Security companies have to be prepared for every type of incident when they’re on the job. They also have to move quickly and keep their hands free. That’s why most of security guard essentials have to be at their waist, attached to their duty belt.
So what does today’s well-equipped security guard need on his or her belt? Here are a few security guard essentials:
Even guards who are working a day shift need a good flashlight. You never know when you’ll be called to a dark area, so make sure yours is of good quality and always has a fresh charge. Forgo anything plastic. Get something heavy duty and made of metal. This will ensure that it can handle the impact of repeated use and, if necessary, be used as a weapon. Many guards choose a Maglite, the Task Force 2xC or the Streamlight Strion. If you prefer a rechargeable flashlight, get one that holds at least a two-hour charge. Picking a heat resistant model is also a good idea.
A baton helps you keep people at a distance and is used as a weapon for self-defense and forcing compliance. There are a number of different batons out there, but most guards tend to carry a side-handle model. One of the most popular batons is the Monadnock PR-24 Control baton. It is extendable and has a locking design that is especially good for close-quarter confrontations. Be aware that in most states, security company insurance or licensing requirements dictate that the security guard must complete a training course on baton handling before they can carry one on duty.
Pepper spray is an aerosol spray containing Oleoresin Capsicum. Sometimes these sprays are called OC spray or mace. The spray can temporarily repress attackers by causing their eyes to tear and burn. There can also be temporary blindness, difficulty breathing and pain. Typically attackers will close their eyes in pain, enabling the guard to take the next action. The sprays come in different types — foam, gel, stream and fog — and it is important to understand how each spray pattern is different. You should receive formal pepper spray training before adding this tool to your belt.
While having a notepad and pen is important, a digital camera helps you document many more things. A camera that also has video capabilities is an even better idea. Many smartphones have high quality cameras built in, so this can be a good alternative to carrying a separate camera. Photos and videos can capture events that arise and document people involved in an incident, injuries, property damage and the like. When in doubt, take pictures. Having photos or videos on file will be especially helpful if you are ever called to testify in court.
Mobile Phone and/or Radio
Keeping in contact with others is essential. If a two-way radio is not made available, be sure to carry a fully charged cell phone. Input important contact numbers on speed dial for quick access. Also consider downloading an app that allows the mobile phone to act like a walkie-talkie. Voxer is a messaging app for your smartphone with live voice, text, photo and location sharing.
Other things to consider for your belt are handcuffs and a knife, which may require special permission from your employer. Be sure to check with a manager to make sure all of your equipment meets expected standards. And stay safe out there.
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