As live event security becomes more complex in the aftermath of events such as the Manchester Arena attack, technology company Metrasens has introduced tools to continue pushing safety measures further out from venues. Security tools like Metrasens’ Proscreen 900 are easy to set up, less conspicuous than typical metal detectors, and effectively scan for mass casualty threats without patrons even having to slow down.
The Proscreen 900 “effectively and accurately detects weapons of mass casualty which are the ones that can do the most damage. It does not require any divestment. It doesn’t even require people to stop walking,” Vice President of Global Security, Jim Viscardi told Amplify. “We can screen people with all the things they have on them. That provides for a much better patron experience as they are walking into the venue.”
The Proscreen tools use ferromagnetic detection which only detects metals that are magnetic such as steel and iron, unlike standard detectors that indiscriminately screen for all metals. Ferromagnetic technology will easily detect long barrel rifles, pressure cooker or pipe bombs, and other weapons most commonly used to attack large quantities of people.
“Ferromagnetic detectors like ours only detect metals that you know are bad and ignores everything else. It makes it much easier for the screening operator to make a good decision as to whether an alarm is actually a threat,” said Viscardi. “Because Proscreen 900 ignores the metals you don’t care about like belt buckles or coins, the number of nuisance alarms drops dramatically. Alarm fatigue doesn’t happen with a product like ours because the unit is so specific.”
The discreet detection systems are unobtrusive poles that wiegh approximately 20lbs and can be erected with a base or nailed to the wall. The Proscreen is weatherproof and screens through clothing, walls, and even around corners without drawing the attention of patrons.
With a 16-hour battery life, the detectors can be deployed anywhere around the perimeter without needing to be attached to a power source. The unit can be maned by a limited number of security officers and with a walkthrough rate of 50-60 people per minute, the device can screen up to 3,600 patrons per hour.
“Creating a queue is the fastest way to create patron dissatisfaction. Even more so, from a threat perspective, the longer those queues are and the more bunched up people are in a particular area the more tempting it is for someone who wants to initiate an event to just walk into the middle of that crowd and do something,” explained Viscardi. “Because the Proscreen 900 doesn’t have to be tethered to a power source, you can actually push the perimeter of your security further out from those areas that are most densely populated.”
Metrasens technology has been used for several years in MRIs, correctional and mental health facilities, and for data security. The Proscreen counterterrorism tools have, in the last few years, been deployed at indoor and outdoor concerts, sports stadiums, casinos, music festivals, and Hollywood movie premieres.
While the tools are highly effective for preventing mass casualty attacks, Metrasens does not recommend that they be the only security tools in place. Depending on the venue’s needs, organizers may want to screen for other items they’d like to prohibit from the event.
“We endorse a layered security approach,” Viscardi said. “A layered security approach is the right way to implement any kind of screening system and we play a part of that. We provide a layer that no one else is able to provide.”
For more information on Metrasens technology and counterterrorism efforts, head to their website.