Security Technologies to Help Prepare for Active Shootings

Security camera view of crowded street

Although considered a rare occurrence looking at the bigger picture, an active shooting is something that many people fear today. There is no way to predict when or where these events will unfold, but there are certainly practices, protocols, and products that can at least help mitigate the outcome if they do occur.

As a security integrations firm, POM would like to educate you about the systems that can help facilities prepare for the worst. Here’s a breakdown of some key technologies for active shooter response:

Access control

Safety starts at the front door, which is why access control is the number one way to slow down an active shooter.

A single, secure entrance with a visitor management system in place helps prevent access without authorization. Furthermore, technologies like electronic lock-sets, turnstiles, and ID badges would force a potential shooter to overcome numerous obstacles before getting into the building.

If a shooter did manage to find a way inside, electronic locks on doors throughout the building would make it harder to access classrooms, offices, and other locations. Access control can even be programmed so that if a specific alarm is triggered, the entire building goes on lockdown. This means a system would immediately lock all doors if an active shooter were present, giving people more time to reach safety.

There are also solutions to fortify window and door glass, which are vulnerable entry points for buildings during an active shooting.  Ballistic film, a shatter-resistant glass film, can be installed over glass windows and doors to hinder someone from easily shooting through it.

Gunshot detection

During active shootings, it is not uncommon for people to confuse the first round of gunshots for something much less serious. This puts some people at a temporary standstill when they should be heading for safety. Every second counts when a shooter is present, so it is critical to identify shots as early as possible.

With gunshot detection technology, a facility can set up acoustic sensors at fixed locations in and around the site. Not only would these detectors alert that shots went off, but they would also identify the location of the shots. This would help building occupants escape safely by avoiding the point of danger, and assist authorities in keeping tabs on the shooter’s location.

Video surveillance

Security cameras provide the advantage of monitoring and recording events as they unfold, which would serve as a valuable tool if a shooter were present. Surveillance systems can even potentially be federated with local public safety officials to assist in a coordinated response.

Despite the advantages of surveillance, however, it cannot do its job unless cameras are functioning at optimal levels. This is why security system maintenance and management is so crucial to an effective system.

For instance, think about the role timing would play during such an event. If law enforcement were trying to track a shooter inside a building but live feeds were off by even ten seconds, the cameras would be ineffective.

In addition, issues with upgrades, storage, positioning, and image quality can also interfere with the accuracy and clarity of footage, which is why it is necessary to check camera functionality on a consistent basis.

It all comes down to design and and maintenance

An integrated system that includes the technologies above, as well as additional practices and procedures, can make a profound impact during an active shooter incident—but only if it is all designed and maintained with your unique site considered.

To ensure that your facility is prepared for any kind of threat, you must have confidence that your security system is up and running 24/7. A security maintenance plan can provide you with professional security technicians to check on your system’s functionality so that you never have to think twice about the safety of your site.

The security industry is constantly evolving to our ever-changing safety needs. There are solutions out there for all facility safety challenges, so it is important to stay educated about your options and partner with a security firm that has your best interest in mind.

About Peace of Mind Technologies

At POM, we design, install and service security technology strategically throughout facilities to provide optimal protection against threats. To get some insight into the strengths and weaknesses of your current security system, schedule a complimentary consultation with us.

To ask questions and learn more about the technologies above, give us a call at (212) 688-2767 or contact us online.