Better Guidance and Coordination Needed Among Stakeholders in Active Shooter Incidents

  February 25, 2016

By Naomi Millán

How to engage building owners and facility managers in the effort of addressing active shooter incidents was one of the concerns brought up in a recent stakeholder meeting of fire/life safety and security professionals. As most active shooter situations are over in less than 15 minutes, facility managers are among the first responders to an incident until law enforcement arrives.

According to notes from the Active Shooter Stakeholder Meeting hosted jointly by The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and ASIS International (ASIS), establishing "communication with and between building occupants, building management and first responder agencies to minimize the consequences," is one of many strategies the life/safety and security community is focusing on.

Another concern brought up during the meeting was an "inability to identify and account for building occupants" after an incident during the continuity and recovery phase of a response, according to the meeting notes.

“By bringing together members of the security and fire safety communities, ASIS and NFPA are taking important steps to define strategies that will protect people as well as physical assets,” said Robert Solomon, division manager, Building Fire Protection and Life Safety, NFPA. “Gathering the best practices from stakeholders and influencers will allow us to formulate necessary guidance so that individuals and organizations can mitigate, survive and recover from these incidents.”

More than 100 experts from the security, fire, law enforcement, EMS, life safety, professional associations and government fields met and discussed existing resources, the crossover between security and fire disciplines, operational solutions, management procedures, building design and construction issues, and cost considerations with an emphasis on preparation and planning.

A summary of the day’s discussions is available online. Areas of focus include:
- Defining “active shooter” and reviewing FBI statistics
- Assessing technology, management needs and budgets
- Considering public and private sector concerns
- Identifying competing goals between security safety and fire safety practices
- Examining the status of legal and regulatory issues

The group concluded that there is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and identified a need for guidance that can be tailored to the conditions and resource constraints of a wide range of organizations.

“There is no simple solution to the problem of active shooters, but by convening some of the leading minds on this subject we hope to create scalable guidance to minimize the likelihood and consequences of these events,” said Dr. Marc Siegel, commissioner, Global Standards Initiative, ASIS International.

Security practitioners and organizations interested in receiving additional information on this initiative should contact standards@asisonline.org.

The Active Shooter Stakeholder Meeting notes are available online here.

This Quick Read was submitted by Naomi Millán, senior editor of Building Operating Management magazine, naomi.millan@tradepress.com. You can learn more about active shooter incident considerations at https://www.facilitiesnet.com/14784BOM


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