Purses, backpacks, and other personal bags are often essential for helping you carry what you need as you go about your day. You may also find yourself carrying shopping bags after making a purchase or when you bring an item back to a store. Your right to privacy is important, and it often feels like a personal invasion when a security guard asks to see what’s in your bags. In most cases, security guards need to have consent to start searching your property. Yet they may have the right to conduct searches in specific situations. Knowing when and why a guard might ask to check your bag helps you prepare for handling the situation appropriately. The security experts at Eagle Eye Security, one of the premier security companies in San Diego, California, offer the following advice.
Prepare for Bag Checks at Certain High-Risk Places
There are some moments when you should already know you might have your bags checked by security. An airport is one of the most common places where you may find a guard asking to check your bag. Although you might be able to refuse a check, you risk missing your flight. The same can also be said of other high-security areas. For example, many concert and sporting venues require guests to agree to walk through scanning machines and allow their bags to be visually inspected if an alarm sounds. At these places, you don’t have to consent to a check, but you might not be allowed inside.
Know the Common Reasons for Unexpected Bag Checks
People tend to have the most issues with unexpected bag checks. Being pulled aside at a store or other venue and asked to show what’s in your purse or shopping bag can feel intrusive. However, security guards typically have a reason for making these requests. For instance, many stores have their security guards do random bag checks to minimize the risk of theft. Others may ask to see what’s in your bag if they get a report of suspicious behavior.
Consider the Benefits of Consenting to a Check
Some security guards, such as those who work for governmental entities, might have authorization to conduct bag checks even if you don’t consent to the action. However, you’ll often be given the option of whether or not you want to agree to a check. If a guard asks to check your bag, it may be worth the trouble to allow him or her to do so. Allowing a security guard to check your bag can show the guard that you’ve done nothing wrong. This may let the guard know that he or she doesn’t need to take further action by contacting the police.
Expect Fair Treatment during Any Bag Check Request
Professional security guards are trained to conduct bag checks with as much respect as possible. You should never be selected for a random bag check based upon personal characteristics such as your age, race, or gender. A security guard should also conduct the search in front of you so there’s no question about what’s found. If possible, the guard should also conduct the check in an area where you feel like the contents of your bag are kept private, just in case you have personal items, such as medication, that you don’t want other people to see.
If you own a business or you’re hosting an event, having security guards perform bag checks can prevent theft and ensure the safety of your employees and customers or event attendees. The professionals at Eagle Eye Security can help you assess your security needs and devise a plan that’s just right for you. If you need to hire high-quality security guards in San Diego call us today at (619) 278-9990 and talk with one of our security experts.