A teacher on playground duty spots an armed male climbing a fence onto the school campus. A hotel housekeeping worker sees a guest fall down a stairwell, an office employee leaving work late is assaulted as she heads to her car in the parking lot. These are just a few examples of situations during which employees at schools, offices, hotels and other facilities need a rapid connection to assistance. And that capability should be available from virtually anywhere. When an emergency strikes, seconds count.
Telephones and intercoms are effective tools for seeking assistance. But they are generally available only in classrooms and offices. Traditional panic buttons can be effective, but they require a wired connection. However, cellular based panic buttons offer a true mobile option.
Like a bank alarm, the buttons – typically in the form of a wearable pendant – are silent. They go where employees go; to classrooms, cafeterias, offices, parking lots, athletic fields and other remote facilities. Which also makes these devices a great option for lone remote workers.
Employers may choose to have the pendants directly contact first responders or have the signals routed through a national monitoring center, where trained professionals pass along the call for help while attempting to learn more details about an emergency.
Before installing a panic button system, each facility should work closely with local first responders to determine what constitutes and emergency. That may change from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Then it's important to work with employees to make sure they understand how and when to use the system.
It is also wise to conduct monthly drills to make sure system components, such as pendant batteries, are functioning. These tests also allow new employees to be trained. But remember to notify first responders before beginning any tests.
New Jersey is the first state to make panic buttons mandatory at K-12 Schools and hotels with more than 100 guest rooms. Major cities across the country have similar laws.
A wireless panic button solution fulfills an important piece of a robust, overall security plan. And a panic button system with wireless pendants is more flexible and affordable than standard access control-linked systems or radios that connect to first responders.
Check with your local Security integrator to see if a panic button system is right for your facility.