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Is your company prepared to handle a situation like yesterday's Paris shooting? If not, here's what you need to do

by , 08 January 2015
Yesterday, three gunmen stormed into the offices of the satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, in Paris. They opened fire on the employees in the office and killed 12 of them.

While this sounds like something that only happens in movies, that's not the case.

The threat of an armed gunman coming into your office is very real.

That's why you must have an emergency plan to deal with this kind of threat.

If you don't, your employees could be in danger of a terror attack at work.

Here's what you can do to ensure this doesn't happen in your workplace...


Here's what you must do to deal with a gunman in your workplace

The best why to do with any emergency is to prevent it. That's why the first thing you must do is install an alarm and lockdown system. 
Only let people into your office if you know who they are and why they're there. If a stranger tries to force his way in, your security must sound the alarm. 
You can then close all security doors so the shooter can't get in. If you have glass doors or lots of windows in your office, change these to shatter- or bullet-proof glass. This way a gunman can't break in. 
If these measures don't keep a gunman out, you need to protect your employees and get them out safely.
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Here's how you can deal with this type of workplace emergency

If a gunman comes into the office someone must set off the alarm. When your employees hear that sound, they must start evacuating the building. 
Make sure your emergency exit is in an easy to get to place. There must be a clear path to the exit so your employees can get out fast. 
It's also important to train your employees on your evacuation procedures. This way they will know where they must go once they get out of the building. 
You must have a designated emergency assembly point that your employees can go to. 
(You can find a template for your evacuation plan in out Fire Safety Toolkit.)
But what if your employees can't get out in time?

Here's what you and your employees must do if you can't get out of the office before the shooting starts

If you and your employees can't get out in time, you must get out of sight as soon as possible. Tell your employees to stay low to the ground behind a desk. 
Also make sure you have an alarm system with a panic button. Keep this button on you at all time. This way you can quickly alert the police. 
Also consider hiring security guards who have hand-to-hand combat and gun training. This way, they will know how to approach and disarm the gunman. 
Dealing with a shooter in your workplace takes quick thinking and action. 
Make sure everyone in your office knows exactly what to do so they can get out quickly and safely so you don't have a situation like the Charlie Hebdo shooting. 

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