One of the most important responsibilities any security guard has is writing incident reports that are not only accurate and thorough but paint a clear picture for those who weren’t there. Modern incident reporting software simplifies this job greatly, but even the most sophisticated incident management system can’t ensure that the necessary details are present, precise and concise.
Date, Time and Location
Time is of the essence, which is why most security guard management protocols recommend that incident reports to be started within 15 minutes of an incident. A report must include the date, the exact time the incident took place or an estimate and the location where it occurred. If the time is an estimate specify that, and indicate time and location information within context, such as providing the work shift during which it happened and the name of the building or nearest landmark.
Details of the Incident and Intervention
Most incident reporting software includes areas to describe the circumstances of the incident and any intervention during and response in the aftermath. Details should be as factual as possible, but the security guard should include his or her perception of events in order to fill in information gaps.
Statements from Witnesses and Other Relevant People
Incident management systems will generally have optional areas for you to include statements from witnesses, employees, residents and so forth. These statements should be separate from the security guard statement and clearly identified as personal accounts. Use direct statements whenever possible, and put statements in quotes to indicate that they’re verbatim.
Circumstances Prior to, During and After the Incident
Context is everything, so security guard management will usually require a guard to include any pertinent details that set the scene before, during and after the incident took place. The goal here is to indicate an environmental and other factors that did or could have contributed to the event. If there was faulty equipment or other hazards present, for instance, these should be a focal point.
All Notifications Made
Incident reports must also indicate all parties who were notified due to the event. This includes the chain of command for the worksite, hospital, residence and so forth as well as any external parties, such as emergency services, law enforcement or even family members of those involved.
If the incident in question was an avoidable event, then the guard should indicate any actions he or she took to prevent further incidents. These actions can be both short-term, such as placing a wet floor sign, and long-term, such as updating safety protocols. If the person writing the report doesn’t have the power to enact those actions, then recommendations should be included in the report instead.