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More security guards are killed on duty than police officers.
That’s a shocking fact.
But you can see how it might happen. Indeed, they’re often the first line of defense against intruders, thieves, and general rule-breakers. More often than not they’re the first to the scene of an issue. It’s unfortunately common to be in harm’s way.
Clearly, security guards don’t have it easy.
Regularly facing danger is simply part of the job description. That reality means these brave men and women need the right training, equipment, and support to maximize their safety at work.
Owning the right equipment is key. Without the requisite gear, it simply isn’t possible to be effective in the role. But what exactly should a security guard carry on shift?
Keep reading to learn 13 security gear items that improve a guard’s ability to defend themselves at work.
Are you a security guard? You never know what you might come up against at work.
That’s why certain gear is essential to own at all times. Here’s a checklist of items to make sure you have everything you need to defend yourself on shift.
Security guards operate at all times of day and night.
They can often find themselves in darkness. Effectively patrolling the area demands the ability to be aware of the surroundings. That’s where flashlight becomes so important. In the absence of natural light, a torch makes all the difference.
Sight is essential to self-defense. After all, you have to be able to see a threat in order to deal with it. Thieves and intruders tend to prefer the dark. Without a torch, a guard is vastly more susceptible to attack.
Flashlights are multi-purpose too.
These are often heavy-duty pieces of equipment. They’re long-handled and solid chunks of metal. Attributes such as these make them a great striking device in challenging violent situations.
It’s often just as important to be seen as it is to see.
The stereotype of a security guard may be blacked-out clothing. And that’s often the case.
But not always. Take busy working environments where heavy equipment and vehicles are in operation. Here, high visibility clothing is essential to avoid being hurt.
Likewise, in crowd-enforcement roles, high-vis can act as uniform. Guards quite literally stand out from the crowd and people know to respect your authority.
You wouldn’t expect a tradesman to work in a warehouse without proper footwear.
The same goes for security guards. It’s a demanding role. They’re on their feet for hours at a time, patrolling and securing the area. Comfortable, well-suited boots can provide the necessary comfort to endure a long shift.
Moreover, a pair of solid boots can make a big difference in a violent encounter. They serve a protective purpose. The guard’s feet are less likely to be injured in a scuffle. However, boots can also do serious damage when used in force.
They’re a comfort, shield and weapon all rolled into one.
Proper security often comes down to good communication
It’s vital that a guard can communicate with their colleagues, employer and law enforcement. Otherwise, you’re totally isolated in problematic situations.
Radios and/or mobile phones become essential to self-defense. You let others know when you notice an issue. They come to your aid, and you go to theirs.
A security guard needs certain gear to function as self-defense and deterrent.
Various weapons can be utilized depending on the particular role they’re filling. We’ll talk about more of these throughout the piece.
Batons are a common tool made available. However, they aren’t always allowed. Training is required to wield a baton properly and legally. Likewise, you should qualify your jurisdiction and ask your employer if they’re permissible.
All that aside, batons are effective self-defense tools. They’re hard, strong, non-lethal items that can subdue an attacker without a problem. Batons can do significant damage while being compact and easy to carry.
No-one wants to be hit by a baton. It hurts. That’s why they function as effective deterrents too.
Raising the alarm is essential to getting support in a dangerous situation.
A lone security guard needs support when they come across a problem. Having an alarm or whistle can be an effective way to signal the need for help. Likewise, an alarm or whistle can be a great method of scaring off an intruder. They hear the noise, expect trouble, and run away to avoid being caught.
Both are small and easy to use. But their potential impact on health and wellbeing is huge.
Pepper spray is a truly effective non-lethal way to easily fend off and suppress an attacker.
Used properly, this spray can solve a potentially serious problem in a matter of moments. Aimed at the eyes and face of an intruder, the concentrated capsaicin leads to intense pain, a boiling feeling and sometimes temporary blindness. Click here to learn more about the effects.
Pepper spray is lightweight, easy to use and powerful. However, you have to be close to the assailant for it to be effective.
It’s true that anyone can purchase pepper spray. But you might have to get training to use it legally in your role as a security guard.
A taser is another form of non-lethal weapon sometimes used by security guards.
Again, training is essential and you have to ensure its use is permitted.
Assuming a guard is allowed to use a taser though, these tools can be sure-fire ways to stay safe from attack. The assailant can be as much as 15 feet away for these to be effective. The electric shock subdues and incapacitates without causing excessive bodily harm.
That said. Tasers should absolutely be taken seriously. Indeed, over a thousand deaths have been recorded in the US from their use.
Guns are serious bits of kit.
The use of a gun should never be taken lightly. After all, life and death are suddenly involved. That said, we’ve already seen how security guard deaths aren’t uncommon. Sometimes it’s necessary to bear arms.
The need for a gun of any kind will depend on the particular job and dangers involved. Certain contexts will demand their use. However, state and local laws will always need consideration. And, of course, you won’t be able to carry a lethal weapon without requisite training and experience.
An added bonus is the higher salary of armed security personnel! Consider investing in the training and expertise required to carry.
A security guard may need a bulletproof (or stab-proof) vest whether or not they carry a gun themselves.
Anyone with the potential to come under fire needs one. They work to protect the vital organs from the impact of bullets and shrapnel. As such, a bulletproof vest can mean the difference between life and death.
What happens once an attack has been warded off?
It becomes necessary to prevent further attack or escape. Security guards need a means of subduing an assailant.
That’s where handcuffs or restraints can come in. With hands and/or feet bound, there’s no-where to go and law enforcement can be called to take them away.
Again though, special training may be required to use either of them properly. Check with your employer before taking them to work.
Workplace injuries happen everywhere. No matter the job, people can get injured at work.
Security guards simply have a much higher chance of it happening.
That’s why it’s always important to have a first-aid kit on hand. A mini kit kept on your person can make a big difference when treating minor injuries at work. You or a colleague may require treatment.
Similarly, it isn’t uncommon for passers-by to ask for your assistance. You’re visible and in a position of authority. They assume you can help with their first-aid needs! Having a mini-first aid kit will mean you can solve their issue quickly and get back to work without delay.
Belts are an essential way to keep everything you carry organized and in one place.
It’s all together. You know where anything you need is situated. You can react quickly and appropriately, whenever a situation arises.
Time is often of the essence. Without a belt, you’d be left searching and fumbling for the right bit of kit. You don’t want to pull the flashlight when you need your gun, or pepper-spray when you need the taser…Wearing a belt stops that being a potential problem.
There you have it: 13 essential security gear items that ensure security guards can do their job safely.
Security is a dangerous field. Whenever they’re on patrol they have the potential to be in danger. After all, they’re there to protect something of value. Intruders, assailants, and troublemakers are common. Unfortunately, workplace injuries and even deaths are fairly common.
That’s why it’s essential that guards are prepared for any situation. They absolutely have to carry the equipment that will mean they can defend themselves effectively.
Hopefully, the checklist above will help ensure you and/or your employees have what they need.
Did you like this piece? Looking for further self-defense tips? Click here to learn how to escape from dangerous situations.
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