A security guard is an individual employed by either a government agency or private organization to protect the hiring party’s properties from various potential risks by enforcing measures against theft, vandalism and other related crimes. Security guards also serve a more traditional role, protecting homes and businesses. Security guards are also required by law to assist the police in making arrests. Some security guard employment comes with benefits and often security is an integral part of these benefits. These include insurance, medical benefits, company-paid health insurance and life insurance.
Many security guards are union members and their job is frequently supported by strikes or other actions in support of their cause. When a security officer is wounded on the job it can often lead to serious injury or even death. The most common injuries sustained by security guards are falls, heat exhaustion, injury due to negligence or improper use of equipment, and crush injuries.
The primary duty of a security guard is the prevention of crime and the enforcement of law. Security guards are required to work in areas where there is high risk of crime such as high-risk industry jobs, public transportation terminals and other areas with a higher incidence of theft. The most effective security guards must be able to move with the fast-moving, heavy-duty equipment that is seen on most construction sites. Therefore, security guards must be well-trained in the use of force and have sufficient physical strength to apprehend any would-be criminal.
There are many situations in which a security guard’s job may require him or her to stand in a dangerous or precarious situation. For example, an elevator supervisor may instruct security guards to stop at a certain floor and wait while others go up to check out the area. If a security guard is asked to “stand down”, this simply means that the guard will need to wait for other employees to clear out the area. This “stand down” time can be as little as ten or fifteen seconds. Therefore, a guard’s ability to remain focused on the assignment at hand is paramount. It will take many years of training for a security guard to learn how to remain focused and disciplined during difficult or unusual moments.
While working for a company, a security guard may also be asked to act as a liaison between the public and the employees on site. Security guards are often called upon to provide assistance when customers cannot access a particular facility because of a security lock out or other safety issue. In these instances, the security guard takes charge and ensures that the customer is able to reenter the building after waiting a specified amount of time. This demonstrates that the security guard has both the responsibility and skills to manage difficult situations and to remain calm and focused while managing others.
As one of the most critical elements of day-to-day operations, working as security guards often work some of the most difficult assignments. These include high-risk assignments where the security guard has to make life and death decisions under dire conditions. For this reason, security guards must be mentally and physically prepared to manage any number of potentially dangerous situations. In addition, they must demonstrate the ability to stay calm in the face of panic or anger, and to effectively diffuse volatile situations by taking quick decisive action.
In addition, security guards are often required to operate outside the comfort of their own homes. In order to meet the demands of their customers, security guards must be able to maintain a level of flexibility and self-sufficiency. For example, a security guard may be required to visit a high-risk facility or individual multiple times in a day, while performing other routine tasks. Security guards should therefore be able to schedule their shifts according to their personal needs.
The ability to respond to emergency situations quickly and efficiently is critical to the success of any security guard. Although most security guards are professionally trained and certified, they are often confronted with situations where their training cannot help them. It is vital that security guards stay alert and aware of their surroundings at all times – and this can only be achieved by being properly trained in all the aspects of security.