With today’s concern over workplace safety, employers are looking for new ways to make work safer for their employees. One of the traditional ways of doing this is by a standard panic button. Panic buttons have been around for a long time but they have quite a few drawbacks. That’s where a new group of software companies have stepped in and they are taking a Web 2.0 (what is this?) approach to this traditional market and making a difference. What makes this new type of panic button different and why are employers now looking at this for their environment?
To understand why employers are looking at this new type of panic button we have to look back at why there isn’t a higher adoption rate for the older type of panic button. To imagine this type of button just think of any bank robbery movie you have ever seen and when the bad guys come in the bank this is the button the employee presses to send the police to the rescue. Well that type of button is typically installed by an alarm company and is maintained by that same alarm company. Because someone from the alarm company has to come and install it they can be very expensive to install and because there is a hard wired connection they need to be checked frequently to make sure they work. Also it is not very effective to deploy them in more than one or two locations in a work environment. Because of this we have not seen wide adoption of the alarm company based panic button adopted in many workplaces.
In steps Web 2.0 companies that take older style hardware and link them to the cloud to make them powerful. Think about how Nest (official site) took the older style thermostats for your air conditioning and made them visually pleasing and accessible from your phone or Alexa. Well panic button companies like Community Response Systems have done just that. They have computer based, usb and wireless panic buttons that can contact any variety of resources from e911 to email, text and even make phone calls. They are also very popular as a call button (more info here) as well because the number of contacts they can reach is so flexible. Another option that makes them so popular is that the people that are contacted during an emergency can all talk with one another through the program while the emergency is going on. This gives them a private communication channel that keeps everyone on the same page. The last benefit that it seems is the most powerful is that it is easier to test and reminders can be setup to make sure the system is being used properly and everyone knows how to use the system.
Now that you know a little more about how the old systems work and what a newer technology company is doing you can see some of the major differences that are happening in the industry today. Hopefully some of these improvements will allow workers to feel more comfortable that they can get assistance when they need it. Very soon we expect to see even older style devices replaced by newer technology making them easier to use and more powerful. Who would have thought so much could be done with a panic button?
For information on when to use a panic alarm, check out http://www.excite.com/content/home-security/panic-alarm.