A Guide to: Security Guards

Security guards, or security officers, are mainly in charge of observing and reporting when it comes to keeping an eye out for suspicious or illegal activities. Truthfully, guards are responsible for performing a variety of tasks that pertain to the safety and security of job site or property. Security guards may be in charge of conducting regular foot patrols while checking that doors and windows are locked. Additionally, they may sometimes work closely with local authorities in cases of emergencies. Continue reading for tips on becoming a Security Guard.

A wide range of individuals may need the assistance of private security guards. We’ve personally covered everything from special events (such as weddings, graduations, parties, or school events) to construction sites and even commercial shopping spaces. The need for private security may wax and wane depending on the time of year (i.e, shopping spaces needing a little bit of extra support during the holidays) or a company with multiple locations may need security at different properties at any given time. The professional space may also need to hire private security to make sure that only authorized individuals may enter the building or if they need a guard stationed at front desk to receive or screen packages.

A Career Guide to Becoming a Security Guard

Security guards are responsible for completing a wide range of duties according to client needs to their site-specific post orders. Some positions are static where a guard remains in the same area or they may be responsible for patrolling a wide area. In roving vehicle positions, the guard is responsible for driving a company vehicle while on patrol.

Typical Duties of a Security Guard

  • Complete and deliver accurate reports – including daily and incident reports
  • Conduct regular patrols of job site
  • Follow established security protocols while using initiative and good judgement
  • Work closely with the local police department, fire department, or medical teams
  • Ensure alarm systems are functional
  • Ensure that doors, windows, gates, etc. are locked
  • Make certain that only authorized personnel or vehicles are entering the property
  • Remain vigilant for any suspicious or unlawful activities

Qualifications of becoming a Security Guard

Most Security Guard positions are entry level and only require a high school diploma or equivalent to apply. Additionally, you’ll need to be registered as a Security guard in your respective state and be registered to carry a firearm (if applicable).

  • Must be able to communicate clearly and effectively (both orally and written)
  • Be able to think quickly and critically
  • Have excellent interpersonal skills and be mindful of customer and public relations
  • Exercise good judgement in stressful and potentially dangerous situations
  • Have knowledge of public safety and security
  • Possess knowledge of local laws and regulations
  • Works well independently or as a team
  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Ability to pass a background check and drug screening
  • Must maintain and current and valid drivers license (if applicable)

Security Guard Job Education and Training

Most companies will provide on the job training when starting at a new site or shift. Regular training and updates are recommended to ensure that security guards remain on track for providing excellent service. However, in order to attain your guard registration card, you must complete the following steps:

  • The power to arrest training must be completed prior to the issuance of a Security Guard Registration
  • The thirty-two (32) hours of training in security officer skills must be completed within the first six (6) months of registration.
  • Eight (8) hours of continuing training must be completed annually (BPC 7583.6 and California Code of Regulations

The training may be administered by a PPO (Private Patrol Operator), a Bureau-certified training facility, or by a Bureau-approved course provider. Find out more here.

Other Skills and Experience

Although not required, having an associates degree in subjects such as criminal justice may set you apart from the rest of the crowd. Additionally, being fluent in a second language may make you more hirable compared to others applying for the same position.

To apply for a position as a security guard with Armed Force Security, click here.

Important Apartment Safety Checklist

You’re settling into your new apartment and finally unpacked the last moving box. After organizing and putting everything away, you’re probably surveying your new place and wondering if your belongings are safe. Here is an apartment safety checklist to ensure that you and your belongings are safe from theft and robbery.

Reinforce Sliding Doors

There are a few things you can do to secure your sliding glass door, which most apartments now feature. If you happen to live on the first floor of an apartment complex you’d want to pay extra attention to your doors and windows. First and foremost, keep the blinds closed when you’re not at home. You wouldn’t want anyone to get a good look inside your apartment to scope out any targets inside. A few other steps include:

  • Add an alarm sensor. Door sensors are a feature of home safety systems and will alert you whenever it opens.
  • Add window film. Most sliding doors are made of glass and can easily be smashed in the event of a robbery. Installing window film will prevent the glass from completely shattering when broken.
  • Add a rod or bar on the tracks. This will prevent the door from opening, whether by a little or not at all. This simple addition will save you a load of stress when you’re away.
  • Get a deadbolt lock. It’s a good idea to install extra locks on your door so that it’s harder for thieves to open.
  • Install a security camera.

Secure Your Windows

Although it’s pretty straightforward, don’t leave your windows open when you’re not in the area. First floor windows are one of the most common points of entry during a robbery.

  • Locks: Most windows already come with window locks, but you can beef up your security by adding more. Look into different window locks and barricades for added protection.
  • Window alarms. Similar to door alarms, window alarms will also notify you when the window is opened, even by a bit. Unfortunately, neighbors sometimes ignore the sound of breaking glass. Glass break sensors, in a similar fashion, will alert you if the window is shattered.
  • Prickly plants. Chances are that you won’t have too much control over the vegetation outside of your rental unit. But this doesn’t meant you’re not able to have them just inside. Having prickly plants and shrubs by your window can help deter robberies. A lot of robbers are opportunists and probably won’t go through the trouble of risking injury for a quick snatch and grab.

Meet Your Neighbors

Having a friend nearby goes a long way when it comes to keeping communities safe and secure. It’s always helpful having extra pairs of eyes to keep the lookout or to deter robberies before they happen. It also makes it much easier to discuss the various on-goings of the neighborhood and spread the word if anything happens. When moving into a new apartment building or condo, leave a note or letter on their door letting them know who you are.

Invest in a Safe to Store Your Valuables

Get creative with hiding places for your valuables such as passports, jewelry, cash, and other items. There are many different types and sizes of safes. Pick which one is right for you and make the investment.

Be Home Even if You’re Not

Many robberies happen when tenants and homeowners are out of town for an extended period of time. Making it look like you’re home, even when you’re not, is a clever way to deter robberies from happening when you’re not around. Installing times and setting your lights to specific times throughout the day will make it look like someone is home. Another clever, and really helpful, tool is to install a doorbell camera so that you can answer the door even when you’re not home. Setting the blinds to open and close automatically is also another way to trick would-be robbers from thinking that your place is vacant.

Get a Guard Dog

Not only are dogs man’s best friend, they also make excellent family guardians. Dogs have a natural inclination to protect not only their packs (their families) but also their territories. Always alert and aware of their surroundings, dogs will notify their owners of any strangers of intruders. Many dogs will also spring into action if anyone is foolish enough to break into their homes. Head over to our blog about guard dogs to read more, or read the following list.

  • Akita
  • German Shepherd
  • Rottweilers
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Boxer
  • Great Dane
  • Bullmastiff
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Chow Chow
  • Chihuahua