Security guards are professionals who safeguard and protect people or assets against any kind of attacks and damages. The job description may vary depending on the size of the premise that needs to be guarded, the number of security personnel employed, and the protection systems that are assigned to the guards.
Depending on the kind of the premise that a security guard guards, the nature of his work can be broadly categorized into two types; patrol-oriented and static-oriented. A patrol-oriented guard is continuously on the move, patrolling his premises constantly, and ensuring that everything is under control. On the other hand, a static-oriented guard keeps a watch on the premises from a fixed location, such as a gatehouse or a lobby of a building.
However, many times, a guard’s duty might involve both, patrolling as well as static functions.
The security guards are employed in varied work environments such as offices, residential buildings, retail stores, banks, rail, air, and sea terminals, museums, parks, theaters, hospitals, industrial premises, government agencies, educational institutions, and so on.
Duties and Responsibilities
The role of a security guard is to safeguard, patrol, and monitor any theft or violence in the premises, where his duty has been assigned. For a large organizations, a higher security director directs these duties. In any case, the security guard is responsible for serving his employer by providing safety against law violators, and determining disturbances, which may incur any sort of physical or financial losses. Following are some of the main duties and responsibilities of a security guard:
- To ensure that the building/premise assigned to him is safe and secured from any sort of contingencies and acts of violence.
- To keenly observe each and every person entering the premise and to keep an eye on intruders.
- To check the luggage/belongings of any new person entering the premise, in order to ensure safety of the premise as well of the people.
- To prevent the entry of unauthorized people and prohibited articles into restricted areas.
- To maintain a logbook with details of the names, purpose of visit, and entry and exit times of each and every individual who enters the building.
- To conduct routine checks inside the building each day.
- To monitor the premise through closed-circuit TV cameras, and check for any sort of criminal activity.
- To report all the suspicious acts happening in the premises to the local police.
- To help the local police in case of emergencies such as thefts or violence.
- In case of a commercial premise, to check each and every office and make sure that all the possible entrances and exits are closed, and all the lights/electric equipment are switched off.
- To answer the emergency alarms with immediate effect, and to inform the respective department (such as fire department in case of fire) right away.
- To answer telephone calls of the people occupying the premise and to solve their queries, even during the non-business hours.
- To make detailed notes of damages to the premise or assets or of unusual occurrences.
- To enforce and adhere to all the rules and regulations, and to warn the violators regarding possible consequences.
- To constantly inspect and monitor all the security devices and equipment and to ensure that they are not tampered with.
- To inspect and adjust controls such as furnaces, boilers, and air conditioning, so that the entire building is properly regulated.
- To direct vehicles in and around the building and to make sure that all the vehicles are safe, while inside the premises.
- To guard and sometimes, drive armored vehicles in order to safely transport valuables and money from one place to the other.
- Good communication skills
- Politeness and courteousness
- Ability to handle and resolve conflicts
- Attention to detail
- Knowledge and ability to secure a premise
- Honesty, dedication, and sincerity
- Ability to act fast in emergencies
- adequate knowledge of first-aid
- Ability to use firearms and other security equipment
- Ability to judge and detect possible threats and act accordingly
- The minimum requirement for becoming a security guard is a high school diploma or a GED (General Educational Development tests) certification.
- Establishments needing heavy security expect their guards to be trained in the use of firearms.
- Armed security guards need to be high school graduates, with a preliminary knowledge of criminal justice.
- In some cases, on-the-job training is also provided, but this depends solely on the employer.
- SIA (Security Industry Authority) International has recommended minimum criteria for selection and training of private security guards. This includes eight to sixteen hours of on-the-job training and eight hours of annual training in protection, first-aid, public relations, and so on.
- SIA International also recommends that armed guards should undergo a rigorous annual training in the use of firearms.
- All the security guards, irrespective of where they are employed, have to be at least 18 years old and the citizens of the United Kingdom.
- Many clients require security guards to have valid licenses. Added to this, they are often required to pass a drug test.
- Armed guards need to have a license for their weapons, and also need to undergo criminal and background checks.
- Some employers also require their guards to have valid driving licenses.