What Do Security Guards Do At Night?

Written by Holly Savage

7th June 2022

It’s known that security officers work in a variety of different places, and some may even work night shifts. But what do security guards do at night really? We’ll be discussing this and more such as, what it’s like being a night security officer, how guards stay awake, and how much they earn.

What Is A Night Security Guard?

A night security guard is an SIA licenced guard who mainly works at night, and when others are asleep they can be a huge advantage to protecting a business. A night security guard’s role is quite similar to a daytime security officer, as they both follow the same main goal of protecting people, buildings, and companies.

Is A Night Watchman A Security Guard?

When people hear nighttime security, they often think of night watchmen. And a night watchman is someone that is hired to provide protection or guard empty buildings at night. Night watchmen may sometimes be referred to as security guards as they share similar responsibilities.

night security officer

What Is The Difference Between A Watchman And Security Guard?

Although they both do provide overnight night security a night security guard and a watchman are still very different. The main difference between them is the amount of training they receive.

As night security guards will be SIA licenced and they will be trained to handle or deal with any potential threats. Whilst a night watchman wouldn’t receive this training and instead, if a security incident happened, a night watchman would be advised to call the police.

What Do Security Guards Do At Night?

The main task of night security guards is to protect buildings, people, and valuables away from any danger such as theft or vandalism. Night security guards who work in hotel security will have to protect all guests and may help with any customer inquiries.

Night security guards who work in construction security will be asked to patrol the site, look out for any break-ins and stop any potential crimes such as vandalism. While night security officers who work in retail security may be asked in the morning to let the employees of a shop into the premises.

what do security guards do at night

What Are The Duties Of A Night Security Guard?

Night security guards will have many duties, and some may be similar to daytime security guards. Some of a night guard’s main duties are:


  • Patrolling a site or a building.
  • Ensuring that all people or valuables are secure.
  • Using CCTV to monitor different areas of a building or site.
  • Responding to any alarms and all emergencies.
  • Following all company producers and all health and safety procedures.
  • Escorting any unwanted or unwelcomed people away from the property.
  • Logging everyone entering and or leaving the building, and make sure they have valid reasons for being there.
  • Detecting and reporting all suspicious behaviour.

How Much Do Night Security Guards Make?

According to Talent UK, a UK night security guard can earn £11.92 per hour, and their average yearly salary can be up to £23,242. However, a night guard security salary can vary though depending on how much experience they have or what entry-level they are applying for. As entry-level positions will start at £21,800 per year while more experienced and higher-up positions can make up to £27,340 per year.

Another thing that may affect how much money a night security guard makes is the location that they are working in, as busy city areas tend to pay more than smaller rural areas to help cover living costs.

night security guard salary uk

Do Security Guards Sleep At Night?

A common worry that some businesses may have when hiring night time security services is that the security guard might fall asleep on the job. However, this rarely happens, and a good night security officer wouldn’t fall asleep at their post.

All security guards who work nights will get themselves in a good sleep routine beforehand so that they can easily stay awake. The only possible time that you may find a night guard sleeping at work, is if they are on their break and their post is being covered by other guards.

How Do Security Guards Stay Awake?

A common question asked by business owners is “How do I keep my security guards awake at night?” And well one of the biggest challenges that nighttime security guards will face is staying awake at night. Some of the best ways that security at night will stay awake are:


  • Security guards who work nights will be expected to work long hours, so it is important that plan ahead to get yourself into a good sleep routine. Some guards will do this by sleeping through the day and staying up late a few days before the start of their first night shift.
  • Try to do regular exercise. If you can take regular walks or patrols around the building or site, you are protecting. However, if you are stationed at a desk and are unable to leave try to find ways that you can still stretch and move your body.
  • Make sure to stay hydrated. Nutritionists have said that dehydration can cause drowsiness.
  • Install blue light bulbs in areas that your guard is protecting. Sleep experts and researchers have suggested that blue light bulbs can help people to stay awake.
night time security

Are Security Guards Entitled To Breaks On Nights?

Yes, night security guards will be entitled to have breaks. All workers within the UK are entitled to rest breaks, and people who work security are also entitled to have compensatory rest breaks. A compensatory rest break is when you are able to take your break at a later time. This is useful for night security guards as sometimes they may end up missing their scheduled break if they are dealing with a dangerous situation or security incident.

What Is It Like Being A Night Security Guard?

Although a night security guard will have similar tasks to a daytime guard, their experience working on these tasks may be very different. For example, as night-time is a more dangerous time for crime, night guards will be expected to be more alert and aware of their surroundings during their shifts so that they can help to reduce night crime.

Another difference between day and night guards is that security guards who work during the day will often have to interact with others such as retail security guards – who may have to help customers. While security guards who work at night may have a lonelier experience, as they will often work independently, and they may not talk to anyone throughout their shift.

night guard security

How To Be A Good Night Security Guard?

To become a night security guard and be a good one, there are a variety of skills that you will need. Some of these are:


  • Always be alert and aware of your surroundings.
  • To be detailed oriented.
  • Night security guards may often have to work alone so it is important that you are able to work independently.
  • You must be able to follow all security procedures.
  • You must have a good knowledge of security and public safety.
  • To have good communication skills.

What Qualifications Do I Need To Be A Night Guard?

You won’t have any specific educational qualifications to become a nighttime security guard. Instead, you will need to:


  • Have a security guard licence that is approved by the SIA.
  • Being over 18 years old.
  • Have the right to work in the country that you are planning on working in.
  • Have a first aid qualification.
  • Undergo background checks such as mental health checks and criminal record checks.
night security guard

How Do You Survive Night Shift Security?

The one thing that some security guards may dread is working a night shift, while other guards may prefer it. But what are the best ways to survive a night security shift? Some of our top tips for working staying awake during the night shift:


  • Get into a good sleep routine before you begin night shifts.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Avoid eating junk food, and instead eat well-balanced meals.
  • Limit your caffeine intake.

So, What Do Security Guards Do At Night?

Overall, night time security officers will have a variety of different tasks to complete at night, their main duty however will always be to provide ultimate protection to the business that has hired them.

If you would like to learn more about what security guards do, why not check out our blog? Where you can find articles about where security guards work and if guards get drug tested.

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