Hiring a private security provider? Here are questions to ask

It is important to properly interrogate any potential private security service provider, before placing your trust in them. Asking the right questions will go a long way to ensuring your peace of mind, according to South Africa’s largest private security company.


Theunis Kotze, ADT General Manager Inland Region, suggests that questions should be asked about the candidate company’s standing with the industry’s regulatory bodies, the number of patrol vehicles that will service the area, formal training and preparedness of their officers and safety measures such as armour plated vehicles and Kevlar helmets and vests for armed response staff.


“You cannot simply compare companies on the monthly tariffs they charge,” says Kotze. “The safety of your loved ones cannot be dependent solely on financial cost considerations but rather on a careful comparison of a wide range of factors.”


Kotze suggests that the following questions be asked, to ascertain the quality and the value of the service you might receive:


  1. What is their monthly cost for alarm monitoring, and what are the added value benefits they provide to your suburb (such as community CCTV cameras) at no extra cost?
  2. How long has the company been in business, and is security their primary business or a ‘side line’ business they manage alongside other services?
  3. How many armed response officers are deployed in your area, and what is the level of training they have received? What safety and protective items are they given while they carry out their duties?
  4. Is the company registered with all the appropriate industry and labour regulatory agencies, such as the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA)?
  5. What technological solutions are employed by the company? Do they keep up to date with new developments such as License Plate Recognition cameras, home monitoring automation systems, and mobile ‘panic button’ apps?
  6. What supervision systems are put in place, to manage and enforce service level agreements on the grassroots level?
  7. Does the company keep themselves informed on the best international practice for the private security industry?


“If you ask the right questions and do your homework today, you should be able to sleep assured tonight that you have appointed the best company to come to your aid when an emergency happens,” says Kotze.