Emergencies at the workplace come in different levels and it is for this reason that many leaders are investing in panic alarm systems to ensures the safety of their people at work and at home.

The workplace has changed drastically over the years as emergencies arise without any warning. That is why panic alarm systems have become a common feature at the workplace and home.

This blog post aim is to educate you on panic alarm systems. It will cover how the systems works, its benefits and how to properly use them.

Let Dive In!

What is a panic alarm system?

Credit: Kalal Barry

A panic alarm system is a  portable device that ensures the user always has access to the help they need during an emergency. Available as part of a comprehensive home security system, the user simply triggers the button located on the device when they need help.

The device sends a signal to the base unit, and individuals or a security company agent will contact the user to determine if they need assistance and what kind. The monitoring professional will immediately notify the appropriate personnel, such as the fire department, emergency medical personnel or law enforcement.

Components of a Panic Alarm System

Panic alarm systems consist of two basic components namely;

Panic Button

The panic button is the device an individual trigger when he or she needs help. There are many styles of panic buttons available. This can be a single push button, two push buttons that must be pressed simultaneously, devices that must be squeezed, and devices that are activated by a foot or knee. Most panic buttons are specifically designed to resist accidental activation.

Panic buttons are normally installed in a location where they can easily be accessed, yet out of view of the casual observer. In many cases, panic buttons are installed under a desk or counter-top.

Panic buttons can be the wired type or wireless type. Wired panic buttons are connected using cabling. Wired panic buttons are very reliable, but can be expensive to install.

Wireless panic buttons use a short-range radio transmitter, similar to that used with a garage door opener. Their buttons are easy to install and can be placed just about anywhere. Wireless panic buttons can also be carried around on the premises by employees if desired. Wireless panic buttons require batteries and need to be tested frequently to assure that they are operating properly.

Communications System

The communications system is the method that is used to summon help when a panic button is pressed. The type of communications system used depends largely on the resources available at the facility where the panic alarm is being installed and the level of security threat.

Types of communications systems used can include:

Communications to an alarm monitoring centre:

This method would typically be used at facilities that do not have on-site security staff, such as at a small business. The panic buttons would be connected to an alarm control panel which sends a signal to the monitoring centre when a panic button is pressed. The alarm monitoring centre would then call the police or other appropriate people to respond to the site.

Communications to security control centre:

Most large companies have some type of centralized security monitoring and control centre, either on-site or at a central location somewhere within their organization. When this type of resource exists, panic buttons are typically monitored at the control centre. Most often, panic buttons are connected to the organization’s access control and security management system, which transmits the alarm to the control centre.

When a panic button is pressed, it sounds an alarm in the security control centre. The centre would then dispatch local security officers or the police to respond to the site.

Communications to non-security personnel:

Some organizations that do not have on-site security choose to notify non-security personnel when a panic button is pressed. Often, the organization will form a “response team” consisting of employees from multiple departments ( HR, Quality Assurance etc.) and ask that these employees respond when a panic button is pressed.

There are various systems that can be used to notify the response team when a panic button has been pressed. These can include overhead paging systems and devices that send voice messages, text messages, or email messages directly to smartphones.

Businesses that can benefit from panic alarm systems

Every business can benefit from the use of a panic alarm system. Places where panic alarms may be particularly beneficial include:

  • Receptionist’s desks in building lobbies.
  • Security stations and checkpoints.
  • Shipping/receiving areas.
  • Customer service counters.
  • Check-out counters and cashier’s stations.
  • Rooms where cash or other valuables are received, processed, or stored.
  • Interview rooms in the Human Resources department.
  • Executive office suites.
  • Places where confrontations with the public are likely to occur.


If you have questions about panic alarms or need help in designing a panic alarm system for your facility, please book a meeting with our consultants