Some locations may not necessarily need armed guards, such as schools and other local institutions, as it is just as important to simply monitor those entering the facilities. By having an authority figure onsite, it is possible to deter illicit or unwanted activities without unnecessary risk, intimidation, or liability. For example, unarmed security services are often used to deter activities like loitering, vandalism, shoplifting, and trespassing. Settings that can often be handled by unarmed security guards include department stores, sports venues, and public plazas. In general, it is more common for businesses to have unarmed guards than armed ones.

Also, people are more likely to see an unarmed guard as a friendlier and more approachable authority figure that can provide assistance and protection. In this way, unarmed security guards may be an advantageous solution in low-risk retail stores and residential buildings. Although these guards do not carry firearms, they are in great physical shape and trained in a wide variety of defense techniques.