Security guards provide a unique and vital service to a large range of businesses in many different industries. They play an important role in keeping the areas they watch, safe and secure by protecting the clients, assets, staff and customers.
A security guard is much more than another set of eyes and ears watching, patrolling and recording activities. Security guards also need to possess customer service skills due quite often to the amount of interaction they have with customers and staff, security guarding is not only patrolling and remaining vigilant but also is the extension of the client and their company.
What Is A Security Guard?
A major function of a security guard is to work as a deterrent. Their presence of watching over buildings, property, infrastructure, events and people is effective in deterring and preventing criminal activity.
A security guard also provides surveillance on people and property through regular patrols and physical inspections. By doing this, instances of unruly behaviour, theft, vandalism, fire, terrorism and other illegal activities through regular monitoring are reduced.
What Do Security Guards Do?
Security guards have a wide range of responsibilities and can cover a wide range of industries:
- Perform regular security checks of specific locations in the area
- Provide restricted access to staff, visitors, clients and outside contractors
- Apprehend criminals and hold them for authorities Police
- Comprehensive note taking and report writing
- Monitor closed-circuit TV in-house camera and alarm systems
- Enforce laws and regulations on property being protected
Static guards perform various other duties depending on the specific job site. Here are a few examples:
1. Retail Stores
A loss prevention officer’s job is to protect stock, staff, and prevent theft through proactive guarding. This type of security guarding requires an alert security guard who can observe people’s behaviour and deter, and if need to, apprehend an offender.
2. Office Buildings/Residential Concierge
Corporate and concierge security guards maintain order and provide protection to property, staff and customers in these settings. Quite often, these security guards are the first point of contact for customers, staff, residents and guests entering the premises. Having a guard who presents well, communicates effectively and can provide tasks pertaining to the particular site is extremely important.
3. Museums/Art Galleries
Static guards protect exhibits and artwork through monitoring of people and the inspection of mail and freight coming into or exiting the facility. The value of the items in a museum and art gallery can be priceless. In conjunction with static security guards, CCTV surveillance systems constantly monitor foot traffic during opening hours and also after hours.
4. Warehouses/Government Buildings/Military Bases
Security guards check and verify licenses and permits of people and vehicles that come and go daily from a private and government sites. The role they have in protecting products and information contained on these sites is paramount depending on the nature of assets protected. These can range from general merchandise, to specialised equipment and high-value stock that requires surveillance and special access to restricted areas.
5. Educational Facilities/Parks/Stadiums
Security guards in larger crowd settings play a different role, quite often these guards will have extra certication eg traffic controller to assist with direct carpark traffic, ushering of guests and visitors on to the premises as well as maintain crowd control duties by monitoring crowd behaviour.
Crowd control officers are the initial greeting that a patron will see when entering a premises. The role can be varied such as checking ID, scanning ID, ensuring patrons waiting in line in accordance with RSA before getting to the entrance. Gone are the days of the bouncer, these days, venues want their customers to enjoy the experience from the moment the patron walks in the door, gets their first drink or sits down and has a meal and security play an important role in that experience.
7. Airports/Train Stations/Transportation Depots
Security guards protect commuters and travellers, transportation infrastructure and freight at transport hubs and surrounding areas. Quite often these locations will have thousands of people passing through the terminals in a day. In this environment, travel is so much more accessible to travellers whether it be for leisure or business, protecting these types of infrastructure security guards cover many different aspects such as patrolling, back checks and body scanning to name a few.
What Does It Take To Be A Security Guard?
The most common traits that make a good candidate for a security guard job is someone who is honest, observant and has common sense. You must also be able to lead others as well as follow directives issued to you.
Good communication skills will ensure that everything is clearly understood both when you are providing and receiving instruction. Being able to think on your feet and make quick and accurate decisions under pressure will also be a plus.
Finally, as this job can involve a lot of walking, sitting and driving you must be in good physical shape. If you have these traits, you have a lot of what it takes to be a good security guard.
What You Need To Be A Security Guard
A security guard must undergo a comprehensive training course to meet the requirements of each state. In NSW, a security guard must complete a 2 week training course and additional day to complete their first aid certificate. If a security guard wishes to work in a specific field, they will need to undergo further training in their preferred field of security work. Class 1 licenses are classified into sub-classes. The sub-classes are:
- Class 1A Unarmed Guard authorises the licensee to patrol, protect or guard any property while unarmed (and whether while static or mobile)
- Class 1B Bodyguard authorises the licensee to act as a bodyguard or to act in a similar capacity
- Class 1C Crowd Controller authorises the licensee to act as a crowd controller or to act in a similar capacity
- Class 1D Guard Dog Handler authorises the licensee to patrol, protect or guard any property with a dog
- Class 1E Monitoring Centre Operator authorises the licensee to patrol, protect or guard any property while carrying on monitoring centre operations
- Class 1F Armed Guard authorises the licensee to patrol, protect or guard approved classes of property while armed (but only under the authority of a licence or permit to use or possess firearms under the Firearms Act 1996).
Important: A Class 1A, 1B, 1C, 1E or 1F licence does not authorise the licensee to carry on a security activity with a dog.
All holders of operator licences must be employed by a Master licensee.
For all types of security work, whether it be as a static security guard, crowd controller, or close personal protection relative past experience would assist you greatly, however having the right attitude, presentation and work ethic is so important.
For more information on becoming a security guard, please click here.
To find out more about this challenging and equally rewarding career choice, contact Urban Protection for information today.