How Do Gunshot Detection Systems Work?

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How Do Gunshot Detection Systems Work?

We hope you’ll never have to use a gunshot detection system. But in the rare case it’s necessary, everyone in your organization will be deeply grateful the technology was in place. 

Whether you’re looking to improve the security of an office building, a school, a government building, or another commercial space, gunshot detection technology can assist where human instincts cannot. 

In the unlikely event of a shooting, frantic 911 calls often can’t locate where exactly a firing occurred. But with gunshot detection technology, you’ll be able to instantly notify authorities of the location on your property. 

With today’s frightening headlines, we all want to protect people as much as possible. If you're curious about how gunshot detection works and will help your Katy, TX organization, learn more below. 

SEE ALSO: How to Best Prepare Your School for an Active Shooter 

The History Behind Gunshot Detection

Forms of gunshot detection technology have been used since before World War I. But it didn’t reach the public until the 1990s in California. The East Palo Alto and Menlo Park area was struggling with crime, and the police were frequently called to investigate reported gunshots. There wasn’t an effective way to determine the source from various 911 calls.

That’s when Dr. John. C Lahr, a seismologist, approached the police department and suggested applying seismological techniques to trace gunshots. With his experience monitoring earthquakes, Dr. Lahr was able to create a command center and record data for the police. 

Today, gunshot detection technology has advanced significantly and is used in cities around the world. Here in Texas, Houston’s city council recently voted to implement gunshot detection systems. 

How Gunshot Detection Works 

If a gun activates on your business or school’s property, the detection system of sensors and cameras use either infrared, acoustic, or shockwave sensors (or a combination) to locate where the explosive charge occurred. The system uses zero false-lead technology that differentiates gunshots from similar sounds like cars backfiring or fireworks. This can prevent false alarms that could otherwise cause stress or panic. 

Once the system locates the gunshot, it triggers a series of automated events. Mass notifications are instantly sent to the authorities and your staff’s mobile devices. The system triggers alarms, and your security team is able to lock targeted areas immediately. The police know exactly where the gunshot originated, so they can swiftly arrive at the correct location. 

Give your business or school peace of mind and contact ASAP Security Services to discuss gunshot detection solutions. Give us a call at (877) 418-ASAP or contact us online here


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