Security guards support the critical task of protecting businesses and events from theft, vandalism or intrusion. Upholding such an important and vital duty requires lots of gear. That’s why it is critical that each security guard has the most tactical of equipment and accessories to his or her disposal to protect not only themselves, but also the property they are assigned to.
Here’s a collection of the top 10 items that nearly all security guards should have. The equipment needed is practically identical as that of a police officer.
1. Security Guard Baton
Security guard batons are the perfect companion for a security officer while on duty. This non-lethal weapon offers self-defense as well as extra protection within easy reach. Batons are not just an alternative choice to defending yourself against an aggressor, but they also play a visual deterrent role.
The baton is amongst the oldest items of law enforcement equipment and is widely used to control and disperse non-compliant people. Just the fact that how a police or security officer carries his or her baton can sometimes de-escalate or even escalate a situation, says a lot about the weapon’s positive deterrent effect. Remember, batons are one of the most essential pieces of equipment in your work as a security guard.
*Note: In most states you will be required to complete a training course to carry and use a baton while on duty. The security officer must also carry a copy of the certification card issued by the trainer showing he is authorized to use the device. Most baton training manuals (California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services‘ course is a good model) cover topics that include:
(1) Moral and legal aspects of baton usage.
(2) Use of force.
(3) Baton familiarization and uses.
(4) First aid for baton injuries.
(5) Fundamentals of baton handling.
- (A) Stances and grips.
- (B) Target areas.
- (C) Defensive techniques.
- (D) Control techniques.
- (E) Arrest and control techniques.
Batons can also be useful for defending against those who are unarmed yet still violent, as well as breaking down doors and windows to assist trapped subjects where danger is certain.
An item as what most would consider as being insignificant yet is extremely important is the flashlight. The flashlight helps keep security guards and law enforcement personnel attentive and visually perceptive in the darkest of patrols.
This solid material shafted club that just happen to have a light source at one end, is the most used item of all the equipment that is needed for security work in general and most importantly, the only item which may be utilized as a ‘weapon’ without a license. And I’m not talking about one of those tiny flashlights, I am talking about the big stinger-type that the police use.
Flashlight can be of great value to a security guard in a combat setting. Whilst the flashlight makers usually refuse to admit their function, many of us recognize the fact that the weight and sturdiness are designed into the flashlight also for hitting purposes.
While no specialized instruction is required in order to carry a flashlight, there are exercising programs that you could sign up for that may coach you how to properly use one in hostile situations. There are three basic techniques that can be used, along with the flashlights ability to produce a blinding light. Those techniques are: high thrust, mid level thrust, and a low thrust.
Needless to say, the flashlight is another essential item of equipment that a security officer must carry.
Ahh, your feet. Every security officer understands the need for faster, lighter footwear that can handle the most extreme conditions a security officer’s foot has to conquer. We’re talking cold, heat, rain, snow, mud and you name-it.
Because most security guards spend their shifts walking around on patrol, wearing boots that are not only comfortable and water tight, but that have also a reputation for wearing well is very important. A good pair of boots can certainly make a 15 hour shift just a little bit more bearable.
Remember, the last thing you need is cheap shoddy footwear that make you uncomfortable and needs replacing at further expense. I can’t emphasize this enough. Choose a pair of comfy boots. You’ll use them every day for the following year or two, and certainly nothing reduces morale as much as hurting feet. Blisters can ruin even the finest day.
Most security guard boots mainly cover the foot and the ankle and extend up the leg. Virtually all uniforms require a pair of black boots, but you’ll want to talk with your recruiter first before buying some good quality boots for yourself. I’d recommend “tactical boots” used by police officers. These are basically very comfortable protective boots made out of leather or synthetic material, or a combination of both.
4. Security Guard Duty Belt
The central point of a security officer’s authoritative posture is his or her multifunctional duty belt, also known as a gun belt. A good belt positions your usual tools such as handcuffs, radio, baton, taser, mag pouch, medical gloves with wipes, handgun, oc spray and flashlight right where you want them. The more streamline and organized that you make it the better.
Make sure you purchase the appropriate size with holders for everything you’re putting on your belt so when confronting difficult situations reloading is effortless. A leather or nylon duty belt along with its inner trouser belt is recommended. Duty belts wrap around the officer’s waist and fasten with a buckle at the front. They are a common accessory among police and security professionals and often carry more than 20 lbs of equipment and average 2 1/2 inches in width.
5. Pepper Spray
One of the preferred techniques for many security guards and law enforcement personnel to temporarily repress an attacker or unlawful individual is the pepper spray. The product is distinctively designed to be distributed straight towards the face and eyes of an assaulter who is standing in front of you. It causes the eyes and face to feel like they’re on fire and makes the attacker choke for a breath of fresh air.
In many states however, security guards may need to undergo pepper spray training. This training teaches security personnel how to use Oleoresin Capsaicin (OC) – commonly known as Pepper Spray, in a safe and reliable manner. Officers are trained through not only the use of in-class instruction, but also through hands-on practical situations and feeling the impact of the spray. This is done so they can understand how and when to properly use it while on duty.
There are many types of pepper sprays and they do come come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. However the UDAP brand of pepper sprays seems to have great reviews. Here are a few OCs that you can look at from the UDAP brand.
When it comes to protective work every piece of equipment a security guard can utilize to execute his or her tasks properly and competently is critical. But handcuffs are maybe the most utilized tool of all the security personnel gear and they do a great job at eliminating additional personal injuries to criminals, as well as security officers.
The vast majority of security officers carry 2-3 sets on their belts so they can apprehend multiple perpetrators if they are alone. Handcuffs are handy to have since they help the security officer to contain an intruder until the police arrives.
Handcuffs are available in a variety of models and brands. They are usually made from various metals, including carbon steel, stainless steel and aluminum.
*Note: Police handcuffs are the best product. They are quite strong and more difficult to pick the lock than generic handcuffs.
7. Binoculars & Digital Camera
Very few people have to work with binoculars or long distance scopes frequently at work, unless they are a security guard or in the armed service. This instrument is often key in keeping a sharp watch for illegal activity from afar and makes the security guard’s job much easier to promptly respond to suspicious activity.
For the trendsetting security team member, a digital camera with video capabilities can be a nice addition to his or her gear. Disturbing, often shocking and even funny clips or pictures can be caught on digital camera. The pictures of a crime scene or the footage of a property or people that you record can make it far easier for you as a security guard to explain to your superiors different activities and circumstances that occur. This can be particularly helpful if you’re forced to go to court to testify.
8. Taser Gun
The stun gun is one the most recent components of law enforcement equipment that is definitely starting to be utilized more often by security guards and law enforcement personnel. The nice thing about these taser guns is that they work well at neutralizing a suspect while still being able to induce little to no harm at all.
If you are a security guard and require a taser device as part of your job, you would probably be more interested in the M26C or the X26C devices. These are the most widely used taser models in law enforcement today. By using neuromuscular incapacitation (NMI) technology a taser gun is the first system short of lethal force that can truly temporarily repress or stop a focused attacker by leaving him or her incapacitated so an officer can make the arrest.
A typical taser gun shoots out 2 darts attached to 15 feet of wire that can penetrate through most articles of clothing while inflicting 50,000 volts. The high voltage (which, in itself is not dangerous. When you think of it ; a human being can easily receive a 25,000-volt jolt of static electricity — static charge is caused by a buildup of electrons on an object — from a doorknob on a dry day without harm) over-rides the central nervous system providing massive takedown power.
*Note: Tasers are lawful practically in most U.S. states. However, tasers are restricted in from use in the following states: NY, RI, MI, MA, NJ, WI, HI, & IL.
Almost certainly one of the most important pieces of equipment an armed security guard will ever use is his or her gun. There are two basic types of handguns an armed security officer will carry:
- Revolver, (most security guards today use 9 mm or .38 special minimum calibers) which is a replication handgun that has a cylindrical tube that contains multiple chambers and a minimum of one barrel for firing.
- Semi Automatic, (Colt 1911 Combat Commander Pistol, 4012XSE or a Smith & Wesson S & W 9 mm semi automatic are standard) a handgun that automatically self-loads, but will only fire one round per trigger pull.
Most armed security guards use a revolver as they are simple to handle and less likely to jam than the semi-auto. But a gun, much like a baton, is an impact weapon and provides the security officer with positive visual deterrent while providing direct protection of property from illegal activity. Simply the idea that it’s there in your duty belt and inside your holster can keep a location in balance and under control.
10. Bulletproof Vest
Another critical piece of equipment (if not the most critical) a security officer will ever use and must use is his or her bulletproof vest. It is a documented fact that the security industry, justice, and professional public establishments are at high-risk for violence and considered high risk occupations by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. They assert – personnel in these high-risk establishments and professions should be mindful of the risk and take steps to ensure a safe workplace. Using a vest not only enhances your safety as a security guard but people young and old take you much more seriously when they can see that you have one on as well.
We are of the opinion that security guards should be given the option to be issued bulletproof vests by their employer if they want to wear one on duty since this type of armor can protect you against most pistols, shotguns, rifles, knives and small explosions.
While we understand that an officer standing outside of a public building in downtown Phoenix in a 100% polyester uniform during the height of summer will probably not wear a thick bulletproof vest ; we believe that virtually anyone wearing shiny tin on their chest must back it up with a vest.
This live fire demonstration video ([below] the President of “Discreet Body Armor LLC” is shot at point blank range) illustrates the ability of the vest to protecting frontline personnel against modern day violent attacks.