In 2017, 29 active shooter events occurred in the United States. Out of these 29, 45% were in businesses. Since 2000, more than half of all active shooter events took place in a business. This is an alarming number. What is even more alarming is that 35% of employees do not know what they would do in this type of event.
As of 2016, 70-80% of businesses were hoping to have active shooter training for their employees. This means that those 70-80% had not had any formal or business training yet.
What do we do when an active shooter comes into our places of business? We need training and teaching of the correct steps to take from those in security and authority. Let’s take a look at how to train your team to respond to threats.
Responding to Threats in a Business Setting
There are many different reasons businesses may be vulnerable to threats. These threats could come from a disgruntled employee or because the business just happened to be the choice place for the perpetrator.
With the rise of active shooter events in America, businesses need to inform their employees on security tactics. Informing employees allows them to respond to threats strategically, thus protecting them and giving them a chance for survival. Active shooter events are dire situations where misinformation may result in death.
In addition to basic survival, protecting your employees means protecting your brand and avoiding hefty litigation fees.
Profile of an Active Shooter
To understand survival and security in this situation, you need to understand the profile of an active shooter. Though there are common characteristics and personality traits, no profile is the same. Active shooter events can progress rapidly and are often unpredictable. During an event like this, it is imperative to have law enforcement involved.
Active shooter events may finish in less than 15 minutes, way before law enforcement arrives, therefore, the need for training is imperative.
Actions to Take
Responding to a breach in security must be correct to ensure the safety of all people in the building. If your business is a public facing business, where customers are coming in and out, your employees must set the example. Here is an overview of the most important things they need to do.
Plan an Escape Route
First things first: analyze your office environment when not under distress. Locate all of the exits, windows, doors, and closed off rooms. Which exit is nearest to your seat? If there isn’t an exit nearby, is there a closed room that has a door you can lock?
If you identify an active shooter in your business, the first thing to do if possible is to run. Leave the building as quickly as possible. When under stress, some people may freeze and not be able to move. Help them out of the building if you encounter them on your way out.
Are you aware if law enforcement has arrived on the scene? If they have, exit the building with your hands visible, so law enforcement can identify you as a victim and not the shooter.
If running or evacuating is not a possible solution, hiding is your next step of action. If you are aware of where the shooter is located in the building, get to a place that is out of their eye line.
During your scoping out of your office prior to an event, you should have located these rooms. Does the room have windows? Can you get out of them? If not, hide away from the windows. Lock the door is possible, then barricade the door with everything you can find in the room.
If you have a cell phone in your possession, silence it or put it on do not disturb. If there are other loud sources of noise in the hiding room, turn them off, so it is quiet. The goal is to make it look like no one is in the room. If you have a cell phone but cannot speak, dial 911 and leave the call rolling.
Lastly, if neither of these solutions fits your situation, fight. When it comes down to it, if it’s between fighting and perishing, there are certain things you can do that will be in your favor.
A shooter has likely planned out and visualized this event for some time before committing. They, more often than not, did not plan for disruptions like yelling, aggression, or using weapons. If you have items nearby that act as a makeshift weapon, getting creative may save your life.
In some time, if someone has notified the authorities, they will arrive, and new actions will need to take pl
Law Enforcement Arrival
When law enforcement arrives on the scene, their number one goal is to stop the shooter. If you are injured, they will not stop to assess you until they have the shooter under control. Your job as an employee is to remain calm upon their arrival.
Listen to their commands and follow them quickly. Raising hands or showing empty hands may not be necessary, but is helpful in identification. After the active shooter is apprehended, rescue teams will come in and assess the situation of the wounded. Medical personnel will treat injured team members.
They may ask for the help of those capable of helping.
Preparing Your Business for Active Shooter Situations
The only way to ensure your team members know how to respond to a security breach properly is to provide them with training. It begins with creating an Emergency Action Plan and offering mandatory training. Through these training efforts, your employees will be better equipped in light of this type of situation.
Threats in your business are real. They might not come from an active shooter, but a cyber breach or any breach in security impairs your business. Learn how to plan for these threats, inform your employees, and protect your business today. If you’d like to schedule a training, contact us today.