Orlando. Sandy Hook. Aurora. Mass shooting events in communities throughout the United States have been a wake-up call to many businesses and public places concerning the need for active shooter preparedness.
Nearly 46 percent of active shooter incidents occur in business settings, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Educational institutions are the second most likely setting for an active shooter incident. Active shooter training can help reduce chances of death and injury should one of these violent incidents occur at your place of work or school.
All work places and public spaces should do the following to prepare for possible active shooter incidents:
- Have a plan in place that addresses the possibility of workplace violence. The plan should address what employees should do in the event of an active shooter incident to reduce their risk of death or injury, and what they should do to protect customers, students, or visitors. Organizations should involve representatives from every department in creating this plan to gain the benefit of multiple perspectives.
- Provide training to every member of the organization so each employee knows what to do in the event of an active shooter incident. In general, training should teach employees to regularly take account of their environment and potential dangers.
Employees should be trained to always be aware of nearby exits. If an event occurs, employees should be taught that if they’re in an office, they should stay inside and lock the door. If in a hallway, they should find the nearest room with a lockable door, enter it, and lock the door. If a shooter is at close range, and flight is not an option, the employee should try to take down or otherwise incapacitate the shooter, as survivability chances are higher if the employee takes action.
- Regularly test the plan and also assess facilities to see if additional security measures are required. Testing can include tabletop exercises, site reviews, and active shooter event simulations. We, Alamom’s Security and Safety Division can assist in this process, providing professional support from trained law enforcement and security personnel.
FBI statistics show that active shooter incidents have increased significantly since the early 2000s. In 2000, just one active shooter incident occurred in the U.S., according to FBI records.. Today, there is an active shooter incident almost every 18 days. The odds are that your workplace may never experience an active shooter event, but, if it does, readiness can mean the difference between life and death.
With proper training and testing, work places and other public areas can mitigate damage and injury caused by an active shooter event. It’s up to these institutions and their leaders to be their best by planning for the worst.
Alamom offers a variety of business improvement consulting services to clients, including active shooter and safety consulting. Established in 2014, Alamom is a female-owned business that seeks to provide advice that will help clients enhance efficiency, foster innovation, and mitigate risk.