklift. Adaptability is a fantastic benefit of a mobile guard booth. For example, portable booths can be placed inside a factory or warehouse.

Shrink wrapped blue ticket booths being towed by a truck

Cons:

1. Dodging the “Con Artists”

Not all booths are made equal. If you opt to purchase a prefabricated guard booth, then you will likely need to find a trustworthy company to do it right for you. As would be expected, this comes with some risk, especially when dealing with a start-up company, or a manufacturer with a poor reputation.

Carefully vetting potential guard booth suppliers is worth the time and effort, because it’ll pay off in the form of a longer-lasting booth with less hassle. It’s a good idea to check the company’s website for examples of their past projects. Look for both quality and quantity, as that’s a sign they’ve built a reputation on consistent quality and a commitment to excellent customer service.

2. Limited Design Options from Some Providers

Some companies have limited design features which leaves you with no options to incorporate branding, personality, or detailing into the finished product. This means that you may come away with features you’re paying for and don’t need, while you’re missing features that you’d love to have. Additionally, you’ll be losing a fantastic opportunity for branding.

If you want to customize the look of your booth, make sure your supplier offers a wide range of design options. Ideally, the company should offer unlimited design and color options, and should offer to customize the booth as much as requested.

Custom designed guard booth with 7 Up and Snapple logos

3. Guards Falling Asleep on the Job

Guard booths are designed to offer the utmost comfort for security staff – but too much comfort can backfire. If a security guard falls asleep on the job, this jeopardizes the safety of people and property that they were hired to protect. It is widely considered an inexcusable form of misconduct and is illegal in some states.

While there is no excuse for a security guard to ever sleep while at work, there are ways to mitigate guards falling asleep on duty. One is to make sure the booth has a bright light and modern design that will help to keep the guards awake. Another easy solution is purchasing an anti-sleep alarm. Otherwise, guards should eliminate the chance of falling asleep by improving their rest plan before post, drinking coffee and standing up to stay alert.

Conclusion:

While purchasing from a new or ill-reputed company can lead to problems down the road, investing in a guard shack from a reputable manufacturer such as Guardian Booth can be a huge asset for your company and your security personnel. Working with a company like Guardian Booth means you’ll get a security guard booth that covers all the bases, and more. To see the selections and competitive prices on our prefabricated guard booths, you can get started on our pricing page.

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