Watchman Clock VS Guard Tour System Which One is Better？
Many companies employ security guard to protect company facilities 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. An important duty of these security guards is to regularly patrol the facility to detect suspicious and unusual activity, including unlocked doors, burnt out lights, water leaks, safety hazards and other such situations. In industrial facilities, officials’ duties may also include patrolling various types of machinery to observe temperature readings or pressure settings.
To get the most value from security guards, security guards must patrol according to established procedures. In general, there should be at least a few patrols per shift and should cover all significant areas of the facility. Many times, the employer who manages the security program will establish a patrol route that includes at all the important points that security guard need to check. Depending on the size of the facility, there may be several different patrol routes, each covering a different area of the plant. Officers usually alternate between patrols, doing one patrol in the first hour, a different patrol in the second, and so on. In this way, check all important areas of the facility at least every two hours.
During many shifts, security guard may work alone with little or no supervision. Sometimes security guards want to stay on their posts and don’t want to go on patrol. Even if guard do patrol, there may be some sections that are difficult to access or require a lot of stairs to climb. Security guards may tend to skip these sections of the tour most of the time.
The guard patrol system solves these problems. Generally, a guard patrol system records the activities of security guards to determine if officers are patrolling when they should be patrolling and to verify that they are covering all the parts of the patrol they should be.
Using a guard patrol system provides two important benefits. First, if security guards know their activity is being recorded, they have a strong incentive to follow the rules and patrol the way they should.
Second, the guard patrol system provides a written record of all patrol activities, which can quickly identify abnormalities in patrol procedures. Appropriate disciplinary action may be taken against security guards who fail to follow established procedures. Written records provided by the guard patrol system can also be used in accident investigations as evidence of patrol activities by insurance companies or regulators.
The commonly used guard patrol systems are mainly divided into two types:
The “Watchman Clock” is the oldest guard patrol system in use today, having been around since the mid-19th century. The Watchman’s Clock is a circular device about eight inches in diameter with an analog clock face on the front. Watchmen’s clocks are usually carried in a leather carrying case with shoulder straps for security guards to carry with them when patrolling. Inside the watchman clock is a circular paper dial. This dial is stamped with markers indicating each 24-hour day.
At each point of the patrol route, “key stations” are set up. Each key station contains a large metal key that looks like a skeleton key. Each key has a unique key number. The key is usually attached to the key holder using a metal chain to prevent the key from being removed. Key stations usually have a door to store keys when not in use.
When patrolling, security guards stop at each key station along the way, take out the keys, and insert the duty clock. Doing so will have the key number printed on the paper dial inside the clock. The key number is printed on the dial next to a marker indicating the current time. This provides a record of which keys were used and when.
At the end of each day, the paper dial is removed from the duty clock and replaced with a new one. A security manager or supervisor can check the paper dial to see if the patrol is being completed on time and that all stops on the patrol’s route are correct. Paper dials can be archived to provide long-term records of all patrol activities.
Electronic Guard Patrol System
Electronic patrol systems are functionally similar to watchkeeping clock systems, but use electronic rather than mechanical components. An electronic data collection device called a “patrol reader/wand” was used in place of the Watchmen’s clock. The physical shape of a wand varies by manufacturer, but is usually a small handheld device in the shape of a pen. Guards carry wands with them when patrolling.
“Checkpoints” are used in place of key stations. These stations contain some type of device that can be read electronically and used in place of mechanical keys. Depending on the manufacturer and type of system used, barcodes, RFID tags or buttons can be used at checkpoints. Like key stations, checkpoints are installed at various points along the desired patrol route.
When patrolling, security guards stop at each checkpoint and scan it with their wands. This causes the location of the site and the current time to be recorded in the wand. Most electronic systems also allow security guard to log any anomalies found at or near checkpoints.
At the end of the patrol or at the end of each shift, the security guard can read the current patrol record by connecting the wand to the computer through the data cable.