The threat of active shooters – defined by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies as an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area – has grown explosively over the past few years, placing new pressures on business owners to protect themselves and their employees.
Consider the above chart showing the hockey-stick escalation in active shooter casualties between 2016 and 2017 (the most recent year for which such data is available). Nearly half of those shootings occurred in or around businesses, often involving a disgruntled ex-employee and/or someone with a vendetta against someone inside the business.
So commonplace have active shooter situations become, that the FBI recently took the unprecedented step of recommending that all Americans learn how to thwart such attacks.
In its report, the FBI noted: “As in past years, citizens were faced with split-second, life-and-death decisions. In 2018, citizens risked their lives to safely and successfully end the shootings in five of the 27 active shooter incidents. They saved many lives. Given this reality, it is vital that citizens be afforded training so they understand the risks they face and the options they have available when active shooter incidents are unfolding.”
In other words, an active shooter situation may be coming soon to just about anyone in this country, and it is of paramount importance that we be prepared for just such an eventuality.
Preparing for Active Shooter Situations
In response to the growing number of active shooter situations plaguing the nation and, in particular, businesses, a growing number of companies are putting place security measures designed to thwart and/or contain such situations.
Cameras, blast-proof windows and doors, secured portals (entries to rooms), electronic alarms, employee safety training including evacuation plans, and more are all being deployed.
Furthermore, a number of companies are creating safe rooms – reinforced closets, conference rooms, offices, and other existing facilities – that can double as gathering places for terrified employees who suddenly find themselves under siege.
The good news is that a business safe room is not all that different from one built for homes. Contact us to learn more.