5 Reasons Every K-12 School Needs an Active Shooter Detection System

How prepared is your campus for an active shooter? This is a question every school administrator should consider, whether they work at a small rural school or a campus with thousands of students. In the case of a hostile actor, early detection will save lives. Here are five of the most important ways a fully integrated shooter detection system will offer protection.

#1. Reducing false alarm risk

False alarms are expensive, inconvenient and could potentially cause a greater risk later on. Too many false active shooter alerts may cause schools to become complacent when these alarms are triggered. When the scenario is real, that complacency could be deadly.    

To eliminate this, you need to seek out an active shooter system with a 100% accuracy rate. These systems use both acoustic and infrared validation to eliminate the risk of false alarms. If the company providing your active shooter detection system can’t offer a 100% guarantee, you should seek out one that does.

#2. Immediate response

A fully integrated active shooter detection system that works with your existing emergency response program will trigger an immediate call to 911. On average, it takes up to 3 minutes for emergency response teams to respond to a call, so the faster they’re alerted, the better. By streamlining the emergency call process, schools can get faster help from outside agencies, ensuring that they can protect students even in a worst-case scenario.

#3. Simple self-testing

Even if they are rarely used, active shooter detection systems require regular maintenance to ensure they’ll work when needed. A high-quality system will offer built-in self-tests as well as instant maintenance alerts. That way, you’ll always know that your active shooter system is ready for use and will be able to correct any issues with it well before the system is needed.

#4. Scalable protection  

In Texas, our schools generally aren’t built as one big building. Instead, campuses evolve over time as needs change and student population expands. An active shooter system should be capable of monitoring both indoor and outdoor activities so that as you expand, your protection expands.

#5. Automatically triggered action plans

A shooter detection system shouldn’t stop at alerting you of a potential hostile actor. It should also trigger an action plan that is interconnected with all your security equipment. The right shooter detection plan will work with:

  • Access control: Lockdown processes should be instantly implemented at all entry and exit points. A fully integrated system will ensure this happens automatically, so any hostile actor is restricted in movement.
  • Surveillance cameras: Real-time surveillance is necessary to assist law enforcement in tracking the movements of an active shooter. Strategically located surveillance cameras can help law enforcement create the best plan for response.
  • Critical communications: Staff needs to be quickly alerted in the event of an active shooter. This means the system must work with a mass notification system to provide up-to-the-minute details via phone, text or intercom.

The most important part of an active shooter detection system is its ability to integrate with other equipment. Without the ability to work with critical communications, access control and surveillance systems, a shooter detection system will be ineffective. When choosing to implement one for the protection of any K-12 school, choose a company that can provide integration of all these services.

The technology you use will determine the outcome if the worst does happen. A properly integrated active shooter plan ensures you’ll be prepared to protect your students, notify authorities, and minimize injuries and loss of life should your community be targeted.

At 3Sixty Integrated, we integrate shooter detection systems into your other programs to ensure that you are always able to protect students and rapidly notify authorities in the event of a dangerous on-campus situation. Use our expertise to develop a fully functional, electronic security system capable of working with today’s advanced active shooter detection programs. For more information, call (210) 545-1770 or fill out our contact form.