What makes an emotionally intelligent and psychologically effective security personell

There is a lot

English: Private security guard with shotgun, ...

A security guard at work

that goes into making an effective and efficient security personnel.And psychological and emotional well being are some of the most important.

But why psychology and emotion?

Security is a game, like chase, played between the criminals and the security providers,be it intelligence officers, police officers,or even the guards at your premise.This game is won by wit and emotional/psychological outmaneuvering.

With Kenya at war with Alshabab,we are constantly facing terrorist attacks.Most of these attacks target public places where, more often than not, the last line of security defense is that simple security guard.

The question you should ask yourself is, are the guards at your premise,home etc….. up to the task emotionally and psychologically?

Majority of shoppers of guard services put body physique as the most important element of an effective security guard.As I said, above, security game is won by a mind that is full of wit,intelligent,confident and highly self esteemed.

There are simple things you need to do to give your security staff that necessary psychological advantage they need  as they carry out their duties of making your environment secure.Fortunately many of them do not even require more financial input:

1.Let them receive respect-security guards who are constantly humiliated by their seniors ,fellow staff and visitors will not have emotional strength to counter the smart and highly self esteemed criminals who make a try on them.Insist on respect for all as a general policy:they respect staff and visitors and they be respected back.

2.Let them know they are in charge-It is important that the security staff understand the extend of their powers.They also should be made aware of their responsibilities both legal and otherwise.Always give clear and un-contradictory instructions.But still insist on respect for all and courtesy.

3.Proper tools of work-Things like panic buttons,metal detectors etc should be readily provided for.Ill equipped security staff will lack the morale to carry out their duties.If you outsource security work,always ensure your security provider company equips well the guys stationed at your place

4.Insist on neatness-Cleanliness and neatness give one a sense of high self esteem.Explain this and facilitate if necessary.Ensure they have uniforms in good condition and,if possible,more than one pair.

5.Give them a reasonable pay,at least observe the minimum wage rule.Poorly paid guards,especially under what they know is the industry figure,will feel worthless/low self esteem and this will come into the way of their performance.Cheap is expensive,this line applies well in security and security solutions

6.Refresh training-The security environment changes every now and then.New forms security challenges are coming up every day.Due to this fact,it is important your security staff is updated of these new development, in terms of training,on a regular basis and when situations call for.This will add confidence in their performance.

It should always concern you how your security staff are prepared both psychologically and emotionally to protect life and property, as much as skill and knowledge.



Most often, fire is a good servant but unfortunately at times it turns out to be a very bad master in form of a fire disaster.In case such unfortunate disasters strike, you should be equipped both in skills and tools to keep the destruction at the minimum possible.
Fire is a complex chemical reaction where heat and light are released accompanied by flames. This will occur only in presence of three elements of fire that form the fire triangle, namely heat, fuel and oxygen.
Heat is required to elevate the temperature of a material to its ignition point. Fuel refers to anything that can burn be it solid, liquid or gas. The type and quantity of the fuel will determine which method should be used to extinguish the fire. Oxygen supports combustion; most fires will burn vigorously in any atmosphere of at least 16% oxygen. If any one of these is missing, a fire cannot start
Fire fighting is in fact elimination of at least one of the three elements through;
a) Starvation– Removing burning material from fire, the fire is denied fuel.
b) Smothering-Blanketing the burning material to cut off oxygen supply.
c) Cooling-Spraying water into the burning material to drastically reduce the heat.
General causes of fire include the following;
 Cooking – chip pan
 Electrical Faults
 Arson
 Natural causes e.g. sun, lightening
Class of fire and Type of Fire Fire Extinguisher to use
If you want to be successful in fighting fire, you need to know what type of fire you are fighting. In this respect you will select the right extinguishing media. Classes of fire are as follows;
Class A- Ordinary Combustible Materials Fires
such as paper, wood, plastic-use Water, Foam, Dry powder.

Powder fire extinguisher

Class B- Flammable Liquids Fires
such as paraffin, petrol, diesel-use Foam, Dry Powder, CO2
Class C- Flammable Gases Fires
such as propane, butane, methane-use Dry Powder, CO2
Class D -Flammable Metals Fires
such as Potassium, Magnesium, Titanium-use Specially formulated Dry Powder
Class F- Cooking Oil and fat Fires
such as in deep-fat fryers-use Wet Chemical, Fire Blanket

 Electrical Fires do not constitute a class of fire. Any fire involving or started by electrical equipment when isolated becomes Class A, B, C, D or F depending on the material surrounding the area. For this type of fire the recommended media is Carbon Dioxide or Dry Powder.
Types of fire extinguishers;
a. Water Extinguisher, ‘Signal Red/color code– Extinguishes by removing heat and cooling burning materials. It is used on wood, paper and textiles fires only (Class ‘A’ fires)

Water fire Extinguisher

WARNING – Never use on live electricals, oils or fats.
b. Foam Extinguisher. (Aqueous film-forming foam) (AFFF) ‘Signal Cream’-Extinguishes by removing heat and cooling burning materials. It also removes Oxygen by smothering the fire. It is also used on Flammable liquid (Class ‘B’ Fires) Can also be used on Wood, paper, textiles and flammable gases.
c. Carbon Dioxide Extinguisher ‘Signal black-Extinguishes by displacing Oxygen and smothering the fire. It is used on live electrical fires. This type of extinguisher is not very effective when used outside.
WARNING – Do not touch the plastic horn during use and be aware of the loud noise during discharge.
d. Dry Powder Extinguisher. (Multi-Purpose) – ‘Signal Blue’-Extinguishes by reacting physically with the chemical reaction of fire. It is used on flammable gases. It can also be used on Wood, paper, textiles and flammable liquids and electrical
WARNING: Avoid inhaling powders. It can Cause asphyxiation. Also be aware of re-ignition. During use, visibility may be reduced.
e. Fire blankets-Fire blankets are made of fire resistant materials (Fiber Glass).
Use by placing carefully over the fire. Keep your hands shielded from the fire. Do not waft the fire towards you.
f. Fire hose reels– Operate by;
• Turning on the hose reel valve before releasing the hose reel.
• Run out the hose.
• Turn on water at nozzle and direct the stream at the
base of the fire.

CO2 fire extinguisher

g. Other firefighting equipment– Sand bucket, sprinkler system, fire beaters and gas suppression system
Fire alarm systems
The primary function of most basic fire alarm systems is warning occupants of potential or impending danger, while simultaneously summoning the fire department. It is advisable to install these systems in workplaces and homes
In the event of a fire, break the glass of the nearest manual call point that you have located. This will cause the fire alarm system to sound throughout the building
Firefighting operating procedures;
Raise the alarm!
Is it safe to tackle?
Exit route to safety?
Correct type of extinguisher?
Test it!-
Safe position from which to fight fire?
Fire Extinguishers Health and Safety Implications
Impaired vision
Inhalation of smoke and toxic gases
Too close to the fire
Failure rate
Means of escape
On discovering fire:
• Sound the alarm- If you discover or suspect a fire, sound the building fire alarm. If there is no alarm in the building, warn the other occupants by knocking on doors and shouting as you leave.
• Leave the building- Try to rescue others only if you can do so safely. Report to the Fire Assembly Point. Don’t go back into the building until the fire department says it is safe to do so.
• Call the fire department- Dial emergency number and give as much information as possible to the emergency dispatcher
Total and immediate evacuation is safest. Attack the fire if possible using the appliances provided, but without taking risks. If you can’t put out the fire, leave immediately.
On hearing the fire alarm;
• Leave by the nearest/safest fire exit, escorting visitors, quests etc;
• Do not stop to collect personal belongings;
• Report to your designated Assembly Point;
• Do not re-enter the building until you have been told that it is safe to do so. Shut the doors behind you as you leave and if possible close windows too.
• Fire Marshals should take the role call
1. The means of escape routes, primary and secondary.
2. The nearest Fire Alarm point.
3. Where the assembly point is.
Never take risks – if in doubt GET OUT
Smoke danger
Smoke is a combination of lethal gases, vapors and particles of partially burnt materials. Most fires release smoke and ALL smoke is dangerous – more than half of fire related deaths are as a result of smoke inhalation.
If you become trapped by smoke, you should:
• Lie on the floor;
• Breathe through your nose;
• Crawl to safety; In a fire, smoke will naturally rise leaving some fresh air about 30cm to 60cm off the floor
• If you see smoke coming from behind a closed door, NEVER open it – there is the possibility of a violent explosion as a result of a sudden in rush of air. Remember that without a supply of air (Oxygen) the fire will suffocate.
What To Do If You Are Trapped
Don’t panic. Stay calm and follow these steps:
• Enter a safe room, preferably one that overlooks a road.
• Shut the door behind you. Cover the bottom gap of the door with a blanket or rug, to prevent smoke from seeping through.
• Shout for help from the window or other openings to alert passers-by. Then wait for rescue to arrive.
If Your Clothing Catches Fire

What to do if your clothes catch fire

• Stop. Do not panic and run.
• Whether indoors or outdoors, drop down immediately, covering your face with your hands
• Roll over and over to put out the flames.
• Rolling smothers the flames by removing the oxygen.
• Covering your face with your hands prevents the flames from burning your face and helps keep fumes and smoke from reaching your lungs.
Assembly point procedures
 On the sounding of the alarm people should make their way to the assembly point and gather in an orderly fashion – the Fire Warden should take the role call and then report the findings to the coordinator who in turn reports to the fire service on arrival.
 Assembly should be quiet and orderly and the Fire Wardens should make sure that the people are not in danger. Sometimes there are problems when more than one department is assembling in the same area and it needs to be very disciplined so that an accurate count can be taken Protected means of escape or alternatives give people a choice of direction and therefore safety.
 Early warning, good fire safety, regular drills, and good means of escape are the ingredients for success.

What to do after a fire
After a fire, danger and injury are still possibilities.
It is extremely important to keep the following information and safety standards in mind:
 Do not enter a fire-damaged building unless fire department says it is okay.
 If the building is deemed unsafe to enter, secure to prevent possible looting
 Know who to call after a fire (family members, tenant and insurance company)
 Understand what happens with a “fire report”
 Consider the clean up requirements.
Have an electrician check the wiring before the current is turned back on. Do not attempt to reconnect any utilities yourself.

Counseling support
After a fire you may experience anxious feelings, depression, difficulty concentrating, sadness, anger, fatigue, irrational fears and nightmares. These are common responses to a traumatic event. If you or anybody else needs support and in case of any emergency, you should call or seek for the relevant professional help.

You are not expected to be a firefighter! Do not take unnecessary risks!

How the behavior of Kenyans makes it easier for terrorists to carry out attacks.

The Nairobi Assanand blast

On Monday, 28 May 2012, the normalcy and serenity of an afternoon in downtown Nairobi was broken by a huge blast, by local standards, at Assanand building along Moi Avenue. Thirty two people were injured and one life was lost. It was not the first terrorist attack on Nairobi and, unfortunately, it is not going to be the last. The following could be the objectives of the people behind Monday attack:

  • Just unleash terror by killing as many people as possible, on this; they succeeded in killing one and injuring over thirty people.
  • A test run to see how the authorities and our security agents are organized (disorganized), of which the actions of the commissioner of police Mr. Iteere and the government in general communicated a lot when they gave unverified and contradicting facts immediately after the blast. At first linking the blast to an electric fault then changing the story when Kenya power discredited this reasoning.

The security agents and the authorities should up their game in securing scenes of disaster and criminal events. There are rumors that the al-Qaeda has been overheard bragging that their agents remained around after the Assanand blast and passed themselves as journalists and even interviewed the victims.

  • To see how the public react and how they may be herded to a possible disaster through curiosity. The public did not disappoint by crowding around the scene of incident. If you watched the huge crowds at the scene, from the pictures streaming live on most media houses, one thing must have become very clear to you, Kenyans can let their curiosity lead them to their death.

 Picture this; with improved security checks on entrances to most buildings in the city, criminals might find it difficult to sneak in big explosive devices into such building. In order to have the highest impact possible, they can work the other way round, bring huge crowd to their explosive device. Such a device may be kept in a car parked on the street. The terrorists need only to interest and attract Kenyans to the device with a smaller incident before triggering a bigger blast after huge crowds have formed.

Improvised Explosive Device Discovered on Pale...

Improvised Explosive Device

Your security is your responsibilityAll said and done you should realize that your security is your responsibility. In such events you should overcome your curiosity, keep away and wait to see the events through the media. Experiencing such incidents firsthand may be interesting but might turn out to be the last thing you see.

Is exposure to sun rays put nasal allergy/sinusitis under control?

Monster Allergy

Monster Allergy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I do not remember when exactly it started,but I place my estimate time about the year 2006.It was not something serious to call for my worry at the begining.It was just common cold to me.

As time went by, its occurrence became more frequent  and each bout was more uncomfortable than the preceding one.Sneezing was its main manifestation at its early stage.Later other symptoms,like nasal blockages and occasional migraines, came up.

When these symptoms,especially nasal blockages became unbearable,I was forced to seek medical advice from an expert.After examination,the doctor attached a name to my condition, sinusitis.It was my first time to come across that word.

The worst part of the doctors report was yet to come.He informed me that, since my condition was as a result of an allergy,I was to  take allergy suppressant any time I felt under an attack and I was to take the medication for the rest of my life or until  I knew the source of my allergy and kept away from it.

I started my medication and my condition really improved.

About the end of 2011 a friend of mine,after learning of my condition,asked me whether I ever spend sometime in the sun.It struck me there and then that I could not remember the last time I was out in the sun.My life schedule had no room for time in the sun.I worked night shift and spend all daytime indoors sleeping,watching TV or in front of a computer.

Thinking of it,it occurred to me that my condition started around the time I started this lifestyle.The next day I started spending sometime in the sun.Since then, I bask in the sun daily,for at least thirty minutes.I stopped taking my anti allergy medication, but I rarely sneeze nor experience any nasal blockages.

It is scientifically proven that the sun is an important source of nutrients for good human health.But the exposure should be in moderation especially for people who are not of colour.Over exposure to the sun rays has been linked to skin cancer

How to get the best out of security dogs

Breeds like this Doberman were specifically br...

Breeds like this Doberman were specifically bred for guard duty.

Regardless of the advanced technological innovation in the field of private security- that has seen all types of security solutions come into use-the dog still remains,may be even far into the future, at the top of the list of security solutions available. Probably it is better to say that the dog is man’s oldest friend and  his  consistent source of security.

There is nothing that puts off burglars and robbers than a dog.Burglary/robbery is risk taking and like in business, those who undertake it will weigh the cost and the returns.A dog happens to be a cost raiser.

Not all dogs are security dogs but by and large,all of them can play a security role in a home.More often than not, what makes a dog a security dog is not its breed but  the training it gets.

There are two main security tasks a dog will do at home that will inform your choice of breed and training;

  • being a watch dog(raising alarm over intrusion by barking) and
  • a guard dog(able to attack and restrain intruders).

For a watch dog,the size of the dog does not matter, but guard dog need to be of a bigger size and better trained.

There are two ways of acquiring a security dog into your home for security,each with advantages and disadvantages.You can outsource the service from private security firms.In this arrangement,you do not have to worry about daily care for the dog, like food,veterinary care,exercise etc.But this comes at a very high monthly financial cost.Further more, you do not develop loyalty and friendship with the dog.The dog will always take you and members of your family as adversaries and that makes it a danger to you and your family within your home.

On the other hand, you can acquire your own dog and integrate it into your family.In this arrangement, all the day to day care of the dog will be your responsibility.This is not cheap neither but you have more to gain,all the dog’s friendship and loyalty will be to you and members of your household.

In order for you to get the best from your security dog,you should do the following:

1)Observe legal requirements.

Ensure you have proper paperwork before,during and after acquiring the dog.Different cities in/and different countries have varying laws and by laws guiding ownership of pets.Find out from your local authority what is required of you to be an owner of a dog.

2) Ensure your home is habitable to a dog

Bear in mind the safety of the dog and that of your neighbors.You do not want to start attracting law suits.An ideal home for a security dog is a stand alone and well fenced (Not flats,unless there is agreement by all residents). Buy a good kennel,dog blankets and utensils

3)Buy from licensed dog dealers.

This will assure you of standards and in case of unforeseen complications,you will have a legal entity to deal with.

4)Adjust your financial budget to include the daily care for the dog.

Many Kenyans will get a dog easily but will fail to put their needs(dogs’) within their budgets.A dog into your home is a new family member,make appropriate adjustments.

5)Create a relationship with your dog.

Play with them in the backyard,walk them,it is not only good for the dog’s health, but your own too(The exercise is helpful to both ends of the leash). Give them  good names (Do not forget to tag them, in case they get lost) and talk to them,you will be surprised how dogs understand human language.

I know you might say,’But I am not a dog type’. Just open your heart and give a dog a chance and I am sure of one thing, you will not regret.