One of the key duties of a security guard is to fill out a detailed incident report if there’s ever an actual incident that requires the security guard to act. However, being able to write a proper and helpful incident report is not something that tends to be taught to security guards to any significant degree by most companies.
This is a mistake, as an incorrectly-written or vague incident report can bring with it a litany of issues as it pertains to insurance claims, law enforcement, and so on. The following tips will help security guards to improve on their incident reporting skills:
Stick to the Five W’s and How
This is storytelling 101. A guiding principle that a security officer should have when writing an incident report is to remember to answer the 5 W’s and How:
After writing the incident report, the security guard should reread it to make sure that all of these are contained in the report, as they will provide a full overview of the situation.
Include as Much Photo, Audio, and/or Video Evidence as Possible
A security guard should also attach or upload as much photo, audio, and/or video evidence as possible. Whether it’s from CCTV or from a smartphone, if there’s any actual evidence or documentation of the incident that’s being written about, it should be included. This will aid and facilitate law enforcement’s investigation efforts and can help with an insurance claim.
Be Objective, Not Subjective
While one’s emotional state could be heightened if writing an incident report directly after it took place, a security officer must always remain objective. In other words, a security officer needs to make sure that he or she observes and reports on what takes place. In-depth investigations aren’t needed in most cases, as that is the job of law enforcement officials.
Write the Report in Layman Terms
A security guard should write an incident report in a matter-of-fact, direct, and conversational way, rather than try to be bombastic and fill it with law enforcement vernacular. The easier the report is to understand, the better for all parties involved. Of course, it should be grammatically correct, but the point is to write the report in an easy-to-understand manner with all of the relevant details included.
Use Incident Reporting Software
There’s various advanced incident reporting software on the market today, and they can help a security guard to create an incident report in a far more efficient and complete manner. Incident reporting software is much easier to use in comparison to writing an incident report on a form by hand. A security officer does have to make sure that he or she knows how to use the software, however.
First Security Services always make sure that its security guards have a full and in-depth understanding of how to create effective incident reports. Make sure to contact us today for your free consultation!