During the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, all over the world, security guards are seeing their roles change as they’ve been enlisted to assist the community and the government in combating the COVID-19 in what can once have been seen as non-traditional security roles. The coronavirus pandemic has turned things upside down for few security services firms, industry leaders say. Few companies whose workforces are already working at near capacity have been deluged with new requests for security services. This is positive since most security firms in the marketplace welcome new business. But even companies that contain the built-in capacity for growth and are willing for demand spikes during holiday festivals and other mega-events are being strained. As you can imagine, it is very challenging. People who never had security now have the require for it. And some of them also have expectations that are almost unreasonable.
For instance, one popular request has been for security officers who are able to conduct COVID-19 screening measures such as taking temperatures. Also to new clients that want security services, another demand is also coming from some people like healthcare facilities. And some of these longtime clients want the new officers to do more medical-related tasks. Officers are being challenged to take on duties that otherwise, they were not doing just a couple of weeks ago. In these challenging conditions, it is up to the security services company to make sure that the health and wellbeing of individual security officers is the top priority. Companies are making sure to offer training to protect populations.
Protecting a firm’s workforce includes, among other things, making sure the security officers will have the necessary supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) once they’re on site. Officers can also be trained to minimize their own risk of catching COVID-19 by doing things like not really touching IDs when they’re checking them and maintaining social distancing whenever possible, which can be a challenge. And not every customer is ramping up their security. Some companies, like hotels and other hospitality industry firms, and temporarily closing a few facilities, so their security requirements are cut back.
Hospitality industry staffers who have discovered themselves out of work because of closures are now applying for jobs as security officers. These involve beverage and food service employees, wait staff, bartenders, and more. Workers from other affected industries, like real estate agents, are applying too. Sometimes, current security officers are asking if friends and loved ones who are newly unemployed can apply to the firm. Some of the new applicants will get turned into promising new officer hires. Once hired, they get significant training before they start working in the field. From a security standpoint, the pandemic has highlighted the technology importance as a force multiplier. In potentially virus-ridden environments, systems such as video access control and drone surveillance with video analytics can bolster a security force. Security officers will not be replaced. The human element has to be part of the overall security program always but technology can increase their efforts.
Finally, for all its tragic qualities, the pandemic has been a chance for security officers to shine, as they’ve juggled health hazards, family responsibilities, and new on-site challenges to succeed in their mission. It is being a huge illustration of how dedicated the officers in this industry are. During this unprecedented time, security firms in the United Kingdom also are asking their teams to pivot. From planning the security and logistics for the world’s large critical care units for treating patients with coronavirus, the NHS Nightingale, to performing free local patrols to customers’ premises during the lockdown to volunteering to assist the elderly, vulnerable or at-risk individuals who are unable to leave their houses, security companies of all sizes are stepping up to the challenge. In some short weeks, the sight of a security guard outside stores has become commonplace to make sure the safety of shoppers, limit the number of people who can enter a shop at any one time, and make sure social, or physical, distancing is maintained in stores. Prior to COVID-19, the retail guarding focus was traditionally aimed towards loss prevention and employee safety, although yet a problem, it is no longer its sole focus.
In most supermarkets, markings have been installed to indicate a 2-meter spacing distance which clients are asked to observe. Markings have also been installed outside stores so clients queuing to enter maintain safe distances of 2 meters. Store managers are being given the discretion to apply crowd control systems at store entrances for limiting the number of customers permitted in stores by positioning security guards at store entrances to aid support this new policy. Luckily, some security companies were already equipped to meet the new challenges posed by the COVID-19 coronavirus before its outbreak. Thanks to new and improving security software, customers can have clear visibility into what is happening at a vacant site through their own client portals. If an incident should happen, instant notifications are also sent and received by the appropriate person. The head office can communicate information directly with teams on sites through message boards. If commands change, info can be sent via updated post orders and verified if the new instructions are acknowledged. It is precisely this type of future-proof technology that is aiding keep security guards safe as they work to keep the world a safer place. By adopting readily-available technology like cloud applications that are optimized through cellular networks, security firms can be more efficient and raise the value of the service that they provide.
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