A Facilities Manager Introduction to Active Shooter Threats
By: A .Peakman
As a facility manager, you are re responsible for the safety and security of the people in your building. This includes preparing for and responding to active shooter situations.
An active shooter is defined as an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area. In most cases, active shooters use firearms and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims. Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly. Therefore, it is important to be prepared mentally and physically to deal with the situation.
The first and most important step is to call 9-1-1 immediately and give them a clear description of the situation, location, and shooter. Once law enforcement arrives, follow their instructions. Do not attempt to apprehend the shooter yourself. Your goal is to survive and to help others survive.
1. What are some steps facilities managers can take to protect their buildings against mass shootings?
Facilities managers play a crucial role in keeping buildings safe. In the wake of mass shootings, many organizations are looking for ways to prevent these tragedies from happening on their premises.
There are several steps facilities managers can take to protect their buildings against mass shootings. Below are a few of the most effective measures:
This may include:
● Access control systems: Implementing access control systems that require a keycard or biometric authentication can prevent unauthorized access to sensitive areas of your facility.
● Surveillance cameras: Install surveillance cameras and access control systems: Surveillance cameras can help deter potential shooters and provide law enforcement with valuable footage if an incident does occur.
● Alarm systems: Installing alarm systems that are triggered by unauthorized access or unusual activity can alert security personnel to potential security threats.
● Secure networks: Ensuring that your facility has a secure network with strong firewalls, secure passwords, and regular software updates can prevent cyber attacks and protect sensitive data.
● Physical barriers: Installing physical barriers can prevent intruders from accessing your facility, such as security gates, fences, or reinforced doors and windows.
● Implement active shooter training: Active shooter training can help employees know what to do in the event of an incident. This can potentially save lives and reduce the amount of damage caused by a mass shooting.
● Increase security personnel: Adding more security personnel can help to deter potential shooters
● Conduct a Risk Assessment: Start by performing a risk assessment of your facility. Analyze the layout of the building to identify potential hiding spots, entry and exit points, and potential targets.
● Develop an Emergency Response Plan: Develop an emergency response plan that includes procedures for lockdown, evacuation, and communication. Make sure that all employees are trained on the plan and conduct regular drills to ensure that everyone understands what they are supposed to do in an actual emergency.
● Work with Local Law Enforcement: Establish a relationship with local law enforcement agencies to ensure that they are familiar with your facility and can respond quickly in the event of an emergency.
● Install Perimeter Security Measures: Install physical barriers such as barriers, bollards or planters that discourage vehicular ramming attacks; and consider electronic measures such as access control systems or video surveillance cameras.
● Provide Employee Training: Provide regular training to employees on what to do in the event of an active shooter situation. Educate them on the warning signs of potential threats and how to respond if there is an emergency.
● Secure all Entrances and Exits: Ensure that all entrances and exits to the facility are secure and that employees are required to use identification badges or other security measures when entering or leaving the building.
● Conduct Regular Threat Assessments: Periodically reassess the facility to determine if any changes need to be made to the emergency response plan or other security measures. This step is crucial to prevent and mitigate the risk of a potential attack.
2. How can facilities managers prepare and or support their staff?
Although active shooter incidences are thankfully rare, they can and do happen. And when they do, facility managers and their staff must be prepared to respond. But how can you train your staff to respond to such a traumatic event?
There are a few things you can do to help your staff be prepared for an active shooter.
● First, you should create a clear and concise mass shooting response plan. This plan should detail what staff should do in the event of a shooting, from evacuating the building to hiding and barricading themselves in a safe location. You should also hold regular training drills to help your staff be familiar with the response plan and know what to do in an emergency.
● Second, It's important to educate your staff on the warning signs of potential violence and how to report any concerning behavior. This can include changes in behavior or mood, verbal threats, or unusual interest in weapons. Encourage your staff to trust their gut instincts and report any concerns to management or security personnel immediately.
Overall, being prepared for a mass shooting requires a combination of planning, training, and education. By taking proactive steps to prepare your staff, you can help ensure their safety and well-being in the event of a crisis.
3. What should facilities managers do after an active shooter incident?
After an active shooter incident, there are a few things that facilities managers should do to help the healing process.
● First, it’s important to have a debriefing with all employees. This should be done as soon as possible after the incident. During the debriefing, employees should be encouraged to share their experiences and feelings. This will help everyone to process what happened and start the healing process.
● Second, it’s important to offer counseling services to all employees. Many people will need help dealing with the trauma of an active shooter incident. Counselors can help employees to deal with their feelings and to start the healing process.
● Third, it’s important to review your security procedures. This is to ensure that something like this doesn’t happen again. After an active shooter incident
In summary, facilities managers need to take active steps to prevent and prepare for an active shooter situation. By creating an emergency response plan, working with law enforcement, installing security measures, providing regular training and conducting periodic threat assessments, facilities managers can help minimize the risk of an active shooter threat and ensure the safety of their employees and visitors. As a facilities manager, it is important to be aware of the potential for an active shooter threat at your facility. While the chances of this happening are relatively low, it is still important to be prepared if it does occur.