Updated: Mar 14
Every day as a security guard can bring something new. That’s why having proper training, a positive attitude, and being invested in your role as a protector are so important. It’s good practice to expect the unexpected, and to be alert and engaged in your environment at all times. Anticipation allows you to do your job effectively and, as a result, helps you keep people safe and the property you protect secure.
Whether you're considering starting a career in security or have just finished your training and want to be prepared for your first shift, this article will give you a general idea what to expect. Every site, every team and every shift is unique, so this article describes what one day in the life of a professional security guard may look like!
As a security guard, it’s important to have had a good sleep before your shift. Having a cool, dark location where you won’t be disturbed is critical, especially if you’re working a night shift and sleeping during the day! Most guards also find it helpful to nap at the same time every day, and to turn off the TV and their electronics at least 30 minutes before they lay down. Being well rested is one piece of the puzzle, but morning routines are also important.
When Ali woke up at 0600 the first thing he did was meditate for 10 minutes. Meditation is a great tool to help calm us, clear our minds, and mentally prepare for the day ahead.
After completing his wake-up routine he makes himself his breakfast at 0630. Some say breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Ali often has scrambled eggs with whole grain toast and milk, or whole-grain cereal with Greek yoghurt and berries. It provides him the energy he needs to get things done, and helps him focus at work. He also makes sure to have some nuts or protein bars to snack on at work when he gets hungry, or if he’s too busy for a sit-down lunch!
After breakfast, around 0700, Ali starts to prepare himself for his shift. He checks his work bag to ensure he has his notebook, the uniform he will wear – and a spare – as well as his gloves, boots and duty belt. He confirms that he has all his equipment together and that it functions properly.
Once Ali is ready, he departs for his shift at 0715. Today Ali is working a major sporting event in his city. Arriving at the event location by 0730, Ali parks his vehicle in the designated lot and makes his way inside to the staff change room. He puts on his uniform and makes sure he presents a professional image. He knows that the way he looks communicates confidence and competence to others and helps to build a cooperative environment on site. Once his personal items are stored securely in his locker, he logs the start of day in his notebook while he waits for the Shift Change meeting to begin.
At about 0745, Ali’s boss brings everyone together in the staff room for announcements and information about the day’s events. Today's posting is a large-scale event, so all guards are advised to be on high alert for any suspicious activity. After the meeting, Ali is prepared for the day, and by 0805 he is out patrolling his designated area.
After regular documentation of his completed patrols and other duties for the morning, Ali heads to his next post in the main public viewing area around 1130. Watching the attendees closely, Ali is looking for any activity that is unusual or behaviour that is out of the ordinary. It’s a great day outside and everyone is enjoying themselves watching the athletes perform, but Ali knows his job is to stay attentive no matter how pleasant or exciting the atmosphere is!
Around 1200 Ali is observing the crowd, and he notices something in the corner of his eye. It looks like a duffle bag has been left next to a garbage can. It could certainly belong to someone, so Ali watches it for a couple of minutes to see if they come back for it.
When the owner does not return, Ali carefully approaches the duffle bag to examine it more closely. As detailed in his Post Orders, Ali radios his supervisor and advises of the suspicious item in his area. Following site protocol, Ali secures the area and makes space for his team to evaluate the scene.
Around 1210 the rest of the team arrives, and they begin to assess the situation. For this type of incident, the supervisor will call in the police to assist. Ali and his team further secure the area, moving people a safe distance from the bag, while reassuring them and providing information to help keep them calm.
Around 1230 the police arrive to evaluate the situation. They look into the bag to see what’s inside. To everyone’s relief, the only things inside were sports equipment. After confirming the area is safe, Ali and his team manage the attendees orderly return to the area.
Immediately after ensuring things are back under control, while his memory is fresh, Ali makes detailed notes of the situation to use in the Incident Report he will start preparing later in the day.
At about 1430 Ali moves to his next post at the entry to the event. His primary duty here is to ensure that no one brings dangerous or prohibited items into the site. Ali knows that to do this job effectively he must understand both his and the patrons’ rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Criminal Code of Canada, and the Trespass to Premises Act. Of particular importance at this event are his authority to search, and his right to deny entrance to the premises as an authorized Agent of the Property Owner.
At about 1630, Ali heads back to the Security Office. Because the police were involved in a situation, he must write an Incident Report to explain everything that happened before, during and after they were called. Ali references his notebook to document each moment that led up to the bag's discovery, the actions he took once the bag was discovered, who was involved, the role of each party and the conclusion of the incident. Even though Ali has up to four days to complete his report, he knows the importance of starting now to ensure it is thorough, accurate and complete. Although it won’t be necessary in this case, when Ali is required to testify in court, his reports are used as a critical part of his testimony.
Before Ali winds down his day, he completes his final perimeter patrol and prepares for his 1745 Shift Change meeting with the next shift. After he participates in updating them on any outstanding issues, Ali changes out of his uniform, collects his personal belongings and at 1815, he heads home for the day. When he arrives, he completes the last task of his workday: carefully examining his uniform for tears, stains or lost buttons before putting it in the wash and checking his equipment to ensure it is still working properly. Once he dries and folds his uniform, he packs everything up and is ready for his next shift. Then he can have something to eat, relax and try to shake off the day he just had. After all, he needs to do the same thing again the tomorrow!
This story is just one example of a potential day in the life of a security guard. Every day is different, and it’s critical to prepare for the unexpected. Tip of Spear’s security guard training provides all the foundational knowledge you need to start your career, and skills to help build professional success as a respected member of the security industry. Check for the next scheduled class and register to get started!