Active Shooter

Protect your people from active shooter events with InformaCast mass notification. Share alerts and trigger lockdowns with the push of a button to keep people out of harm’s way.

Benefits

  • Adhere to active shooter best practices
  • Quickly alert everyone in your organization
  • Lockdown your building
  • Manage the situation in real-time

Additional Resources

 

 

Topics

Active Shooter Strategy Comparison

Active Shooter Strategies: ALICE vs. Run. Hide. Fight.

To prepare for an active shooter event your organization needs to go through proper training to understand what can happen during this kind of situation and how people should respond. A mass notification system like InformaCast can be a useful tool to enhance your organization's active shooter strategies. While we are often asked to advise organizations that implement our software on best practices for active shooter events, we do not currently offer this as a service. However, we have worked with groups including local law enforcement and consultants who have experience with active shooter strategies that our customers and other organizations have found success with.

One such strategy is ALICE Training, and it is based around five tenets that form its name: alert, lockdown, inform, counter, and evacuate. ALICE Training recommends that the most important first step is to make people aware (alert). The second strategy, DHS,  leads with evacuation (the “run” portion). The goal is to get people out of the area where the shooter is and to a place where they can contact authorities.

Another is Run. Hide. Fight. from the Department of Homeland Security. The major tenets of this strategy are in its name and the goal is to get people out of the area where the shooter is and to a place where they can contact authorities and prevent others from entering a dangerous situation. There are other strategies out there, and choosing which one is best for your organization will depend on a number of factors. 

See Active Shooter Strategies: ALICE vs. Run. Hide. Fight. blog post for more.

 


Get Started With Active Shooter Alerts

Due to the unpredictability, danger and risk involved with active shooter incidents, we often recommend that organizations make it a priority to configure messages and devices within their mass notification systems that can help address this situation. IP speakers, IP phones, desktop computers, strobe lights, panic buttons, mobile devices and more can all be used to help share information during an active shooter event. When implementing a mass notification system, you’ll need to understand how your organization wants to alert people and manage a response. With effective alerting, you can help minimize confusion and panic. By informing everyone of what’s happening you can provide an authoritative message that lets people know the situation is being addressed and they should seek safety.

Keep in mind that training related to your mass notification system is also critical when it comes to developing effective active shooter response strategies. Having a mass notification go out doesn’t do much good if no one knows what to do next.

See Get Started With Active Shooter Alerts blog post for more.

 


Active Shooter Alerts with the Push of a Button

Active shooter situations are challenging to plan for and can be even more difficult to respond to. One of the biggest challenges is sharing information about what is happening with the people within your organization. If an active shooter enters one floor or end of a building, how do you let people in other areas know to seek safety and alert authorities?

A mass notification system can help, but different solutions offer different methods of alerting, some of which are less effective than others. While many organizations rely on mass SMS text messaging to do the brunt of the alerting, this method does not always capture people’s attention in a timely manner and does not utilize intrusive audio to interrupt ongoing events with urgent announcements. There’s also an issue with sending the initial alert out. Most active shooter training emphasizes that a person’s first option should always be to get themselves away from an active shooter. But if you see or hear an active shooter, you may feel a sense of obligation to the other people in your organization to alert them that they may be in danger. With a mobile-only mass notification system, you may need to unlock your phone or log into a web interface to find the right message, wasting precious seconds.

InformaCast offers a quick and easy way for a person to alert their entire organization and then get themselves to safety. By configuring a panic button on IP phones, a person only needs to press the button and leave. They don’t need to worry about logging into anything or finding the right app to launch a message, because the message is prebuilt and available on the phone.

See Active Shooter Alerts with the Push of a Button blog post for more.

 


K12 and Higher Ed Shooting Statistics

While any organization is susceptible to an active shooter event, we often think of the damage these kinds of events can have on students at K12 schools and higher education institutions. According to statistics compiled by the Naval Postgraduate School‘s Center for Homeland Defense and Security and reported by Campus Safety Magazine, 2018 saw some of the highest figures related to school shooting incidents since 1970. The center’s database “documents every instance a gun is wielded, fired, or a bullet hits school property for any reason, regardless of the number of victims, time, day of the week, or reason.”

The data compiled showed 2018 had high statistics in two areas in particular:

  • 2018 had the greatest number of incidents since 1970 with 82 recorded incidents.

  • 2018 was also the highest year for the number of victims killed with 51 (this includes incidents where the shooter was killed).

Another report from Campus Safety Magazine with statistics from the Citizens Crime Commission of New York City highlights the prevalence of gun-related incidents on and near college campuses. 

Key statistics from the report include:

  • Incidents of gun violence increased from 12 incidents during the 2010-2011 school year to almost 30 incidents during the 2015-2016 school year.

  • Casualties during the last five school years represented a 241 percent increase compared to casualties during the 2001-2002 to 2005-2006 school years.

These statistics highlight the need for K12 schools and districts as well as colleges and universities to have tools like mass notification systems in place to mitigate the dangers of active shooter events.

See Safety Tools for Active Shooter Scenarios and Campus Safety Should Be a Top Priority blog posts for more.

 


Mass Notification for Reunification

Mass notification systems can also help organizations manage the reunification process following an active shooter event. While many organizations use this to communicate with people within their organization to coordinate safety efforts, by setting up separate groups for those outside your organization, you can also help facilitate reunification strategies.

For K12 schools this would mean creating a group for parents and guardians that can be reached via SMS text, email, and phone calls. Ideally, your reunification process will be documented and communicated well ahead of any emergency, such as at the beginning of the school year. However, during chaotic situations, people cannot be expected to remember information that was shared weeks or months ago. Leveraging mass notification can provide in-the-moment updates to inform parents about an ongoing situation, and where they should go to reunite with their children. This can help divert parents who may instinctively want to come to the school, but end up getting in the way of first responders.

See Mass Notification for Reunification blog post for more.

 


Threat Detection Partnership

In an effort to further aid organizations with their active shooter strategies, Singlewire Software has partnered with Patriot One Technologies, a company that specializes in threat detection solutions. InformaCast can integrate with the PATSCAN suite of three threat detection products. The three solutions offer an effective recognition method for weapons, explosives, chemical threats, public disturbances, and suspicious behavior by utilizing sensors or video surveillance for near real-time security response notification. By interfacing these PATSCAN solutions with InformaCast, a broadcast can be triggered when a threat alert is generated by the PATSCAN suite of products.

Singlewire also has a partnership with Shooter Detection Systems to offer an integration between the Guardian Indoor Active Shooter Detection System and InformaCast using a contact closure gateway.

See Threat Detection Partnership for more.