Appearance is Everything—The Impact of a Security Guard’s Uniform on Others

Companies seeking to hire security guards often fail to ask prospective security guard companies about the uniforms their guards wear while on duty. This may sound like trivial issue, but it’s not. Appearance matters. Security guards in the right kind of uniform can send a powerful message to those they are assigned to protect and those who want to do harm.

Security guard personnel in clean, crisp uniforms with tucked-in shirts and pressed pants convey more authority than guards wearing ill-fitted shirts and worn jeans. A professional uniform naturally demands more respect.

–Guards should wear distinctive uniforms so they can be easily spotted by a person who may be in distress and looking for help.
–People feel safer around security guards who take pride in the way they look and conduct themselves.
–Criminals like to size up the security before committing a crime. Security guards in appropriate uniforms are more likely to discourage bad guys from attempting something illegal.
–Neat and trimmed hair, little or no facial hair and minimal jewelry add to a security guard’s overall professional appearance.

California’s Bureau of Security and Investigative Services requires that security guards wear a bureau-approved “patch on each shoulder of his or her uniform that reads ‘private security’ and that [it] includes the name of the private patrol company by which the person is employed…and a badge or cloth patch on the upper left breast of the uniform.” The badge or patch, with the guard’s employee number, must be visible at all times. Make sure uniforms used by the security guard company you hire meet these requirements.

Of course, nice uniforms and good haircuts don’t take the place of well-trained guards, but matching the uniform with a high skill level will make the security efforts more effective.