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Safety Tips for Security Officers

Two coworkers (one male the other female) standing next to each other. The male illustrated giving a helping hand

Safety officers work in industries across the board. From patrolling retail spaces and industrial units to securing hospitals, hotels, and hospitality venues, these dedicated professionals work around the clock to keep people and places safe.

Due to the nature of the job, security officers often have to work alone. This means that their safety and security need extra consideration. All businesses and institutions requiring employees to work independently should have a lone-worker policy in place. Like health and safety policies, policies for lone worker safety are essential to safeguarding.

Whether you’re a security officer yourself or are part of a company that employs a security team, look at our top security tips for keeping these valuable team members safe.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Like law enforcement officers and first responders, security guards must always be aware of their surroundings. Keeping your eyes peeled for suspicious people, or anything else unusual will help to give you early warning of a potential safety issue.

As well as being vigilant when you’re out on patrol, it’s important to familiarize yourself with your work environment. Learn the layout of the building you patrol, memorize a map of the local area and take the time to check for possible escape routes.

Check High-Risk Areas Frequently

Security officers often find that parts of their patrol are at higher risk than others. For example, a local parking lot might be a crime hotspot, or an unguarded entrance could be a weak point for opportunist thieves. Checking these areas frequently can help deter antisocial and criminal behavior and help you to crack down quickly on any dangerous situations.

If you’ve just started and aren’t yet familiar with the high-risk areas on your patrol, ask those more experienced in the security industry for tips. Most seasoned professionals will have a good idea of the areas you need to watch out for. They may also be able to advise you on the most effective ways of patrolling them.

Observe Any Strange Activities

The more you know your route, the easier it will be to spot strange, suspicious and unusual activities. You might see someone walking around a restricted area, or a car parked in an odd place or left for an extended period of time. You may also notice someone watching a building, observing staff members or otherwise paying undue attention to something, or someone, under your care.

Being observant will help you safeguard your personal safety and the safety and security of the people and premises you look after.

Follow Your Security Protocols

Businesses put protocols in place to protect their security personnel and help officers cope with a range of emergency situations. Security companies should ensure all new recruits are trained in emergency procedures and protocols. Further training should occur regularly to keep staff fully updated on relevant protocols.

As well as security procedures, security guard training should cover first aid, protective clothing and security equipment. After all, the better informed and trained a security professional is, the easier it will be for them to do their job to the highest possible standard.

Utilize Technology to Enhance Security

Technology can be used to great effect when it comes to enhancing security guard safety. This type of technology comes in several different guises. For example, CCTV cameras can allow security personnel to monitor high-risk areas without leaving the safety of their workstation. Cameras also make it easier for security guards to keep an eye on all areas of a building or patrol area at once, allowing them to spot intruders and other potential dangers as soon as possible.

An alarm system can be installed across the area. A good quality alarm system will warn guards early of a possible emergency and automatically notify security services of a breach. This can make it easier for security officers to get the necessary backup and support.

When choosing safety devices for lone workers, one of the most popular options is the wireless panic button. Unlike CCTV cameras and alarm systems, panic buttons are worn by the officer, giving them protection wherever they are on the premises. If the security officer feels their safety is at risk, they can trigger the alarm instantly and silently. Notifications will then be sent to the appropriate authorities, allowing the officer to get help fast. Depending on the environment, security departments may opt for a panic button that contacts 911 when activated. This ensures a speedy response from emergency services.

A mobile phone can double up as a safety device. Security officers can use their phones to send regular messages to their supervisors letting them know everything is ok. If a scheduled message is missed, the supervisor will know something is wrong. You can also find many security apps online. These allow you to turn your phone into a rudimentary panic button. However, it’s important to remember that this only works when you have a signal, which can be an issue in remote areas.

Expect the Unexpected

One of the most important tips you’ll hear as a security officer is to expect the unexpected. Being prepared for every eventuality is a core part of the job, so make sure you train for a wide range of situations and emergencies.

Because you never know what might happen, it’s worth investing in high quality protective gear. You could wear protective gloves, high vis outerwear, body armor and even a bullet proof vest to help keep you safe when you’re at work. Talk to your employer to see if they provide protective wear.

Know Your Limitations

As a professional security officer, it’s important to know your limitations. Though you may want to go above and beyond to keep those in your care safe from harm, sometimes, you’ll need to pass the job on to specialist responders.

For example, if you see a suspicious package in your building’s lobby, it’s essential you call the police to deal with the situation. Likewise, if you see a large group of people behaving strangely, it may be advisable to call for backup rather than tackle them yourself.

Talk to your employer about the exact security measures you’re required to take. These measures may vary by site or shift, so ensure you get a full breakdown of the rules.

Keep Calm During an Incident

Staying calm during an incident is crucial for a number of reasons. Firstly, it will help you think clearly about the situations that’s unfolding. This can help you to make better decisions and obtain a better outcome. Secondly, staying calm can help to prevent you from getting carried away by the adrenaline rush.

Lastly, being calm can help to diffuse a situation. If you’re calm, you may find that the person or people you’re talking to begin relaxing. This can help to deescalate a potentially violent or dangerous incident.

Keeping security officers safe should be a top priority for security companies and their businesses. To learn more about protecting lone workers, and get more safety tips for all members of staff, take a look around or get in touch with a member of our team.

About Author

Yasmine Mustafa

Yasmine Mustafa believes ROAR found her, not the other way around. A former refugee and undocumented immigrant, she draws upon her unique life experiences to lead ROAR in its mission to empower and protect workers across all industries. Her journey is a testament to resilience and unwavering commitment. With over 15 years of leadership in the tech industry, including the successful sale of her first company, 123LinkIt, to a firm in Silicon Valley in 2009, Yasmine is a driving force for positive change, balancing profits with purpose. Yasmine’s workplace safety advocacy and leadership have earned recognition from the BBC, CNBC’s Upstart 100 and the City of Philadelphia. Yasmine is a highly sought-after conference speaker. A two-time TEDx speaker, Yasmine has also presented at the prestigious SXSW and CES conferences, sharing her deep passion for harnessing technology for positive change. Beyond her professional life, Yasmine enjoys time spent with friends and family, exploring the outdoors, biking, and hiking. She also dedicates her time to the boards of Coded by Kids, Leadership Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies.

1 thought on “Safety Tips for Security Officers”

  1. 👍 Great tips for security officers! Safety is a top priority in this line of work, and these suggestions are spot on. 🛡️ It’s essential to stay vigilant and well-prepared to ensure the safety of everyone. Thanks for sharing this valuable information! 🙌 #SafetyFirst #SecurityProfessionals 💼🔒

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