The people manning entrances and roving around premises are usually the security personnel. They are typically in uniform so they can easily be identified. Security guards are sometimes called private police because they look and act similar to police officers.
Contrary to popular belief, security personnel have more responsibility than protecting the people and objects in an area. For those interested in becoming one, security guard skills and responsibilities are multifold. Here’s a breakdown of what they do:
Security Guard Job Description
A security guard ensures the safety of all people within their area of jurisdiction and secures all assets within the premises. They prevent people from performing illegal activities, detect the presence of unauthorized individuals, observe all situations, and report incidents within their area of responsibility. Security personnel also serve as first responders in case of emergencies.
If you’re thinking of entering the field of security, here is a summary of a security guard’s job description.
Security Guard Skills
- Must know self-defence techniques – The ability to defend yourself and others is crucial. You should be able to placate or restrain violent individuals.
- Ability to handle a firearm when necessary – Not all security guards are authorized to carry firearms. However, all guards must be proficient in handling one in case of emergency.
- Ability to react quickly – Having fast reaction time is a big advantage in times of emergency. Hesitating will only worsen the situation.
- Ability to stay calm and collected in dire situations – A guard must be calm under pressure to maintain an orderly atmosphere. Panic is highly contagious so it will create chaos during emergencies.
- Alertness, honesty, and being observant – An alert security guard can react on time to any danger. Honesty is necessary when dealing with other people’s assets or properties. Being observant plays a vital role in deterring or preventing crimes or accidents.
- Physically and mentally fit – The duties of a security guard need you to be agile and strong enough to perform strenuous activities. Being mentally fit can protect you from mental or psychological breakdowns especially when on duty.
- Leadership skills and being a team-player – A guard should know how to follow and contribute to the organization. You should also have the skill to lead people, especially during alarming situations.
- Good manners – Security officers usually encounter guests and visitors. As a representative of the company, they must be courteous at all times.
- Good judgment and common sense – Not all situations are covered by SOPs (Standard Operating Procedure). You need the ability to decide the best course of action instantly in any situation.
- Fast learner – Surveillance equipment or gadgets are continuously becoming more sophisticated. You must be able to quickly learn how to operate any new such gadgets.
- Have negotiation skills – De-escalating arguments or handling irate individuals is part of being a security officer.
- Communication skills – Reports are part and parcel of the job. The ability to communicate clearly through writing or speaking is vital.
- Being detail-oriented – An important part of making a report is on the details. Minute details should not be ignored because they may play a crucial part during investigations.
- Knowledge in First Aid – As a first responder, a guard should know how to handle medical emergencies.
Security Guard Responsibilities
- Patrol the premises regularly to act as a deterrent to criminals or violators.
- Secure all the people within the company including all assets and items (including parked vehicles) within the premises.
- Make a detailed report of incidents or accidents within the area of responsibility.
- Observe all state of affairs within the jurisdiction and investigate out of the ordinary situations.
- You must act immediately, within the bounds of the law, when protecting assets and people.
- Capture violators of the law (like trespassers) when inside the premises and apprehend those who violate company rules or regulations (like stealing from co-workers).
- Contact relevant organizations (like the police, hospital, and fire dept) immediately when there is an emergency or accident.
- Monitor, check, and control all entrances and exits of the premises.
- Perform CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) and first aid during accidents within the area.
Security Personnel as First Responders
Security guards are typically the first to arrive at the scene of an accident or emergency since they are responsible for patrolling and surveillance. With sufficient training on basic fire-fighting and first aid, they can easily administer the first crucial steps before calling on the concerned authorities.
What are the primary responsibilities of security officers as first responders?
- Assess the situation – A security guard needs to determine details regarding the incident. If it’s a fire, identify the cause of the fire. If it’s a medical situation, then ascertain symptoms and treatment. The information you collect is vital to other responders like the EMTs (Emergency Medical Technician) or firemen.
- Sound the alarm and call concerned authorities – If it’s a fire then activate the alarm so people can evacuate, then call the fire department. When dealing with a medical emergency, secure the area so that people don’t form a crowd around the injured, then call for an ambulance.
- Act to remedy the situation – When dealing with a medical emergency and while waiting for the ambulance, perform first aid or CPR. Doing this right away arrives can make a difference between losing or saving a life.
The most important factor to keep in mind when responding to emergencies is that saving lives should be the top priority. Company assets and properties should only be secondary since most of these are typically insured. During a fire, an orderly evacuation should be the priority. Pre-selected evacuation areas should already be prepared beforehand.
Being a security guard is not just a walk in the park. In addition to having a license, a guard should also have relevant training and certifications to fully equip them for the job. A properly trained guard will be able to handle any situation calmly and efficiently.
Security guard training courses are a must-have for the job. Find an accredited and reputable training school to learn the basics and other necessary skills, like first aid.
If you are interested in becoming a security guard, call The Centre for Security Training and Management. We are much willing to answer all your queries and would be happy to assist you with the procedures. Take the first step to your career in security and call us now at (416) 750-4747 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.