Event venues, such as concerts, are popular job sites for security guards, as they always require access control points to ensure the safety and security of the venue.

The security industry encompasses various components and techniques to ensure the safety and security of the site and personnel you are securing. Among these, Access Control stands as a critical aspect. Access Control is prevalent in corporate offices, residential buildings, and event venues. In this blog post, we will explore essential aspects of access control, including proper system handling, visitor verification and screening, and effective response to security breaches and emergencies.

Proper Handling of Access Control Systems:

Understanding how to handle access control systems is crucial for security guards. Mistakes in access control can lead to significant damage to the facility or site being protected. To ensure efficiency and security, consider these essential factors: familiarize yourself with the system and established policies, promptly report any anomalies, and seek assistance from the IT department if issues arise. Security guards controlling access control points must ensure the checkpoints are secure and fully operational. Once anomalies are resolved, it is vital to draft a detailed and accurate report promptly for the management team and future reference.

Visitor Verification and Screening:

In your security career, you will likely encounter sites with physical access control requirements, ranging from scanning access cards to thorough physical searches. To handle physical access control points effectively, keep the following tips in mind:

  • For HID scan points or ID verification, ensure proper system functionality and thoroughly check IDs for authenticity. Starting your shift by verifying all systems are operational—is a good practice. When manually checking IDs, ensure the photo matches the individual and observe their behavior. If suspicions arise, ask for a second ID or have the individual recite information from their ID. The individual in question should be able to recite their personal information without problem. If problems occur, contact the proper authorities and do not permit the individual on the site. Remember to make sure to write an accurate report outlining the key details of the incident. For more information on how to properly verify identification take a look at Smart Serve Ontario’s website. 
  • For physical access control points, ensure the proper documents are provided with valid identification. When conducting physical searches, communicate the search process politely beforehand, allowing the individual to feel comfortable throughout the search. Maintain a consistent search procedure, whether you start from the outside of the bag to the inside or vice versa, keep the procedure the same. The same applies when searching an individual. Always follow the same procedures and make sure to communicate so the individual is aware of what is being searched. When searching an individual you can always encounter something they shouldn’t have or can’t bring to the site. Depending on the severity of the item your response will vary and each site will have different procedures. If the item is not high risk then ask the individual to leave the item in their car or If your checkpoint has a locked storage box, kindly request them to leave their belongings there until they are ready to leave. But It’s safe to say if the item is illegal under the Criminal Code of Canada the proper authorities need to be notified and the individual should not be allowed to enter the site. As always making a detailed and accurate report is a must.

Handling Breaches and Emergencies:

Security breaches and emergencies can be intense, causing even experienced guards to lose focus. Responding properly to these situations is paramount. When encountering a breach, stay calm and assess the severity. Severity can range from minor incidents to significant threats. Prioritize your own safety and mental preparedness, then inform the appropriate authorities based on your assessment of the severity level of the breach or emergency. Safeguard the individuals you are protecting, providing guidance and clear instructions. Once everyone is accounted for and authorities arrive, create a detailed and accurate incident report promptly. This report will assist your management team in making necessary improvements. While emergencies and breaches are inevitable, being over-prepared is always advantageous. With that being said always reread your emergency and breach response procedures thoroughly to make sure you are prepared for the worst possible scenario.

We hope this blog post has provided you with valuable knowledge on access control and its significance in security. Key takeaways include proper access control system handling, effective physical access point screening, and how to efficiently respond to breaches and emergencies. As a security professional, encountering access control checkpoints will be a recurring theme in your career, be it in corporate offices, residential buildings, or event venues. By continually educating yourself and practicing, you can master this crucial aspect of security. Please visit our website for further information on becoming a licensed security guard in Ontario. If you are ready to enroll in our course, you can make an account on this page and start right away. You can also check out our other blog posts here.

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