In today’s society, violence in the workplace has escalated to include incidents involving an Active Shooter. Even with the sadness and horror these types of incidents bring, most businesses and business owners strongly believe something like that could not happen to them or their employees. Unfortunately, over 76% of all violent incidents occur at a place of business.
In many cases, the type of emergency situation faced during a violent incident involves what law enforcement, emergency responders, and security and safety training consultants refer to as an Active Shooter. An Active Shooter is someone who is active engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area.
The best preventative measure you can take is to have an Active Shooter risk assessment performed at your business. The purpose of this assessment is to identify potential areas where you could be at greater risk for such an attack, as well as to recommend steps you can take to improve the security of your facility. Furthermore, a risk assessment helps you determine the most appropriate evacuation routes to take, based upon different scenarios.
It can be difficult for you or your team members to determine the proper route to take or when it is safe to evacuate after a violent attack. One tragic mistake people make is to retreat to areas that trap them, like a bathroom. During your risk assessment, the most appropriate evacuation routes are determined and your employees are trained on the correct way to respond should your business be attacked. In addition, alternative options are discussed; for example, in situations where a clear escape route is not possible.
It is best to always have an exit route in mind whenever you are at work. Evacuation should begin immediately after hearing shots have been fired within the building. You should run away from and not toward the Active Shooter. If you are away from your desk, do not try to return to your workspace to get your personal belongings. As you are evacuating, warn other team members you go.
If you are forced to seek shelter and lock yourself inside a janitorial supply closet, office, or another secure area, it is recommended to barricade the door with furniture or other objects which could potentially block a bullet and halt egress. You should also attempt to hide behind larger items for extra protection. You should let the 911 operator know where you are hiding, so they can communicate this information with the police. If you have your smartphone with you, remember to silence it.
Depending upon the circumstances, it might be better to remain hidden until the police tell you it is safe to evacuate, rather than risk coming out of your hiding place and potentially being injured or killed. Keep in mind, the best course of action and when it is safe to evacuate is dependent upon the type of attack. Risk assessment and mitigation training, along with Active Shooter training from Alamom, can help prepare you and your employees. Contact us at (858) 225-6463 today to learn more.