Nothing can guarantee your safety; however, you can reduce your risk by learning how to recognize, avoid, or diffuse potentially violent situations. At your workplace, find out your employer's policy on workplace violence prevention. (It may be in a safety manual or employee handbook.) Inform your supervisor, in writing, of any concerns about safety or security including in your home life. Domestic violence can spill into the workplace. Ensure your employer is informed of any restraining order or other protective order.
Most hostile events are unpredictable and evolve quickly. You have choices. There are several different programs being taught around the country: ALICE, LEAST, Run/Hide/Fight. Below is an outline of the "6 Outs". The "outs" need not be taken in the order listed; it depends on the circumstances of the moment.
- Figure Out: You hear a noise that sounds like gunshots, or people are suddenly yelling and running. Figure out what's happening and what course of action is best for you to take.
- Call Out: This does not mean screaming in panic. Use your voice to alert others and call 911 (when safe to do so).
- Get Out: Evacuate the area by running, crawling, or a combination of both. Use cover and don't run in a straight line (bullets travel in a straight line).
- Lock Out: A room with an inside door lock and no window on the door is best. Barricade the door if possible. Sit sideways or lay down by door wall. Lights on or off depending on normal useage at that time. Everyone must remain quiet. Be prepared to fight should the attacker come through the door.
- Hide Out: Works best if the attacker doesn't see you as you are hiding. You have to be quiet. Realize the difference between cover and concealment. Cover is a large rock; concealment is a picture of a large rock. Bullets can go through a picture.
- Take Out: Is not always the "last resort" choice. Works better with two or more people with the same intent to live. Use nearby items as weapons and/or throw items. You have the element of surprise on your side because the attacker isn't expecting anyone to fight him.