Ask the Expert (Gunshot Detection)

How can we add gunshot detection to our facilities?

You will need to look at your facilities and identify what classrooms, hallways, entrances, and exits need to be covered. Decide how many sensors that you need. Each sensor will detect within a certain range; for example: 2,500 square feet. Indoor sensors will generally be placed in hallways and entrances at an absolute minimum because statistically shootings occur or start in the entrances or hallways. Place sensors in areas that have more people or where people congregate the most, because if a crime is going to be committed it generally will be focused in an area that has a larger populace. Examples would be in a lunch room or in a large open atrium area where a lot of people hang out.

Decide if you’ll be adapting your existing alarm panel or are you will need to put in an additional network system to support the sensors. Some sensors have integrated contact closures that can tie directly into your alarm panel, therefore minimizing the need for an additional new system. You also need to determine how you want the message to go out. Look for sensors that can provide IP message notification over SMS, email, and other notification means.

In considering a gunshot detection system for your facilities, the main focus is going to be the size of your buildings, the number of sensors that you want to put in those facilities in the high-traffic areas, and the message notification style, whether it’s alarm panel integration or and/or if it includes IP message notification.

This article originally appeared in the College Planning & Management May 2018 issue of Spaces4Learning.

About the Author

Allan Overcast is owner/CEO of Shot Tracer Technologies, Inc. ( He can be reached at [email protected] or 866/636-8867.