What Security Guards Do: A Day in the Life

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what do security guards do

Just a couple of hundred years ago, there were no federal authorities or law enforcement agencies to chase down outlaws.

In 1850, Allan Pinkerton established the Pinkerton National Defense Agency in Chicago. The agency quickly acquired clients like railroad operators and other companies that often fell victim to crooks who robbed cargo trains and passengers.

what modern security guards do

What Modern Security Guards Do

Today, major security agencies still practice this mantra: “detect, deter, observe, and report.”

Before they were called guards, security guards were called watchmen, because they watch over and protect a specific person, group, or place.

But these watchmen do much more than just observe. So the question remains, what do security guards do?

In this article, we’ll run through a day in the life of a security guard by going over all the things that they do!

They Remain Visible, on Purpose

One of the essential requirements of a security guard is to remain visible. Sometimes, the very presence of an authoritative figure who is meant to protect is enough to keep people in line and prevent crime.

If a person notes a security guard, they’ll be less likely to attempt something illegal or inappropriate.

But there’s an element of discreetness that a security guard must also possess. They must remain obvious and discreet at the same time, and the position they choose in high-traffic areas is crucial and methodical.

They Are ALWAYS Alert

Security guards have a job that’s different than most, in that they must ALWAYS be on point. Think about how many jobs allow for individuals to take a 5-minute smoke break as they please, go for a walk to grab a coffee, or check social media.

Security guards don’t have those options. 

They must be aware of their surroundings at ALL times, and perform ocular pat-downs of every single person in their area.

They must have a keen sense of sight, hearing, and smell to aid in their vigilance.

Having a short attention span or being disengaged are characteristics that won’t get you anywhere as a security guard.

They Maintain Order

At large gatherings, like religious assemblies or political rallies, security guards are responsible for maintaining order. 

The presence of an officer helps prevent volatility, but if things do get out of hand, it’s the security guards who must take charge and calm the crowd.

This requires a lot of skill, excellent social skills, strong physical capabilities, and the ability to act fast.

They Act Fast

Security work requires being able to act quickly and efficiently at ALL times. Most security guards are physically fit as they must be able to stop altercations and rush to catch criminals.

If a security guard is ever preoccupied, a crime or an event could easily go undetected, which is why they must be able to act fast and smart at any given time.

They Have Safety Precautions Knowledge

Being in charge of advising others concerning necessary safety precautions is a considerable responsibility. 

Through experience and extensive training, the best security guards have notions and procedural knowledge of how to approach a myriad of situations to prevent harm.

They Adhere to Policy

Security guards must adhere to all policies provided by their employers. Every space a security guard is tasked with protecting requires a different set of rules and procedures.

Some of the things required of security guards are:

  • Preventing access to forbidden areas
  • Preventing photography or film
  • Searching for concealed weapons
  • Verifying appointments and visitors
  • Respond to emergencies to provide assistance
  • Inspect equipment to ensure proper function
  • Investigate suspicious or illegal activities

While any given security guard performs the same duties over long periods, the possibility of the unknown or dangerous always lingers.

A security guard must always be prepared for the unexpected.

They Determine When to Call for Backup

Every security officer must know when to call the authorities. 

When it comes to robbery or assaults with a weapon, a security guard must be able to act fast by calling for backup.

If a severe injury occurs, security work requires informing paramedics swiftly to save lives before it’s too late.

They Help Guests

What does a security officer do? The answer is a lot. Even though their job is to protect, they often have to act as guest services or a concierge.

They must have excellent memories in case they need to recall an event or an individual.

Plus, people often ask security guards questions that take their attention off the job, like where the bathroom is or what event is about to take place.

Security guards have to multitask and answer guest questions while keeping their senses alert to everyone around them.

They Must Observe and Report

In addition to protecting, security guards must observe and report. This requires a clear recollection of people and events.

A security officer should be able to recall specific occurrences in order so that paramedics and responding officers can act appropriately.

They must know what to report and to whom for every different situation. 

They Save Lives

Security guards are unsung heroes without a doubt. Without well-trained security guards, everyday events, people, and places wouldn’t be protected to the same degree.

Plus, often, it’s the phone call made by a security guard to authorities or paramedics that generate a timely response that saves a life.

What Do Security Guards Do?

They observe, they care, they stay alert, they protect people, they maintain order, they see and report, and they help guests while being aware.

They are trained and prepared to handle anything and everything. And they often save lives.

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