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10 Considerations for Concealed Weapons Detection Comparison Testing


Choosing to invest in a concealed weapons detection solution is a significant decision for security teams and organizations alike.  The solution must help enhance the security of your venue while aligning with your current operations.

When assessing possible systems, conducting independent testing is critical to understanding detection performance, alert rates, and alert resolution. The following outlines ten key considerations as a foundation for conducting fair and accurate comparative testing between systems.

1. Set Up the System in Your Environment: Ensure there is a consistent lane width distance for reliable detection every time. Avoid anyone adjusting the width during testing and assess ADA-compliance based on the recommended lane width.

2. Factor Outdoor Conditions on Detection and Nuisance Alerts: If using the system outdoors, consider the impact of outdoor conditions on system performance. Verify the system is weather-resistant, stable, and doesn’t require additional weight to prevent tipping. Observe how wind affects detection performance and whether it leads to an increase in nuisance alert rates.

3. Grasp Control of Recommended Security Settings: Comprehend the detection performance at the provider’s recommended security setting for your venue. Guarantee that settings are not adjusted between tests with visual verification. Additionally, familiarize yourself with the methods for adjusting or controlling sensitivity, whether through mobile, desktop, or directly on the system.

4. Test with Real, Commonly Carried Firearms: Perform comprehensive detection tests using authentic, commonly carried firearms. Note that test pieces do not always represent the construction and performance of real threats. It’s important to be aware that imitation firearms can easily be purchased online, used during testing, and these replicas are typically made of zinc and will not reliably trigger alerts.

5. Test Firearms in Multiple Positions on the Body: Thoroughly test a range of authentic firearm models across various positions on the body and orientations, all while maintaining consistent sensitivity settings throughout each test. Evaluate the accuracy and consistency of detection at different points on the body from ankle to head.

6. Understand the Threat Resolution Process: When an individual triggers an alert, understand how the system provides visibility into who and where to search. In the absence of a visual showing an image of the person and the targeted threat location, understand the alternative of less effective hand-wanding and error-prone manual pat downs.

7. Comprehend Available Analytics and Security System Integrations: Assess the availability of key data such as visitor arrival curves, alert statistics, detected weapons, and more to enhance operational efficiency. Inquire about regular automated push reports for insights directly to your inbox.

8. Explore Support of Concept of Operations (ConOps): Understand the vendor’s role throughout implementation and go-live in designing operational plans, conducting guard training, offering on-site support, and providing communications for your staff.

9. Verify Compliance, Testing, and Standards: Ensure the system adheres to OSHA’s National Recognized Test Laboratory (NRTL) production compliance requirement for electronic devices deployed in buildings, has undergone third-party testing (e.g., Metrix NDT Ltd. Etc.), qualifies as an anti-terrorism technology under the DHS SAFETY Act, and verify the highest NILECJ standards met.

10. Assess Accuracy and Consistency: Utilize the above parameters for testing, ensuring an apples-to-apples comparison across systems in terms of 1) detection performance, 2) alert rates, and 3) alert resolution, while also considering the impact on the visitor experience.

MProtective and Evolv technology are committed to supporting you throughout the process and beyond. Our team is available to conduct on-site testing, offer additional testing guideline materials, and guide you through the decision-making process. Ready to get started? Connect with our experts today to learn more.

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