A security guard is someone employed by a private or government agency to protect the assets of an employing party by enforcing precautionary measures against a range of potential threats. Security guards may be employed in an office environment, on a building site or in a shopping mall. In many instances they are also employed to provide personal security services such as protecting homes and properties. They may be employed by other individuals or corporations who wish to safeguard their business assets or those of other private parties.
Although security guards may be the protectors of property and individuals, they are also expected to adhere to a code of conduct. This code of conduct requires security guards to use discretion in dealing with others, to have good physical fitness and to act in a courteous, professional manner. It is important for security guards to understand that although they are in a very important position and have a responsibility to uphold, their actions can still be taken into account under the law. As part of their role they are expected to adhere to standards of personal conduct. These standards are in place to prevent breaches of the peace and are designed to deal with potentially dangerous situations.
As with members of the police force, it is unlawful for a security guard to use excessive force when apprehending someone. The use of deadly force is also unlawful when in-house. Therefore, security officers are required to abide by the laws of the country where they are serving. Many countries have security guards that are trained on both an in-house and an out-of-house basis, and most security officers have between five and twelve days of training in their particular jurisdiction.
There are a number of rules governing how security guards should behave in different circumstances. Where security officers are in a position of guarding public buildings and properties, they are expected to maintain order. This is not only to maintain the safety of those people that they are employed to protect but also to maintain order in large gatherings. Security officers are expected to control large gatherings and ensure that there is no disorder. Wherever possible, security guards are also expected to reduce the risk of injury or damage to property.
Another part of their role is to act in emergencies and dangerous situations. If a security guard is required to deal with dangerous situations he/she must be in an adequate physical condition. Security guards must undergo a rigorous course of physical fitness. This ensures that they are strong enough to tackle dangerous situations. Failure to maintain adequate physical fitness could result in disaster.
To maintain order, security guards are also required to be in an appropriate dress code. Most often this stipulation is seen in countries where firearms are employed. Contract security guards working for a private company are not expected to wear uniforms that identify their profession. Instead, uniformed employees in a security company will do. Security guards working for public agencies are expected to wear proper attire in all circumstances.