A recently released report from the FBI has found an increase in the number of active shooter incidents in the U.S. since 2010. Many hospitals and schools conduct active shooter training. However, 40 percent of active shooting incidents happen in a business location, suggesting that other businesses should also establish an active shooter plan and provide training. Below are a few elements that we believe are essential in active shooter preparedness and response.
1. RISK ASSESSMENT
Assessing risks of an active shooter can predict the likelihood of an incident as well as help to establish evacuation routes and other procedures.
2. ACCESS CONTROL
Identifying potential threats before they enter the building could decrease the likelihood of a shooting incident.
If there is an active shooter in the building, seconds matter and early detection is essential. If a possible threat is identified on the premises remote surveillance may allow security personnel to locate and respond more quickly.
4. MASS NOTIFICATION/COMMUNICATION
Notifying personnel in the building may help in the safe evacuation or lockdown of a facility. This should also include communication within security teams, local law enforcement, and other emergency services.
5. TRAINED PERSONNEL
Security should have active shooter training, however, they are not the only entity that should be trained. Administrators, personnel, and other frequent visitors (i.e. students) should be trained on what to do in the incident of an active shooter.
6. DELEGATED AUTHORITY FIGURES
Even though you may have gone through training, in an unpredictable and intense situation like an active shooter there is likely to be chaos. A delegated line of authority or leaders can help contain chaos in many emergency situations.
The above are just a few useful elements in active shooter response. However, it is important to consult security industry specialists to assist in risk assessment, plan creation, and routine training.