Active shooter and mass shooting safety |

Surviving Active and Mass Shootings

The tragedy involving surviving active shooters or mass shootings seems the norm and standard across the United States. And the gun control debate remained stagnant as ever. 

Finger-pointing between the democrat and the republican politicians on whose fault it is not revising the gun law is ongoing, as expected.

Condolences and sympathy messages keep trending on social media like an achievement.

While the branches of government are figuring out ways to reduce gun violence across the country, let us help ourselves stay safe amidst the present killing of normalcy.

Good practices for surviving shootings

  • Be aware of your surroundings. If you see something, say something
  • Take note of the nearest entrances and exits of facilities you visiting
  • In any emergencies, call 911 when it is safe for you to do

Who is an Active Shooter?

An active shooter is an individual actively killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area.

What is a Mass Shooting?

Mass shootingssuch as multiple firearms, and homicide incidents, involve four or more victims at one or more locations close to one another. 

How to protect against active shootings?

There are three safety tactics to stay alive during an active shooting. These are Evacuating, Hiding, and Fighting.


Leave if there is a way out, and attempt to evacuate the premises.

Be sure to: 

• Not go out blinded. Have an escape plan and routing ready

• Evacuate whether or not others agree to come along

• Leave your items and properties, don’t be delayed by looking for your belongings

• Help others to escape, only if you’re sure of your safety

• Call 911 when it is safe for you to do


If leaving/evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to see you. 

Your hiding place should: 

• Be out of the active shooter’s view 

• Protect if a firearm is aimed in your direction (i.e., in a space with a door lock) 

• Prevent an active shooter from getting to you: Not be a dead-end that will limit your mobility

If the active shooter is nearby while hiding out: 

• Lock the door, also secure the door with a heavy object is available

• Silence and turn off any noise source (i.e., phones, radios, pagers, etc.)

• Stay calm and quiet2


Only when your life is in imminent danger should you confront the shooter with lesser arms or without weapons at all. Take action against the shooter. Disrupt and deprive the active shooter of their plan: 

• Act aggressively toward the shooter. Protect yourself 

• Improvise weapons and arms to defend yourself

Finally, Stay calm, and await the arrival of law enforcement. Follow directions from the arriving law enforcement officers.

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Soji Balogun

Soji is an associate fire protection inspector with extensive knowledge of federal, state, and municipal fire safety rules and laws. A United States military veteran and an alumnus of the New York Institute of Technology, with over a decade of work experience as a safety and compliance officer.