Since March, the country has been experiencing an upheaval of daily life due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. The “new normal” for many cities throughout the nation was defined by shuttered businesses, stay-at-homes orders, rising unemployment rates and general uncertainty as to what else the pandemic would bring.
Even as some places begin to see things return to a semblance of normalcy, health and safety protocols are constantly changing as the number of cases ebb and flow from week to week. Despite the ambiguity, there is one thing that remains constant – the need for security. Security professionals are being called upon more now than ever before to protect people and property. New security concerns are emerging as businesses begin to reopen under strict health and safety guidelines. Social distancing protocols must be enforced unlike ever before.
With the increased need for COVID-19 security guard services, there comes an even greater challenge for security officers to do their jobs while staying safe amidst the pandemic. If you are a security guard, it is in your best interest to understand as much as you can about staying safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
Why are security guards essential during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Retail establishments, healthcare facilities, corporate business parks, restaurants and many other businesses are dealing with different security concerns than in the past due to the pandemic. Many business owners and staff members struggle to properly enforce the social distancing procedures while maintaining the daily operations of their businesses. Some businesses have experienced outbursts and violence from irate customers who refuse to follow safety protocols. Still others have closed their doors and worry about looters, thieves and vandals threatening their vacant properties.
In the current state of the country, professionally trained security guards are the best way to deter crime and ensure that your business remains vigilant about enforcing health and safety protocols. Guards have specialized knowledge and skills that enable them to identify suspicious behavior, interact appropriately with the public and enforce rules in a fair yet firm manner. To be even more effective, security guards should be aware of advanced recommendations for managing the virus while working for a client and with members of the public.
How can security guards protect themselves and others?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have outlined specific guidelines for protecting yourself and others from contracting and spreading COVID-19. In addition to following the basic guidelines, security guards should take additional steps to safeguard themselves and the people they are hired to protect.
Maintain all basic health and safety protocols.
To minimize your risk and reduce the chances of spreading the virus to others, security guards must take fundamental precautions such as maintaining a distance of six feet from other people as much as possible, washing hands frequently, using hand and surface sanitizers and avoiding touching your face. In addition to taking these precautions themselves, security guards should enforce any other basic protocols on behalf of their clients. The reality is that security guards will have to engage with the public in order to fulfill their functions. Taking the necessary precautions is just one way to prevent the spread of the virus.
Use personal protection equipment consistently.
If you’ve traveled in an airplane, you know that in the event of an emergency you should secure your oxygen mask before assisting others with their masks. The same concept applies to COVID-19 protection when dealing with the public. While on duty, guards should wear the necessary PPE such as masks, eye covers and gloves. Request these items from your client. If the client does not provide the appropriate PPE, procure them on your own. Protecting yourself will allow you to better protect others.
Recognize the symptoms of COVID-19.
Security guards have ample interaction with the public. During the pandemic, security guards should take the time to learn the signs and symptoms of the virus. By being able to identify a potentially infected person, security guards can take the necessary precautions, deny them access to the premises or report the risk to your customer. Signs of the coronavirus can include cough, body aches, sore throat, difficulty breathing and fever.
Report exposure and take the appropriate measures.
As with any safety or security threat, guards should understand the proper channels for reporting potential exposure to COVID-19. Document the incident and the response procedures taken. By carefully reporting the incident, guards can help to stop the spread of the virus before it gets out of control. It can also help the customer be proactive about communicating the potential exposure to their customers and staff members.
Security guards have been essential during the coronavirus pandemic. While they continue to do their jobs, guards must be extra vigilant about following health and safety protocols. By following the suggestions above, security guards can significantly reduce their personal risk and the risk to others.
When you need security personnel who aim higher
Call Off Duty Officers, Inc. to find out how we can serve your business.
Off Duty Officers, Inc. provides armed and unarmed, off duty law enforcement and security personnel for both short- and long-term assignments. Contact us for an instant