The FBI recently released a study of active shooter incidents occurring over the last 14 years. The purpose of the study is to provide accurate data to law enforcement and citizens alike so that more can be done to stop these threats. After ruling out mass shootings and other instances that did not fit the definition of “active shooter”—an individual(s) actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area—160 incidents were analyzed. Below are key findings you should know to help your company be more prepared.

Active shooter incidents are on the rise.

During the first seven years in the study, an average number of 6.4 active shooter incidents occurred per year. In the last seven years, that number rose to 16.4. This equates to an average of more than one active shooter incident occurring per month.

With the number of active shooter incidents increasing, it is important that your employees understand what an active shooter is, what the warning signs of a potential active shooter are, and how they should respond in case an active shooter event happens. Access your portal to review active shooter threat information and checklists. If you need assistance or would like a customized checklist, contact us.

Active shooter incidents mostly occur in commercial settings.

Of the 11 defined location categories identified in the study (malls, businesses open to pedestrian traffic, businesses closed to pedestrian traffic, schools, institutions of higher education, other [non-military] government properties, open spaces, military properties, health care facilities, and houses of worship), the majority of active shooter incidents (45.6%) occurred in a location related to commerce. Businesses should acknowledge this data and continue to exercise their incident management and active shooter plans so that employees can be as prepared as possible in the event that an active shooter incident occurs. If you do not currently have an active shooter plan, Preparis can help you develop one.

Active shooter incidents end in a matter of minutes.

Using the known duration from 64 of the 160 incidents, 69% ended in 5 minutes or fewer, with over half of those ending in under 2 minutes. Oftentimes, civilians stepped in before law enforcement intervened and were able to subdue the shooter. Given this, it is imperative that employees are trained and exercised in the risks and the options available to them during an active shooter incident. Access the active shooter training course and tabletop exercises already loaded in your portal for guidance.

For more information on how to prepare your employees for an active shooter event, contact your Client Services representative at 404.662.2965.

Marlia Fontaine-Weisse is the Content Manager for Preparis.