Millions of Americans have heeded the call to persevere the safety of others and have taken up careers as security guards. This comes as no surprise given all of the satisfaction a career dedicated to the protection of people can come with.
Still, professions revolving around protection unfortunately come with the drawback of being dangerous.
How then can security guards actively work to keep themselves healthy and safe while on duty?
There are numerous precautions security guards and their managers can take to create the safest working conditions possible. Below, our team at El Dorado Insurance Agency have compiled a list of our top ten security patrol safety tips!
1) Always Carry Your Defensive Gear
No matter how seemingly routine a beat is while on security patrol, you never know when things are going to take a turn for the worst.
To protect your guards against the unexpected, it’s important that you’re always prepared with your defensive gear.
If your guards are allowed to/required to carry a firearm, be sure to always have it safely equipped. If they are not allowed to carry a firearm on duty, be sure you have other important tools.
These should include a flashlight, radio, pepper spray, and a baton if such equipment is allowed within your jurisdiction.
2) Stay Mindful of Your Job Site and Its Hazards
Many times security guards are asked to patrol commercial buildings that house hazardous materials. When that happens, it’s important that guards are properly briefed on what those hazardous substances are the dangers that surround them.
For example, you should know if a substance getting guarded is of particular interest to thieves. That way those particular barrels, crates, etc. can get guarded accordingly.
It’s also important to know what protocol would be if your guard were to accidentally come into physical contact with a dangerous substance.
3) Wear Appropriate Clothing
Safety and clothing may not seem like a match in mind but ensuring that your guards are dressed to be able to perform your job adequately can have a deep impact on your health.
Take shoes for instance.
Security guards are among the top professions where regular walking, running, and physical activity may be required. Ensuring that your guards have comfortable footwear that enables them a good range of motion and is not slip prone can prevent injury.
Also, as a manager of guards, it’s important that the uniforms provided to your employees do not restrict movement. This would put them at a disadvantage during an altercation.
4) Maintain a Safe Distance From Suspects
When interviewing a potential suspect, you never know if they’re going to act out. That’s why it’s imperative that all guards on security patrol speak to people outside of arm’s reach.
Doing so will allow a guard to react if a suspect were to try and attack.
5) Patrol Your Beat at Random Intervals
Being predictable is one of the worst things you can do in law enforcement. It allows bad actors to create plans to undermine your patrol efforts or possibly cause you harm.
In order to make sure your guards are not being tracked, vary the time between patrolling particular checkpoints. Doing so will make it harder for criminals to operate.
6) Stay Mindful of Corners
Corners give criminals the element of surprise. Walking around them in a quick or tight fashion can allow them the opportunity to hide on the other side and ambush.
To reduce this risk, when met with a corner, walk around it wide. This wide approach to corners will eliminate people’s ability to spring out from the other side and cause harm.
7) Vary Your Route
Security guards are generally assigned to beats where they inspect various checkpoints throughout their shift. Guards often take the same route to their checkpoints. Doing so, however, makes the guard’s movement predictable which again, opens them up to getting outsmarted or harmed.
In order to keep guard’s movements unpredictable and make the planning of criminal activity difficult, try and vary the route they take to patrol checkpoints.
Also, consider backtracking their route from time to time.
8) Stop, Look, and Listen
Every moment when a guard is on security patrol is a moment where the unexpected can happen. To make sure that the guard’s senses are not becoming dull between events, make it a point to stop while on patrol, look around, and listen to the surroundings.
These forced pauses will help improve attention to detail. It may also help to recognize bad actors who are sneaking around the premises.
9) Know Emergency Procedures
Do your guards know what to do in the event of a fire? How about an earthquake?
Do they know how to manage a potentially fatal injury when such an event occurs?
Knowing the procedures involved when dealing with adversity can help improve response time. This improvement may lead to the saving of someone’s life.
10) Know Your Limits
Security guards will often do everything they can to protect others. It’s the nature of the job. Still, some events require specialized assistance.
A terrorist event, for example, may require specialized forces. A bombing incident would require defusing teams.
While it may be tempting to act heroically in a number of situations your guards may not be trained to handle, it’s important to always keep personal safety and the safety of others in mind. Be sure they understand the proper protocol when dealing with special cases and always defer responsibility to the party best suited to handle a situation.
Wrapping Up Security Patrol Safety Tips
Security patrol is an inherently dangerous job. To protect guards while doing it, make sure they know how to patrol in a “safety first” fashion.
Incorporating the tips listed above is an excellent jumping off point. Once your guards have mastered them, continue to develop and improve the ways in which they can keep their selves and others safe while on duty.
While the tips above are designed to help keep security guards safe, nothing protects a person charged with protecting others better than insurance.
To that end, El Dorado Insurance Agency has you covered. At El Dorado Insurance, we offer specialized security guard products designed to protect guards with the same degree of care that they protect us with.