Picture it. You’re at your desk with a cup of coffee, having a productive day. Maybe you hear the commotion before you even hear the loud boom; familiar voices in the hallways, doors opening and closing. Or maybe you are the first person to hear that boom – a loud bolt of sound through the silence, or even a faint crackle from the entrance.


What was that?

Assessing if what you just heard was a gunshot is the first step. And that can take a minute – or several minutes – when relying solely on human knowledge and interaction. Assessment is the first of the Three As to which we continue to refer. (learn more about the Three As here ): ASSESSMENT.


Assessing the situation with a clear and level head is imperative to your wellbeing, and the wellbeing of your coworkers. First, assessing that this was, indeed, a gunshot is objective #1. It’s possible what you heard was a false alarm. So how does your organization determine what that sound was?


In an active shooter situation, your first reaction might be to lock your office door and hide under your desk, but isolating yourself from everyone else is not advisable. You could be tempted to make your way towards the shot but that too is inadvisable: all the bravery in the world won’t stop an active shooter intent on taking lives.


Your company’s emergency plan should involve a security system that automatically detects whether the noise was really a gunshot, where the noise originated, and alerts the authorities—less than one minute after the gunshot.


The Active Shooter Detection System will take the difficulty out of your assessment. The sensors in the system let those in the office know a shooter is active in the building – at that moment. Using both sound and infrared detection make false positives less likely, which helps to more quickly assess that a shooter is, indeed, active in the building.


Knowing that a system is already in place for this kind of stressful situation will greatly add to your peace of mind, and help keep you and your coworkers safe.  You can learn more about the ASDS here  and here.