Do you have what it takes to become a security guard? If you’re thinking of entering this profession, the following information will be of interest.
Those in law enforcement, including police officers, are trained to respond to reports of a crime in progress or when it is discovered. When violence of any kind breaks out, law enforcement is called. Security guards, on the other hand, take a preventive approach to crime, working to prevent risks to the public, deter crime and to be on the lookout for danger. When they do encounter crime they report it to the authorities. Security guards have one objective and that is to prevent crime. The specific duties that security guards perform on the job are detailed below:
1. Make themselves visible
It is the responsibility of a security guard to make sure he or she is clearly visible to those in the vicinity of the area they’re guarding. This acts as a deterrent to crime. Most shoplifters, burglars, muggers and others with crime on their mind would reconsider if they notice a security guard walking around on duty. Therefore, being highly visible is one way in which security guards prevent graffiti, damage, theft, personal injury and other criminal acts.
2. Be on the alert and vigilant
A security guard is hired to be on the lookout for any odd or strange behavior or event that could indicate harm. This is why it is vital that he have a very keen sense of smell as well as excellent hearing and eyesight. He should be able to smell a chemical leaking or a cable burning and know which direction the smell is coming from. He should be able to detect when something sounds off or strange, like if someone is trying to secretly open a door. His senses should be alerted when someone is attempting to divert him from his job. And most importantly, he should be able to accurately interpret whatever he sees, and do this quickly. Based on these skills, someone with a short attention span or poor hearing and eyesight wouldn’t make a very good security guard.
3. Act quickly and correctly in a crisis situation
A security guard not only senses a crisis brewing; he also acts quickly to quell the situation. This means a security guard must constantly be on alert so he is not caught off guard. How he responds to a crisis or crime in progress depends on the threat being posed. A security guard needs to know how to effectively respond to any number of dangerous situations.
4. Observe and report
A security guard’s work is still not done even after they’ve successfully averted a dangerous situation. He must continue to observe everything going on in the area to ensure that there is nothing else brewing and to prevent any more problems. After a crisis occurs, he should report the details of the incident back to his supervisor, to law enforcement or the appropriate authorities (like the fire department if the incident involved a fire). This way, additional steps can be taken to prevent a recurrence.
5. Call for help when needed
In certain very dangerous situations, like an assault with a deadly weapon or an armed robbery, an unarmed security guard may not be equipped to deal with the situation on his own. In these cases, he should immediately call the police. By getting the police involved right away, lives can be saved and the criminals can hopefully be taken off the streets.
6. Follow procedures and check that rules are being obeyed
Security guards are sometimes expected to follow certain policies established by his employer, such as searching visitors before granting them entry or denying entry to visitors without a prior appointment. Also, companies may require employees to show an ID card before they are allowed to enter the workplace. In these cases, the security guard on duty must monitor things to ensure that all rules are being obeyed.
7. Maintain order at large gatherings
Security guards are often called to work at large gatherings, such as political rallies, religious assemblies and even parties. This is to maintain the safety of people and property and to also prevent stampedes, riots or some other dangerous situation from occurring.
8. Receive visitors and guests
If a security guard is stationed at the entrance of a building or event, he is likely doubling as a receptionist since he would be the first one to greet visitors and guests and direct them on their way. This kind of work requires the guard to be approachable, friendly and willing to help.
9. Offer security and safety precautions
In addition to all the other responsibilities of a security guard, they are often called upon to advise their employers of security and safety precautions that should be taken. A security guard should also be prepared to explain the possible consequences of ignoring his advice in order to persuade his employer to follow his recommendations. Additionally, he should do everything he can to make sure all security and safety precautions are being followed.
10. Various other responsibilities
Security guards are often asked to perform additional duties other than the specific ones they were hired to do, especially when employed by an individual. They may be asked to take phone calls, respond to email and text messages, run errands and even babysit children at times. If you are seeking a part-time or full-time position as a security guard, just understand that you will likely be expected to perform various additional duties.