Active shooters and hostile actors are risk factors for every industry. We’ve seen far too many examples of senseless attacks occurring across sectors. When the worst happens, a rapid response can and will save lives. Active shooter detection systems can aid in this by working with other security devices to ensure a fast, automatic and effective response.
How Shooter Detection Systems Work With Your Security Infrastructure
With the average 911 response being 3 minutes nationwide, early detection is imperative when calling for help. The ability to immediately detect a threat saves lives. Active shooter detection systems use both infrared and acoustic verification to detect and locate gunshots and can communicate issues to other security systems, including:
- Critical communications. If a system is linked to critical communications, it can contact 911 services for outside help, as well as notify those in the building of where to go and what to do. Communication hubs in the building can also be used by those inside to receive direction from authorities and get up-to-date notifications.
- Surveillance systems. Authorities need to be able to track the movements of an active shooter to determine the best response. With real-time surveillance, they can do this and help direct those inside to safety. Being able to locate the shooter and understand where they are going will help first responders create a plan to apprehend them while minimizing the risk to life.
- Access control. Access control systems can be used to lock down specific areas. This ability restricts a shooter’s movements, as well as delays them long enough for those trapped inside to escape to safety. It also makes it easier for law enforcement to apprehend the perpetrator by locking them into a specific area.
Another benefit of using shooter detection systems is their objective nature. The right system will be able to determine the difference between a gunshot and a door slamming shut or other loud, sudden noise. Without a shooter detection system, enterprises will be dependent on subjective risk assessments by individuals, which can increase the risk of false alarms. With technology doing the evaluation, the detection is far more accurate.
What to Look for in Active Shooter Systems
While you may have heard the phrase, “There’s no such thing as a 100% guarantee,” in shooter detection systems, that’s not true. If the company you’re considering working with cannot provide 100% accuracy, you’ll want to look elsewhere. False alarms are both time consuming and expensive, so a shooter detection system that can’t offer a 100% accuracy guarantee is not cost effective or worth your time.
On top of that, you’ll want a program that supports internal, automatic self-tests. If a shooter detection system isn’t working, you won’t know until it’s far too late. Regularly scheduled self-tests will ensure your system is always ready, even if you never have to use it. A security integrator should be able to train users about the system itself and create an active shooter protocol to ensure your system is always operational and up to date.
Finally, you must have integration. If your active shooter system can’t work with all your existing technology, it’s not going to help you. Look for engineers with the ability to integrate a diverse set of components, including shooter detection systems, and ensure they work together seamlessly. The system should communicate with everything from access control to critical communications and surveillance to help supporting a comprehensive active shooter protocol.
No one ever wants to need a shooter detection system, but as a business leader, this is something you must consider. By detecting these incidents early, you can save lives and ensure the safety of customers, staff and first responders. Full integration won’t just assist you in a time of crisis. It will be what first responders depend on to capture the perpetrator and get people out quickly and safely.
At 3Sixty Integrated, our field technicians can ensure that your entire security design supports your shooter detection system from initial notification all the way through to assisting first responders on-site. Our expertise can guarantee that you are always prepared for even the most unlikely scenario. For more information, call (210) 545-1770 or fill out our contact form.