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.

Biggest Safety and Security Issues for Hotels

Safety and security at hotels is one of the most important things for ensuring a good experience for guests and visitors. Every level of hospitality ranging from high-end boutique hotels to your run of the mill motel constantly work towards a safe environment for everyone. Though safety and security takes a never ending effort, here are the top concerns for hotels:

Safety Emergencies

As all things go, it’s better to be prepared than not for every situation. Just because safety emergencies are unpredictable it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan for them! For fire/life/safety emergencies, proper training and protocols set in place can mean the difference between life and death.

Fire

Fire is an emergency that can grow increasingly dangerous by the second. Having measures set in place ensures the safety of individuals and minimize potential damage to the building or infrastructure. While checking fire emergency protocol, first ask yourself a few questions. Can firetrucks easily access the property and all sides of the building? Who is authorized to take control and take action in a fire emergency? Is there anyone who unlocks the gates and other points of access for emergency crews? Who has the keys and who is knowledgeable of access codes? Are the fire alarms functional? If you’re unsure, you can contact your local fire department to check every fire alarm to make sure they’re working. Additionally, are exit routes and signs clearly displayed? If a fire breaks out, are exit routes clearly displayed? Everything combined can mean the difference in the way a fire emergency is handled. Making sure your staff and your building are properly equipped to handle these situations are highly important to safety.

Medical Emergency

Similar to a fire emergencies, there are instances where emergency personnel need to quickly access certain areas of the building without pause. Each second can be crucial in the safety of an individual should they have a medical emergency. You have to again ask yourself, can emergency vehicles easily access the property of the side of the building where an emergency is taking place? Is there a person in charge who can grant entry to emergency personnel and are they equipped to do so? Everything ties back to proper training and having protocols in place. To mitigate this issue, have an emergency procedure manual that’s accessible and easy to read. Readiness and preparedness are key factors here – train as if your life depended on it.

Unauthorized Visitors

An unauthorized visitor or trespasser is someone who the hotel doesn’t permit to remain on its premises. This can include those who aren’t guests of the hotel and guests who lost the privilege of remaining on-site. A welcomed guest becomes a trespasser as the hotel sees fit for the following reasons:

  • Refusal to pay a bill
  • Become obnoxious or threatening to other guests and staff members
  • Becoming a person of general bad reputation
  • Behaving in a disorderly manner
  • Other forms of misconduct

Unauthorized visitors may pose a threat to others as it’s difficult to take into account who’s entering and leaving the property. Although there may be a person present who actually booked the room themselves, inviting additional guests to the room is often no permitted. For example, hotel parties may disturb other guests and leads to an high risk of property damage.

Theft

Unfortunately, tales of an unwanted guest breaking into a hotel room and stealing personal possessions aren’t unheard of. We may hear stories of those who travel return to their hotel rooms to realize that their valuables. A few things hotel managers can do to minimize theft on their properties is to ensure all locking systems work. Installing a door lock where guests need a key or access card to enter is the most straightforward solution. Inside, guests should have access to a safe, or a secure location to store their valuables. Limit the amount of hotel staff members who have access to each room. It’s well known that surveillance cameras help deter crime and theft. Make sure that your camera systems are placed in key areas to eliminate blind spots.

Internal Policies

Sometimes theft happens from your own team. Subsequently, It’s a good idea to conduct thorough background screenings upon hiring each staff member. Having procedures set in place and thorough training can minimize the risk of theft happening. Protocols such as only a select few staff members having access to guest rooms or belongings can help mitigate this.

Proper Training

As always, train like your life depends on it. Regular training and retraining of staff is akin to a well-oiled machine. Having safety procedure and protocols written out in manuals can serve as a quick pick-me-up for staff members. Make sure they are available, easy to read, and ready to use under any circumstance.

Security Tips to Protect Your Retail Store

As profitable as your retail store may be, store owners lose a significant amount of revenue in theft every year. In fact, according to Business Insider, retailers lose approximately $62 Billion a year to retail theft, fraud, and other causes. With an increase in shoplifting, store owners and managers are left wondering how they can mitigate this. Here is a list to secure your business.

Lighting

Illuminating your store, especially at night, may discourage thieves from loitering or entering the premises. Having sufficient lighting in your store could make thieves visible from the outside. Additionally, clearing the front display windows of any obstruction would make any trespassers more visible. If you own a standalone brick and mortar store, make sure to install sufficient lighting around the exterior of the building to deter any break-ins. A study found that areas with sufficient lighting experienced significantly lower crime rates than areas without.

Secure all Stock

It’s a good idea to lock away any and all valuable equipment or stock before leaving the store at the end of the night. Invest in a safe or a storage that can be locked and is out of sight from the outside. Move the valuable merchandise away from windows and doors to make it difficult for thieves to target them in a smash and grab. Additionally, secure all windows and doors so that no one can easily enter the property. Don’t forget to remove cash from the cash register and lock them away in a safe for the night.

Turn on Monitored Alarms

Not only do you get a peace of mind knowing there’s a security system running in your absence, but some camera systems have an app where you can check in and monitor your property at a distance. Your security system could range from motion sensors, silent alarms, cameras, and more to discourage thieves from even trying to burglarize your business. Fire alarms protect your business from literally going up in flames and can notify local authorities to quickly respond. Make sure these are operational and meet local standards for further peace of mind.

Crowd Control

Hire a security guard for an extra set of eyes to monitor your store. Studies show that people behave differently when they feel they’re being watched. This serves as a great deterrent for thieves and prompts customers to behave in a way that may reduce damaged or lost goods. Security guards are there to observe and report, and if instructed to do so, can control the amount of people who are allowed to enter the store at a given time. This reduces large crowds which may allow thieves to easily slip in and out. You can find out more about security guard services here.