Active Shooters and Businesses: Risk Management and Insurance

Terrorism in workplace

Training and risk management are key in the event of an incident

In the wake of the Las Vegas shooting incident, special events coordinators are stepping up their risk management protocols. Such violence represents the potential for personal and property losses in the business sector as well.

Business owners and their employees must recognize the importance of training and tactics to minimize exposures to this emerging threat and maximize survival of those involved.

After the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and several other federal agencies created the Run. Hide. Fight. strategy. This civilian training aims to enhance preparedness through a whole community approach. It  provides  products, tools, and resources that can help you prepare for and respond to an active shooter incident.

Don’t think it can’t happen in your community

It’s critical for the business community to recognize the potential for an active shooter situation and need for prevention training. The FBI reports that businesses were the most frequent target or venue of 160 such shooting events between 2000 and 2013.

Much of the training is common sense. For example, intruders always  take the path of least resistance and move on to an unblocked or unfortified room or area. Training provides the opportunity to recognize such vulnerabilities in your place of business and thwart an intruder.

Your ability to identify certain behaviors that often precede or signal the onset of an event is also critical. Know your employees, vendors, customers and neighboring businesses. Oftentimes shooters exhibit a change in behavior prior to taking violent action. This can often be observed in social media posts.

It’s important that everyone in the business is on board. Establish a formal program that includes a reporting and tracking system for all security incidents. We can’t stress enough the importance of reporting and documentation. For the training to be successful, it has to be repeated. And repeated. And repeated again.

Your business faces potential liabilities

Businesses can be found liable for injuries and damages for failure to take risk management steps to prevent or minimize an active shooter event. Also take into account the extreme property damage or loss of income and reputation that can result. Stand-alone policy forms for Active Shooter Insurance have recently been developed and are available for surprisingly low premiums. Perhaps one of the major benefits of such insurance is the risk management training that comes with the purchase of the insurance.

Please contact Sadler & Company by completing the contact us form or call 800-622-7370 if you have any questions.


Source:  Matthew Lerner.  “Training key in shooting response.” businessinsurance.com. November 2017.
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