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Focus on Active Shooter Situations

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

Allied Universal Fire Life Safety Services recognizes National Safety Month

Observed each June, National Safety Month is an educational effort organized by the National Safety Council (NSC), which focuses on reducing leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road and in our homes and communities. With the hashtag #KeepEachOtherSafe, the campaign concentrates on one aspect of safety each week. NSC efforts align with the Allied Universal Fire Life Safety Training goal to save lives through preparation. To increase awareness, we are offering the following blog post, to help promote week three of the campaign: “Prepare for Active Shooters.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recommends the following course of action if you find yourself in an active-shooter situation: RUN. HIDE. FIGHT. In other words, if you have the ability, quickly run as far away from the situation as possible. Then hide. Fight back only as a last resort. View this video to learn more:

Unfortunately, over the past few years, active shooting incidents have become all too common. Consider these two, for example, which have unfolded already this month in diverse locations across the country:

  1. June 5, 2017, Beauty College in Fort Wayne, IndianaA lone gunman entered the Ravenscroft Beauty College shortly before 7 p.m. and began shooting. One woman was seriously injured while others on the scene escaped without harm. The shooter was later found deceased, from an apparent suicide. Preliminary police reports suggest this may have been the result of a domestic disturbance between the shooter and his victim.
  1. June 5, 2017, Workplace Shooting, Orlando, Florida. A 45-year-old “disgruntled” employee entered his former workplace in Orlando armed with a semiautomatic handgun and a hunting knife. He fatally shot five people, and then committed suicide by turning the gun on himself.

Active shooter situations are quick and unpredictable. In many cases, in fact, the entire event will unfold before first responders arrive on scene. While facing an active shooter might be unimaginable, being prepared could save your life.

Keep these tips in mind:

  • Pay attention to your environment and locate the nearest two exits in any place you visit.
  • Run to a safe place immediately.
  • Leave your belongings behind.
  • If you’re unable to run, hide.
  • If you’re somewhere with a door, lock it or barricade it shut.
  • Silence electronic devices.
  • Call 911 if it is safe to do so.
  • As a last resort, try to incapacitate the shooter. In close-range cases, fighting increases your chance of survival.

About the NSC

Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, the NSC is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to eliminate preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas of greatest risk – distracted driving, teen driving, workplace safety, prescription drug overdoses and safe communities.

About the Allied Universal Fire Life Safety Training System

Safety is important for everyone all year round, not just during National Safety Month. A convenient and affordable way to make sure you are prepared for disasters and emergencies of virtually every kind is to subscribe to the Allied Universal Fire Life Training System, which has been designed to help improve and save lives. For more information about the best system out there, or to subscribe, click here.

Additional active shooter response resources:

Information from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Active Shooter Booklet
Active Shooter Poster
Active Shooter Information
Security Awareness Tips
Active Shooter Emergency Planning
Workplace Violence
Workplace Violence Prevention Planning

How to Prepare for Active Shooter Incidences

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

In the not so distant past, most members of the general population were unfamiliar with the term, “active shooter.” Unfortunately, that is no longer the case, due to the frequency of recent active shooter events. Despite increased security most organizations have developed of late, according to the FBI, the number of active shooter incidences has tripled in recent years.

A group of former Navy SEALS is trying to change the paradigm, joining forces in 2008 to form an organization aimed at helping civilians learn how to best respond to active shooter situations in the minutes before first responders arrive. The group, Move2Safety spent the recent one-year anniversary of the Newtown shooting offering an instructional seminar to a group of 50 people in Los Angeles.

“It…feels like the world has become a global battlefield,” said Move2Safety President Rorke. “Our background is in Special Forces and, as Navy Seals; we train for the possible worst case scenarios.”

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has also stepped up to prepare people for active shooter incidences, preparing free resources which offer helpful instructions.

“An active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempts to kill people in a confined and populated area,” according to DHS. “In most cases, active shooters use firearm(s) and there is no pattern or method used to their selection of victims.”

Because active shooter situations are often over 10-15 minutes after they begin, and before law enforcement officers are able to arrive on scene, it is particularly important for individuals to understand how to prepare themselves mentally and physically to deal with active shooter situations. If you are ever in an active shooter situation: run, hide or fight…in that order!

If you follow these simple steps, your chance of being a victim could be greatly reduced:

  1. Be aware of your environment and any possible dangers.
  2. Take note of the two nearest exits in any facility you visit.
  3. If it is at all possible, run so you are out of danger.
  4. If escape is impossible, find a place to hide.
    • If you are in an office, stay there and secure the door.
    • If you are in a hallway, get into a room and secure the door.
  5. Only as a last resort, attempt to take the active shooter down. When the shooter is at close range and you cannot flee, your chance of survival is much greater if you try to incapacitate the perpetrator.
  6. CALL 911 WHEN IT IS SAFE TO DO SO!

A free DHS Active Shooter booklet includes comprehensive instructions for evacuating, hiding, responding when law enforcement arrives, training staff members for active shooter situations [including creating an Emergency Action Plan (EAP)], as well as additional suggestions for preparing for and preventing active shooter situations.

If you would like to make advanced preparations for active shooter incidents, you could take advantage of an independent study course offered by DHS, entitled “Active Shooter: What You Can Do.” The course was developed to provide the public with guidance on how to prepare for and respond to active shooter crisis situations.

Upon completion of Active Shooter: What You Can Do, people should be able to:

  • Describe the actions to take when confronted with an active shooter and to assist responding law enforcement officials.
  • Recognize potential workplace violence indicators.
  • Describe actions to take to prevent and prepare for potential active shooter incidents.
  • Describe how to manage the consequences of an active shooter incident.

The Allied Universal Training System by Universal Fire/Life Safety Services also offers detailed information and video instruction about active shooter preparation and survival. When active shooter incidents or other disasters strike, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. The Allied Universal Training System by Universal Fire/Life Safety Services is a convenient and affordable solution to all of the training needs of your building(s). Choosing our service cuts property management training-related costs by 90% and saves you over 50% compared to conventional training! More importantly, IT SAVES LIVES.

How to BE SAFE During an Active Shooter Incident

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

The deadly rampage at an Aurora, Colorado movie theater on Friday, July 20 is being called the worst shooting in U. S. history. Twelve people were killed and 59 were injured when 24-year-old James Holmes allegedly purchased a ticket and walked into the suburban theater along with other movie-goers. He immediately left the screening room and reemerged moments later, dressed in full tactical gear and a mask. After releasing two canisters of gas, the suspect is said to have used an assault rifle, shotgun and at least one handgun, to fire more than 40 rounds into the crowd.

Minutes later, 200 uniformed Aurora police officers converged on the complex and arrested Holmes, who initially cooperated by warning about booby traps he had rigged in his nearby apartment— including incendiary and chemical devices and trip wires.

The shooting has struck a collective nerve across the country because:

  • The event occurred in a “safe” bedroom community.
  • Aurora is located just 17 miles southeast of Littleton, which was the site of the infamous Columbine shootings in 1999.
  • The shooter was a very bright, well-educated student who graduated from Westview High School in San Diego, where he excelled at school and played soccer. He later studied science at the prestigious Salk Institute in La Jolla.
  • It brings to light the fact that incidences of this type can occur anywhere and anytime.

For their part, one of the largest theater chains in the country, AMC, has banned costumes, tightened private security and is working with law enforcement to strategically place plain clothes’ officers in theaters throughout the country. What’s more, officials are increasing security at large venues such as concerts, railway stations and the airport.

The Department of Homeland Security has prepared several free resources which provide lots of helpful instructions, and defines an active shooter scenario:

“An active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempts to kill people in a confined and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use firearm(s) and there is no pattern or method used to their selection of victims.”

Because active shooter situations are often over within 10-15 minutes, before law enforcement officers arrive on scene, it is important for individuals to prepare themselves mentally and physically to deal with active shooter situations.

Here are FEMA’s best practices for coping with an active shooter situation. If you follow these simple steps, your chance of being a victim can be greatly reduced:

  1. Be aware of your environment and any possible dangers.
  2. Take note of the two nearest exits in any facility you visit.
  3. If you are in an office, stay there and secure the door.
  4. If you are in a hallway, get into a room and secure the door.
  5. As a last resort, attempt to take the active shooter down. When the shooter is at close range and you cannot flee, your chance of survival is much greater if you try to incapacitate him/her.

CALL 911

The FEMA Active Shooter booklet includes comprehensive instructions for evacuating, hiding out, responding when law enforcement arrives, training staff members for active shooter situations [including creating an Emergency Action Plan (EAP)], as well as additional suggestions for preparing for and preventing active shooter situations.

We provide all users of the Allied Universal Training System ready-access to FEMA active shooter booklets, pocket cards and posters. What’s more, you can go online (through the Allied Universal Training System) or directly to FEMA.org for Active Shooter Certification. When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives.  For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact Allied Universal, Inc. Our new Version 3.0 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system.