Gunshot Detection – New Technology for Better Security

gunshotWhen an active shooting situation occurs, the people on site need to have a plan. According to NFPA 3000 Standard, for an Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response (ASHER), there are three zones. The hot zone is the area with a known hazard or direct and immediate life threat. A warm zone has a potential for a hazard or indirect threat to life. And a cold zone has little or no threat due to distance from the danger. Your proximity to the situation should determine your response of whether to run or hide.

Evacuation is the first goal, if possible. Leave belongings, help others, prevent others from entering the hot zone, and keep your hands visible. If you cannot evacuate, hide. Find a concealed location for yourself and others near you, and close and lock the door. Blockade the door, and seek protection from shots fired. Protecting yourself is your first concern.

Another part of the ASHER plan is getting law enforcement on site to cool the hot zone down and prevent tragedy as fast as possible. Providing credible information to the 911 operator is vital. Any details you can share, such as the location of the shooter, number of shooters, physical description, number and types of weapons, and potential victims will help the police respond better to the situation.

If your location is secured by Sonitrol, we can help provide the response team the information needed to end an emergency as quickly as possible. We now offer Gunshot Detectors, a new safety measure, to add to your security system. The Gunshot Detectors identify the concussive force of a gunshot. When a gun is fired, the shockwaves created trip the alarm to the Sonitrol alarm panel. That alarm activates the audio detectors and the Sonavision cameras. The alarms are sent to our local monitoring station and give our operators the information they need to react. Knowing for sure that an active shooter is in the building allows operators to relay critical information: the who, what, where, and how many, to 911 operators so the police can respond and be prepared to end the situation quickly.

The Gunshot Detector can detect a shot fired within 500 milliseconds and gives 360-degree coverage. This technology has been tested at indoor and outdoor shooting ranges. It detects shots fired and does not trip on other loud noises. It has been tested at a high school where class bells go off, lockers get shut, books get dropped, and kids yell. In a nine-month school year, we had zero activations. The goal of this device is to provide real time intel to first responders, and we can do that with Sonitrol’s integrated security protection product line. We provide 24-hour protection to businesses, churches, and schools. Sonitrol’s audio detection system works with impact activated audio and can activate live audio with an alarm activation. In conjunction with Sonavision video surveillance technology, your system allows our monitoring center to not only hear what is going on, but also to see the video to better relay information to police.

Active shooter situations can happen in schools, churches, and businesses. Nobody wants to think it can happen to them, but it is in the news a lot more often than anyone would want. Having the protection in place with Gunshot Detection devices from Sonitrol helps to create a plan to be better prepared to react quickly and effectively in the event of an active shooter.

For a free school assessment, contact us.

Chris Dingman is the Operations Manager at Sonitrol of Evansville and has completed the NFPA 3000 (2021), Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response Program Specialist Online Training. He is also Licensed in the state of Florida and Illinois and holds a NICET III FAS certification.

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