Security Operations Manuals for the post-Part 2

This 2nd post in the series focuses on what you should place in the 2nd section of the manual…the post orders. It’s not as easy as you may think it is to accomplish. In a Security Operations Manual it has to be detailed and every piece of minutiae so that it is understandable.

But what do you include in there and where? Again, it should be a very detail oriented but simple, written at a 8th grade level, leaving nothing to chance or misunderstandings and writing them like that it is extremely effective and efficient after it’s been completed;

  • Access control
  • Visitors and visitor control. Yes it is separate because it can be confusing if it is all put together and run one component into another.
  • Cameras, monitors, recording devices, and etc. This was used when necessary sometimes with alarm panels and other electronic security controls.  All of these had its own section detailing how to operate each and every device…again taking most of the confusion out of it and making it nearly fail safe which could be crucial.
  • Emergency procedures. Broken down into the likely disasters that could befall the client and the different procedures for each. You may think this overly complicated but unless your officers are only there to, ugh, observe and report they need it.
  • Patrols of the facility. A guidebook if you will on what to check or how to check it and adding a list of patrolling techniques i.e. holding the flashlight and how to properly check doors. Additionally, the most vital areas of the facility to be checked should also be included. If you have different requirements for different areas i.e. offices, heavy manufacturing, and etc.
  • Trucks and trailers. If you have drivers coming in to pickup trucks and trailers then a detailed map of where the trailers are and the procedures to gain access needs to be written down in procedural form. I also understand that if the trailer is a decent distance from the main security post this may not be possible, but it helps everyone if they can.
  • Deliveries of various materials after hours. This is important for those deliveries coming in for the office or other vital departments after regular hours and the departments may be closed or need to come to the security office to pick them up. What needs to be done and who to call.
  • After hours maintenance numbers and procedures. It is a fact of life that maintenance emergencies never happen during the day shift when the best crew is working. Your officers are probably not plumbers or electricians so…
  • List of all equipment on post that the officers need to utilize down to the smallest that should be accounted for. From alarm clocks, clipboards, video equipment, and old fashioned DETEX clocks or similar.
  • Diagrams of equipment. If your officers are tasked with shutting down certain equipment at varying times, then a detailed map of the proper switches will be necessary and potentially vital.
  • Maps of the facility, usually broken down into separate maps for exit/loading dock doors, firefighting equipment, intrusion & fire alarm stations, lighting & exhaust fan, water valve/electrical  shut-offs and etc.
  • A page for things that need to be passed along to every shift, with a place to initial it, and the revisions, deletions, and modifications to the orders to be included in the next issue.
  • Samples of site specific forms to be filled out


More than likely, these won’t be the only things you have to include in your Security Operations Manual. There may be items and details in your facilities that need their own sections. I have no clue what those might be, only you can answer that. Do you have any of the following in your facility that security would be responsible for monitoring during patrols and reporting?

Temperature controlled rooms for computers/food or cooking food or tanning animal hides

Boilers or heaters for other uses

Propane, gas, or other explosive gases that need attention

Chemical tanks that need to be stirred or kept from over flowing

I have worked at innumerable facilities where the client and my management never thought about something needed to have attention or written down in the post orders until something catastrophic happened. Want an example? A small chemical facility we were responsible for in Leavenworth Kansas never gave us anything except the order to walk the perimeter to ensure the place was secure and no one tried to get inside.

When one of my officers found a water pipe had broken and water was literally gushing out every single door at 0300 he had no one to call except the police. They responded and it took 3 hours to find and get a maintenance person to respond. Result…2 feet of ice throughout the facility after the furnace broke and the pipes froze. The night was -40 degrees and not expected to climb over -10 for the week. The next time we worked there, 3 weeks later, we had a full call list for everyone and everything.

This is the middle part of this series. The 3rd and final post may surprise you on what it entails and how important it is to your security team, especially if they are contracted and don’t feel they are more than a lowly paid rent-a-cop minion. The idea of these posts is to give you the tools you need to make everyone concerned feel like a professional and get the respect they deserve.

Robert D. Sollars assists businesses and their employees to lessen their risk of WPV as well as other security/customer service related issues with time tested and proven ideas. You can follow him on his upcoming website, or twitter@robertsollars2.

                                  I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear

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