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Posts Tagged ‘safety’

Are school shootings inevitable?

Paige Curry wasn’t even surprised when a gunman made his way into her Santa Fe High School outside Dallas, Texas on May 18 and took the lives of ten people.
In the aftermath of the latest school shooting, a reporter asked the young teen if she was surprised that such a thing could happen at her school.
With a rueful laugh, Curry said she wasn’t.

“It’s been happening everywhere. I’ve always felt it would eventually happen here too,” said Curry.

It’s easy to see shy she feels that way.

Recent analysis in the Washington Post revealed that 2018 has been deadlier for students than for members of the military.

As of May 18, 31 people have died this year in school shooting incidents while 29 U.S military members have died in combat and non-combat incidents.

While it is important to keep the numbers in perspective – there are far more school children than there are service members, and service members are far more likely to be killed while serving – the analysis shouldn’t be overlooked. This year has been more deadly than previous years, and it’s understandable that students would feel at risk.
According to the Post, “the number of deaths and school shooting incidents through May 18 are each higher this year than at any point since 2000. There have been three times as many deaths in school shootings so far this year than in the second-most deadly year through May 18, 2005.”

Integrated security systems are key to quickly detecting and responding to threats. The Guardian indoor shot detection offered by Shooter Detection Services uses acoustic and infrared sensors to automatically detect and instantly report shots fired. The highly-accurate automated response eliminates reliance on human response during high-pressure, stressful and physically dangerous situations.

Guardian also integrates with a variety of other systems to show live video feed and floor mapping during an event, so shooters can be accurately tracked even from off site. Door locks can be triggered that trap a shooter in a particular area.
Guardian also can be integrated with communication systems to send out mass notifications via social media, audio systems, computer monitors, telephones, mobile devices and fire alarms systems.

This video demonstrates the basics of the system.
Interested in learning more? Please click here.

Axis provides big league security for the Little League World Series venue

With the weather warming up and the Kentucky Derby in the books, many are turning their attention to America’s favorite sport: baseball!

Little league fields across the country are humming with activity, and while the vast majority of the kids playing just dream of making the catch or scoring the winning run, some legitimately have their sights set a little higher.

In mid-August, talented teams of 10-12 year olds will take the field Williamsport, Penn. for the Little League World Series. For ten days, hundreds of thousands of players, coaches, parents, grandparents, fans and dignitaries from around the world will converge upon the small town of 6,500 to watch the action live.

But who will be keeping an eye on them?

Axis cameras will provide security teams with insights into all that’s going on across the 72-acre complex, which includes 2 stadiums, the World of Little League® Museum, parking, concessions, retail shops, sponsor booths, dormitories and other facilities. Strategically mounted AXIS Q60 PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) Network Cameras will allow teams to keep a pulse on crowds and zoom in on any activity of special note. Even activities that take place away from the glaring, bright lights of the outfield will be in sharp view; Axis Lightfinder technology enables the cameras to produce high resolution, colored images in almost complete darkness. Thermal camera and radar capabilities also enhance security around the complex’s perimeter.

Axis delivers these capabilities on a budget, too. Little League International is a non-profit organization dedicated to keeping the experience as affordable as possible for families to attend. There’s no entrance fee for the games, so there’s no gate to underwrite the security budget. Even so, Axis capabilities are efficient enough to provide maximum coverage and extend the reach of security teams. The cameras are integrated seamlessly with network and access control systems, maximizing coverage and efficiency.

Interested in learning more about how Axis can provide efficient, effective, integrated security solutions for your venue, too? Call (800) 567-1180 for a consultation.

Marshall County school shooting hits close to home

Were it not for the location, perhaps we wouldn’t have even paid much attention to it.

But last week’s school shooting in Marshall County, Kentucky was close to home. Two students were killed, and more than a dozen injured when a student opened fire with a handgun in the school’s commons area.

It was the eleventh school shooting of the year. And since then, another has hit the news waves. That remarkable statistic is even more remarkable given the fact that the end of January was nearly a week away when the shooting took place, and most schools across the country didn’t get started until several days into January, and many schools across the Southeast were out for several days due to inclement weather.

On average, the United States has around a school shooting a week, and there have been more than 300 school shootings since 2013, according to Everytown for Gun Safety.

Political solutions don’t seem to be in the offing, though one Kentucky lawmaker has introduced a bill that would allow school districts to employ marshals with concealed carry permits to patrol school grounds. In the event of an active shooter situation, the lawmaker hopes a marshal would be able to subdue the shooter by returning fire.

In response to the Marshall County shooting, some other Kentucky schools have held active shooter drills, reminding students and teachers to “run, hide, or fight.” Active shooter drills are now as much a part of safety training as tornado and fire drills.

Just as tornado and fire alarms are standard protection systems in schools, perhaps it’s time to consider shot detection systems as the standard, too.
Shooter Detection System’s Guardian uses acoustic and infrared sensors to instantly identify gunshots inside a facility. The precise location of the gunshots is noted, and authorities are alerted immediately. Warnings are also instantly sent out to people in the facility and vicinity advising them to evacuate or take cover. Guardian gunshot detection can also be integrated with a number of other systems, including text alerts, incident management dashboards and building systems like door locks and video surveillance.

Interested in learning more about the Guardian active shooter detection system? Register now for one of our Live Fire events to see a live demonstration, or call us at (800) 567-1180. Our next event if February 28th. Please join us to learn more information.

Preparation, quick thinking save school kids from gunman

Just before Thanksgiving, after killing his wife and two neighbors, a man in Northern California with a long history of violence and mental illness set out to make a bad day much, much worse.

The shooter set out for nearby Rancho Tehama Elementary School, apparently intent on continuing his killing spree. When he arrived at the school, he found doors locked and his entry blocked. He repeatedly tried to enter one classroom door, but could not get through. He shot in frustration at walls and windows, but was unable to gain access to the children and teachers locked away inside. Stray bullets seriously injured one student, but a hundred others were saved.

How was a more serious crisis averted? Authorities are crediting the quick actions of teachers, janitors and administrators.

As soon as they heard gunfire in the distance, school staff initiated a lockdown and alerted authorities. They hustled children under desks and worked to keep them calm.

The safety procedures weren’t dreamed up in the spur of the moment. According to this NPR report , nearly all schools have active shooter safety plans, and nearly two-thirds of school districts regularly conduct active shooter drills.

It’s easy to see why drills are necessary. Since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012, there have been 160 more school shootings.

Schools are vulnerable, but they are far from the only places vulnerable to mass shootings. This year alone, there have been 318 mass shootings in the U.S. in places ranging from businesses to outdoor festivals to churches.

What used to be nearly unthinkable now happens with numbing regularity. What should you do to prepare for an active shooter event in your facility? Here are a few simple steps:

Have a written plan in place, and communicate it. At the very least, draft procedures for an active shooter event and review with staff. Using the Run Hide Fight model, identify escape and shelter in place strategies, and review with staff.
Conduct regular safety drills. Just as with other emergencies such as tornadoes or fire, practice response with your team. Preparedness is key.

Consider adding shooter detection systems to your building systems. The Guardian system from Shooter Detection Systems automatically detects gunshots and can instantly notify authorities and trigger other responses, including text alerts, video and door locks. Quick automated actions cut down response times and save lives. This video demonstrates the basics of the system.

Interested in learning more? Register for our Live Fire event.

Active shooters are a liability risk

If an active shooter targets your facility, will your insurance policy protect you against claims from victims?

It’s hard to tell.

Current insurance policies aren’t clear, and neither is case law. That leaves open the possibility that if an active shooter causes harm in your facility, you could be open to a lawsuit from victims, and your insurance provider might push back against covering you.
As a result, some carriers are now offering stand along active shooter policies, according to a post on InsuranceJournal.com.

One program cited in the article includes liability coverage for “lawsuits arising from harm caused by attacks using deadly weapons.” The program also features risk assessment and crisis management services, as well as event responders and post-event counseling services.
Insurers originally began by offering the coverage to educational institutions, but now the coverage is offered to all types, including hospitals, sporting venues, retailers, religious organizations and more.

Business and organizations should also consider including fully integrated shooter detection systems alongside other safety and comfort systems like fire detection and suppression systems and HVAC systems.

Shooter Detection System’s Guardian uses acoustic and infrared sensors to instantly identify gunshots inside a facility. The precise location of the gunshots is noted, and authorities are alerted immediately. Warnings are also instantly sent out to people in the facility and vicinity advising them to evacuate or take cover. Guardian gunshot detection can also be integrated with a number of other systems, including text alerts, incident management dashboards and building systems like door locks and video surveillance.

The instantaneous response significantly cuts response time and reduces the opportunity for human error.

Interested in learning more about the Guardian active shooter detection system? Register now for one of our Live Fire events to see a live demonstration, or call us at (800) 567-1180.

Where are active shooter situations most likely to take place?

According to a landmark longitudinal study by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) active shooters are most likely to strike in commercial establishments, which are defined in the report as malls and businesses. More than 45 percent of all active shooter incidents take place in commercial settings, according to the study.

The most notable recent commercial incident took place just over a year ago, when an active shooter killed 49 people and wounded 58 others in a terrorist attack/hate crime inside Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, United States.

Retail and other commercial establishments are turning Shooter Detection Systems as a response to the trend. The Guardian Indoor Active Shooter Detection System automatically detects shots fired using acoustic and infrared sensors. The precise location of the gunshots is noted, and authorities are alerted immediately.

The Guardian system has the ability to dramatically reduce response times in active shooter situations. A recent independent live-fire study in a two million square foot facility reduced reporting and first-responder dispatch time from as much as 18 minutes to just five seconds. Warnings can also be instantly sent out to people in the facility and vicinity advising them to evacuate or take cover. This video demonstrates the basics of the system .
Guardian’s capabilities would have been greatly helpful in the Pulse nightclub incident, where it took several moments for authorities to be alerted and sometime after to pinpoint the location of the shooter within the club.

Shooter Detection Systems is currently exhibiting at NRF Protect, the largest retail and restaurant loss prevention event in North America, on June 26 – 28, 2017 in Washington, D.C.
Active shooters also pose a threat in educational and healthcare settings. ECT Services will be on hand at several trade shows this fall, including:

2017 Healthcare Coalition Conference, September 26 – 28, Hyatt Regency/Lexington Center in Lexington, Ky. The event is planned by the Kentucky Society of Healthcare Engineers, the state chapter representing the American Society of Healthcare Engineering and Association for the Healthcare Environment.

Kentucky Association of Housing Officers Annual Conference. Dates are October 5 – 7 and the event will be hosted this year at Berea College in Berea, Ky. KAHO provides personal and professional growth opportunities for college and university housing and residence life officers.

Kentucky Plant Management Conference, October 18—19, Embassy Suites Hotel at 1801 Newtown Pike in Lexington, Ky. The event is sponsored by the Kentucky School Plant Management Association, and typically draws more than 300 attendees to breakout sessions, round tables and more.

Interested in learning more? Register for our Live Fire event.

Safety training doesn’t matter, until suddenly it does

For Marisa Eckberg, it was just a typical day in the office.


Until suddenly, it wasn’t.

Eckberg, an associate with a Dallas-area HR Managed Services company, was conducting training for a client when the president of that client company interrupted her work to deliver alarming news. Shots had been fired in their high-rise office building, and they needed to respond quickly to keep themselves and their team members safe.

Despite her fear, Eckberg calmly took action. She began directing the employees into a dark supply room, and directed them to close, lock, and barricade the door with a filing cabinet. She instructed them to turn the lights off and remain silent and set phones to “do not disturb.”

How did Eckberg remain calm, and know exactly what to do? Just six weeks before, she attended Active Shooter training hosted by her company. She learned the “run, hide, fight” protocol, and knew her office’s emergency procedures and her responsibilities as a leader to keep her employees safe. She was able to utilize those in her client’s building.

“It was definitely a scary situation, and one I would never want anyone to have to go through, but had my company not conducted active shooter training just a few weeks prior, I would have been that much more terrified and unable to offer any kind of help to those around me,” said Eckberg in a blog post recounting the experience.

It might be tempting not to take safety and emergency training seriously, but in a crisis such training is crucial. What can you do to ensure safety and emergency training is an important part of your organizational culture? Start with the following steps:

Review your safety and emergency training policies and procedures, and make sure they are complete and up to date. Include procedures for fires, natural disasters and other common emergencies. Review policies at least annually.

Schedule safety and emergency training regularly and require attendance for every employee and regular volunteer. Move beyond classroom presentations to drills where participants walk through procedures.

Inspect safety and emergency systems regularly. Fire detection and suppression systems, video surveillance systems, alarm systems and all other systems require routine maintenance and inspection to ensure they are functioning properly. Be sure you’ve documented any changes or updates to systems, too, and ensure they are working properly.

Look for gaps in safety and emergency systems and considering adding additional capabilities. Gunshot detection systems are a fairly new entry to the market. Much as a smoke or fire detection system automatically alerts building occupants to potential danger, gunshot detection systems automatically alert and respond to shots fired in a facility.
Learn more about our Guardian active shooter detection systems at an upcoming Live Fire event.

Summer time is prime time for school maintenance

Summer break is just weeks away, and teachers and students are both looking forward to an extended break.

Not so for building maintenance personnel. Summer is the time to catch up on cleaning and maintenance projects that had to be put off during the school year. Their hard work will pay off; studies indicate that well-maintained facilities have a positive impact on student achievement.

On the agenda for many schools:

Floor maintenance. Floors take a beating during the school year, and now is the time to clean and protect them in preparation for next year. Furniture can be moved out of the way and products can be applied with proper drying time.

Window maintenance. Windows do more than let the sunshine in. They also aid in scientific exploration, showcase art, and serve as the starting line for day dreams. All of those activities lead to everything from smudges to cracks and defects. Windows can be thoroughly cleaned and replaced during summer months.

Deep cleaning surfaces. Tabletops, counters and bathroom surfaces get wiped down during the year, but summer is the time to do the job more thoroughly.

But summer is also a good time to address larger system needs, too. School maintenance personnel should take the opportunity to inspect, clean and review:

HVAC systems. Filters and ducts should be inspected, updated and cleaned. Systems should be evaluated to ensure they are operating at peak efficiency.

Fire safety and emergency alert systems. Equipment and systems should be inspected and tested.

Security systems. Worn or outdated equipment should be replaced. Camera placement should be evaluated and adjusted, if necessary.

School staff should also take the opportunity to revisit emergency plans, too, particularly if the facility is has made significant changes, such as room reconfigurations, additions or other building projects. Summer is also a good time to investigate adding new systems and processes.

Well-maintained systems are key to building maintenance, and important for the development, health and safety of students and staff.

We’re always happy to discuss how our solutions can help. Connect with us at the Kentucky School Plant Management Association conference and workshops Oct. 18-19 at the Embassy Suites Hotel at 1801 Newtown Pike in Lexington or call us at (800) 567-1180 to discuss your needs.

You don’t have to be shot to be the victim of a mass shooter.

Survivors recently marked the ten year anniversary of the Virginia Tech shooting. On April 16, 2007, a VT senior terrorized the campus, killing 32 people and wounding 17 others before taking his own life. Several more students were injured jumping out of windows to safety.

But many, many more victims were left in the killer’s wake. Students and teachers who witnessed the shootings, first responders, hospital staff, administrators and countless others suffered secondary trauma and were left at risk of developing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Because they were not physically harmed, many secondary trauma survivors may be reluctant to seek help.

“My mind felt like a confused, scrambled mess. I constantly compared myself to the physically injured survivors,” wrote Lisa Hamp in Campus Safety Magazine. “They had to cope with physical injury while I walked out of the building unharmed. Because of this, I thought I was undeserving of being recognized as a ‘survivor,’ that I lucked out, and that I needed to be quiet and make myself small.”

Hamp suffered with feelings of anxiety, vulnerability, fear, loneliness for years after the shooting, despite giving the appearance of moving on with her life. Counseling helped her recognize and resolve the mismatch between her outward appearance and inward turmoil.

“Today, I understand that survivors include both physically injured and non-physically injured individuals. You don’t have to be shot to be injured,” wrote Hamp. “Recovery is both physical and mental. The psychological effect of surviving an active shooter situation is intangible and boundless, and the level of trauma that each individual experiences will vary.”

Hamp advocates for recovery plans to include a mental health component, and should include outreach to all survivors and first responders.

Additional resources:

This comprehensive whitepaper will help in developing plans to recognize and treat secondary trauma and PTSD in first responders.

Check out these tips for how parents can help children and adolescents cope with trauma after a school shooting.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has also prepared a Psychological First Aid Field Operations Guide.

The U.S. Department of Education has also produced a helpful list of lessons learned from school crises and emergencies that includes a detailed section on short and long term effects of trauma.

Custodian hailed as hero in San Bernardino school shooting

A school custodian is emerging as one of the heroes of the latest headline-grabbing school shooting.

On April 10, Edna Gamarro was outside the library at North Park Elementary School in San Bernardino, Calif. when she heard the distinctive sound of gunshots.

At that moment, a little boy was exiting the library. Gamarro quickly redirected the child back into the library and to safety.

“I was just telling him to go inside and he was like ‘why why’ and I was like don’t ask anything and I just pushed him in and went inside and told the librarian just keep him inside, just go to the back door,” Edna Gamarro said in an interview with CBSNews.com.

The boy’s mother credited Gamarro with saving his life.

Gamarro’s sharp ears and quick thinking made a difference in the San Bernardino school shooting.

Guardian, a gunshot detection system developed by Shooter Detection Systems, puts the same sharp ears and quick thinking throughout a facility. Guardian works by using acoustic and infrared sensors to instantly identify gunshots. The precise location of the gunshots is noted, and authorities are alerted immediately.

The Guardian system has the ability to dramatically reduce response times in active shooter situations. A recent independent live-fire study in a two million square foot facility reduced reporting and first-responder dispatch time from as much as 18 minutes to just five seconds. Warnings can also be instantly sent out to people in the facility and vicinity advising them to evacuate or take cover. This video demonstrates the basics of the system.

Interested in learning more? Register for our Live Fire event.

ECT Services will also be participating in the Kentucky School Plant Management Association conference and workshops this year, which will take place Oct. 18-19 at the Embassy Suites Hotel at 1801 Newtown Pike in Lexington.