With winter in full swing and temperatures dropping, it’s important to ensure that your outdoor security team is staying warm and safe during these winter months.
- Coats, Hats & Gloves: When was the last time your guards received new coats, hats and gloves? If they are responsible for their own hats and gloves, make sure you encourage them to have an extra pair at their station or in their vehicle in case they need it. If your company is responsible for ensuring their jackets, hats and gloves are up-to-par, require a mandatory check at the beginning of the season, or every two months. Once winter is over, request for guards to report any coats that have been worn down and need to be replaced so they can be adequately equipped once the next snow fall occurs.
- Indoor Breaks: When the temperature starts to dip below 40 degrees, make sure there is a warm area for your team to rest while they get ready for the next part of their shift. This may seem painfully obvious for most of us, but ensuring that there is somewhere to warm up and defrost from the cold will give them a bit of motivation for the next round of duties.
- Hand Warmers: You know those little disposable hand warmers you see football players using on the sidelines? Consider those for the times when temperatures will dip to lows requiring more than just a thick pair of gloves. If they’re a perk you don’t want to have to continuously fund, give each team member a couple for the holidays or at the beginning of the season as a small gift. (Maybe they’ll be convinced to buy more for themselves if they really like the extra warmth).
- Space Heater for Guard Posts: This one can be tricky depending on where each post is located, but a small electric space heater (with automatic shut off!) for when the temperature becomes dangerously low can make all the difference. This will keep your guards warm and toasty during their shifts inside a guard shack or during a break.
- Ice the Sidewalks: Even if building maintenance isn’t in your contract, consider keeping a pail of salt or sand in the guard shack. Ice can build up in a matter of hours and the guards should have some on hand just in case. Guards can help reduce the amount of slippery accidents they have, as well as protecting the safety of employees and customers on property.
- Have a Specialized Winter Emergency Plan: Having a specialized security plan for winter is beneficial to the business and your team for a variety of reasons. Take some time to sit down and review your winter weather emergency plan in October, so that you will be prepared for the coming months. Who should be the first point of contact for the security team if a weather emergency takes effect? How should guards assist employees and customers if pipes burst? Having plans for such incidents in place can reduce a frenzy or extra communications if an event were to occur.
What ways do you ensure safety during the winter months? Let us know below!
By: Sarah Masa-Myers