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, 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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