Written By: Brad Campbell | December 15, 2021
According to the FBI’s definition, an active threat is anyone actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill a number of people in a populated area, including inside buildings. Unfortunately, active threats have been known to target all types of facilities, from K-12 schools and university campuses to government and commercial facilities.
Various local and federal law enforcement agencies are tasked with identifying potential active threats and preventing them from ever getting a chance to do harm, but they aren’t always able to do so.
That’s why it’s so important for members of the public, especially building owners and administrators, to educate themselves on the risks and take appropriate measures to prevent active threats from causing a tragedy.
Implementing active threat security measures also makes it easier for law enforcement to deal with the attacker in the unfortunate event of an active threat scenario on your property. In short, the more prepared everyone is, the less likely it is that there will be loss of life during an attempted attack.
In this article, we’ll go over some of the ways you can beef up your building’s security to keep active threats out of your property and protect employees, students, members of the public, and whoever else may be inside.
One of the most effective ways to reduce or eliminate the harm a determined intruder can cause is to keep them out of the building. Police will have a much easier time locating and dealing with a hostile individual if they have been unable to get into the facility within which they planned to do harm.
The fundamental sequence for training is run/hide/fight, meaning that the very first action occupants should take when they realize there is an imminent threat is to run away from the threat and avoid contact.
If unable to run away safely, the next best option is to hide and, if possible, use a barricade to make your position more difficult to access. As a last resort, make every attempt to overwhelm the attacker by fighting with everything you’ve got.
But, there is an easier way — the old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” couldn’t be more apropos. Taking the time to implement a well thought-out access control system can make a world of difference.
There are two main components of a good access control system:
Number one is not going to be effective if the second component is not in place. If a bad guy can shoot or smash his way through a window or door, the locks will be rendered useless.
Our Riot Glass products are available in varying levels that can slow down or stop a would-be intruder, and even stop shots that may be fired. Options include the RG line of highly fortified laminated glass that uses our proprietary thermoplastic interlayer, which is up to 5 times stronger and 100 times stiffer than regular laminated glass (seen above and in the video below), or our ArmorPlast ballistic line of polycarbonate and acrylics layered together to form UL752-rated bullet-resistant barriers.
Installation costs are dramatically reduced by using your existing framing. Once installed alongside access controls, the building envelope fortification is dramatically increased. Our LifeSafe ballistic door skins are another way to shore up entry points by making your existing solid-core doors resistant to shotgun blasts or heavy tools that may be used to breach a door. Other systems such as Anchorman door barricading devices can be used in classrooms to help create a safe zone during a crisis.
In the video below we have recreated an active threat scenario to test our RG9 line of Riot Glass security glazing. We used a Sig Sauer AR-15 5.56 and a Glock 17 with hollow point ammunition, in addition to a 12 oz. claw hammer and an aluminum bat. After 10 rounds and 39 strikes, the bad guy is still unable to enter. This material is not bullet resistant, so the rounds penetrate, but the glass is still stiff and solidly in place, preventing easy access. To ratchet up the protection level even further, ballistic-rated ArmorPlast can be used.
Stay tuned for more blog posts and videos in which we will demonstrate other materials from our line of Riot Glass products designed to stop burglars, armed robbers, and active threats.