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August 25, 2020

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Guarding

The role of a security guard during COVID-19

Due to the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, security guards have had to change their tactics and behaviours to acclimatise to changing times. Many have been enlisted to help local governments and communities cope with the physical, psychological, and financial ramifications that have resulted from the viral outbreak.

Here, Monica Benoit, writing on behalf of Optimum Security, discusses the changing role of a security guard in helping deal with the pandemic, highlighting how services have been vital to keeping businesses and society safe and secure.

Healthcare security services

Many healthcare security teams have increased their efforts in order to help local communities and governments cope with the pandemic on a site level. For instance, security teams have played a crucial role in helping hospitals deal with the primary admission of patients who have been infected with the coronavirus. They ensure the safe transfer of patients and medical personnel to and from nearby isolation zones.

Security personnel may also be required to cordon off certain areas to protect patients and staff. They may need to place elevators in independent service from time to time and provide access control to various travel routes in and around the hospital that they patrol, as well as providing directions to ensure safe movement.

All this has led to healthcare facilities requiring a greater presence of security guards, demonstrating how vital the sector has been during this time. In addition, many have been trained in optimal hygiene protocols and are helping to educate the public by explaining how best to protect themselves and their loved ones during these precarious times.

Public safety

Many stores have hired security guards or extra security personnel to ensure that the patrons at their stores are protected without compromise. Guards will help reduce the number of customers who can enter the store at any given time to ensure that the government-mandated social distancing protocols are adhered to without issue.

Previously, officers were primarily focused on preventing the loss of goods from vandalism or shoplifting, as well as general staff security. Now, the role needs a greater level of communication skills and an understanding of healthcare protocols to protect customers. This may involve taking temperature checks, occupancy management, or simply advising on best practice during the pandemic. As Peter French, Managing Director of SSR Personnel noted in a recent interview with IFSEC Global, communication has become even more important than it was previously, during the pandemic.

While social distancing has become the ‘norm’ worldwide, there are many individuals who are not abiding by the rules. Security services may therefore be required to monitor areas where social gatherings are taking place, such as public parks, to prevent violation of the rules – particularly in those areas under local lockdown.

Mobile patrol services

Many stores are still closed due to the outbreak. As such, the need for mobile security services has increased exponentially worldwide. In other words, mobile patrols have been dispatched by many security companies to ensure the security of closed and empty offices, retail stores, and commercial outlets (best explained by Foremost Security, here).

They may also be involved in the provision of alarm response hubs, as well as CCTV monitoring. Fire alarm systems will need to be inspected routinely to ensure that they are working as designed, and guards will need to verify false alarms.

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