Security Firm Saves Day in Sundry Ways

homewatchA Provident Security guard was responding to a house alarm when he found a harried homeowner had inadvertently set off the alarm while she was taking an emergency call from her son.

The son was at school and couldn’t get his locker open. Music class was about to start; his instrument was in the locker.

Within minutes, the security guard was at the school, taking off the lock with bolt cutters and the student got to class on time.

When Michael Jagger launched his home and business security service offering a five-minute response time, he never imagined the services his security guards would be called on to carry out.

“They are in a panic and they call us,”Jagger said. “It’s all customer-driven.

“We tell people, if it’s legal we’ll do it.”

It’s not something the company set out to do, but its customers are outsourcing many of their home tasks and it’s a value-added service that customers count on.

“We’re not a security company, we’re a service company in the security business,” Jagger said. “Security is one of the things we do and it is what people first talk to us about.

“Once they learn they can trust us and feel confident leaving us with their house keys, people know they can call us.”

It’s a service mentality built right into training of the company’s core values.

“One core value is ‘we can do that,’ “Jagger said. “Don’t tell a customer no, we’ll find a way.”

One Provident customer turned to the company worried the family dog didn’t appear to be worn out after paid-for four-hour hikes on the North Shore with a dog walker.

The company monitored the alarm and found it was being turned off for a mere 10 minutes before being reset during the day while the client was working.

A Provident guard dropped by one day just after the alarm was turned off and found Fido was being turned out in the backyard for a 10-minute pee break before being locked up in the house.

“They were coming home to a hyper dog and saying there is no way you have been up on the North Shore for three hours,” said Jagger, whose company blew the whistle on the dog walker, who Jagger would only identify as an individual and not from a dog-walking service.

Clients who are away count on Provident to be their eyes at home — that’s after Provident drives them and their luggage to the airport and makes sure they have fresh milk, eggs and other essentials in the fridge when they arrive home.

“We’ll arrange for the dog walkers, we’ll arrange for lawn cutters, we’ll know when the pool guy is supposed to come and we’ll go by to make sure these things are happening,” Jagger said.

On one home watch, Provident stopped by just when the gardeners were due.

“The gardeners had been there five minutes and our guy sees a pair of legs sticking out underneath the porch,” Jagger said. “The gardener had had a massive heart attack.

“Our guy got an ambulance and did CPR until the fire trucks and the ambulance arrived.”

The company will also pick up everything from a suit at the dry cleaners that has to be home in time for a gala event, to errant teens who find themselves out of their depth.

“We had two 16-year-old girls and each told their parents they were going to other girl’s house to sleep over,” Jagger said. “Instead went to a party, the party starts going badly, they’ve been drinking, everybody has been drinking, and their friends are drunk, so one calls her dad.

“He had been drinking and he didn’t want them going in a cab so he called us. He said, ‘I need a guy I can trust to pick up these two drunken 16-year-old girls and bring them home.’

“He felt comfortable calling us,” said Jagger, whose company’s guards must undergo a criminal record check.

“We just bring the girls home and he can deal with it from there.”

Other requests are more routine.

“We’ve had customers get halfway to Whistler and they’re freaking out because they think they’ve left the iron on, or left the oven on,” Jagger said.

“It’s only two or three times out of 100 when we get a call like that that something has actually been left on, but it allows people to relax and enjoy their weekend more.”

Published March 28, 2008 · The Vancouver Sun · Written by Gillian Shaw

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