Through my experience, I have had many people ask me about workplace safety and emergency buttons for their facility. I have noticed that each place has different threats and they’re looking at a way to increase safety and security. I always want to make sure they have a response plan in place in the event an intruder has made entry into their facility. Incident response is the most important part of workplace safety and security. The idea of an emergency button as a tool that can be used in conjunction with procedures that are designed to reduce injury substantially.
There are too many threats in all industries not to have a direct link to first responders. The bigger question is what would be the best bang for the buck. Most threats start at the entrance of a facility, and that is where the immediate response can start as well. I believe most people are unsure of how an emergency button works since they vary. I always recommend using a technology-based emergency button to create a safer environment.
Does Installing an Emergency Button Require Hard-Wiring?
In some cases, an emergency button requires hard wiring into the phone system. This usually requires a representative from the phone company coming out and running the wires. In other cases, you can have a “plug and play” push emergency button. This means you can plug the emergency button into a spare USB port on any computer and will work with an individual alert or panic system. The option of “plug and play” is a much better option for time, money, and efficiency.
Can an Emergency Button Make a Phone Call?
This depends on what type service you get. Places like museums, shopping malls, schools, and courthouses may have their in-house security to respond to situations. The most important part of having a phone call placed is to ensure it goes directly to the proper responders. Make sure you can designate what responders would benefit from this type of notification. This will allow those responders the necessary information to end the crises as soon as possible with a more favorable outcome.
Should I Have a Policy on the Use of an Emergency Button?
Yes! I wouldn’t be specific as to what would or would not constitute an emergency, and I wouldn’t get too situational. I recommend making sure the policy clearly distinguishes ideas of what could be considered an emergency and what wouldn’t be. The policy could be something as simple as any situation that is (or potentially) life-threatening. This will make it clear that whenever the panic is broadcasted that an emergency is underway and response tactics need to be deployed.
Where Should I Put an Emergency Button in my Facility?
This was difficult to narrow down since each institution and industry faces different situations or threats. At face value, I recommend putting them near all entry points and in areas that are more prone to outburst. The most important thing is to get first responders notified as soon as possible while ensuring staff is alerted and responding accordingly.
I hope these few topics gave you enough information to make a viable decision on what is best for your facility. Remember, everyone knows there’s a problem, so focusing on solutions deserves more attention. Unfortunately, there isn’t a fool-proof plan to ensure there won’t be an injury; however, there are ways to have you and your staff respond to ongoing crises that can substantially reduce the opportunity for harm.
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