Choosing the right gunshot detection system for your needs

Choosing the right gunshot detection system for your needs
As the number of active shooter incidents around the world rises, systems that use acoustic, optical and other kinds of sensors to locate the source of gunfire are becoming increasingly popular.

However, as with other security solutions, high consumer demand has resulted in a crowded market. asmag.com recently spoke to Brink Fidler, Founder and President of Defend Systems, to get his views on what systems integrators (SI) and end customers should look for when buying a gunshot detection system.

Criteria for selecting gunshot detection solutions

“Scalability, cost, and integration with existing systems are the three major factors to consider when selecting gunshot-detection technology,” Fidler said. He elaborated on the two systems that he is familiar with, Guardian SDS and Amberbox, which, according to Fiddler, perform very well
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“Guardian is a hardwired solution so it can be costlier to install but would also have less chance of failure due to it being a hardwired system. Amberbox is wireless and therefore more affordable but would, generally speaking, have a higher chance of communication failure being a wireless product.”

Fidler said Amberbox did however, have an extremely efficient interface that calls the authorities as well as any other users added to the platform when it detects a shot. Similarly, the Guardian system sends SMSs and emails to key personnel the moment a shot is detected. 

Globally, major solution providers in this area include Raytheon Company, which dominates the market with its civilian product Shotspotter, as well as other military-grade products, according to the research firm Mordor Intelligence. Some of the other major players are Rheinmetall, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, Israel Aerospace Industries and Thales Group.

What to know during installation

When installing these solutions, there are a few factors that SIs should consider carefully. Obvious among these is placement. Despite the uncertainties that will always be part and parcel of security threats, having a proper plan that takes into account where a device will be most effective is critical.

“Effective gunshot detection systems rely on proper placement and installation of the sensors to detect the gunshots themselves,” Fidler said. “Both companies [Guardian SDS and Amberbox] will work with the client to ensure proper placement of the sensors as well as integration with existing systems and platforms such as video analytics and video surveillance systems.”

Ideally, a gunshot detection system should be integrated with video surveillance. Integration allows authorized and key personnel to view the area where the shot has been detected and provides real-time intelligence to arriving first responders. Working closely with solution providers from the design phase to the implementation helps SIs ensure integration, proper placement, and other challenges are taken care of.

Market scenario and growth prospects

The global market for gunshot detection solutions is expected to see exponential growth in the coming years.

Mordor Intelligence expects a CAGR of 26.29 percent from 2019 to 2024 in this segment, potentially reaching a market value of US$7.83 billion by 2024.“Increased incidences of gun-firing, especially at school premises, have led to various security measures, such as warning people in close proximity and alerting authorities to the location of the shooting,” the research firm noted in a release. 

Of late, there has been an increased interest in gunshot detection solution in border security, as authorities intensify efforts to control smuggling, infiltration and illegal immigration. Indeed, outdoor gunshot detection solutions are currently more popular than their indoor counterparts. But this could change by the year 2024, as institutions like schools take more proactive measures to combat active shooters.
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