The United States endured 30 active shooter events in 2017. This is the “largest number ever recorded by the FBI during a one-year period” according to the June 2018 FBI Publication “A Study of the Pre-Attack Behaviors of Active Shooters in the United States.” At the rate these attacks are occurring, it is perceived that society is becoming de-sensitized and may be looking at this “as the new normal.” This has caused many people in the chemical, petrochemical and utilities industry to take preparation to another level. Below are some measures being taken.
Industry executives are hiring subject matter specialists familiar with industry standards such as Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) 6 CFR 27, Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) 33 CFR 105 and the 18 Risk Based Performance Standards to conduct third-party assessments of their facilities’ security procedures to ensure compliance.
The industry also is collaborating with private/public efforts to conduct live exercises that meet regulations. This allows all agencies that would normally respond to an active shooter incident to be uniquely familiar with the layout and special considerations of a chemical facility.
Due to the increasing number of research and training being conducted to combat this epidemic, a wealth of data is available at everyone’s fingertips. Through studies conducted by entities like the FBI, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and ASIS International, security professionals and organizations are gaining additional knowledge on how to look for pre-attack behaviors, prepare for an active shooter, and recover from an active shooter incident. In today’s world we must be ever vigilant and make sure to be prepared as much as possible. Check out these educational resources:
DHS Active Shooter Workshop
DHS After Active Shooter Recovery
Active Shooter Events 2016 and 2017
While the chemical and petrochemical industry has mandated security regulations in place for “tiered facilities” through CFATS and Facility Security Plans at MTSA locations, it is important that that all security plans are evaluated regularly to not only apply this new data, but to also address the current technology, demographics, and new ways active shooters are carrying out these heinous acts of violence. This also will enable facilities to be prepared to respond and recover.
One of the most recent standards was set by the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) after the Orlando Pulse Nightclub massacre in June of 2016. The NFPA 3000™ Standard for an Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response Program is the world’s first active shooter/hostile event standard. For more info, check out the fact sheet or visit www.nfpa.org/3000.
About the Author
Jason Gordon is Manager, Chemical/Petrochemical/Utilities for Allied Universal.