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The Obligations of Security Guards in Public Spaces

By Grant Law Office on March 1, 2022

A man with a bright yellow security jacket standing in front of a building.

People tend to pay more attention to their own behavior when there is a uniform or a badge around. Security guards play many roles when securing public facilities. Their presence ensures the safety of people, premises, and objects located by deterring people from acting outside of the rules of the space or the laws in the region.

Negligent Security Claims

Most people think of premises liability cases as being when a person is hurt on another person or corporation’s property. Claims of negligence can also be brought when a person is injured due to a lack of security. Property owners must provide a secure space when they invite the public to visit. If security is lacking and a visitor is injured, they can sue the property owner to seek to recover damages. An attorney with extensive premises liability experience can help prepare a negligent security claim.

Obligations of Facilities Open to the Public

Property owners owe their visitors a duty of care when they are open to the public. That means that it is the owner’s responsibility to protect guests or tenants from unsafe conditions. The only exception to that duty of care is when a person is trespassing. Many business owners post warning signs to deter people from entering property.

These signs acknowledge known dangers such as “Swim at Your Own Risk” and “Beware of Dog.” Property owners install these warnings to avoid liability claims. While they can notify the public to steer traffic clear of known dangers, property owners cannot control the actions of others on the property. Personal attacks and criminal assaults on a property with inadequate security may allow an injured person to seek justice and full compensation with a premises liability claim.

Presence of Security Guards Changes Liability

Security guards are employed to keep an environment safer. Their presence can affect the liability of the property owner. Inadequate security presence, however, could be cause for a premises liability case. An over-eager security officer could also be a liability. Either way, when an incident occurs on someone else’s property, such as a gas station or shopping center, it is advised that you speak with a lawyer who is well-versed in premises liability cases.

Duties and Dangers

The duties of security guards are:

  • To be a visible presence of security around the property
  • To follow procedures and maintain order
  • To monitor surveillance and control who has access to the property
  • To be alert and act quickly in a crisis
  • To call for help from local authorities when necessary

There are some dangers that the failure of security officers could bring. If a guard uses unjustifiable force with a guest and is the cause of their injuries, the property owner could be held liable. Other times a security guard may choose to not get involved in a problem at the risk of being injured themselves. Their failure to intervene could leave the property owner or manager liable. Security officers should be professionally trained to de-escalate dangerous situations.

Are You a Victim?

If you have been injured on someone else’s property because of their lack of security, you may have a negligent security claim. The attorneys at the Grant Law Office take a thorough approach in evaluating your Atlanta premises liability case. We are efficient and effective in helping our clients seek to recover maximum compensation for damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We will walk you through the process and help you understand your legal rights. Give our office a call for a free consultation (404) 995-3955.

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Posted in: Premises Liability

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*Wayne Grant has been practicing law since 1979. Grant Law Office was founded in 2000.