Active shooter incidents are on the rise, and the FBI projects that the frequency of these events will continue to increase. It is vital that your business has an active shooter protection plan in place to help safeguard your employees and customers. If you don’t have existing measures in place, now is the time to move towards this goal.
Establish an Anonymous Incident Reporting System
Active shooters don’t fit into a cookie-cutter mold. There is no specific look or demographic, as shooters span a range of walks of life. However, there are commonalities – these shootings are meticulously planned and discussed at length with an associate or loved one beforehand. In the aftermath, revelations of this information from other people come to the surface.
It’s often not that these individuals don’t want to share these details early on, but they may not know where or how to, and they are afraid to do so. If a disgruntled employee is displaying alarming signs, an anonymous incident reporting system will provide an avenue for employees to communicate their concerns without fear of retribution. This reporting may be enough to avoid a shooting altogether.
Perform a Risk Assessment
Minimizing the impact of an active shooter involves limiting their access. The more access to the building the shooter has, the greater the span of tragedy. For example, a building that requires an entry code or badge to access the work floor can keep a shooter out more effectively than a facility without this additional security.
This type of evaluation is especially helpful for businesses with heavy customer traffic or where there is a history of violence or prior threats. All business owners should perform a security assessment to highlight areas of risk and vulnerability and enact necessary operational changes to rectify these concerns. An evaluation by a security firm is recommended for this step.
Develop an Action Response Plan
Developing an action response plan is crucial. The response plan should document the immediate steps to take after the presence of an active shooter is recognized. Key elements of this plan should include notification and evacuation producers. Regarding notification, establish how you will notify employees of the threat, especially those who may not be near the shooter.
Will there be an alert sounded, will a message pop up on their computer screen, how will they know? For evacuation, should employees head to a lockable closet or should they try to vacate the building? All these details will prove essential in the event of an attack. Use feedback from the security assessment to formulate the best responsive plan.
Train Your Staff
Creating an action plan is only the first step. When this information isn’t shared with your employees, it’s nothing more than meaningless words on a piece of paper. It is essential that you train each employee on the action response plan.
This training is performable on a more hands-on level through training sessions or offered as a self-paced program where employees can access an online training module. It doesn’t matter the format, as long as each employee completes it.
Take this training a step further by allowing your employees to participate in an active shooter security exercise. In addition to monitoring your company’s awareness of what to do during an active shooting, use the exercise to highlight any areas in which your response plan is ineffective and make changes.
Preparedness in this type of event will go a long way, and your commitment to this protection is an ongoing task that you will need to revisit and update as time goes on. Partner with a security services company to further strengthen your efforts. Contact us at Trident Security for more information.