conducting a protective search as security guard

protective search

Basic security guard training Unit 4 Lesson (B)

Security guards carry out a protective search in their site if the site policy is required. The protective search conducts in two situations, search for the weapon and evidence after detaining the person. And search the employees, visitors, vendor, and the public as well as their belonging when enter and exit to the premises.

There are four reasons for the search;
  • To keep important things in
  • To keep potential problems out
  • To control access to an area
  • To know what is in a specific area

Your client hires you for keeping himself and his property safe from any problems. So, the security guards apply the access control policy for all people who want to enter the site. A search is also part of the access control which allows only the authorized people, vehicles and material in and out from the site.

The protective search procedure may include in your post order if not, you should suggest the client and your supervisor. Sometimes your client can be suspicious that the employees may steal the goods from the company. For that reason, you may be asked to search for the employees’ bags and other belongings while leaving the company.

What things need to search at the site?
  1. Dangerous items
  2. stolen items
  3. prohibited items

The search can contemplate finding the above items either people in or out from the company. If the people come in with dangerous items such as a weapon or other tools that can use a weapon. They may have the intention to hurt or injure someone already into the premises.

Search for the prohibited items for instance drugs, marijuana and other items which are not allowed to carry with. If any goods are stolen from the company also you need to conduct a protective search.

Providing security permission you may require the search to the people, packages, and vehicles in different kinds of search which are;

  1. Visual search ( search through your eyes)
  2. A request search ( you made a request for search)
  3. Agreed search (someone came to you and asked for search)
When do you search for a vehicle?
  1. Required by your post order
  2. When vehicles enter site (to search for weapon/equipment)
  3. While vehicles out form your site (to avoid the theft)
Vehicle search tools;

You have to use the different types of equipment to search for a vehicle that available on your worksite. But, here are the general tools that many places you should utilize on searching for the vehicle.

  1. Your eyes
  2. Flashlights
  3. X-ray
  4. mirror
  5. dog
When to search for people or packages?
  1. Required by your site order
  2. When a person enters an area and is carrying something that could conceal (hide)
  3. If a person leaves a high-security area
  4. When a person enters an area could be carrying something dangerous.

Remember, the most important tool for any kinds of search are your EYES.

Tools to use search for person or packages;
  1. Eyes
  2. Metal detector
  3. X-ray
  4. Hand search

When you conduct the protective search you shouldn’t do own is on because it can be a violation of the person’s rights and you have to do hard to prove in the court. Some people do not agree with you to search for them or their personal belonging.

In that situation, you shouldn’t force them to do so, because you don’t have a right to compel someone for help. Explain to them why it is needed? and what you are going to search?.

In the first place, try to gain co-operation. Still, they don’t allow you then inform the supervisor or the client representative.


  • Be polite speak with authority: Talk to people first, don’t just take their bag from and begin searching. Remember that your job does not be afraid to speak to someone.
  • Ask for Cooperation: Ask “do you mind if I search your bag?” rather than telling them they have to be.
  • Tell people why: People always want to know why?. You should tell them true reason before they ask (company policy/special instruction by your client)
  • Find something prohibited: Don’t accuse people, be polite in telling someone that an item cannot be brought in.
  • Thank people for their cooperation
What personal property you store for security purpose:
  1. Storing shopping bag: (in a retail shop): in order to prevent theft
  2. mobile phone: In the high-security area (provide a safe facility to keep)
  3. storing vehicles: park the vehicle in a secured area
  4. Storing identification: keep personal and return them when they out.
  • Searching is part of the role of providing protection
  • There are 4 main reasons to conduct a protective search
  • Searches are conducted for items which are dangerous, stolen, or prohibited
  • The vehicle is generally searched as required by site orders, when they enter a site, and when they leave a site
  • People and packages are generally searched as a required by site orders, when they are carrying something that can conceal a stolen item when they leave a high-security area, and when they enter an area and could be carrying something dangerous
  • Know how to use search equipment used at your worksite
  • A person should only be searched as required by your site orders
  • If a person must be searched, it should only be done by someone of the same gender male-male or female-female
  • Always try and gain cooperation when conducting a protective search
  • You may be required to check identification at the same time as conducting a protective search
  • If you store personal property as a result of a protective search, always provide someones with a receipt for their property.
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