June 14, 2024
5 min read

Post orders? What’s that?

Many times, when I ask clients what is in their guards' post orders, they give me a blank look.

How you're setting yourself up for bad security outcomes

Many times, when I ask clients what is in their guards' post orders, they give me a blank look. A few of them will say, "Oh, the security company handles that." 

This is a mistake.

Post orders are the bible that governs the day to day operations of your on-site security, and while the security company is responsible for training your guards and ensuring they are following protocol, you, the client must absolutely be highly involved in the creation of post orders for your site.

Clarify Expectations

For one thing, post orders will clearly codify what the expectations are. Do you want your guards to greet everyone by name and offer to carry heavy bags? Do you want them to help out if there's a big spill or a large delivery? Or, should they stay at post at all time because your access control is critical? If the service you're getting is hit or miss, the post orders may be the culprit.

Legal Liability

The second reason is no less important.  You’ve hired a security company to fulfill a role you’ve mapped out, and as a result, there are many situations where you bear the some or all of the legal liability. If a guard goes "hands on" (physically engages) and it's in line with instructions in their post orders, you bear a large portion of the responsibility. 

The inverse is also true - if a guard stays "hands off" because she was only asked to use verbal commands, you might be held responsible for the outcome, especially if someone gets hurt. 

A security professional shared a story about a parking garage where (very sadly) a woman was sexually assaulted. 

The victim sued the parking garage, claiming that the security patrols should have been set up, and she won.

But, it's important to remember that while actual physical altercations are rare, what is more common are emergencies where your guards are the first responder and need to have detailed, accurate instructions. 

Did your downstairs bathroom flood at 11pm at night?

Did the electricity go out and now the parking garage door won't open?

Is the fire sprinkler on the 11th floor suddenly going off?

Having clear post orders in place ensures that your guards know exactly what to do in these situations, and can act quickly and appropriately to minimize damage and keep people safe.

In addition to emergencies, post orders also address routine tasks such as conducting patrols, checking access points, and monitoring security cameras. Without clear guidelines, your guards may not know what they are expected to do, which can lead to lapses in security and potential vulnerabilities.

It's important to note that post orders should not be static documents. They should be reviewed and updated regularly to reflect changes in the site, new security threats, and any feedback or suggestions from guards and clients. By staying involved in the creation and updating of post orders, you can ensure that your security team is always equipped to handle any situation that arises.

In summary, post orders are a crucial component of a strong security program. They provide clear guidance to guards on their roles and responsibilities, minimize liability risks for clients, and ensure that guards are prepared to handle emergencies and routine tasks alike. As a client, it's important to be involved in the creation and updating of post orders to ensure that they are tailored to the unique needs of your site and security program.