Security Guard Tips: Incident Report Writing 101

How to Write a Good Security Report

Remember the days of elementary school when you learned the basics of storytelling? Not much changes when you’re writing an incident report. You’ll want to include the following:

  • The Who: Who were the individuals involved? Were you able to collect contact information or a visual description of the persons involved? Make sure you remain courteous and objective when describing others.

  • The What: What actually happened? This is your chance to explain the chronological events that took place. Do your best to be as descriptive as possible without including unnecessary information. When you are unsure whether certain information is relevant, go ahead and include it just to err on the side of caution. It's better to have too much than too little.

  • The When: Do your best to include the time the incident took place. If you’re not sure, use a window of time rather than guessing.

  • The Where: Include details like the address, location, scenery, and other pertinent details like the weather, or lighting conditions.

  • The How: How did the incident occur? This can be difficult to answer, so only include details that you are positive took place.

 

 

Keep it Conversational and Professional

Some officers tend to get bogged down in the mumbo jumbo “police terms”. Although this may seem more professional, it makes the reports harder to read. Keep in mind, this document may be read by property managers, supervisors, jurors, or witnesses. 

The easier your report is to understand, the more purposeful it will be. After all, the importance of a security incident report is to communicate the events that took place. Keep it conversational enough to understand but make sure you use proper grammar and vocabulary. Common sense is a good rule of thumb. 

 

 

Why Security Incident Reports Matter

Security Incident Reports (SIRs) are incredibly important to the success of your business. These reports are how security managers and investigators prove or disprove what really happened during an incident—such as property damage and physical altercations. They affect: 

  • Legal Evidence. Your security incident report is admissible in court as evidence. Accurate and thorough SIRs help victims prove what happened to them in court, and it helps support law enforcement.  

  • Insurance Claims. If you are aware of an incident but don’t report it, you may be denied insurance coverage. Completing your reports in real-time not only makes sure you get all the details right, but it can also help ensure you will be covered by insurance. 

  • Legal Protection for Officers and Security Teams. Security incident reports help to limit the liability of security teams. And SIRs make it easier for security directors to make policy decisions and changes to improve protection and service to their clients. 

  • Your Business Reputation. Regularly and accurately completing Incident reports is a best practice to show your professionalism and dedication to safety, the law, and the integrity of your organization. Taking them seriously is a great way to build and maintain your business’ reputation, which will help you with hiring and retention. 

 

Observe and Report

This goes all the way back to security guard training 101, but make sure that when you’re writing your incident report you’re only including the facts. 

Your job is to observe and report the incident as you saw or experienced it. The proper authorities will take care of the investigative work when needed. 

Include Photos, Audio, and Video Whenever Possible. A picture is worth a thousand words, right? If you have the opportunity to catch the incident on camera it will really help add detail to your incident reports. Make sure to include the photo files when you write & submit your report to your supervisor. And it can also help if these files are time-stamped to protect their credibility. 

REPORTS

  1. ALWAYS FILE A SEPARATE REPORT FOR:

    1. INCIDENTS

    2. SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITIES/PERSONS

    3. DISTURBANCES

    4. PROPERTY DAMAGE

    5. POLICE/FIRE/MEDICAL ONSITE

    6. PARKING VIOLATIONS

  2. INCLUDE DETAILED NOTES:

    1. WHO IS THE REPORTING PARTY AND WHO IS THE REPORT ABOUT (NAME AND ADDRESS)?

    2. WHAT IS THE REPORT ABOUT?

    3. WHEN DID IT HAPPEN (TIME FRAME)?

    4. WHERE DID IT HAPPEN (LOCATION)?

    5. WHY DID IT HAPPEN (WHAT LEAD UP TO THE INCIDENT)?

  3. CHECK SPELLING AND GRAMMAR BEFORE SUBMITTING REPORT.

  4. INCLUDE PHOTOS AND AUDIO FILES.

DISPATCH CALL
00:00 / 02:29
PERMISSION TO ENTER
00:00 / 00:14
NOISE
00:00 / 00:32
NOISE 2
00:00 / 00:33
MAKING CONTACT
00:00 / 00:14
MAKING CONTACT 2
00:00 / 00:27

DISTURBANCES

  1. ALL DISTURBANCE REPORTS SHOULD INCLUDE:

    1. REPORTING PARTY’S NAME, ADDRESS, PHONE #.

    2. IF REPORTING PARTY WOULD LIKE A FOLLOW-UP BY PHONE CALL OR KNOCK ON DOOR.

    3. MOST OF THE TIME DISPATCH OR SUPERVISOR WILL PROVIDE THIS INFO IN THE REPORT BEFORE IT IS ASSIGNED TO NVSS OFFICER.

  2. IF NOISE CAN BE HEARD:

    1. LOCATE DISTURBANCE.

    2. IF EXCESSIVE NOISE CAN BE HEARD ADD AUDIO FILE IN SILVERTRAC APP OF NOISE.

    3. TAKE PHOTO OF APARTMENT NUMBER.

    4. KNOCK ON DOOR AND MAKE CONTACT WITH RESIDENT. REQUEST THEY KEEP THE NOISE DOWN AND THAT A REPORT WILL BE SUBMITTED TO MANAGEMENT. BE POLITE, BE PROFESSIONAL, BE FIRM.

    5. ADD NOTES IN REPORT DESCRIBING ENDING RESULT OF DISTURBANCE COMPLAINT.

    6. IF REPORTING PARTY REQUESTED A FOLLOW UP MAKE CONTACT AND INFORM THEM OF THE ENDING RESULT.

  3. IF NOISE CAN NOT BE HEARD:

    1. MAKE CONTACT WITH REPORTING PARTY. SOME RESIDENTS WILL REQUEST A LGP OFFICER TO VERIFY NOISE FROM INSIDE THEIR UNIT/APT. THIS HELPS MANAGEMENT BY VERIFYING THE NOISE. ALWAYS INFORM YOUR SUPERVISOR BEFORE ENTERING A UNIT AND USE YOUR BODYCAM. REQUEST SUPERVISOR ASSISTANCE IF YOU ARE UNCOMFORTABLE ENTERING THE UNIT ALONE OR IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A BODYCAM.

    2. ADD AUDIO FILE REQUESTING PERMISSION TO ENTER RESIDENT’S UNIT TO VERIFY NOISE.

    3. IF NOISE CAN BE HEARD FROM INSIDE UNIT ADD AUDIO FILE OF NOISE IN SILVERTRAC.

    4. ADD NOTE AS TO THE TYPE OF NOISE THAT CAN BE HEARD.

    5. MAKE CONTACT WITH UNIT CAUSING DISTURBANCE. REQUEST THEY KEEP THE NOISE LEVEL DOWN.

    6. ADD NOTES IN REPORT DESCRIBING ENDING RESULT OF DISTURBANCE COMPLAINT.

PHOTOS
BEFORE SUBMITTING PHOTOS CHECK TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE CLEAR, NOT SIDEWAYS OR UPSIDE DOWN, ETC. RETAKE PHOTOS IF NECESSARY.

**REMINDER: Client’s have and will continue to use our reports to issue leasing violations and evictions. These reports are also sent to the corporate legal departments of our clients and may be used in court. Please provide detailed reports and check your spelling before submitting.