Canadian Laws Security Guards Need To Know About (2024)

The lives of security guards are anything but easy. As a professional security guard, you never know the situation you must handle and manage. But that is not all that a security guard needs to worry about because there are many legal obligations for security guards in Canada. Unfortunately, the law is not something that comes easily to people. So before you get a job as a security guard officer in Canada, you must familiarize yourself with Canadian security guard laws. Or ask the necessary questions like can private security carry guns in Canada? Can a private security guard make an arrest?

Canadian Laws Security Guards Need To Know About (1)

Security guards are hired by private individuals, companies, or organizations to protect people and property, such as in a shopping mall or apartment building. They are not part of the local police force and have more limited powers. However, they may have the ability to

  • ask someone to leave or ban them from private property,
  • make an arrest for specific offenses, or
  • detain and search someone in certain situations.

Asking You To Leave A Private Property

Under the Trespass To Property Act, a security guard can ask you to leave the private property without giving any reason for it. If you refuse to leave, then the security guard can arrest you as well.

Areas Under Which You Can Be Arrested

  1. If you commit a criminal offense on or against the private property
  2. If you are seen being chased by someone who has the authority to arrest you.

Security guards are forbidden from using excessive force and, in most cases, are not authorized to possess or utilize a firearm. While security guards may be equipped with a baton and handcuffs, the baton can only be used for defensive purposes. The security company employing them must hold a license, and the security guards must undergo proper training.

In Canada, security guards are licensed professionals who are hired to protect people and property. They have a range of responsibilities and limitations that are outlined in provincial and territorial legislation.

Of course, it is not easy to wrap your head around these laws, but you have no other option in this case. If you want to be the best security guard or provide the best security guard services, you need to familiarize yourself with these laws. So continue reading to learn more about the Canadian laws you need to know as a security guard in the country.

1) Security Services Act

The Security Services Act is primarily concerned with different aspects of the job description of a security guard in Canada.

As one of the country’s most crucial security acts, the Security Services Act overshadows many other laws. Besides, the act has different provisions for security guards and security guard companies, and businesses.

The Security Services Act specifies that every security guard officer must have a valid professional license to perform any security-related task. The act gives the registrar to decide if the security tasks you are engaging in are incidental or a primary duty of your job as a security guard. Additionally, you must apply for your security guard license from the registrar.

The Security Services Act further specifies that you must be an ordinary Canadian resident to renew your license unless you are exempt by regulation. But remember, renewing your licenses is mandatory, and you will need to pay an additional fee for renewal.

2) Criminal Code of Canada

Another important law that Canadian security guards need to familiarize themselves with is the Criminal Code of Canada. The act deals with the specifics of criminal activities and allows one to make an arrest when finding anyone guilty of any criminal offenses. Section 494 of the Criminal Code of Canada specifies that even members of the general public can make arrests.

Security guards are different from conventional peacekeepers, and the act does not recognize them as peacekeepers. So, their authority to make an arrest is just as limited as any other member of the general public. As long as the security guards have the necessary evidence and appropriate training even, they can arrest individuals for de-escalating any given situation.

Regarding the breach of peace, there is no specific Criminal Code for breaching the peace. However, section 30 of the Criminal Code of Canada provides one with authority to anyone, including a public member, to prevent or detain anyone trying to breach the peace. But this section is more like a preventive remedy to safeguard peace which means you must have a valid reason to detain someone.

3) Firearms Act

The final necessary law for security guards in Canada is the Firearms Act. As you might have already guessed, not everyone in Canada can carry firearms. One of many qualities that set Canada apart from its neighbors.

The Firearms Act deals with the authorization to move, import, and export firearms.

However, the Firearms Act has a couple of exceptions that deal with businesses and services where firearms are a must. Security guards in Canada can only carry and use a firearm if their employer issues the same. Besides, the security guard must have a valid firearms license for carrying and using the weapon.

Every security guard on duty must carry their firearms license and present the same upon request.

4) Privacy Laws

Security guards must also be aware of privacy laws in Canada, including the federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and provincial privacy laws. These laws govern the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information, including video surveillance footage and other information collected by security guards.

It’s important for security guards to stay up-to-date on changes to the laws and regulations that apply to their work. They should also receive regular training and education to ensure they are equipped to perform their duties safely and effectively.

Other than these acts, there are some other powers that a security guard have are-

  • Conduct searches of people and their belongings, but only with their consent or with a warrant
  • Use reasonable force to protect themselves, others, or property from harm, but only as a last resort and in proportion to the threat
  • Monitor CCTV cameras and other security systems to detect and prevent crime
  • Respond to emergencies, such as fires or medical emergencies
  • Provide information and assistance to the public

Keep in mind that a security guard is not a police officer. So he cannot exercise the special powers a trained police officer has. The first and foremost duty of a security guard is to observe the premise. Should any threat arise, only then he can take reasonable actions.

At the same time, there are certain things a security guard is forbidden to do so as well. And if he fails to follow those guidelines, he himself is liable to be arrested as well. If you are a security guard keep in mind the following points-

  • Carry firearms or other prohibited weapons, unless they have received the necessary training and certification
  • Use excessive force or violence against anyone, even if they are committing a crime
  • Discriminate against people based on their race, gender, age, religion, or other personal characteristics
  • Violate people’s privacy rights or search them without their consent or a warrant
  • Access or disclose confidential information, unless it is necessary for their job duties and they have received proper authorization

It’s important to note that the specific duties and limitations of security guards can vary depending on their employer, the location, and the nature of the job.

But what shall a security guard do when there is a breach of security? After all the security guard has been hired to prevent the situation from accelerating. They can prevent the situation from accelerating.

When dealing with a breach of peace incident, a security officer should take the following actions:

  1. Assess the situation: The security officer should quickly assess the situation to determine the level of danger and whether or not the situation is escalating. This will help them determine the appropriate course of action. Timely action will prevent a bigger accident from happening.

  2. Communicate: The security officer should communicate with the parties involved in the incident, using calm and clear language. They should try to defuse the situation and encourage cooperation. If the communication is not clear, this may create confusion and agitate the parties involved.

  3. Gather information: The security officer should gather as much information as possible about the incident, including the parties involved and any witnesses. This information will be important in making a report and may be helpful in preventing future incidents. This information can later also be given to police officers.

  4. Call for backup: If the situation is escalating or the security officer feels that they cannot handle the situation alone, they should call for backup from other security officers or the police. The security guard might feel overpowered in certain situations as well, so it’s in his best interest to think clearly.

  5. Maintain control: The security officer should maintain control of the situation and ensure that everyone involved remains safe. They should be assertive but avoid using excessive force. As they are not allowed to use excessive force, they need to maintain a fine line between the necessary force and going over the top.

  6. Report the incident: The security officer should make a report of the incident, including any actions taken, and submit it to their supervisor or the appropriate authority. The report should be factual, objective, and include any witness statements or evidence. The report can also be used by police officers should their investigation is required.

    Summing Up

    Failing to adhere to these regulations will attract penalties and even jail time in some adverse and severe cases. Also, the security guard must prevent using the firearm for as long as possible. Unjustified firearm use can attract fines and jail time for security guards and their employers.

Canadian Laws Security Guards Need To Know About (2024)


What are the Canadian laws for security guards? ›

Security guards are forbidden from using excessive force and, in most cases, are not authorized to possess or utilize a firearm. While security guards may be equipped with a baton and handcuffs, the baton can only be used for defensive purposes.

What is the main rules of security guard? ›

The security guard duties and responsibilities may include the following: Being a visible authoritarian figure capable of deterrence. Enforcing laws and regulations related to trespassing. Guarding high-traffic areas and monitoring all visitors.

What do you need to know as a security guard? ›

Here are nine skills security guards need to succeed at work:
  • Communication. Communication refers to the ability to exchange information with others. ...
  • Attention to detail. ...
  • Physical fitness. ...
  • Customer service. ...
  • Critical thinking. ...
  • Teamwork. ...
  • Problem-solving. ...
  • Technology.
May 10, 2023

Can a security guard question you? ›

A security guard/proprietary private security officer is an agent of the owner of the private property and, in this role, can exercise the owner's right to ask people on the (owner's) property what they are doing there, who they are, etc.

Does Canada have a national security law? ›

The Canadian government has issued guidelines for the national security review process, which explicitly include concerns related to export controls, controlled goods, and may also involve sanctions and anti-bribery and corruption laws.

Can you remain silent in Canada? ›

Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms allows people in Canada to remain silent when detained by law enforcement. Like 'Miranda rights' in the United States, it cements the right of a person not to have to answer questions asked by the police.

What are the 3 core functions of a security guard? ›

The responsibilities of a security guard are the same, world around. Their job is to protect assets by monitoring, reporting, and defending against any breach of security.

What is the most important thing in security? ›

The Most Important Thing in Security

That is why the most crucial thing in security is security infrastructure. Security infrastructure includes security systems, access control, authentication systems, and surveillance equipment that provide a comprehensive security solution for businesses.

What are 5 qualities of good security guard? ›

9 Qualities You Need to Become a Security Guard
  • Preparedness. This involves being properly and adequately equipped to handle any situation that comes your way. ...
  • Honesty. ...
  • Quick Reflexes. ...
  • Rationality. ...
  • Leader and Team Player. ...
  • Excellent Communication Skills. ...
  • Exceptional Strength and Fitness. ...
  • Value and Respect for Life.
Nov 1, 2021

What is a GS 0085 security guard job description? ›

This series includes positions the primary duties of which are the performance or supervision of protective services work in guarding Federally owned or leased buildings and property; protecting Government equipment and material; and controlling access to Federal installations by employees, visitors, residents, and ...

What is a hard skill for a security guard? ›

The most common security guard hard skill is customer service. 25.3% of security guards have this skill on their resume. The second most common hard skill for a security guard is patrol appearing on 17.2% of resumes. The third most common security guard skill is ladders on 16.4% of resumes.

What security is not allowed to do? ›

Typically, a security guard is not licenced to search a person without their express permission. Even if they suspect the person possesses stolen property, searching another citizen's person or property is not allowed.

What security guard should not do? ›

Use unreasonable force | To include, but not restricted to, the application of pain, choking, improper use of handcuffs, threatening and/or abusive language, and discrimination. 3. Can't Carry a Weapon | Security guards cannot use a weapon.

What is a security guard's weakness? ›

One of the most common weaknesses of security guards is that they can become complacent in their duties. When everything is going well, and there is no immediate threat, it's easy for guards to let their guard down (pun intended).

Can security guards be armed in Canada? ›

Carrying firearms and equipment

Security guards and private investigators may use equipment as a part of their duties if it is issued by their employer. They may carry: a firearm if they have a valid firearms licence.

Do you need a license to be a security guard in Canada? ›

You'll need to provide proof of completing the required training, pass a background check, and pay a fee to obtain your license. Once you have your license, you'll be able to legally work as a security guard in Canada.

Are security guards in demand in Canada? ›

Why become a security guard in Canada? There is a high demand for security guards all across Canada and these jobs can provide you with a well-paying career while allowing for personal time to spend with family and friends. A security guard job is a great starter job for anyone not only those just arriving in Canada.

How much do security guards get paid in Canada? ›

The average security guard salary in Canada is $33,150 per year or $17 per hour. Entry-level positions start at $28,763 per year, while most experienced workers make up to $45,339 per year.

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