The most recent headline-grabbing terrorist attacks – this time at the airport and metro station in Brussels, Belgium – have raised the question of whether or not technology can help reduce the impact of such attacks.

Shooter Detection Systems (SDS), which produces the Guardian gunshot detection system marketed locally by ECT Services, was recently interviewed by about the possibilities.

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“Since the attacks in Paris and most recently in Brussels, we have had more serious discussions in these markets, with the most real potential in the United Kingdom,” Connors told the publication. “We were invited by a UK agency last year to do a live demonstration and left a system behind for six months of exhaustive testing.”

ECTServices has also hosted several local demonstrations of the system recently.

The Guardian system works by using acoustic and infrared sensors to instantly identify gunshots. The precise location of the gunshots is noted, and warnings are instantly sent out to people in the facility and vicinity advising them to evacuate or take cover. Authorities are also alerted immediately. Guardian can also be integrated with other building systems like door locks and video surveillance. This video demonstrates the basics of the system.

The technology driving the Guardian system was born on the battlefield, where acoustic gunshot detection was used to pinpoint enemy positions. Shooter Detection Services then developed the system primarily for use in schools, where the threat of active shooter attacks has been on the rise. But terrorist attacks in Paris last November and in San Bernadino, Calif. in December highlight the vulnerability of all public venues, from nightclubs and sports venues to office buildings and shopping malls.

Is your facility prepared for an active shooter situation? Take our assessment to find out.