Panic Alarms – A Short Guide
The purpose of a panic alarm is to allow a person in distress to silently and quickly call for help in the event of an emergency. Panic alarms may also be known as ‘hold-up alarms’ or ‘Panic buttons.’
When it may be unsafe to call for help, i.e picking up the phone and calling for help, panic buttons can be a safe and easy solution. These solutions can work great in banks, reception areas, and shops where there is public access. It can mean if someone threatening enters or an emergency happens, a panic alarm can summon help without drawing unwanted attention.
How does a panic alarm work?
Panic alarms are where there is a button that will be linked to your alarm system and to a monitoring centre. The button is most commonly a double press internal button. It is designed this way to minimise false activations by not being easy to accidentally press. Once the button is pressed, this requires two fingers to press in on the button, it will send a quick signal to the monitoring centre. From here the monitoring centre will either contact your keyholders or the correct emergency service department, depending on what you have specified them.
Where should I consider installing a panic alarm?
Panic alarms can be installed wherever is appropriate for the premises and a potential emergency could take place.
In homes, many people choose to have a panic button by their front door in case someone tries to force entry. They may also decide to put them near a safe or in a bedroom.
For shops and businesses, panic buttons are more appropriately placed under desks in back rooms or behind countertops.
These buttons could be a crucial part of security systems in a building now that many businesses are working with minimal people in the workplace. This could mean that intruders are willing to take more of a risk due to lower numbers of staff and therefore less risk of being caught.
- Receptionist desks
- School receptions
- Security stations
- Petrol stations
- Customer service desks
- Shop checkouts/ till areas
- Rooms/ organisations where money/ valuables are kept
Additionally, panic alarms can be fitted in any place where someone could feel threatened. Many people do have these alarms installed in their homes or business properties even if they do not fit into one of the categories above. These alarms can be used if an intruder were to enter to alert someone to the situation discreetly.
Burglars or robbers could even target companies for equipment or stock that may be of some value to them. In these situations, a panic button could make a massive difference in alerting the authorities quietly.
When should I use my panic button?
A panic alarm should be activated when you need emergency help quickly and discreetly, such as:
- Violence breaking out nearby
- Feeling intimidated/ threatened by someone
- In danger of a physical assault
It is important to remember that these buttons should only be used in absolute emergency circumstances.
How to ensure successful use of panic alarm systems?
You provide adequate and regular training to staff, colleagues or family members about the system installed. You should remind people how and when to use it.
People need to feel confident in the process of using the alarm but also be aware of what happens when the alarm is raised. People should understand the benefits of these systems and encouraged to use them if their personal safety is threatened.
Can panic alarms be installed in schools?
Yes, these alarms can be installed at school receptionist desks should an intruder enter the premises. With schools needing more secure premises, it may be more appropriate to install a school lockdown system.