Stand out performance and attention to detail will bring a security guard personal satisfaction and keep the security company that they work for impressed with their work ethic and professional prowess. I had a conversation with the general manager of a luxury hotel in Alexandria, VA and he was saying that he expects security guards to be professional and effective while on duty. Being professional and effective not only a matter of consistently being on watch, security guards also are constantly listening for unusual sounds and clues to events not typical of the surroundings of their post. This applies regardless of whether a guard is working for security companies in Maryland, Washington DC or Virginia. Here are five things to keep your eyes on when providing hotel security.
Dangerous Environmental Situations
Hotels are very grateful when an alert guard helps them avoid a legal suit or disruptive event. Reporting a spill or wet spot where a hotel guest or employee could slip and fall is an important part of keeping the location safe. Any type of leak could become a hazard. Reporting these observations prevents injuries.
Security guards perform heroic tasks all day and night long. Identifying and observing a package and calling in assistance, waiting to keep the package isolated and untouched until first responders get to the sight are all functions that can be just as life preserving as those taken on by the bomb squad. When a security guard understands how critical preventative measures are, their actions can determine whether or not a injury or loss of life occurs. Unattended packages are a concern regardless of where you work. However, the volume of high profile guests and locations of hotels protected by security companies in Maryland, Virginia or Washington DC require security guards to have a higher level of vigilance.
Observing Unusual Circumstances
Trained observers find it increasingly easier to know what behaviors are typical in a specific environments and which need more attention. In a hotel environment there is a range of clientele, from business people, to wedding and romantic situations, families with all kinds of dynamics, and the list goes on. There is a difference between pranks and mischievous vacation behaviors and behaviors that signal the intent to break the law. Security guards on patrol in a hotel environment learn to pick their battles. When it is necessary to confront a hotel guest, the exceptional security guard has the skill to leave a guest with a positive attitude about their encounter. It is always wise to diffuse a situation and refrain from taking excessive actions that could create a negative response, which could possibly escalate the situation. Learning to choose the right words that will reduce alarm or invite any angry response is a key to keeping control of the situation. Mastering this skill is an important skill that is appreciated by security companies and the clients they serve.
Suspicious Behavior or Occurrences
There are things going on in public places that citizens may be completely unaware of. The trained observer will pick up on doors that are normally secured being left open, unusual methods of doors being propped open, and people who just don’t seem in place in a certain environment. Behaviors like people, (maybe a group of teenagers), standing around as if acting as a “look out”, or seemingly watching out are more obvious to trained security than to the average bystander. It is critical that guards know the appropriate response policies for these types of situations and have their contact phone numbers, (fire emergency, police and vice squad, medical emergency, etc.), handy at all times. Hotel management wants to be alerted when unusual activity is happening on their property or if their paying guests are being annoyed by loud parties, inappropriate guests behaviors, or visitors breaking the law in the hotel or parking lots.
Visibility in Public Places
Security increases in a hotel environment with the visible presence of an officer. Just from the role that a patrolling security guard plays in a hotel, people see guards as an authority to run to in an emergency. When a person needs your assistance, there are policies about leaving your post. Be sure to inform your field supervisor in an emergency. Even when a dangerous situation has been averted or addressed, a security guards’ watch is still in play. Guards are still observing and ready to report all aspects of an incident to field supervisors, police, and other appropriate authorities.
When protecting their post at a hotel, a security guard may see illegal behaviors, (suspected prostitution, drug trafficking, or child abuse), that are occurring without the knowledge of the hotel management. These types of activities may require additional back up like in the case of a drug situation, robbery, or armed assault. The first consideration is the immediate safety of the people within the hotel. Quietly inform first responders to alert them to the incident and get people in a safe location. Do not attempt to confront these criminals, just clear the area without overt actions and maintain watch if it is safe to do so. Take note of helpful information, license plates, make and model of vehicles and descriptions of people involved. As in any situation, a security guard must use their trained observation skills at all times.