Active Shooter and Deadly Weapon Preparation for Employers

An active shooter call is something that no one wants to have to experience in their life. Unfortunately, more than 20 mass shootings took place in 2019, calling the alarm of active shooters in everywhere from schools to churches to places of business. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016 alone laid claim to 500 workplace homicides in the United States.

As a result of this, and the sobering thought that any and all businesses can be the target of an active shooter, companies need to be proactive in how they plan to protect their employees and customers, minimize injury and loss of life, and keep their physical surroundings safe from harm.

By preparing for the worst, effectively communicating with staff, and keeping protocol current, critical measures can be taken to keep everyone safe and sound during an active shooter incident.


Not all prevention plans can completely guarantee safety for everyone on site. However, there are some factors that businesses should keep in mind as they look for effective solutions to cut down the risk of an active shooter alarm.

One way this can be done is to have pre-attack assessments of past employees. Some common behaviors attributed to disgruntled employees are an interest in explosives and guns, being the victim of bullying in the workplace, a traumatic life event, such as a death, a breakup, or job loss, and acquisition of firearms.

There are more warning signs than these and at the same time, these items listed above don’t necessarily indicate a potential shooter, but staying aware of some common behaviors could potentially prevent an attack from taking place.

Protecting a Business

Protection refers to ongoing and updated tasks that can be taken to safeguard a business and its people. When an attack occurs, there won’t be the time available or the clarity of mind to craft an effective communication system to quickly notify people onsite., so it’s important to have a template available.

Targeted acts of violence can escalate rather quickly and without warning, so businesses need to be ready to handle the ordeal before law enforcement arrives. More than half of active shooter events end by the time police get on the scene, so keeping employees informed about the events that are unfolding can save lives.

Reducing Loss of Life and Damage

Mitigating risks differs from preventing damage from occurring because it focuses more on detecting a potential threat and cutting down the damage that could take place. There are, in fact, precautionary measures that can take place to reduce the likelihood that an active shooter incident could take place.

This can be executed by assembling a threat assessment team that can help businesses forecast for potential active shooter dangers. The team usually consists of stakeholders who have been trained in threat assessment and threat management. These members are in contact with law enforcement to better identify potential threats and protect people from harm.

Communication is Key

Having a reliable, easy-to-use mass notification software system in place will help when needing to send out communications that describe important information. An emergency communication system should include two-way messaging, wellness checks, centralized information, and pre-made templates for different emergency situations.

In reality, not everyone will remain calm and collected when an attack like this occurs. But with the flow of readily available and updated information at their fingertips, employees can be informed on what to do next and about the help that’s on the way.

Keeping everyone informed while getting in touch with law enforcement can help save lives and cut down on the risks of additional injuries from taking place. The more people are kept abreast of the situation, the quicker everyone can find safety and begin to recover.

About PGUI

Professional Governmental Underwriters, Inc., is a full-service risk management company dedicated to assisting public, educational and non-profit entities in the management of their professional liability exposures including educators liability insurance. We are dedicated to providing state-of-the-art professional underwriting management and loss control advisory services on behalf of our designated carriers. For more information, call us toll-free at (800) 586-6502.