Nanomaterials based sensing systems provide a new class of rapid and low cost detection alternatives with interest in the field of safety and security applications. In this review we report the recent trends in the use of various nanomaterials such as nanoparticles, carbon nanotubes, nanowires and graphene to detect different safety and security related analytes (i.e. microorganisms, toxins, pesticides and explosives). Nanomaterials are used either as modifiers of the electrochemical transducers or as labels with the objective to enhance the electrochemical signal, improve the stability and in general the performance of the detection systems including their cost-efficiency. Most of the developed systems are shown to bring excellent improvements while being used in the laboratory. Their application in real sample and during in-field monitoring still needs a long way while issues such as the reproducibility, stability, mass production capability of the designed devices etc. shouldnt still yet be resolved.