How Gunshot Detection and Mass Notification Create Safer Environments

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Understanding Gunshot Detection Systems

As reported by CNN, statistics from the FBI highlight that 2022 saw the highest number of active shooter deaths or injuries in the past five years in the United States. For many organizations active shooter is a worst-case scenario, but because of the devastating impact such an event could cause, many are investing in solutions like gunshot detection systems to help minimize the risk an active shooter can pose.

Using sensors placed throughout a facility, organizations can receive an alert when a gunshot is detected. Sensors can have location information associated with them to give organization leaders much-needed context for where a gun was fired. Advanced acoustic software can accurately detect gunshots while filtering out false alerts from other loud noises. While these solutions may not stop a gun from going off, it does provide valuable insight the moment an incident occurs, giving people more time to get out of harm’s way.

However, the notification capabilities of gunshot detection systems can sometimes be limited, which is why many organizations integrate these tools with mass notification systems.

Adding Mass Notification

Combining a gunshot detection system with mass notification can greatly expand the reach of gunshot alerts to help ensure that everyone knows an incident is taking place. Mass notification systems offer the ability to send customized messages when a gunshot is detected at intrusive audio, text, and visual alerts. These alerts can be delivered to a wide range of devices, including overhead speakers, desk phones, digital signage, desktop computers, and mobile devices. Notifications can also be configured to deliver to specific groups. During an active shooter situation, this can help an organization send messages with specific details that are relevant to everyone’s wellbeing, and others targeted to security teams with instructions for how to respond during this type of event. This can lead to a more efficient response, minimizing disruptions and risk.

Some mass notification systems also include incident management capabilities. When a notification is initiated by the gunshot detection system, invitations can be sent out to gather key stakeholders in virtual collaboration spaces to assess the situation and determine the best course of action. Notifications can also be sent asking people to respond to a question. This could ask whether or not someone is safe or whether they have evacuated a building. Responses provide real-time insights to help account for everyone and get an understanding of who needs assistance. After-action reports generated by a mass notification system can provide valuable information about how effective an emergency response was so organizations can identify gaps and make adjustments for the future.

Deploying these two solutions helps organizations stay on top of potential threats and communicate vital information with everyone quickly to provide the highest level of protection.

InformaCast and Gunshot Detection Systems

Singlewire Software recently enhanced its InformaCast integration with Shooter Detection Systems to provide organizations with a powerful gunshot detection and mass notification solution. The Guardian Indoor Active Shooter Detection System is a system of devices that utilize advanced acoustic detection software combined with infrared sensors to immediately and accurately detect gunshots while filtering out false alerts. The sensor instantly transmits shot location information including the building address and the location within the building where shots were fired, details that are critical for both the building occupants at risk and first responders to the scene. The technology integration between Guardian and InformaCast automates the emergency communications process further, expanding the shot notification pathway to reach more people at once and empowering building occupants to make rapid, informed decisions while helping first responders directly target the active shooter threat.

Upon detection of a shot, the Guardian System contacts InformaCast to send critical shot detection notifications based on preconfigured parameters. End users can configure the text and audio messages that get sent out from InformaCast when a gunshot is detected. InformaCast notifications can be broadcast through IP speakers and IP phones, display emergency information on digital signage, initiate desktop alerts, and send emergency communications to mobile phones and email. System administrators can also determine what groups receive messages when a gunshot is detected.

Gunshot detection integration is also offered via Advanced Network Devices (AND) speakers through its Vigilar GSD solution. Vigilar GSD leverages the network of AND IP speakers and displays with built-in that can detect and localize a gunshot, then send an audio verification recording to a designated building administrator. Once a gunshot is verified, an administrator can take action to notify others using InformaCast S

Visit our active shooter safety page for more information about how InformaCast can assist your organization with keeping your people and operations safe during these critical events.