Choosing the Right Prefabricated Guard Shacks: What to Consider

Choosing the Right Prefabricated Guard Shacks: What to Consider


From private businesses to government agencies, military bases to airports, or schools, a prefabricated guard shack is not only an investment in security, but in the long term health of the organization as a whole.

But how do you go about choosing the right unit for your unique needs? Our guard shacks are completely customizable, with virtually endless options for design, aesthetics, and features, so we understand it can be a challenge to determine what you need and what you don’t.

That’s why we’ve put together this list of questions to consider when you’re setting out to design your prefabricated security guard shack.

1. What is the purpose of your guard shack?

First, consider what the primary function of your guard shack will be. Every security team has different needs, and that can inform the purpose it plays in protecting property.

Will the primary purpose be for surveillance? If you require a surveillance hub, then you’ll need added ports in your security booth for the internet so you can set up data and phone lines in the unit. Adding LED lights will make your prefabricated guard shack a noticeable point at nighttime for easy accessibility. And if you want your guards to be able to observe bypassers while remaining inconspicuous inside the booth, its best to consider red dimmable task lighting and lightly tinted glass.

Paramount Security Booth

If your security guard shack is being used to control vehicle traffic – such as the entrance to a parking lot, studio, government facility, or business – this will influence your design. You will need to include a window at a specific height for security personnel to communicate directly with vehicles. In many cases, you’ll want a traffic arm that raises up and down and/or fencing with rolling gates. Higher level security areas also require wedge barriers. The guard booths should be designed to house the control mechanism for the system selected. If your booth is going to be operational after dark, proper lighting can increase visibility for drivers and security team members.

If your prefabricated security guard shack is primarily used for surveillance and data collection, enhanced security equipment and features may be necessary. Pre-wiring the unit for data and communication is critical to provide your security team with phone and internet, while security cameras mounted on the exterior of the booth can identify visitors and keep records of everyone who comes and goes. Tinted windows, LED lighting, and slide-open gun ports can further protect your security team.

2. How and where will your guard shack be installed?

Consider whether your prefabricated guard shack is going to be installed permanently or temporarily.

If your guard shack will be installed at the entrance to a facility permanently, you may want to consider the surroundings and make sure your shack matches the aesthetics of its environment. For example, if your security booth is being installed on a college campus, it is important that it blends in with the architecture of the buildings and landscape around it; this creates a more welcoming environment while also projecting a sense of safety for students and faculty.

Consider the physical space your shack will occupy: Which sides of the booth are facing the sun? Where will your security team members need to have more visibility? If you’re including restrooms, is there accessible plumbing in this location? Do you need additional security barriers around the booth, such as concrete bollards? And what guard booth sizes make the most sense?

If mobility is important to you, consider a portable guard shack that can easily be relocated from job to job. Construction sites, temporary military installations, and seasonal events are all situations for which you may need the ability to move your guard booth with some frequency. Our prefabricated guard shacks can be designed with slots for forklifts or mounted on DOT highway approved trailers. Booths can also have compost or incinerator toilets that do not require plumbing, and pre-wiring that is easily plugged in and unplugged as needed.

Generally, consider the climate of your location and design your guard shack accordingly. HVAC units, heating and cooling systems, and proper ventilation are not just luxuries; these features help ensure that security personnel can think and perform at their best. Make sure you have enough space in your unit to store cold weather apparel, emergency blankets, and first aid kits.

3. What types of threats will your security team face?

Nuclear Power Plant

For many locations, the most common threats that security will have to handle are theft, robbery, and vandalism. While this requires that security teams receive proper training, possess necessary equipment, and have a secure location from which to operate, your guard shack may only require standard building materials to provide adequate protection.

For more high-risk situations, such as military bases, sensitive government facilities, airports, and power plants, blast and bullet resistant materials may be required. From walls and windows to floors and ceilings, these materials can protect your security team from the threat of firearms, explosive devices, and other serious attacks.

Your prefabricated guard shack can be built using bullet resistant materials which rate from Level 1 to Level NIJ-IV and 50 caliber armor piercing. In fact, B.I.G. has obtained the industry’s first Blast Resistant Certification on manufacturing technique.

In addition, you may consider including slide-open gun ports, bullet resistant shroud for data and communications lines, LED blinder spotlights, and storage for weapons and ammunition in your design.

4. Do you require additional accommodations?

The best part of a custom prefabricated guard shack is the ability to include just about any addition design features you can think of. If your security team is comfortable, they will be able to perform better during long shifts – which can last up to twelve hours or more.

The proper HVAC system will provide year-round comfort, and padded flooring makes it easier for team members to stay on their feet. Custom finishes can range from practical to polished, while restroom facilities can ensure that the station remains occupied around the clock.

Choose B.I.G Enterprises

When it comes to who to choose for your prefabricated guard shack, there is only one choice. Since 1963, B.I.G. Enterprises has been manufacturing custom guard booths for every application and industry, using state-of-the-art building techniques and the highest quality materials.

Explore our gallery of booths to find inspiration for your project and to get a sense of various guard booth sizes, or contact our design team to create something completely original. Give us a call at (800) 669-1449 or shoot us a message online to get started with a free quote.