Page 98 - Security Today, July/August 2020
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gence to deploy immediately on site. Studies show that for every minute that victims wait for treatment, survival is 10 percent, less likely. By eliminating valuable minutes before 911 is contacted and providing clear and concise data of a gunman’s location, number of shots fired and type of weapon, gunfire detection systems can potentially slash the duration of a mass shooting in half.2 4
A recent study by The Harford of more than 1 million of its small business policies showed that in a five-year period, twice as many cus- tomers made insurance claims for loss due to theft, over fire claims. Despite this, the use of camera systems — can deter and help resolve cases of theft — reduces insurance premiums, while smoke detectors are legally required in every room and hallway of all commercial buildings. One explanation for this is obvious; smoke detectors can help save lives and do so at a price point that’s affordable for any size organization. Workplaces can’t afford not to have them.
An Area of Risk
Another explanation is the size of the risk. The risk of an active shooter, much like the risk of a fire, is an area risk. A fire anywhere in the building is a problem for the entire building. The same is true for an active shooter. If one area of a building has no smoke detectors the building is considered unsafe. Maximizing coverage and minimizing response time is critical to an effective system deployment. Combining full coverage with accurate real-time information allows for real-time response, so planning an approach no longer becomes a guessing game for first responders.
Newer systems that tie directly to 911 call centers, or public safety answering points, ensure that information flows freely to 911 operators. This allows those first on the scene to quickly get their bearings and put a plan into action.
On campuses of more than one building this can have a profound
impact on the duration of an event. Requiring the search of every building or every floor of a building can take an incredible amount of time even when executed by a highly skilled team. Providing a way to prioritize those locations with accurate and unbiased information not only allows the situation to be contained. This information can also be used to make informed decisions on the safest areas and route innocent bystanders.
Extending these systems with integrations to video, mass notification and access control can give a complete active shooter response plan with minimal dependence on any one person’s actions. Active shooter situations present a level of chaos that is difficult to train and prepare. First respond- ers and campus staff have seen in the past how a plan can fall apart at first contact. Having as much of the response as possible executed through these automated integrations can free up staff to handle other duties.
The next generation of indoor gunfire detection systems bring a lot to the table. Given their ability to help save lives, with only a small incre- mental increase in security budgeting, they’ll soon be an indispensable element of every active shooter technology plan.
John Anderson is CTO of Safe Zone Technologies Inc.
1. SECURITAS Top Security Threats and Management Issues Facing Corporate America 2019 Survey Fortune 1,000 Companies
3. Based upon calculated average time required for a gunman to be stopped, including
911 call, arrival of police, situational assessment and identifying gunman location, according to The Police Response to Active Shooter Incidents, Washington DC Police Executive Research Forum.
4. Narisco, C. December 8, 2015, What Really Happens When You Get Shot, Wired
5. The Hartford Reports, March 30, 2015: More Than 40 Percent of Small Businesses Will
Experience A Claim In The Next 10 Years.
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