The Power of Observation Skills for Security Guards
When we think of security guards and their skills, the first thing that pops into our minds is not usually observation skills. We tend to think about their demeanor, their physical presence and their defensive skills.
We often overlook the power of observation skills for security guards.
When it comes to maintaining safety and security, security guards are the unsung heroes of our daily lives. Whether stationed at a commercial property, event venue, or public space, their primary responsibility is to protect people and property from potential threats. While physical strength and the ability to react quickly are essential, a security guard’s most powerful tool is their observation skills.
The ability to keenly perceive and interpret their surroundings can make all the difference in ensuring a safe environment. In this blog, we will explore the significance of observation skills for security guards and provide valuable tips on how they can sharpen their senses to be more effective in their roles.
We breakdown the types of observations skills security guards have and how the application of these skills helps them to better perform their role.
The Importance of Observation Skills
Observation skills are the foundation of a security guard’s effectiveness. These skills enable them to detect and prevent potential security breaches, identify suspicious behavior, and respond promptly to emergencies. A vigilant security guard can thwart criminal activity before it escalates, thus enhancing the overall safety and peace of mind for those they protect.
Where do they learn these skills?
The security industry is highly regulated. All security guards are required to undertake specific training that meets the requirements for security guard licensing in their state or territory. The course they must complete is called the Certificate II in Security Operations. This course taught in an accelerated, face-to-face workshop.
What observation skills are they taught?
Security guards are taught a variety of specialist observation skills as a part of their training. Let’s unpack some of those skills below.
During their training, security guards learn several key observation skills that help them to complete their role more effectively.
Security guards should undergo specialized training to develop their situational awareness. This training teaches them to stay alert and focused on their surroundings, recognising potential threats even in crowded or busy environments.
Familiarity with the Environment
Guards are taught to take the time to familiarise themselves with the layout of the premises they are assigned to. Knowing the exits, blind spots, and vulnerable areas can significantly improve their ability to observe and respond effectively.
Like any skill, observation skills can be honed through regular practice. This is why drills and exercises are incorporated during training to challenge security guards and help them to develop the skills to spot potential threats or unusual behaviors.
Noting Behavioral Patterns
Suspicious Behavior Identification is an essential observational skill for guards. Security guards must be trained to recognise unusual or suspicious behaviors. This includes erratic movements, excessive loitering, and attempts to conceal or abandon items.
Body Language Analysis
Understanding body language is crucial. Guards learn to interpret non-verbal cues such as nervousness, avoidance of eye contact, or aggressive postures, which could indicate potential threats.
Profiling vs. Discrimination
While observation skills are vital, it is essential to strike a balance between profiling suspicious behavior and avoiding discrimination. Guards are trained to focus on behaviors and not make judgments based on appearance or ethnicity.
Technology can complement observation skills. Security cameras and monitors allow guards to extend their surveillance reach and review footage for potential incidents.
Communication Skills and Devices
Security guards should be skilled communicators, capable of relaying observations clearly and accurately to their team and supervisors. Equipping security guards with two-way radios or other communication devices enables them to quickly relay information and coordinate responses with their team.
Detailed Incident Reporting
Security guards are required to provide thorough incident reports, including relevant details such as time, location, individuals involved, and their observations leading up to the incident.
The power of observation skills cannot be underestimated in the role of security guards. Being proactive in identifying and responding to potential threats can prevent incidents, safeguard lives, and protect property. With a combination of awareness training, environmental familiarity, and regular practice, security guards can sharpen their observation skills to become more effective in their roles.
By utilising technology and emphasising clear communication, they can provide a safer and more secure environment for everyone they serve. As society continues to face diverse security challenges, investing in the development of observation skills for security personnel remains of paramount importance. That’s why at Asset College we focus on developing this skill and others for our security guards in our courses.