How to survive as a security guard

Following these 5 steps could be the difference between life or death for a security guard.

When someone thinks about law enforcement deaths, security officer deaths is not something that typically comes to mind. In fact, security officers can be at a higher risk for injuries and assaults than police officers due to their proximity to the environment they are securing, demographics they interact with and frequency of engaging with high tension situations. A security guard is typically the first to respond to a violent situation, putting them at the highest risk for injury or even death.

Private Officer International has some pretty incredible statistics on Security Officer deaths in the last 8 years with injuries and assaults seeing a 17 percent increase since 2011.

  • There were 112 on-duty deaths.
  • 103 killed were male; nine were female.
  • The median age of those killed was 46 years old, with the youngest being 19.
  • The top three places officers were killed were: nightclubs, residential areas, and retail centers.
  • The top three places officers were assaulted were: retail centers, nightclubs, and hospitals.
  • Top three causes of death were gunshots (65), trauma (14), and stabbing (9).
  • There were four on-duty confirmed suicides.

Knowing how to handle and de-escalate a potentially violent situation can be the key to avoiding a fatal outcome. Following the steps below can be the difference between life and death for some security guards.

5 Steps to Surviving as a Security Guard

1) Invest in Advanced Training

Training in real-life situation is key to surviving as a SG. Scenario-based exercises prepare you on how to handle confrontation and when to step away. Understanding warning signs through body language, tones, physical presence and environmental conditions helps you evaluate a situation and respond appropriately, which may NOT include engaging with an individual but contacting the proper authorities.

2) Follow De-Escalation Techniques

Establishing strong verbal queues and the ability to talk someone down while maintaining distance is extremely important. Softer verbal and non-threatening tones could be the difference between gaining voluntary compliance from individual or individuals or escalating to a violent event.

3) Recognize Threat Indicators

Seeing someone that is agitated with clenched fists, carrying an item in their hand or aggressive postures are all key indicators of potential physical threats to the site being secured and to the Security Officer. Assess the situation with a level head, maintain contact and if the individual is non-responsive and non-compliant, attempt to safely remove yourself to a safe distance, secure the site and call the proper authorities.

4) Adhere to Check In Protocols

Your company should have a shift supervisor available for officers.  There should be protocols for calling in and checking in on solo, secluded, potential high risk or off-hour posts. Officer safety is paramount and knowing an officers whereabouts should be priority to all security employers.

5) Utilize Security Technologies

Live reporting, GPS tracking, required check-in points protect the officer by providing additional safeguards and gives complete transparency from employer to the client.  

JS Security Consulting offers real-life advanced security training with real-time scenarios and problem solving techniques. Our training includes less-lethal tactics for self-preservation coupled with sound decision-making skills. To learn more about our security guard and less lethal device training classes, visit our website or contact us at 629.201.8071.