The statistics are staggering. The death tolls are rising. And those who now fear environments that were once thought to be safe zones like school campuses, factories, commercial businesses and government facilities, find themselves having to add the routine of active-shooter drills into their traditional fire drill protocols.

The latest active shooter statistics released by the FBI earlier this year in their annual active-shooter report designated 27 events as active shooter incidents in 2018. The report reveals that 16 of the 27 incidents occurred in areas of commerce, seven incidents occurred in business environments, and five incidents occurred in education environments.

Deadly active-shooter events

Six of the 12 deadliest shootings in the country have taken place in the past five years

Six of the 12 deadliest shootings in the country have taken place in the past five years, including Sutherland Springs church, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the San Bernardino regional center, the Walmart in El Paso and the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, which have all occurred since 2015.

Although these incidents occurred in facilities with designated entry points common to churches, schools and businesses, the two most deadly active-shooter events since 2015 were the Route 91 Harvest music festival shooting in Las Vegas that left 58 dead and the Pulse nightclub killings in Orlando where 49 perished. As Christopher Combs, special agent in charge of the FBI field office in San Antonio, Texas, said during a news conference following the August 31 mass shooting in Odessa, Texas that claimed seven lives: “We are now at almost every two weeks seeing an active shooter in this country."

Active shooter incidents

Between December 2000 and December 2018, the FBI’s distribution of active shooter incidents by location looks like this:

  • Businesses Open to Pedestrian Traffic (74)
  • Businesses Closed to Pedestrian Traffic (43)
  • K-12 Schools (39)
  • Institutions of Higher Learning (16)
  • Non-Military Government Properties (28)
  • Military Properties—Restricted (5)
  • Healthcare Facilities (11)
  • Houses of Worship (10)
  • Private Properties (12)
  • Malls (6)

What the majority of these venues have in common is they all have a front entrance or chokepoint for anyone entering the facilities, which is why any active-shooter plan must include a strategy to secure that entry point.

Situational awareness in perimeter and door security

Preventing people with the wrong intentions from entering the space is the goal"

According to Paul Franco, an A&E with more than 28 years of experience as a consultant and systems integrator focusing on schools, healthcare and large public and private facilities, that while active shooter incidents continue to rise, the residual effect has been an increase in situational awareness in perimeter and door security.

Certainly, protecting people and assets is the number one goal of all our clients. There are multiple considerations in facilities like K-12 and Healthcare. Preventing people with the wrong intentions from entering the space is the goal. But a critical consideration to emphasise to your client is getting that person out of your facility and not creating a more dangerous situation by locking the person in your facility,” says Franco.

High-security turnstiles

Schools today are creating a space for vetting visitors prior to allowing access into the main facility. Using technology properly like high-security turnstiles offer great benefits in existing schools where space constraints and renovation costs can be impractical.”

What steps should they be taken when recommending the proper door security to ensure the building is safe

As a consultant/integrator, when discussions are had with a client that has a facility in a public space like a corporate building, government centre or industrial facility, what steps should they be taken when recommending the proper door security to ensure the building is safe and can protect its people and assets? For Frank Pisciotta, President and CEO of Business Protection Specialists, Inc. in Raleigh, North Carolina, a fundamental element of his security strategy is making appropriate recommendations that are broad-based and proactive.

Properly identifying the adversaries

As a consultant, my recommendations must include properly identifying the adversaries who may show up at a client’s door, the likelihood of that event occurring, the consequences of that event occurring, determining if there are tripwires that can be set so an organisation can move their line of defence away from the door, educating employees to report potential threats and creating real-time actionable plans to respond to threats. A more reactionary posture might include such thing as target hardening such as ballistic resistant materials at entry access points to a facility,” Pisciotta says.

Veteran consultant David Aggleton of Aggleton & Associates of Mission Viejo, California recommends that clients compartmentalise their higher security areas for limited access by adding multiple credential controls (card + keypad + biometric), along with ‘positive’ access systems that inhibit tailgating/piggybacking such as secure turnstiles, revolving door and mantrap if your entrances and security needs meet the required space and access throughput rates.

Integrated solution of electronic access control

Defining a single point of entry in some public facilities is becoming the new standard of care according to many A&Es and security consultants, especially in a school environment. This approach allows a concerted effort when it comes to staffing, visitor monitoring and an integrated technology solution.

The bottom line remains: most buildings are vulnerable to a security breach

A proactive stance to securing a door entryway will use an integrated solution of electronic access control, turnstiles, revolving doors and mantraps that can substantially improve a facility’s security profile. The bottom line remains: most buildings are vulnerable to a security breach, so it’s not a matter of if there will be a next active shooter tragedy, it’s only a matter of where.

Enhancing access control assurance

There is no easy answer to this question,” says Pisciotta referring to how a secured entrance can deter an active shooter. “There have been at least two high-profile incidents of adversaries shooting their way into a facility through access control barriers. So, if the threat so dictates, a ballistic resistant might be required.”

He concludes: “There is obviously no question that turnstiles, revolving doors and man traps enhance access control assurance. Electronic access control is easy to integrate with these devices and providing that credentials are secure, approval processes are in place, change management is properly managed and the appropriate auditing measures in place, access control objectives can be met.”

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version Download PDF version

Author profile

Greg Schreiber Vice President of Sales, Boon Edam

Greg Schreiber has been the Vice President of Sales of Boon Edam Inc. since 2013 and has been with the company a total of 15 years.

In case you missed it

Hikvision provides their HikCentral video management software to enhance real-time monitoring at Care Protect’s office in Belfast
Hikvision provides their HikCentral video management software to enhance real-time monitoring at Care Protect’s office in Belfast

When Care Protect wanted to upscale its operations in healthcare safety and monitoring services to a large private provider, it turned to Hikvision’s HikCentral video management software, in combination with offsite cloud video storage from Manything Pro. Care Protect is an innovative organisation. It was created to promote excellent, sustainable and consistent care delivery in health and social care settings. That innovation is reflected in the way the company integrates technology into the very heart of its care provision services. It uses the latest camera and audio technology, alongside the latest secure cloud-based video storage services, with a team of health and social care professionals reviewing and assessing around the clock. Social care environments Because of this diligence in monitoring, high levels of independent scrutiny can be guaranteed. The result is that through this transparency, reassurance is available for residents and their families, knowing that vulnerable adults and children are better safeguarded and protected. In all cases, system use is with the prior consent of residents and relatives or next of kin only. Care Protect was established to help address public concerns over incidents of poor care or malpractice Care Protect’s independent monitors are very well qualified, with years of relevant health and social care experience, together with all necessary Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks and Security Industry Authority (SIA) licencing. Collectively they offer a high level of sector knowledge and expertise essential to assist and advise those with responsibility for safeguarding and quality and clinical governance. One of the key reasons that Care Protect was established to help address public concerns over incidents of poor care or malpractice in health and social care environments, some of which have seen wide media coverage. Private healthcare provider As a result, sound and motion detection alarms and infrared filming is utilised so immediate alerts can be raised if an incident is seen or heard or there is a connectivity or maintenance issue. Video recordings also include the use of privacy settings to block any agreed zones or areas of view as required. With video footage playing such a crucial role in Care Protect’s service, it is of pivotal importance that the system in place to manage the viewing of that video is stable, reliable and effective. One of Care Protect’s clients is a large private healthcare provider, for which Care Protect monitors bedrooms and communal areas of child and adult wards in hospitals nationwide throughout England. Care Protect also monitors elderly care homes for several different providers. Offsite video storage Care Protect also monitors elderly care homes for several different providers Care Protect’s IT & Systems Director, Andy Johnson, said Care Protect Directors have a background in the care industry, which has informed the monitoring system the company utilises. “We’ve developed a system based on the reviewing of recorded footage by social workers and nurses to advise, initially, on the quality of practice,” Johnson explains. “The contract with the large private healthcare company saw our operation change to caring for patients who pose a high risk to themselves for self-harm. Because of the importance of this monitoring in ensuring the patients’ wellbeing, it was critical that we were able to efficiently manage that video, both in terms of live monitoring and offsite video storage.” Cloud video storage The new focus required an upscaling of Care Protect’s operational office in Belfast (the company’s head office is in Yarm, Cleveland). A key element of this upscaling was the use of Hikvision’s HikCentral video management software, which needed to be able to deliver high quality images to a Samsung multi-screen video wall for real-time monitoring. Resident and patient rights to privacy remain at the core of Care Protect’s operations Video management via HikCentral at Belfast is critical, as is the offsite cloud video storage provided by Manything Pro, as Care Protect is careful to ensure there is no local recording of video onsite at the customer’s facilities so that it cannot be tampered with. Resident and patient rights to privacy remain at the core of Care Protect’s operations, and they ensure they comply with and exceed all relevant legislation and guidelines, including the Data Privacy Act and Surveillance Camera Code of Practice. Intelligent surveillance platform HikCentral is a comprehensive, intelligent surveillance platform. The newly improved HikCentral delivers data and intelligence via a pre-installed VMS on standard, off-the-shelf servers, and contains advanced functions including advanced live view and playback, thermal imaging, queue detection, low bandwidth adaptability, video linkage with access control, enhanced alarm management and smart wall operation – as in use at Care Protect. HikCentral manages the cameras, the smart wall monitors, and the video decoders that drive the images to the multiple screens in the Belfast hub. These screens cover 21 separate hospital sites for Care Protect’s private health provider customer. “One of the key features of HikCentral for us was the new smart wall functionality,” Johnson says, “Allowing us to manage multiple screens from the one place, rather than having software to run an application to then put it on the screens.” Network mini domes We use Smart Maps within HikCentral for interactive floor plans for the hospitals we monitor" Care Protect also makes good use of HikCentral’s Smart Maps function. “We use Smart Maps within HikCentral for interactive floor plans for the hospitals we monitor,” Johnson explains. “We have a selection of the communal cameras live on the maps, and our reviewers can click into the relevant area and get an overview without having to further interrogate those floor plans.” The appeal of this VMS, he says, was down to both the newly mature and advanced functions of the latest version of HikCentral, as well as its very competitive pricing compared to its rivals. Care Protect uses 500 HikCentral licences and a variety of Hikvision cameras are deployed across the customer’s facilities, predominantly unobtrusive 4MP and 6MP high resolution network mini domes. Hikvision Smart functionality on those cameras also proves extremely useful, Johnson says. Smart camera functions “The use of Hikvision Smart events on the cameras helps our reviewers to know how many people are in a room or a designated zone at a particular time,” he says. “These sorts of Smart features can greatly assist our reviewers, allowing us to be more efficient and effective in responding to the needs of patients.” Those in-built Smart camera functions are complemented by the use of audio analytics Those in-built Smart camera functions are complemented by the use of audio analytics. In some cases this audio software is used to trigger cameras so that potential incidents can be automatically viewed and assessed by a Care Protect reviewer. The results of utilising this technology, according to Johnson, have been highly successful. “We have been able to upscale our operation to 27 screens, to accommodate 21 hospital sites for our biggest customer, to great satisfaction from their end as it is safeguarding the vulnerable patients that they care for,” he says. Poor network conditions In addition to monitoring the live streams for certain hospitals, Care Protect’s independent monitors are tasked with reviewing all recorded video to ensure that the quality of care provided meets the required standards. For this they utilise the services of Hikvision cloud video technology partner, Manything Pro. Care Protect have almost 3,000 cameras recording video to the Manything Pro platform. All video is stored offsite in the secure Manything Pro cloud and can be accessed via the Manything Pro app and website. Manything Pro software runs on Hikvision cameras and is constantly monitoring the bandwidth conditions on each site. If necessary, the software will dynamically adjust the video bit rate to ensure recorded events are sent to the cloud even in poor network conditions. “We use Manything Pro for our cloud storage, so any recorded footage goes up to them, and we review through their website,” he says. “Some providers that we work with aren’t part of the live streaming through HikCentral in our Belfast monitoring centre. For these sites we also use the Manything Pro app and website to view the camera live streams.”

How smart technology is simplifying safety and security in retirement villages
How smart technology is simplifying safety and security in retirement villages

James Twigg is the Managing Director of Total Integrated Solutions (TIS), an independent life safety, security and communication systems integrator, specialising in design & consultancy, technology and regulatory compliance. Total Integrated Solutions work primarily with retirement villages, helping to ensure the safety of residents in numerous retirement villages across the country. In this opinion piece, James shares how smart technology is helping security teams and care staff alike in ensuring the safety and security of their spaces, amid the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Impact of smart technology Smart technology is having an impact on pretty much every aspect of our lives Smart technology is having an impact on pretty much every aspect of our lives. From how we travel, to how we work, to how we run our homes. It’s not unusual to have Alexa waking us up and ordering our groceries or Nest to be regulating the temperature and energy in our homes. And while there’s a popular misconception that people in their later years are allergic to technology, retirement villages and care homes are experiencing significant innovation too. And the result is not only improved quality of life for residents, but also improved safety and security systems for management teams. Switching to converged IP systems I’ve been working in the life safety and security industry for over fifteen years. When I first joined TIS, much of the sector was still very analogue, in terms of the technology being installed and maintained. Slowly but surely, we’ve been consulting and advising customers on how to design, install and maintain converged IP systems that all talk to each other and work in tandem. I'm excited to say retirement villages are some of the top spaces leading the way, in terms of technological advancement. Improving the quality of life for residents A move into a retirement village can be daunting and one of the key concerns that we hear about is the loss of independence. No one wants to feel like they are being monitored or to have someone constantly hovering over them. One of the ways we’ve used smart technology to maintain residents' independence is through devices, such as health monitors and motion sensors. For example, instead of having a member of staff check-in on residents every morning, to ensure they are well, sensors and analytics can automatically detect changes in routine and alert staff to possible problems. Similarly, wearable tech, such as smart watches give residents a chance to let staff know they are okay, without having to tell them face-to-face. As our retirement village customers have told us, a simple ‘I’m okay’ command can be the difference between someone feeling independent versus someone feeling monitored. Simplifying and improving security systems Smart technology gives care staff and security oversight of the needs of residents For the teams responsible for the safety of the people, places and spaces within retirement villages, smart technology is helping to improve and simplify their jobs. Smart technology gives care staff and security oversight of the needs of residents, and ensures rapid response if notified by an emergency alert, ensuring they know the exact location of the resident in need. And without the need to go and physically check-in on every resident, staff and management can ensure staff time is being used effectively. Resources can be distributed where they are needed to ensure the safety and wellbeing of those residents who need extra consideration. 24/7 surveillance When planning the safety and security for retirement villages, and other residential spaces, it’s no use having traditional systems that only work effectively for 12 hours a day or need to update during the evening. Surveillance needs to be 24/7 and smart technology allows that without the physical intrusion into people’s spaces and daily lives. Smart technology ensures that systems speak to each other and are easily and effectively managed on one integrated system. This includes video surveillance, which has also become much more effective as a result of advanced video analytics, which automatically warn staff of suspicious behaviour. Securing spaces amid COVID-19 This year has, of course, brought new challenges for safety. COVID-19 hit the retirement and residential care sectors hard, first with the initial wave of infections in mid-2020 and then, with the subsequent loneliness caused by the necessary separation of families. As essential workers, we worked closely with our customers to make sure they had everything they needed As essential workers, we worked closely with our customers to make sure they had everything they needed during this time, equipping residents with tablet devices to ensure they could stay connected with their families and friends. It allowed residents to keep in touch without risking transferring the virus. Thermal cameras and mask detection And now that we’re emerging out of COVID-19 restrictions and most residents can see their families again, we’re installing systems like thermal cameras and mask detection, so as to ensure that security will be alerted to anyone in the space experiencing a high temperature or not wearing proper PPE. Such steps give staff and families alike, the peace-of-mind that operational teams will be alerted at the earliest possible moment, should a COVID-19 risk appear. Thinking ahead to the next fifteen years, I’m excited at the prospect of further technological advancements in this space. Because at the end of the day, it’s not about how complex your security system is or how you compete in the industry. It’s about helping teams to protect the people, spaces and places that matter. I see smart technology playing a huge role in that for years to come.

Climax releases the GX-Cubic2 Series Smart Care Medical Alarm for the healthcare industry
Climax releases the GX-Cubic2 Series Smart Care Medical Alarm for the healthcare industry

Rapid aging population, high healthcare costs, and physician shortages are creating an increasing demand for care at home, especially for seniors with long-term health conditions. The GX-Cubic2 Series Smart Care Medical Alarm from Climax Technology Co., Ltd. (Climax), features an LCD display that shows clock time, temperature, GSM signal strength and sensor faults, to keep users fully informed at all times. GX Smart Care Medical Alarm GX Smart Care Medical Alarm is an all-in-one wellness and personal safety medical alarm solution GX Smart Care Medical Alarm is an all-in-one wellness and personal safety medical alarm solution, bridging medical health monitoring and emergency alarm, to keep seniors safe in their own homes. GX is compatible with Bluetooth medical devices, like blood glucose/blood pressure monitors, pulse oximeters, etc., to track medical data and remote monitoring directly from caregivers/physicians, and also has telecare alarm features, including voice recognition, emergency monitoring, inactivity monitoring, voice control, and home automation capabilities, in order to assist seniors to have a more secure and healthy living. Some of the major features of the GX-Cubic2 Series include: Bluetooth Medical Device Pairing GX is compatible with Bluetooth Medical devices, like blood pressure/blood glucose monitors, pulse oximeters, thermometers, etc., to track health and medical data, and allow care-givers/physicians to remote monitor and provide treatment as needed. Smart Home Automation ZigBee, Z-Wave, and/or Bluetooth automation devices incorporated into GX creates a smarter and safer home, by auto-turning on hallway lights at night, to decrease the chance of a fall, or auto turn on the heater, if there is a sudden temperature drop. Voice Recognition GX has built-in voice recognition and can activate an emergency all to CMS by preset vocal commands or keywords. Allowing seniors to receive emergency attention even in situations where they are unable to seek help manually. Location Tracking GX can be paired with BRPD-1 Bluetooth pendant, a small wearable panic button that partners with a smartphone application for GPS location reporting and trigger help alarm with one button press, whether the user is at home or out for a walk. Voice Control GX is compatible with Google Home and Amazon Alexa voice control to control home electronic devices, allowing seniors to use their voice to make their environment more suitable without lifting a finger. Visual Monitoring and Verification GX can integrate Camera PIR Motion Sensors to deliver real-time visual monitoring and verification. When an emergency occurs, alerts are immediately sent to family members and Monitoring Centre to verify the event and sending immediate assistance as required. Pivotell Advance Automatic Pill Dispenser GX is compatible with Pivotell Advance Automatic Pill Dispenser, keeping secure of all pills, remind users to take their medication, keep track of their medicine intake, and allow caregiver/physician to monitor pill taking results/record and keep an eye on user’s needs. Safety & Inactivity Monitoring GX can support wireless sensor devices, allowing users to add in smoke detectors, water leakage sensors, and gas sensors to monitor emergencies, and motion sensors, door contacts, sensor pad transmitters for inactivity monitoring, to build a healthier, safer independent living. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) & DECT GX’s built-in VOIP function allows users to initiate two-way voice calls to contact CMS and family members during alarms and emergency. With the optional add-on of DECT, GX can pair with voice extenders, talking pendants, call points, etc. placed around the home, to create a safety net and peace of mind. Colour Lighting Function GX also has an LED nightlight featuring both multi-colour adjustment and light level button control for a pleasant ambiance.