As important as it is to have your security team on site to perform their patrol, both your clients and your back office management depend on accurate reporting to know that shifts are being completed properly. And of course, a security guard log (or daily activity report) becomes even more important when a guard is required to respond to an on-site incident.

Of course, a poorly-written report that lacks vital pieces of information will not do much to give your clients peace of mind. So what do you need to include to make your daily reports worthwhile? The following elements are must-haves in order for your guards to produce an effective and useful security guard log at the end of their shift:

1. Shift Start Notes

Accountability from your guards begins the moment their shift starts, and as such, including a brief section for shift start notes is essential. Guards should mention any special instructions they received at the start of the shift, their start time, and an inventory checklist (which also mentions the condition of the items they received).

2. Categorized Information

A security guard log should be easy for clients and office staff to read through during a busy day. Categorizing reported activities by type – such as “Employee Escort” or “Suspicious Vehicle” allows others reading through the report to quickly find information that warrants additional attention. Depending on the type of incident, the inclusion of subforms and subcategories can allow your guard to provide further specificity for a reported event. Certain incidents will require an incident report that should automatically be sent through to the right channels.

3. Activity Records

Part of the reason your team is required to submit a security guard log is to prove or confirm to the client that they have been performing their patrol as expected – even when there aren’t any unusual incidents to report. Activity records do not need to be flooded with jargon or excessive amounts of detail. However, short, detailed descriptions that display that your guard is actively patrolling will go a long way in ensuring client peace of mind.

4. Timestamps and Location Information

Reporting the time and location of a reported activity can be just as important as reporting the activity itself. Time and location data further validates the information submitted in the security guard log. Modern security guard reporting software makes it much easier to automatically attach time and location stamps to each activity record thanks to GPS tracking.

5. Images and Video

The old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” applies especially well to a security guard daily activity report. While your security guards don’t need to take pictures of everything, an uploaded photo or video can allow clients and office staff to quickly and accurately assess a situation when an on-site incident is reported. This allows clients to provide follow-up instructions when necessary and can even protect your security guards from legal action if there is a dispute regarding the accuracy of their report.

6. Custom Data

Some clients may have additional requirements for their security guard logs, such as a signature from an on-site employee. Make sure that your guards are fully aware of any custom information they need to provide in their report so that your clients receive everything they need.

7. Analytics

The daily activity report, as well as any incident report, should feed an analytics module in order to be able to harness data and trends at a client site. Frontline security is a wealth of information, be sure to tap into it.

With the help of a powerful guarding software solution that integrates with your company’s other systems, it becomes easier than ever for your guards to quickly file an activity report. Conditional fields and customizable security daily activity report templates ensure that your guards will include all necessary information in their log, while also simplifying the reporting process by automating timestamps and other elements.

Even more importantly, with the use of data tracking and an easy-to-read interface, software-integrated security guard logs will provide clients and office staff with all needed information to keep your team accountable and improve efficiency.