It is vitally important for security personnel to maintain accurate and informative reports on a daily basis. The function of a security team is to identify and act on potential threats in terms of malicious individuals, fire, equipment malfunctions and any other event that could cause harm to civilians or damage to and loss of property. One of the most effective tools for identifying and addressing threats is by reporting them daily. Some threats may not be apparent to individual security guards, only when they are brought to the attention of other staff members, do they become apparent.
There are four primary types of report that security guards should complete. The incident report is completed when a specific incident, such as a robbery, takes place. The fire report should be completed after a fire as damaged property. The unusual activity report is completed if something out of the ordinary has taken place or been observed. These three reports are completed after specific events take place and used with the daily report to create a picture of what happened and what led up to the event.
Aside from supporting event reports, the daily report serves several other essential functions.
A daily activity report is usually filled in by a security guard at the end of, or during a shift.
The report can be used in a court of law.
Daily reports can be used as to corroborate evidence and testimony provided by security guards. It is essential that they are detailed and truthful. This can be useful when dealing with insurance claims and in litigation.
They can be used after the fact.
Reports can be helpful to law enforcement agencies or fire protection services by providing them accurate and true evidence. If there is an incident such as a fire or robbery, law enforcement agencies can use the report to identify suspicious activities.
If there has been a fire in a building, fire protection agencies are trained to look for signs of arson. If a daily report shows that there was nothing out of the ordinary in an area, it may be suspicious that there was a fire and arson investigators will look into it.
If the property has been stolen, the daily report can be useful to the police by showing them at what time the event may have occurred. For example, if a window was discovered to be broken at 5 am and the report states that is was in order at 3 am then it is reasonable to assume that the event must have occurred between 3 am and 5 am.
A security guard may report that machinery was running in a section of a building. They may not have the expertise to determine which machines should be running when. By reporting the running machinery to the maintenance manager, they could avoid fire or damage to machinery should if it is not meant to be running.
Identify property damage.
A daily report is the easiest way for damage such as blown light bulbs, leaking pipes or exposed electrical wiring to be discovered, reported and dealt with. For example, a guard may report a small leak in time for it to be repaired before it becomes a major issue.
If used correctly, a daily reporting process can be helpful to the guards themselves as well as the company that has hired them.
In terms of creating processes
Any process needs to be tested and adapted if needed. By keeping a daily report, guards are able to identify potential areas for improvement across the whole security process. For example, if multiple guards report that they had to return to the security room halfway through their shift, to charge their radios, new batteries should be bought.
In terms of training
The daily report can be used as a training guide for new guards to follow. It will be a reference for them in their daily activities.
In terms of protecting the guards
The daily report can protect a guard from litigation and dismissal if it can be shown that they followed procedures leading up to an event.
How should a daily report be written?
In order for a daily report to be useful, it needs to:
Have clear information. The guards should use simple but detailed information at all times. No jargon should be used, a civilian should be able to read it and understand it.
Contain photos or video where relevant. If something needs to be reported, such as a leak, there should be photographic evidence with a timestamp.
Include a checklist where necessary. If a guard needs to perform a routine check, it would be a good idea to include a checklist as a reminder.