How to Prepare for an Active Shooter Incident

The FBI website states there have been 250 active shooter incidents in the United States from 2000 to 2017 with 2,217 casualties.

While you may feel this couldn’t happen at your workplace, you may be wrong. The data also shows that 42 percent of these incidents took place in a business setting.

In our recent blog post Complete Your Safety Manual by Including an Active Shooter Program, we discussed how active shooters are difficult to profile because it’s usually an irrational, random target. Profilers share that active shooters tend to focus on “soft targets”, which includes crowded open spaces and a lack of security. This makes construction sites, lumber yards, and the likes a bit more of a potential target. We also stressed the importance of putting employee assistance programs in place in the event of an active shooter event.

Though there are steps to include to help alleviate the physical and mental pain if this type of event ever occurs, the real question is what your business can do to prepare for an active shooter event.

According to the American Society of Safety Professionals, there are five key areas you can focus on to better protect your work site and employees from workplace violence.

1. Assess Your Risks

The first step to protecting your site and employees is understanding your vulnerabilities. Much like a regular workplace risk assessment, an active shooter/armed assailant risk analysis is an invaluable tool in determining what gaps currently exist and how those can be mitigated moving forward.

2. Safeguard Your Facility

Assessing your risks and vulnerabilities provides a better understanding of what it will take to make your facility more secure.

3. Train Your Staff

To ensure that a plan is deployed effectively, everyone needs to understand their roles and responsibilities. Conducting training exercises helps employees think about what they would need to do in an active shooter/armed assailant situation and familiarizes them with the procedures in place to help protect their safety. 

4. Coordinate With Responding Agencies

Invite local police, fire departments and first responders to your site can help you build relationships with those agencies and help them become familiar with your facility.

5. Handle Post-Incident Issues

Ensure your employees get the attention they need, including any counseling to help them cope with what they’ve experienced.

Need to train your staff? Check out our upcoming Events