of the time our environments can be narrowed down to
four basic types, where we live, in our vehicle, other
transit and the workplace. The concentration of this
article is on workplace survival. Primarily for those
that work in an office that like many are non permissive
when it comes to weapons and self defense.
First of all you need look at you workplace's
physical security. Do they have cameras? Are they monitored
or just recorded? Is the parking lot controlled access?
Do they even provide parking or do you have to park
on the street? Are the doors controlled by access cards,
keys or most doors not locked at all. Are there doors
that are locked and unlocked at certain times? Are their
doors that a blocked open by the smokers in your office
that present a security issue? Where are the entrances
and exits? If you have automatic doors have you ever
tested them to make sure they will pop open and swing
out if pushed in and emergency? Which exit doors are
alarmed and would you recognize that particular alarm
Does your building have it's own security? Are
they professionals or TV watching clueless idiots? Are
they trained in anything like first aid, CPR? Are they
armed? Do they work for the company or are they contract?
Are there metal detectors, and do they really work?
Are employees required to wear ID badges? The problem
with most ID badges is that they have a small picture
and a lot of writing that nobody can read at arms distance.
ID s that are to be worn should have a picture that
is about half the size of the ID card itself. It should
also contain in large letters the name of the person
and their department.
If it is the policy of the employer that everyone in
the building wear an ID badge then it should be encouraged
to challenge anyone who is not wearing one. It should
also be encouraged to remind people to turn their badges
around if you cannot see the picture.
Access cards should never have the name or address of
the business they belong to. They should however be
numbered and access limited to where an employee actually
Now that we have addressed the physical security, lets
look at your personal security. Typically you have no
responsibility to defend or protect your place of business
or anyone in it. Your primary responsibility to survive
and event that occurs and return home to your family.
What time of day do you arrive at work? What time do
you leave? Do you leave in a group or by yourself? It
is always best to leave with the herd if possible.
Where do you park? If it is in a parking garage try
to park near an exit. Know where the fire alarms are
if they don't have emergency alarms as some do.
If you feel threatened don't hesitate to pull
the alarm to summon help.
If it is in an outdoor parking lot do your best to back
in for an easy exit. If you had to could your car make
it over a curb or median to leave the lot?
What kind of people do you work with? How well do you
know them? Does anyone else have any interest in his
or her security? How do you think they would respond
to a traumatic event?
When in the area you normally work in look for all the
exits and know where they lead. In the event of any
type of workplace violence or robbery a good common
sense response would be to get to an exit and get out.
Seldom will the shooter pursue one person.
Be aware that if it is a ground floor exit there may
be an accomplice parked in a vehicle on the back or
side of the building. Be sure to have your cell phone
on your person and not in your desk or bag. The ladies
are especially guilty of this.
Learn to recognize the difference between cover and
concealment. Concealment stops sight, cover stops bullets.
Many interior and cubicle walls are worthless. If you
have your own office do your best to line the walls
with bookcases lined with folders and books. They will
typically stop small arms calibers used by active shooters.
Look for doors that open out instead of in. They are
almost impossible to kick in because you are kicking
against the jam. Bathrooms and storage rooms are usually
good barricade points.
Is there access to the roof? What is on the roof? If
you can get up there you will be easy for the police
If the worst happens and you are taken hostage and decide
it is worth the risk of trying to make a call on your
cell phone, call 911 and place the phone where the dispatcher
may be able to gather some real time intelligence. You
can ask the bad guy things like “what do you have
against XYZ Insurance agency” or “how the
hell did you get into the 5th floor”.
Be sure to keep some chem. lights in your desk. By taking
one and snapping it and then placing it inconspicuously
in a window you can give the location of the incident
to the police outside.If you make it out at of the situation
you will be interviewed by police.
How many bad guys are there?
Physical descriptions- Height in 2-inch increments,
weight in 5 lb increments. Clothing from head to
toe. If you can note any specifics about the bad
guys foot wear. This is always the hardest thing
for them to change or they just don't think
Weapon- handguns, long guns, explosives, spare ammunition.
Where did they come in, what did they say, did you
see what car they got out of?
Did you see or hear them talking on cell phones?
Do they have access to the Internet or television
where they are?
Did they make any demands?
I realize that this is a lot to take in
and think about; actually it is only the tip of the
iceberg. Evaluate how things are and how you can make
them better, at least for yourself.