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Welcome to Security Guard Training Headquarters! We have everything you need to make your life easier as you begin your career as a security guard officer. State specific training requirements, a step-by-step hiring process, potential employers and interviews to help you get hired are just some of the helpful things you'll find here.

Which Security Guard Test Study Method is Right for You?

Every state’s security guard test is just a little bit different. And, while there aren’t necessarily 50 ways to study for your security guard exam, there are at least four main ways. Which is the right study method for you? In this post, we’ll weigh the pros and cons of the most popular study methods.

Choosing the Right Security Guard Exam Study Method

There are four main ways to prepare for your security guard exam. Unless your employer is paying for the whole thing, chances are the actual method of study is up to you. In some cases, these methods can even be combined. Ultimately, your best choice for success depends on how you learn.

  • Self-Paced Courses are great if you’re looking for maximum flexibility and the most control of your schedule. If you’re self-disciplined, these can be an effective way to learn course material. Auditory learners will do best if at least portions of the material are recorded (or if they record it themselves).
  • Study Groups offer an interactive learning atmosphere and a more stimulative approach to study. If you’re easily bored, group study may help you focus. There’s also a greater accountability than with self-paced courses; your group will encourage you to stick to the plan and the schedule.
  • Classes are a good choice if you want to have it all – an experienced instructor, an interactive environment, and a quality curriculum. Both visual and auditory learners benefit from classroom sessions. The downside? A firm commitment in terms of time, and an expensive commitment in terms of cash.
  • Study Guides are best for either the experienced security guard – perhaps one looking to relicense – or when used in conjunction with another method. A budget-friendly alternative to paying for a full classroom course could be to combine a study guide with a good practice test.

Are Security Guard Practice Tests A One-Size-Fits All Study Solution?

The majority of people who use a security guard practice test are satisfied with the results. No matter what method you choose, a good practice exam will familiarize you with the test itself; it’s a valuable way to measure your progress and mark areas that need extra attention.

In combination with your best study method, a security guard practice test will help you prepare for your licensing exam. Being well prepared will settle your nerves and a give you a much greater chance of success!

Pocket Prep has been providing students and professionals alike with mobile study aids since 2011. Check out their Security Guard Practice Test App in iTunes or take a free security guard practice exam right on their website.

4 Study Tips for Your Security Guard Test

Does the idea of even a practice test for security guard licensing exams have you nervous? You know your stuff, but it seems like nothing freezes up like your brain on exam day.

Don’t worry – your condition is common and treatable. Success on exam day is all about preparation.

Preparation starts before you open a book or even circle the test day on your calendar. It starts with making a commitment to yourself to take studying for your job as seriously as you’d take the job itself.

Here are a few ideas to help you maximize your study time and minimize the stress you’ll feel when you sit down to take the test.

Tip #1 – Use a Security Guard Practice Test

Using a security guard practice test does a couple of really great things. It gives you a measurable idea of how you’d do right now on the actual exam. Once you spend some time in studying, re-take the practice test periodically and compare the results; you’ll see how far you’ve come. And, simply by taking the practice test, you’ll help your mind become accustomed to the exam process. Yes, you’ll still have jitters, but they’ll be lessened.

Tip #2 – Make a Schedule

Don’t leave study time to chance. This is especially true if you choose a self-study course or a study guide in combination with practice tests. With the best intentions in the world, you’ll find things creep up on you. Suddenly, your study time has vanished, and it’s the night before the exam. That’s a poor recipe for success.

Tip #3 – Focus on Your Goal

Did you know that the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that security guard jobs are likely to experience significant growth over the next decade? Keeping this fact in mind will help you focus on your studies. It’s a lot easier to study when you expect to get something out of it!

Tip #4 – Be Reasonable

Don’t expect to land a perfect score on your first round of a security guard practice test or memorize your entire study guide in one sitting. Frankly, it’s not going to happen. Instead, work with what you’ve got; studies have shown that shorter, more frequent learning sessions are much more effective than all-night marathons.

Starting with the security guard practice test and carrying through to exam day may seem like a long road to travel. But the preparation and the vital knowledge you’ll gain will make security guard exam success a reachable goal.

Pocket Prep specializes in mobile testing apps that will boost your study routine like nothing else. Be sure to visit their Security Guard Practice Test App in iTunes or even try a free security guard practice test through pocket-prep.com.

Tips for Security Guards That Want to Ask for a Raise

Coco-park-security-guard

Coco-park-security-guard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, you’ve been at the same company for a while and you haven’t gotten your first raise yet?  You’re thinking it might be the right time.  But how do you go about it?  What can you do to increase the chances that they say, yes?  There are some things that will increase your chances of getting that raise that you want.

First, make sure you are prepared.  You should know that you deserve that raise.  When they ask why you deserve a raise (because they will), your answer should not be, “Well, I’ve been here for two years and I haven’t gotten one yet.”  That will not do the trick. You should know why you’re an asset to the company and you should be able to tell them about your accomplishments.  You should also know what is an acceptable raise for the market and for the company.

Plan ahead by having a preliminary discussion with your boss.  Find out what factors are considered when the company is thinking about giving someone a raise.  Make sure you focus on those things.  Set goals with your employer so that they know what you are working on and check in with them from time to time.

Get ready before you ask by writing down all of your accomplishments.  When you meet with your employer to ask for a raise you’ll find it is kind of like an interview.  You will need to be able to talk about what you have done and how that adds value to the company.  Practice. Before you go into that big meeting, you should be able to talk about any of your accomplishments and explain them fully without blinking an eye.  Confidence plays a big factor here.

It is also good to document things that others have said about you.  When you receive praise from someone, make sure you write it down.  You can implement these words of praise from co-workers and supervisors into your accomplishments so that your employer sees that it is not just you that thinks you provide value for the company.

Finally, pick the right time.  You don’t want to ask for a raise when your boss is in a bad mood or when there has been a big problem in the company and several employees have had to be dismissed or reprimanded.  Your boss will be stressed and will not be in the mood to approve anyone’s raise, even though you weren’t involved.  If you know the company is going through some tough financial times, hold your cards and wait.  Try to have your meeting after the company has had a big success or when you have done something really great.

 

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Fight or Flight – What Does it Mean for a Security Guard

There are two parties that can experience fight or flight syndrome in the security guard’s job.  The security guard may experience this feeling or the person(s) that the security guard is dealing with can experience it.

First, let’s examine what fight or flight syndrome is.

Fight or Flight Syndrome

The body has an in-built survival technique that kicks in automatically when one feels that they are in danger.  It can be real or perceived danger.  When someone feels threatened, two systems are activated by the hypothalamus in the brain: the adrenal cortical system and the sympathetic nervous system.  These two thing work together to make muscles more tense and to give the body speed.  Extra adrenaline and noradrenaline, stress hormones, are sent through the bloodstream.  They increase blood pressure and heart rate.  30 more hormones are also released to make the body react faster and be more alert.

Serotonin Syndrome

Serotonin Syndrome (Photo credit: Life Mental Health)

How Does This Relate to the Security Guard?

At some point in your job, you may be put in a situation where you are in danger.  When and if that happens, the fight or flight syndrome will kick in.  If you do not recognize these symptoms, you may be more likely to opt for the flight part of it.  This might be the right decisions.  But if you know what is happening and you know that you have been trained to handle the situation, you will be able to stay and “fight”.  Fight does not necessarily mean using physical actions.  It can mean just keeping control of the situation and keeping others safe.  But if you understand what is happening you’ll be more likely to handle yourself appropriately for the specific situation you are in.

On the other hand, it might be the person you are talking to that experiences the fight or flight syndrome.  It is your job to avoid that.  When confronting someone that may be doing something wrong or may have committed a crime, you need to appear to be non-threatening if at all possible.  If they feel that they are in danger the first thing they will do is run.  And if you catch them, which you likely will because you’re in great shape, they will fight.  If they are armed with any weapons, this can be very dangerous for you because the fight or flight syndrome can be very powerful.

Your best armor is knowledge.  The more you understand about the fight or flight syndrome and how it applies to your job, the more likely you will be able to anticipate future actions.

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Manage Your Online Reputation in Preparation for a Security Guard Job

More and more companies are using the Internet to get a feel for what a potential employee is really like.  They want to know the things that they can’t find out in interviews.  They want to know if you have a habit of calling in sick when you aren’t, if you do drugs, what your attitudes are like, and more.  And thanks to social networking sites they can now find this information without even asking you.

Your job is to manage that.  How?

First, make sure that any accounts on social networking sites are either private.  You can make your Facebook settings private by going into your Account Settings and your Privacy Settings.  Set everything to “Friends Only”.  This is a good start. You can make Twitter accounts private, too.  Set it up so that your account is locked and visible only to those that you approve to follow you.

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

This is not a foolproof way to manage your accounts though.  Unless you keep followers and friends on social networking site ONLY to those that you are close with and can absolutely trust, there is always the chance that the person whose friend request you accepted because they are best friends with your best friend might be a friend or a family member of the person who is considering hiring you.  If you have said anything negative it could come back and prevent you from getting a job.

The BEST way to manage your social media networks is to just not put anything out there that could prevent you from getting the job.  You should never make racial slurs or off-color jokes. You should never display pictures of yourself drinking or doing any illegal activity.  You should keep track of who is adding pictures of you.  If someone does add a picture of you that you think should not be online, ask them to remove it.

These same rules apply to comments you make in forums or on other sites and groups you join or pages you like.

Image representing Google Alerts as depicted i...

Image via CrunchBase

Always be aware of what is being said about you online.  Use a Google Alert to see if your name comes up anywhere that you might not expect.  Employers are using the Internet to find out more about people they are considering hiring and it is your job to monitor your online reputation.  In our day and age, everyone has an online reputation, so make sure yours is a good one!

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Top 8 Ways to be a Great Security Guard

Being a security guard is an important job and you should take pride in it. You should strive to be the best security guard that you should be.  If you want to be great at your security guard job, here are 8 tips:

1. Know your manuals by heart.  You should be familiar with the policies and the procedures of the company you work for. When you first get your job, take it seriously and actually study them as if there was going to be a test.  Because, really, at some point your knowledge will be tested – it just won’t be on paper.

2. Practice continuous learning.  Take the initiative to go to workshops or seminars when you learn about them.  Your employer will be impressed and your knowledge in your field will be appreciated.  You will do better at your job with more knowledge.

3. Go to refresher courses when they are offered.  These give you the chance to learn from more experienced guards and it is a great chance to practice continuous learning.

4.  Stay in great shape.  Don’t get lazy just because you have the job.  Workout regularly.  Practice strength training and aerobic training so that you are always in your best condition and ready for whatever your job requires of you.

Self Defense

Self Defense (Photo credit: Pioneer Library System)

5.  Learn self-defense and practice it as part of your workout routine.  You can have fun practicing your techniques with a co-worker or a friend and the more you practice the better you will get.

6.  Be aware of what is going on in your community.  You should know about crimes that are taking place before they come to you.  If you are well versed in the news of your area you will be better prepared in the long run.

7.  Find a mentor. If you can find someone that can give you good advice when you need it you will have a better chance of being a great security guard.  They can point you in the right direction when you need it and give you constructive criticism.

8.  Never make assumptions.  When you make assumptions you are more likely to go wrong and that can get both you and the company you work for in trouble.  Don’t assume that someone is safe just because they are in a suit and tie or a uniform.  Don’t assume that someone is ok just because you’ve seen them around before.  Follow the rules for everyone, not just the people you are suspicious about.  Keep your guard up and your eyes open.

 

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Life Insurance for Security Guards

Security companies and businesses that employ security guards are not required to provide life insurance benefits to their employees, regardless of how risky the job is. With this being said, companies are required to carry worker’s compensation insurance that will cover on-the-job injuries or death.

For security guards who want to provide their family with a legacy when they pass, purchasing individual life insurance is typically the best answer. But with so many different types of individual life insurance to choose from, how do individuals sift through options to choose the best plan? By understanding the difference between each individual insurance policy, you can make an educated decision, and invest in peace of mind and protection.

First things first, just because you are an armed security guard, does not mean that you will be unable to get life insurance. We’ve had many people approach us with that misconception.

Most Popular Type of Life Insurance – Term

There’s no question that most affordable life insurance for those on a budget is term life. Term life, which is also known as temporary life insurance, will provide a level amount of coverage for a specified period of time. Terms can range in length between as little as a year, to as much as 40 years. Typically, the longer term, the higher the premiums.

All premiums will stay level throughout the length of the term and are based on the applicants age at the time of application. Term life does not have an investment component and is great for security guards who have children or a mortgage.

Universal Life Insurance

Universal Life is one of two very popular types of permanent life insurance. Unlike term life, permanent life insurance will remain active for the remainder of the policyholder’s life, as long as the premiums are maintained. What makes universal life insurance unique is that the policy will accrue cash values. A portion of premiums are applied to life insurance premiums and the remainder of the premiums are credited to the cash value on the policy plus interest.

While these policies do have an investment component that some appreciate, they are far more expensive than term insurance. Security guards who are looking for permanent insurance with flexible payment terms, loan terms, and withdrawal terms, may want to consider universal life.

Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance is the second very popular type of permanent life insurance available on the market today. While both whole life and universal life are similar, one of the primary differences between the two is that level premiums must be paid into a whole life policy every year. Whole life gains cash values and these values earn a minimum amount of interest. If you feel more comfortably paying level premiums to fund your policy, whole life might be the better permanent option.

Security guards who are shopping for life insurance should take time to compare the rates of each policy before selecting a policy. There are plenty of resources to get life insurance quotes online so that you have a decent understanding of the cost before you approach a life insurance agent. If you can only afford to start with term insurance, you always have the option to convert term plans into permanent plans within a specific time frame. Invest in even a minimal amount of coverage and provide your family with the financial protection they need to survive if you pass away unexpectedly.

This is guest post by Jeff Rose, a certified financial planner from the site LifeInsurancebyJeff.com.

How to Write a Detailed Incident Report

Security

Security (Photo credit: vpickering)

Writing incident reports are an important part of most security guard jobs.  You need to be able to communicate well with your writing.  That means that you must use proper spelling and grammar – no text-speak or Internet language allowed!  Incident reports at some companies might be “confidential” but you should assume that at the very least your boss and your boss’s boss will be reading it and it might be read by legal attorney, police, or fire department personnel.

Most employers will provide some kind of template to base your report on.  This will make it a lot easier and the more incident reports you do the faster you will get at it.  If you are using a computer program like Word, you will be able to use a spell checker but you should still read it over to make sure it makes sense.  If your incident report is to be hand written be sure that your penmanship is legible and clear.

Just the Facts

Incident reports should never include your opinions. The should be factual.  You may not be able to say that a suspect or someone you have detained was drunk but you can say that you smelled alcohol on his breath.  Use quotes if you can remember them exactly to signify that those were the exact words.

Simple Language

When someone is reading your incident report they should be able to understand the language no matter what their experience is.  You don’t have to write a college exam.  Use simple language that anyone should be able to understand.  Try to avoid using jargon when possible.  If it is unavoidable, write the meaning of the jargon in brackets.

Formatting

Don’t turn your incident report into one long paragraph that will be difficult to get through.  Make sure you use paragraphs so that the reader will know when you are presenting facts about something new.  You can even use bullet points or numbered lists if they seem appropriate.  They can make it easier to read and will draw the reader’s eye toward important points.

5 Ws and an H

Who, what, when, where, why, and how – these should all be part of your incident report.  If you are missing one of these then your report is not complete.  Include everyone that was present including police, firemen, and other emergency personnel; be clear about what happened and where it happened; explain what events led up to the incident and how it progressed.

 

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Security Guard Users Taser and Fans Raise Money for New Equipment

In February, security guard Darien Long was forced to pull out a taser and use it on a woman in front of her children.  Not teenagers, but young children.  The children had been yelling, screaming, and misbehaving in front of a strip mall, while the mothers weren’t paying attention.  The moms didn’t like it very much when they figured out what was going on.

At first their attack was only verbal. They cursed at Long and called him names and then the kids got in on it, too.  They weren’t afraid to call out racial slurs (even though they were all the same race) and other names like “gay”.

The confrontation got more serious when one of the moms got physical and started pushing him.  He warned her to back off several times and she continued.  He pulled his taser and she was forced backwards.

The whole thing was captured on video via the camera that was embedded into Long’s bulletproof vest and was posted on Reddit.  Reddit users started a campaign to take in donations to contribute to better equipment and gear for Long.

Watch the video before we consider some important questions (WARNING – graphic language):

As a security guard, one of your roles is to control situations.  Is there anything that this security guard could have done differently?  Well, consider this: if you ask any mother if they would be ok with someone else yelling at their children when they were present, what would most moms say.  I think most moms would say that they would not be ok with that.  Perhaps he could have spoken directly to the parents first and asked them to quiet their children.

Assuming that did not make a difference could his language and attitude have affected the outcome?  Possibly.  She repeatedly said, “Back off!” in an aggressive tone that may have aggravated the situation.  What if he had said, “Ma’am please back up,” in an assertive but non-aggressive manner.  Or maybe if he had asked her to take her children and leave and then stood firm saying nothing she would have not felt threatened and left on her own will.  Aggressive language often leads to more aggressive behaviors.

This is not to excuse the behavior of the mothers or of the children.  However, calmness is boring and gives nothing to fight back against.  It is possible that the taser might never have been needed.

Reference: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/02/01/reddit-users-help-raise-more-than-17000-for-atlanta-mall-cop-who-tased-abrasive-mom-in-viral-vid/

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How to Handle Yourself as a Security Guard Under Pressure

Every security guard comes under pressure at some point in time.  It might be pressure to do better at your job, to get a raise, or to eliminate behaviors at the job site.  No matter what kind of pressure you are under, you need to learn how to manage it so that it does not affect how well you do your job.

There are 5 things you can do to handle yourself when you are under pressure:

1.  Visualize

It may seem corny but visualization is a great exercise to prepare yourself for high pressure situations.  Visualize the environment.  Hear the noise.  Notice the people that are surrounding you.  Now see yourself doing exactly what you know you should do.  See every movement, hear every word, and anticipate how you might feel.  If you are really concentrating, you might even feel your heart beat quicken.  Then you’ll know you are doing a great job.  When and if the actual situation comes around, you will remember what you have visualized and it will be so much easier to do what you are supposed to do.

English: Security guard outside Manchester Sci...

English: Security guard outside Manchester Scientology centre (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2.  Keep Control

Sometimes when you are under pressure you might be faced with emotions you didn’t expect.  These things can cloud your judgment and make you feel out of control.  One of the best ways to avoid losing control is to feel comfortable dealing with emotions. Put yourself into situations where you experience fear, confusion, or any other emotions that you are not used to – just make sure you do it in a controlled and safe environment.  Try to turn those emotions into energy that you will need to deal with whatever situation is at hand.

3.  Evaluate

Before you jump in to be the hero, make sure you take a minute to evaluation the situation.  Who is there?  Are there potential dangers anywhere?  What exactly is happening?  When did it start?  Where is everyone involved located?  Ask questions like these in your head so that you are prepare to take the actions that are necessary.

4.  Have a Plan

If you’re familiar with the possible situations at your job and you know your environment you should be able to have a plan.  Your policy and procedures guide can help you with this.

5.  No Plan? No Problem

What if you don’t have a plan?  Then just take these steps:

  • Figure out the details of the situation – who, what, where, when, why, and how.
  • Decide how critical it is.  The more critical it is the faster your action will have to be.
  • Based on the first two things you have figure out, plan out a few steps in your head.
  • Move!
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