(And sometimes more than one)
Most people are familiar with panic buttons in banks – the hidden switch that tellers can hit to alert the police that a robbery is in progress. In today’s world, however, any business or office space could face security issues such as theft, violence, or unwanted intruders. In addition, a panic button can help with range of other situations, such as medical emergencies.
As a result, more and more businesses are considering the installation of panic buttons throughout their space – so at the first sign of trouble, law enforcement or onsite staff can be notified, depending on an organization’s procedures.
Assessing your business for a panic button
As a business owner or manager, you know your workplace better than anyone. Most likely, you already have areas of concern. Nevertheless, it’s also a good idea to meet with a security expert to help fine tune your needs by assessing your business, the number of employees, and the risk locations within your workspace.
Some businesses – perhaps through their nature, the amount of traffic, the communities in which they operate, or a combination of all these factors – are more prone to violent crime. Watch the evening news, and it’s clear that liquor stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, gas stations, and cell phone stores are prime targets for thieves.
Similarly, though, schools, hospitals, government buildings, and even commercial and professional offices also have some degree of risk. An angry parent wanting to confront a teacher, an enraged spouse, an irrational customer who feels slighted by a retail store – it seems as if many locations have a potential use for at least one panic button. In addition, enterprise organizations, given the typical size of their facilities and number of employees, often have even greater use for an emergency signal.
How many panic buttons are necessary
There is no magic number, but a lot has to do with the floor plan of your business and where employees are located. For example, if there is a waiting area with a single customer service window or a reception desk, then a panic button should clearly be placed there.
If the intruder harms the receptionist before the panic button is pressed and the office is now compromised, additional panic buttons could be placed in various locations, such as nearby desk, office, the break room, and even an office in the rear of the building, or a room where employees are instructed to go in the event of an emergency. Of course, the more strategically-located buttons, the more opportunities to alert law enforcement or security personnel.
Similarly, in larger businesses, such as a warehouse or enterprise company, panic buttons may be necessary in the farthest reaches of the building where an employee may become aware of an intruder who gained access through a rear door, but who may also be too far away or unable to warn other staff members. When a button is coupled with access control, the interior doors of the building may be locked to keep the intruder out.
Silent vs. sound
This is another area where it’s better to consult with a security expert. Generally speaking, there are positives and negatives with each kind of alarm.
- Silent: Law enforcement can arrive unexpectedly and surprise the perpetrator, though this can sometimes lead to a hostage situation. On the other hand, a silent alarm may keep the situation calm, especially in a scenario in which many employees are face-to-face with the intruder, such as in a bank or retail store.
- Sound: While an alarm with sound may give the culprit a chance to run before onsite security or police arrive, he or she may also respond with immediate anger and violence. In a larger venue, such as a campus, hospital, or multi-floor office, the alarm sound may be a means of warning other individuals to undertake safeguard procedures, such as stay-in-place, lock down, or evacuate.
In addition, panic buttons can be integrated with both access control and surveillance systems. If one is triggered, camera feeds are immediately directed to the area of the alarm and the attention of those watching them while doors are automatically locked to seal off internal areas.
Achieving peace of mind – not panic
Violence or other emergencies in the workplace, from small retail stores to large corporate headquarters to hospitals and everything in between, are all too common – but they can be prepared for and mitigated against. POM Technologies is committed to making work as secure as possible with a variety of systems and technologies.
Our security integrators are able to help you assess your workspace needs to devise the appropriate solutions. Contact POM today at 212.688.2767 or through our convenient online form so we can assist you in keeping your business and your employees safe from harm.