Since their creation, bulletproof vests have gone through a lot of different design changes and materials. But regardless of what it looks like, there is no denying the fact that they have saved countless lives. But with so many different styles and designs out there, it choosing the right bulletproof vest for a security job is a lot harder than […]

Since their creation, bulletproof vests have gone through a lot of different design changes and materials. But regardless of what it looks like, there is no denying the fact that they have saved countless lives. But with so many different styles and designs out there, it choosing the right bulletproof vest for a security job is a lot harder than many would think. 

Let’s go over what you need to know and what you should think about when trying to choose the right body armor for your next job! 

Expected Threat Levels

The first factor to consider when buying any body armor is the expected threats that you think you will come up against. This will help you to decide on the type of armor to purchase and the level of protection that you will need. For example, if there is the possibility of rifle-round threats, then you will not want to be wearing body armor that is only suited for pistol rounds. 

Depending on where it is, most security guard jobs will not be facing any rifle threats and so something like pistol body armor should be sufficient. Do a little research and ask others to determine the level of threat that should be most expected with your job or area. This will help you better select the right body armor for the job. 

NIJ Guide and Armor Levels

Once you can get an idea of the threat levels you will be facing, it is much easier to find the best body armor for you. The NIJ does ballistics tests in order to determine how effective body armor is and how much protection it will offer you. It is important to know which type of body armor will stop the level of threat that you are expecting. 

The higher the rating is on the body armor, the greater the protection it provides. But, the greater the protection and rating, the more likely it is to be heavy, awkward, or expensive. You will see ranges including Type I, II, IIA, IIIA, III, III+, and IV that all have specific situations that they excel in. It is important to pair the expected threat level with the properly rated armor for the job. Most standard body armor types will stand up great to handgun calibers, but you will need the higher-rated armor in order to stop rifle rounds. 

Some jobs will have specific requirements for the type of body armor that is needed for the job. If not, do your best to pair the expected threat levels to the type of body armor that will keep you best protected while still considering the other items here on our list. 

do your best to pair the expected threat levels to the type of body armor that will keep you best protected

Fit and Comfort

An often overlooked aspect of finding a bulletproof vest, regardless of its purpose, is just how well it fits.  Body armor needs to properly cover things like your chest, back, and sides in order to give maximum protection. The armor needs to fit your body well, so it is vital to get the right size and measurements. This will also prevent it from hindering your movement. It should not hinder your movement when you are bending over or squatting down, and should never get in the way of you drawing your weapon or using your other equipment. 

A properly fitted piece of armor will also be much more comfortable. An uncomfortable piece of body armor will make any work you do absolutely miserable and will have you wanting to change it out as soon as possible. Make sure that the bulletproof vest does not fit too tightly or too loosely, and when in doubt, attempt to try it on before buying it. When you have to wear your body armor during every shift, you want it to be as comfortable as possible.

Budget and Replacement Armor

A budget is important to remember when shopping for body armor, so decide how much you want to spend on your bulletproof vest and try to stay within your budget. It can be very easy to be tempted to spend more money on a vest if you like the style or one that has a higher protection level than you really need. But if you stick to what will realistically be best for you and your needs, it is much easier to stay within your budget. 

It is also important to consider replacement costs. If a bullet hits your body armor, it can be damaged or otherwise compromised. You will have no choice but to get it replaced if this happens. Even if it does not get damaged, it is still a good idea to replace your bulletproof vest every so often (five to ten years). After some time, the materials that make up the armor will start to lose their strength and integrity. While a vest that is technically expired can most likely stop a bullet, it is better to not take the chance. 

Having to replace your body armor in regular intervals is another associated cost to be aware of when purchasing, so again you will want to do your best to stick within your budget. 

Final Thoughts

There are many different factors to consider when choosing some new body armor for a job. As long as you take the time to think about all of these important considerations, you can rest assured that you will be selecting the best possible body armor for the job at hand! 

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