According to the FBI, active shooter incidents are an ever-increasing threat in both public and private settings. The most recent data shows 877 active shooter incidents between 2000 and 2018, resulting in 2,430 casualties and 1,546 wounding injuries. These tragic events have occurred at schools, universities, churches, businesses, healthcare facilities, government buildings, and other public and private places.

Due to the rise in active shooter incidents, employers need to be aware of the dangers posed by these situations and take steps to protect their employees from potential harm. In this article, we will provide an overview of the risk posed by active shooters, steps employers and employees can take to prepare for and respond to these threats, and strategies for self-protection.

The Risks of Active Shooters

As active shooter incidents become more frequent, it is important to understand the risks associated with them. Active shooters are individuals who use firearms or other weapons in an attempt to inflict harm on innocent people. The victims of these attacks have often done nothing wrong and are selected at random by the attacker.

When faced with an active shooter, there is a high risk of serious injury or death for those within the vicinity. The FBI reports that these incidents are usually over in 10 minutes or less, so it is important to move quickly if you find yourself in this situation.

What are the Responsibilities of Employers?

Employers have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their employees in the workplace. To protect against active shooter incidents, employers should create and implement an emergency plan that includes policies and procedures for responding to active shooter threats. They should also provide training on how to recognize and respond to active shooter threats, as well as periodically assess potential risks within the workplace.

Employers can also take other steps to increase security and safety, such as installing surveillance cameras and hiring additional security personnel. In addition, employers should consider providing employees with devices that allow them to notify authorities of an active shooter incident in real-time.

What Can Employees Do?

In the event of an active shooter incident, employees should be prepared to take action. They should move away from the area of danger and seek shelter in a secure location. It is also important for employees to have a plan of escape if possible, as well as contact family and friends outside of the building.

Employees should also consider carrying items that can provide them with additional protection in the event of an active shooter incident. For example, a bulletproof purse or backpack can provide additional protection for employees who find themselves in the line of fire.

How To Spot Signs of Potential Violence Before It Happens

It is essential to be aware of the signs of potential violence before it happens. Employees should look out for behavior that seems threatening or out of the ordinary, such as an employee being confrontational or aggressive with coworkers. They should also keep an eye out for unusual changes in behavior, such as a decrease in work performance or sudden mood swings.

Finally, employers and employees should be aware of any environmental changes that could indicate potential violence. These can include a rise in theft or vandalism, suspicious packages left in the workplace, or other unusual activities. If any of these signs are present, it is important to take immediate action to ensure the safety of everyone at the workplace.


Active shooter incidents are an ever-growing threat in our society, and employers and employees need to take steps to protect themselves from potential harm. By creating an emergency plan, providing training on active shooter threats, assessing potential risks, and taking other security measures, employers can help ensure a safe work environment for their employees. In addition, employees should be aware of the signs of potential violence and have a plan for self-protection in the event of an active shooter incident. With this knowledge, employers and employees can work together to create a safe workplace environment.