Gun violence continues to increase in the U.S. Colorado alone has had seven mass shooting events with 47 deaths and hundreds injured since 1993 (Hamm, 2021). However, this only makes up a fraction of those killed or injured by a gun. Over 21,000 people have already died in 2021 (as of June 30) nationwide (Gun Violence Archive, 2021). The recent shootings in Olde Town Arvada have brought this issue very close to home. All Secure Lock & Security is a local, family-owned business just a few blocks from where this most recent active shooter incident occurred. Many of our neighbors suddenly realized they did not have a formal plan to truly lock down businesses to protect themselves and their employees. Once the shock and sadness wore off, we began to collect our own resources to make sure we are doing all that we can to stay protected. Today, we wanted to share a few of these resources with you.
Homeland Security published a booklet to help us all prepare to protect ourselves in the event of an active shooter. In it, they mention there are three approaches to an active shooter scenario: run, hide or fight. One thing we have heard consistently through our own experience is that many of us may have a plan for one of these but not all three. The biggest red flag we have observed is the inability for businesses to lock themselves into their offices and store fronts. We all have locks on the outsides of our doors to mitigate theft but very few of us have doors we can lock from the inside to keep us safe. While this seems simple enough to fix, the moment we begin to obstruct entry ways, we begin to break rules around fire codes and other safety issues. People must still be able to easily escape during a fire. Businesses still need to protect themselves from theft and potential hostage situations.
One of the best solutions we have uncovered during our own journey in creating an Emergency Action Plan is the addition of electrical locks to all of our exterior and interior locking doors. This technology allows us to lock doors without physical interaction, remotely locking down the facility without taking one step. Additional shelter-in-place protocols should be added to any plan along with upgraded door locking mechanisms. OSHA has provided a great resource for creating Emergency Action Plans with shelter-in-place as one option with 13 action items to consider when auditing your business for safety. FEMA has also published suggestions for developing your shelter-in-place action plans in the event of an emergency that is targeted towards personal home and family protection that you may also find helpful. We found many of their suggestions were also applicable to business.
Regardless of the plans you make to stay safe, having a plan is the first step. Then, audit your facilities, make necessary upgrades, train your staff (and family) on action items and practice regularly. If you discover doors, windows and other entry points to your store or home are not up to date with the latest suggestions for safety protocols, including the ability to truly lock down the building, contact us. We can provide a complimentary walk through and audit for your lock and security needs with an introduction to many new technologies that could save a life.
Gun Violence Archive. (2021, June 30). Gun Violence Archive. Retrieved from Gun Violence Archive: https://www.gunviolencearchive.org/
Hamm, K. (2021, June 25). Tracking Colorado’s ,ass shootings: 47 have died in seven incidents since 1993. The Denver Post.