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Safe Zone News

Safe Zone Technologies Educates Security Professionals To Be Prepared For Post-COVID Challenges

By Safe Zone News

Healthcare professionals around the world are beginning to identify a range of COVID-19 related mental health issues that are certain to create new challenges for society, according to securityinformed.com.

People are in serious distress about the pandemic itself and because of the devastating second- and third-order effects of record unemployment and the overall negative economic impact. Safety and security professionals must be prepared to meet the challenges of a ‘new normal,’ according to Safe Zone Technologies President Mike Anderson.

Prolonged Period Of Imposed Self-Isolation

The new normal is not the old normal,” predicted Anderson. “Society is emerging from a prolonged period of imposed self-isolation. This has been an incredibly stressful time and the behavioral stresses created as a result remain to be seen. Security professionals everywhere need to be prepared to meet the challenges of a post-COVID shutdown world.”

A variety of mental health issues relate directly to people who have been infected by the COVID-19 virus, as well as those not infected but still forced into sheltered quarantine. Recent research published in the Lancet Psychiatry Journal noted that other coronaviruses in the past have passed into the central nervous systems of patients and called for more research to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on the human brain and nervous system.

Better Monitoring Of Mental Health

The Journal specifically called for better monitoring of mental health as part of a coordinated response to the pandemic. As a result of the pandemic quarantine closures, estimates are that more than 40 million people have lost their jobs in this country.

We don’t know when these jobs will be coming back, or if they even will. The depressed economy is taking an unprecedented toll. Unemployment leads to desperation and desperate people often make poor choices. Historically, these situations have resulted in an increase in violence, including armed robberies, suicides and active shootings,” Anderson stressed. The documented pandemic spike in firearm sales adds to the concern. NBC News recently reported that gun sales and federal background checks rose to an all-time high in March.

Automated Gunfire Detection Systems

In fact, the FBI conducted 3.7 million background checks in March, the highest total since the national instant check system for buyers was launched in 1998 and 1.1 million higher than the number conducted in March 2019.

The combination of rapidly increasing gun sales and the emergence of COVID-related mental health concerns means that schools, houses of worship, malls, movie theatres and owners of every other venue where people gather must take all available steps to enhance the safety and security of their spaces – especially as these venues begin to reopen after prolonged closures.”

The default for physical security has long been locking the doors and adding surveillance cameras. Unfortunately, in more than 30% of venues where active shooter events occurred, installed access control systems were ineffective or defeated. Additional statistics show that, on average, the 911 call is not made for five minutes. This is time that is critical to saving lives. Automated gunfire detection systems are an active means of alerting law enforcement and first responders in the critical first moments of a tragedy.

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Pandemic Consequences Challenge Security Professionals to be Prepared for a ‘New Normal’

By Safe Zone News

Healthcare professionals around the world are beginning to identify a range of Covid-19 related mental health issues that are certain to create new challenges for society. As reported by Sound & Video Contractor, people are in serious distress about the pandemic itself and because of the devastating second- and third-order effects of record unemployment and the overall negative economic impact. Safety and security professionals must be prepared to meet the challenges of a ‘new normal,’ according to Safe Zone Technologies President Mike Anderson.

“The new normal is not the old normal,” predicted Anderson. “Society is emerging from a prolonged period of imposed self-isolation. This has been an incredibly stressful time and the behavioral stresses created as a result remain to be seen. Security professionals everywhere need to be prepared to meet the challenges of a post-Covid shutdown world.”

A variety of mental health issues relate directly to people who have been infected by the Covid-19 virus, as well as those not infected but still forced into sheltered quarantine.

Recent research published in the Lancet Psychiatry Journal noted that other coronaviruses in the past have passed into the central nervous systems of patients and called for more research to better understand the impact of Covid-19 on the human brain and nervous system. The Journal specifically called for better monitoring of mental health as part of a coordinated response to the pandemic.

As a result of the pandemic quarantine closures, estimates are that more than 40 million people have lost their jobs in this country. “We don’t know when these jobs will be coming back, or if they even will. The depressed economy is taking an unprecedented toll. Unemployment leads to desperation and desperate people often make poor choices. Historically, these situations have resulted in an increase in violence, including armed robberies, suicides and active shootings,” Anderson stressed.

The documented pandemic spike in firearm sales adds to the concern. NBC News recently reported that gun sales and federal background checks rose to an all-time high in March. In fact, the FBI conducted 3.7 million background checks in March, the highest total since the national instant check system for buyers was launched in 1998 and 1.1 million higher than the number conducted in March 2019.

“The combination of rapidly increasing gun sales and the emergence of Covid-related mental health concerns means that schools, houses of worship, malls, movie theaters and owners of every other venue where people gather must take all available steps to enhance the safety and security of their spaces – especially as these venues begin to reopen after prolonged closures.”

The default for physical security has long been locking the doors and adding surveillance cameras. Unfortunately, in more than 30% of venues where active shooter events occurred, installed access control systems were ineffective or defeated.  Additional statistics show that, on average, the 911 call is not made for five minutes.  This is time that is critical to saving lives. Automated gunfire detection systems are an active means of alerting law enforcement and first responders in the critical first moments of a tragedy.

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Safe Zone Unveils Next-Gen Gunfire Detection System

By Safe Zone News

The new system includes automated 9-1-1 connection and a patenti-pending tri-mode data capture system.
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Safe Zone, a gunfire detection system provider, announces the immediate availability of its next-generation Gunfire Detection System, as reported by Campus Safety Magazine.

In addition to an automated rapid 9-1-1 connection, the next-generation system now features a patent-pending tri-mode data capture system.

“Safe Zone eliminates the barriers of cost and complication that have so far prevented gunfire detection from becoming a mainstream option for facilities of every type,” said Safe Zone President Mike Anderson. “Now the industry’s most advanced and affordably priced gunfire detection system offers more features and better protection in the event of an active shooter situation.”

Safe Zone offers average first-year costs are less than one-fifth of the cost of the current market entry price, according to Anderson.

“Now, everyone can afford to purchase and install a gunfire detection system that will save the minutes that will save lives,” Anderson added.

The system’s sensors are designed to be quickly and easily installed and alerts on-site security, building occupants, and local authorities within seconds of gunfire detection. Alerts include the number of shots fired, type of weapon, and a map tracking the shooter’s location and movement.

Key to the system’s performance accuracy is the new patent-pending tri-mode data capture system that features acoustic, spectral and shock wave sensors that collect data that is then analyzed by a cloud-based machine learning system, says Anderson.

If gunfire is confirmed, the system activates its built-in automated response system that connects to all 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Centers (ECC). Push alert notifications are also sent to key personnel’s mobile devices using a free mobile app that can be downloaded from the Apple Store and the Google Play Store.

Safe Zone can also be integrated with other security systems such as door locks, alarm panels, cameras and emergency notification systems.

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Safe Zone Partners with RapidSOS to Connect its Gunfire Detection Technology with 9-1-1

By Safe Zone News

MELBOURNE, Fla. (Athletic Business) – Safe Zone, the leading industry provider of gunfire detection technology, and RapidSOS, the trusted data provider for over 4,000 Emergency Communications Centers nationwide, announced a partnership to send life-saving data directly from Safe Zone detectors to 9-1-1 centers nationwide.

Safe Zone builds gunfire detection systems that capture acoustic, spectral, and impulsive shock wave data for use in commercial buildings, schools, and other public spaces. Their technology was developed in response to the rise in active shooter incidents and enables faster and more efficient response to threats.

Through their partnership with RapidSOS, Safe Zone sends critical metadata directly to 9-1-1, notifying authorities immediately of the threat. The information includes:

  • Floorplan of the building showing the location of the shooter
  • The weapon format
  • The number of shots fired with timestamps for each

During active shooter situations, 9-1-1 is, on average, called five minutes after the first shots are fired. Police arrive 13 minutes after notification, and it typically takes Police 15 minutes to assess the situation and prepare for deployment. Incidents are usually not confronted until 12 minutes after deployment, totaling on average a 45-minute response time to critically dangerous events. When emergency calls are placed during these events, callers are typically unable to provide the crucial contextual information that a Safe Zone gunfire detector can.

“We’re proud to partner with a company that’s nobly creating a solution for a problem we hope to never experience,” said Viyas Sundaram, General Manager at RapidSOS. “By sending gunfire detection data directly to 9-1-1, Safe Zone and RapidSOS are helping to protect the lives of both victims and first responders with critical situational data that can expedite response times.”

The nation’s 9-1-1 system was created over 50 years ago for analog landlines, with no capacity to receive additional data. Through RapidSOS’ free solutions for public safety, 9-1-1 can access Safe Zone data instantaneously – without RapidSOS, this data could not be delivered to the thousands of 9-1-1 centers nationwide.

“By partnering with RapidSOS, Safe Zone is able to drastically reduce the time it takes for authorities to respond to active shooter events,” said John Anderson CTO of Safe Zone. “We’re able to deliver critical data, including the approximate location of a shooter, number of weapons fired, caliber of bullets fired, and more, within seconds of an event. This is game changing for police and EMS – it helps them prepare more efficiently and know exactly what kind of situation they’re getting into.”

For images of the Safe Zone Gunfire Detection System, click here.

About Safe Zone Gunfire Detection

SAVE MINUTES. SAVE LIVES.™ The Safe Zone Gunfire Detection System is a stand-alone, affordable, automated indoor gunfire detection system providing actionable intelligence to law enforcement, first responders, and onsite personnel within seconds of a gunshot. Safe Zone’s patent-pending gunfire detection system combines state-of-the-art detection hardware with leading-edge cloud-based, machine-learning capabilities to provide crucial information including type of the weapon, the number of shots fired, and the shooter’s location. Safe Zone’s open API enables easy integration with third-party systems, like an alarm or access control system for a complete emergency solution. For more information, visit www.safezonetech.com.

About RapidSOS
RapidSOS is an emergency technology company that links millions of connected devices to over 4,000 Emergency Communications Centers nationwide. Partnering with Internet of Things (IoT) companies and the public safety community, RapidSOS’s Emergency Platform provides a rich data link from connected devices to public safety – sending life-saving data to improve emergency response. Information includes device location data, as well as additional data from user profiles, apps, wearables, connected cars, and homes. Learn more about RapidSOS: www.rapidsos.com.

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Taking Precautions: Indoor gunfire detectors are gaining prominence in hotels

By Safe Zone News

Since first becoming available for hotels, indoor gunfire detection has been considered a lofty high-end addition to security systems. As reported in Lodging Magazine, this will soon no longer hold true. Converging market forces and shifting security priorities will make such systems as essential as smoke detectors, providing affordable, unobtrusive, and potentially life-saving monitoring and detection of gunfire in every hotel venue.

Statistically, the probability of an active shooter event occurring at any given location is miniscule. Even so, the devastation active shooters cause is so horrific that being prepared for such events demands attention and resources. A recent survey of top security decision-makers representing a wide range of commercial venues reported that an active shooter scenario was the physical security threat that concerned them most. Of course, this is a very real fear for hotel owners and operators.

Traditionally, indoor gunfire detection solutions have been reserved for only the most high-profile, well-funded projects. For effective coverage, a high number of detectors must be deployed throughout a property, and the price adds up quickly. Labor-intensive monitoring and alert notification services that support these systems is expensive. And, unlike many security technologies whose cost can be justified for the many day-to-day use cases in which they deliver value, most gunshot detection systems will hopefully never need to alarm and notify. This makes budgeting for their high cost even harder to justify.

But the high cost is changing. The proliferation of the IoT and cloud platforms, combined with smarter, faster, and more affordable AI engines, is now setting the stage for a new generation of indoor gunshot detection. For gunfire detection systems, sensors that leverage the cloud to process and analyze detected sounds can dramatically reduce the cost of associated hardware needed on-site. New detectors, which are small and inconspicuous, can be sold for hundreds, rather than thousands, of dollars each.

Installation costs are minimized due to the simplified network requirements and “plug-and-play” connectivity of IoT sensor devices that can be programmed and mapped from a phone or browser.

Self-learning AI, powered by cloud servers, continually improves the accuracy of gunfire analysis, reducing or eliminating the need for human involvement for monitoring and throughout the alert notification sequence.

As the cost of indoor gunfire detection systems ceases to be an obstacle, hoteliers certainly must consider inclusion of such technology as part of a comprehensive active shooter security plan. Most have already invested in physical security technologies to guard their facilities. Now it is time to focus on strategies to save as many lives as possible, should an attack occur.

A gunfire detection system can notify authorities within seconds of the first trigger pull and equip first responders with actionable intelligence to deploy immediately on-site. By eliminating valuable minutes before 911 is contacted and providing clear and concise data of the gunman’s location, number of shots fired, and type of weapon, gunfire detection systems can potentially slash the duration of a mass shooting in half. And, studies show that for every minute victims wait for treatment, survival is 10 percent less likely.

A recent study by The Harford of over 1 million of its small business policies showed that in a five-year period, twice as many customers made insurance claims for loss due to theft than for fire. And yet, the use of camera systems—which can deter and help resolve cases of theft— reduces insurance premiums, while smoke detectors are legally required in every room and hallway of all commercial buildings. The explanation for this is obvious: smoke detectors can help save lives and do so at a price point that’s affordable for any size organization. Hotels can’t afford not to have them. The same is true for the next generation of indoor gunfire detection systems. Given their ability to help saves lives, with only a small incremental increase in security budgeting, they’ll soon be an indispensable element of every active shooter technology plan for hotels.

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Why Gunshot Detection Systems Are Becoming More Affordable

By Safe Zone News

The IoT and Cloud platforms combined with more cost-effective AI engines are paving the way for a new generation of indoor gunshot detection.

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Statistically, the probability of an active shooter event occurring at any given location is low. But as reported on Security Sales & Integration, being prepared for such a horrific event requires a large amount of resources — especially for the commercial venues that are often the site of the attack.

And although somewhat rare, the fear persists. A 2019 survey by Securitas asked top security decision-makers representing a wide range of workplaces, including schools, offices, retail spaces, places of worship, manufacturing facilities and utilities, which physical security threat concerned them the most. Their answer? An active shooter situation.

As today’s security dealers emphasize the value of technologies like video surveillance, access control, security screening, emergency communication systems and visitor management, they are increasingly including information about how these solutions can perform in an active shooter scenario to help mitigate risk and reduce harm.

Historically, conversations regarding indoor gunfire detection solutions have been reserved for highly funded customers. Since their inception, gunfire detectors have been considered an expensive and somewhat unattainable add-on to more traditional security systems. But thankfully, the market is changing, paving the way for security dealers to sell as many gunfire detectors as they do smoke detectors.

With converging market forces and increasing security concerns over mass shootings, these systems are quickly becoming a vital must-have in a dealers’ product portfolio.

Next Gen Gunshot Detection

The historically high price for such systems is multifaceted. For effective coverage, many detectors must be deployed throughout a property, which can be costly. Plus, the labor-intensive monitoring and alert notification services that support these systems are expensive.

Unlike many security technologies whose cost can be justified for the many day-to-day use cases in which they deliver value (like surveillance), most gunshot detection systems will never, hopefully, need to alarm and notify. This makes budgeting for their high price even harder to justify.

Now, the proliferation of the IoT and Cloud platforms, combined with smarter, faster and more affordable AI engines, is paving the way for a new generation of indoor gunshot detection. This next generation of gunshot detection solutions redefine the pricing of system hardware and sensors, software, installation costs and monitoring services.

Why the sudden shift in pricing? This new wave of detectors, as small as the smallest of smoke detectors, can be sold for hundreds, rather than thousands, of dollars each. For starters, gunshot detection systems are now Cloud-based. By leveraging the Cloud to process and analyze detected sounds, hardware costs are dramatically reduced.

The Cloud facilitates robust mobile and web-based management software and installation tools, offering all the advantages of a SaaS model with minimal upfront costs and reasonable annual service fees.

This also lends itself to decreased installation costs; simplified network requirements and “plug and play” connectivity of IoT sensor devices can be programmed and mapped from a phone or browser. Self-learning AI, powered by Cloud servers, continually improves the accuracy of gunfire analysis, reducing or eliminating the need for human involvement for monitoring and throughout the alert notification sequence.

This evolution in market technologies is allowing commercial venues to purchase gunfire detection systems with the same ease as adding smoke detectors. Given their ability to help save lives, with only a small incremental increase in security budgeting, gunfire detectors will soon be an indispensable element of every active shooter technology plan.

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Tech Deep Dive: Gunshot Detection

By Safe Zone News

Though the first gunshot detection system was created in the 1990s, militaries have been using technology to determine the origin of artillery or gun fire since World War I – when shot detection technology used by soldiers included microphones, headphones and stop-watches. Today, the technology and the application of gunshot detection looks a bit different.

Many of the gunshot detection systems currently available were first designed for and used by the military, but have since been adapted for use in the civilian world. They employ acoustic and infrared sensors and can integrate with a facility’s video surveillance and access control systems.

Gunshot detection systems and sensors can automatically generate a phone call or text message to onsite security and local police dispatchers to notify relevant personnel that a shot has been fired or that an explosion has just occurred. Some shot detection systems use artificial intelligence, machine-learning and a library of hundreds of sounds to help reduce false alarms and increase accuracy.

Today’s gunshot detection systems can reduce police and security response times, which is why schools, corporations, airports, hotels and municipalities are considering purchasing gunshot detection systems as part of their active threat and emergency response plans.

As reported by securityinfowatch.com, the Safe Zone Gunfire Detector, introduced last year at CES and featured at ISC West in 2019, uses a combination of acoustic and infrared detection; as does the Guardian Indoor system from Shooter Detection Systems.

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Safe Zone Wins Investor Audience Favorite Award at Raleigh IoT Pitch Night

By Safe Zone News

The Safe Zone Gunfire Detection system took top honors last week as the Investor Audience Favorite among six promising early-stage companies that participated in the second annual Raleigh Internet of Things (RIoT) RAP Pitch Night held April 10 in Raleigh, N.C.

As reported by SDM Magazine, more than 150 people heard pitches from a range of young companies that have a connection to the Raleigh technology community. According to Safe Zone Chief Technology Officer John Anderson, Safe Zone, developed by AVIdea Group in Melbourne, Fla., maintains an engineering and R&D team in Raleigh.

“We pitched against companies involved in a number of important product categories, from environmentally friendly products to smart lighting solutions, and we were thrilled to win the Audience Favorite Award,” Anderson said. “The award is a recognition of just how important affordable and effective gunfire detection has become in our lives in every kind of public space. We’re honored to be meeting genuine community need.”

The RIoT Accelerator Program (RAP) facilitates entrepreneurial processes across the board, from research commercialization to startup growth, and including corporate innovation — with the opportunity for the industry to seed the accelerator with market-driven problems they are motivated to solve through entrepreneurial partnerships or internal startup teams. RAP increases the impact of traditional accelerator programming by partnering startups with an industry consortium of more than 75 companies across the IoT value chain. Partners provide access to resources and investment capital necessary to launch new products and services.

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New gunfire-detection system alerts police of shooters in seconds, not minutes

By Safe Zone News

There are some technologies that, paradoxically, we really wish didn’t need to exist, yet are still kind of glad that they do. One of these is the Safe Zone Gunfire Detector, a fast gunfire-detection system with the ability to provoke a police response to an active-shooter situation within a matter of seconds. According to Digital Trends, it could play a valuable role in averting potential tragedies in public places like schools, malls, religious centers, or anywhere else that a mass shooting might occur.

“Safe Zone is a stand-alone, fully automated gunfire-detection system that alerts authorities within seconds of a firearm discharge,” Mike Anderson, president and co-founder of Safe Zone, told Digital Trends. “It provides the location of the shooter, the type and caliber of the weapon, and the number of shots fired. This allows law enforcement to dispatch, move directly to, and end the threat sooner than they normally would be able to. This reduces the number of casualties inflicted, and allows [Emergency Medical Services] to treat the victims sooner. Saving minutes saves lives.”

The idea is that the Safe Zone Gunfire Detector can be installed in each room or hallway, similar to a smoke detector. It then captures the infrared and acoustic signatures of every anomalous event. This data is sent to Safe Zone’s cloud-based machine learning system, where it is analyzed. If a firearm has been discharged, the system generates an alert. This is then transmitted to 911 and system administrators, with information showing the shooter’s location on a building floor plan. As such, it can potentially allow the shooter to be apprehended more quickly, while increasing the chances of possible victims being able to evacuate safely.

“When shooting starts, seeking safety is the first priority — so much so that police are not typically notified until 5 minutes after the first shot,” Anderson said. “When arriving, they must assess the situation, obtaining corroboration from multiple traumatized, likely in shock victims. This information is critical to safely confronting the shooter, however, more precious minutes elapse before the threat is neutralized.”

After a development period of three years, the first Safe Zone devices are shipping this month. Several prototype systems have already been installed to prove efficacy. “We have done extensive real-world testing, and can proudly say the system is reliable and accurate,” Anderson said. “In the next few months, we will have thousands deployed in schools, businesses, houses of worship, government buildings, and late-night retail locations.”

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