11 Security Guard Safety Tips

Reduce on-the-job risks and ensure your own personal safety as a security guard by following these tips from security guard training experts.

Your job as a security guard is about protecting the people and property under your domain. To do that effectively, you need to look out for yourself, too.

There’s no replacement for top-notch security guard training, but these tips give an idea of how security guards can take their safety into their own hands.

On-the-Job Risks for Security Guards

Before discussing safety tips, it’s wise to understand the general risks of this job. Every organization and location is unique, of course, so your onboarding training will cover the top risks of that specific job based on its patrons, industry, and other factors.

Overall, the security guard industry is known to be higher risk than average just given its nature. Like any career that puts you in harm’s way to protect others, there’s a higher risk factor. It’s part of why security guards require training and licensure, and it’s reflected in a security guard’s compensation, with pay increasing alongside risk.

Security guards worldwide get injured on the job twice as often as workers on average. Certain jobs, like armored car services transporting cash, have more than twice the injury rate of the average security guard. Assessing, understanding, and preparing for the risk of this career and for whichever specific job you take up is an important part of the journey. It should be one of the first things you consider when looking for jobs, to ensure the workplace you choose matches your appetite for risk.

Otherwise, you may end up in situations that make you uncomfortable. Or, on the other end of the spectrum, you might end up in a role that doesn’t provide the challenge you’re looking for. You don’t want to feel out of your element, but you also don’t want to feel bored or unmotivated.

As you might expect, a security guard’s exposure to violent situations is the top cause of injury. Slipping and/or falling is the second-leading cause, which makes sense when you consider that the role of a security guard includes pursuing suspects, engaging in dangerous environments, and acting quickly.

Other common risks include injury from vehicle accidents and contact with an animal, object, or hazardous substance. Security guarding also carries the risks associated with stress, given that it can be a physically and mentally taxing job. As they pursue, protect, or prepare, security guards have numerous opportunities to hurt themselves. This is the key reason why it’s important for them to stay in good physical shape and undergo extensive training.

By following these tips, security guards can minimize risks and safety concerns on the job.

1. Practice Self-Care

First and foremost, it’s important to take care of yourself off the job so you can be safe and well on the job. Since this career can be stressful and physically strenuous, you should make time for and invest in things that help you relax and recover.

Having a clear mind and healthy body will help you stay safer, be more engaged, and perform at your optimal level. This tip is closely linked with #2.

2. Stay Fit

A huge part of self-care for security guards is physical fitness and regular exercise. The best way to prevent injury from running, standing, lifting, and other tasks common to a security guard’s daily tasks is to stay limber and strong. While general health and fitness tips and routines are great, a fitness regime tailored to security guards and your specific environment is best.

The importance of physical fitness for security guards can’t be overstated. It’s not just about being able to run, lift, and defend but also about maintaining mental health through the health benefits of regular exercise.

3. Elevate Situational Awareness

How well can you observe the area, identify potentially risky situations, and come up with a plan in case something happens to require your response? Not just how well — how quickly?

Situational awareness is the most important skill for a security guard since they are responsible for securing the premises. There’s plenty you can do to improve your own situational awareness, such as learning how to read body language, studying patterns of risky behaviour, and assessing an environment’s unique vulnerabilities and threats.

4. Get Tech-Savvy

The security industry has an endless amount of technological gear to help security guards do their jobs better, easier, faster, and safer. From discreet communication devices to cutting-edge alarm and surveillance systems, a security organization is limited only by its budget and the abilities of its staff.

Surveillance cameras and alarms can help you prepare to defend against an intruder early or even lock down before they can breach the premises. Night-vision scopes and thermal imaging cameras can give security guards an advantage when pursuing and patrolling at night. High-tech vehicles, weapons, armour, and communications offer an exciting and safer experience — if you know how to use them.

5. Know Your Weapons

Security guards carry weapons to protect themselves against assault, but improper use can also result in their injury. Knowing and practising proper techniques and safety protocols, as well as storage requirements, will help avoid injuries from weapons-related accidents.

Securing your weapons is just as important. If they get into the wrong hands, they can be used against you or the public.

6. Stay Current on Training and Licenses

Continuing your security guard training and education will help keep you safer by improving essential skills and discovering the latest safety innovations. Best practices change over time as data reveals new trends, so relying on outdated training can be dangerous.

Training and licensure specific to a company or industry also need to stay up-to-date. This can even be a legal or employment requirement that can risk your job or the company’s regulatory compliance. You have to renew your security guard license every two years, and this process includes training to refresh old and introduce new concepts. Additional ongoing training is also a good idea.

7. Maintain Vehicles and Equipment

Vehicle incidents are one of the top risks of the job, but security guards can limit this danger by keeping vehicles and other safety features properly maintained. While you won’t be the one actually wrenching under the hood, you should be conducting regular maintenance, safety, and damage inspections of patrol cars, bicycles, golf carts, and other security vehicles to find issues promptly so you can call the professionals.

You might use and help monitor a lot of different types of equipment on the job, be it a vehicle like a car or forklift, a piece of machinery, or even parts of the building like a garage door, gate, or HVAC system. Understanding how to keep them in safe working order will help you stay safe and be more confident when using them.

8. Stock and Wear the Right Gear

Your uniform and standard tool kit should include protective gear like rubber gloves, face masks, and anything else to keep you safe in case of exposure to bodily fluids or harmful chemicals. If your workplace deals in dangerous gases, for instance, you should always have access to gas masks in case of an accident, weather event, or other breach.

Weather should also inform how you dress. Protecting yourself from the sun and heat or cold and wind isn’t just about comfort but an essential safety element. Proper footwear is also critical to avoid slips and falls.

9. Learn to Resolve Conflicts

Conflict resolution skills help security guards diffuse tense situations in the hopes of avoiding violence or other unsavory escalations. Managing disputes between patrons, staff, or external parties requires training in non- violent communication and de-escalation techniques.

You can learn how to recognize signs of increasing aggression, use verbal/non-verbal cues to calm individuals, and practice ways to negotiate solutions without resorting to physical force unless absolutely necessary. While a security guard is equipped to use force as necessary, it’s always preferable to find a peaceful and amicable resolution that reduces the anger and frustration on both sides. In many cases, removing one or both.

10. Find Your Team’s Communication Style

Once you’re part of a security team, this tip helps you work better and build stronger relationships. By learning how each member of your team best communicates, you can most effectively partner with them to get the job done. Some coworkers like casual, playful, and friendly relationships and conversations while others might keep it strictly business, preferring to more formal communication styles.

Learn to appreciate and respect everyone’s unique style of communication and you’re bound to get along better while supporting one another’s career goals.

11. Get the Local Scoop

Whether it’s reading the local crime blotter, talking to folks in the neighbourhood, or liaising with other security guards in the area, it’s useful to know what’s going on around you. Recent criminal activity, suspicious vehicles in the area, or even known threats are helpful insights to share around the neighbourhood.

You might also reach out to local law enforcement or other organizations that keep a pulse on shady activity, so you can develop a line of communication. Building local connections and supporting other businesses around yours helps build a safer, more secure community and can make the job a little less stressful.

Master Essential Security Guard Safety Techniques

These safety tips cover the general best practices — but nothing prepares you like official security guard training. If you’re ready to explore this career, get the training you need to earn your security guard license.

Quinn Smith ·

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