What Does it Take to Be a Security Guard?

Security Guard Jobs Baltimore work to protect people and businesses from a wide range of hazards by enforcing preventative measures. Their duties include patrolling, responding to emergencies and providing surveillance.

The presence of security guards is a highly-effective deterrent to criminal activity. They are trained to recognize suspicious behavior and notify authorities when necessary.

The primary responsibility of security guards is to maintain order, whether on a property or at an event. Security guards may physically stop someone from entering areas that they aren’t authorized to enter, detain someone if they suspect a crime is being committed, or simply direct people away from dangerous locations.

Security guards also need to be able to defuse situations by using verbal communication techniques and mediation. If necessary, security guards can use physical force only as a last resort and it must be proportional to the threat. Keeping their cool in tense situations is essential for these officers, and they need to have strong leadership skills to take charge of an emergency until responders arrive at the scene.

In addition to patrolling a property, security guards must also be able to control access to a location by checking credentials, verifying identity, and operating gates or barriers. They can also conduct periodic inspections of a site or facility to ensure compliance with mandated and contractual regulations.

If a security guard notices an irregularity or suspect activity, they need to be able to report it to their supervisor quickly and accurately. This requires solid writing skills, as well as an ability to remember and describe details of what they’ve observed. Security guards who can’t clearly explain what they’ve seen could jeopardize the safety of those around them or hinder the response of first responders when they arrive at a scene.

Detailed post orders are an important part of any security program, and security guards must be familiar with these documents to effectively carry out their duties. These post orders contain information regarding a location’s security risks, specific instructions, and responsibilities for the security guard on shift. Post orders may also include a list of persons who officers should contact during their shift, and should be reviewed and updated regularly.

To ensure that security guards are aware of and familiar with post orders, a good supervisor must be present to provide a thorough site orientation and make sure all officers understand the document. For businesses that employ security guards in multiple locations, digital post orders are an excellent tool for ensuring that all officers receive and understand the same instructions.

Responding to Crisis Situations

A security guard’s ability to respond quickly and effectively to a crisis situation is vital for safeguarding lives and property. They must be able to detect and assess risks, work with law enforcement to diffuse situations, and provide assistance during emergencies. This requires a high level of preparedness and training, including the use of risk assessment and clear protocols.

During regular patrols, security officers identify potential threats by monitoring areas that are vulnerable to crime, theft, and damage. Unusual activities, such as loitering and trespassing, are monitored closely and reported immediately. Patrols also involve checking access points and ensuring they are secure. Guards are trained in conflict resolution and de-escalation techniques, which they use to diffuse incidents and prevent them from escalating.

If a crisis occurs, such as a fire or natural disaster, security guards are often the first responders. They may need to evacuate a building and direct people to safety. They can also help with first aid or CPR, depending on their emergency response training.

The use of firearms is not usually a part of the role, but security guards are trained to know how to deal with weapons and explosive devices. Role-plays and drills are used to give them experience and familiarity in a variety of scenarios. They are also trained to report incidents, which can include a range of issues, from criminal activity and fires to vandalism and accidents.

They are also trained to conduct thorough risk assessments and develop strategies to minimise risks. Guards are expected to adhere to legal regulations and procedures, such as trespassing laws and privacy laws, and they regularly participate in safety and security drills.

Security guards should never take risks that are not a part of their regular duties. For example, they should not run after shoplifters or attempt to detain people without appropriate legal authority, as this could lead to repercussions for the organisation. There are exceptions, however, such as alarms that indicate a security breach, a fire, or other emergencies. These should be a priority and require specific preparation, such as knowing where fire extinguishers are located or the procedure for calling emergency services.

Communicating Effectively

Security guards must be able to communicate effectively in all situations, both verbally and in writing. This includes being able to speak clearly, use active listening skills, and understand and respect cultural differences. It’s also important for security guards to be proficient in their own language and that of the people they work with, which may require taking additional training or partnering with a translator.

Verbal communication involves a lot of back-and-forth between the security guard and individuals they interact with, especially in emergency situations. This requires active listening skills, which involve paying attention to the speaker, understanding their feelings and perspective, and responding in a way that shows empathy. Security guards should also be able to read non-verbal communications, such as body language and facial expressions, in order to understand the context of a situation.

Another aspect of effective communication is being able to remain calm and professional in high-stress situations. This can be accomplished through de-escalation strategies, practising mindfulness, and taking care of yourself physically and mentally. In addition, it’s important for security guards to know when they need to seek help or involve higher authorities.

When interacting with people in the community, security guards must be able to provide assistance and information, as well as maintain a courteous and professional demeanor at all times. This could include providing directions, answering questions, or assisting with evacuations. It’s also helpful for security guards to be familiar with the local area they work in, including knowing where to find services and amenities.

Security guards must be able to monitor CCTV systems, notice any irregular activity or potential threats, and communicate these observations to their supervisors. Additionally, they must be able to write incident reports and keep logs of their activities. This often involves collaborating with other security guards or other departments within an organisation, so it’s important for them to have excellent written communication skills. They should practise their writing skills on a regular basis by role-playing scenarios and working with a mentor to get feedback.

Being Highly-Visible

Security guards need to be visible enough to deter criminal activity, yet discreet enough to blend in with the crowd. This requires that they be constantly alert and aware of their surroundings, even when they’re on routine patrols or performing a specific task at work. Security guards should never be distracted, as they may miss an incoming threat or notice something suspicious happening. Having excellent attention-to-detail is essential to their jobs, especially when it comes to patrolling the premises, monitoring surveillance systems, and communicating with law enforcement officers.

They can also check people and items as they enter and exit a building or event, safeguarding valuable merchandise, collaborating with undercover store detectives to prevent theft, and monitoring parking areas. Other duties include checking ID cards, preventing trespassing on private property, assisting with investigations, and conducting documentation checks in places like hospitals, hotels, offices, or factories. Security guards can also assist with escorting people, providing directions, and offering basic first aid until medical professionals arrive.

For many businesses, the presence of security guards creates a sense of safety and security that helps everyone feel more confident working in the office or shopping at the mall. This can also help customers feel safer and more willing to engage with a company, which can boost customer satisfaction, productivity, and sales.

In a business park, security guards can be particularly helpful for keeping a level of security throughout the entire area. They can patrol on foot, use surveillance systems to monitor the premise, and control access in and out of a property by checking ID, operating gates or barriers, and enforcing visitor policies. Security guards are also highly trained in responding to a variety of incidents, including disturbances, vandalism, robberies, and other security threats. They can help to de-escalate the situation, take corrective measures, and communicate with local law enforcement or emergency services if necessary.

Effective communication skills are important for all roles, but they’re even more critical in high-risk situations. Security guards must be able to speak clearly and concisely, calmly reassuring the public while directing traffic or defusing a crisis. They’ll also need to have strong written communication skills to document their observations and responses in detailed reports.