Panic alarm systems are helping to save lives in the workplace and keep staff safe on a daily basis. Whether it’s the improved speed of response to a medical emergency or making sure the right people are in the right place to help de-escalate a potentially dangerous confrontation, they have proven their worth time and again.
But with a growing number of panic alarm systems available on the market, it can be difficult to choose the best option for your workplace. This is certainly not a “one size fits all” situation.
We’ve put together a list of questions for you to consider that we hope will help you narrow down your choices so you can identify the best system for your individual circumstances.
What do you need the system for?
What are the most likely scenarios your workforce might face that you hope a panic alarm system will help with? Do you have customer-facing staff who may be exposed to tricky face-to-face conversations with disgruntled customers? Do the general public have access to your premises? Does your team work in a high risk environment where the chance of injury or sudden illness is above average? Thinking through these questions is a sensible place to start.
Do you need direct contact with the emergency services?
Some systems can be tied into a direct response from emergency services. This may be suitable for some cases, but often situations can be resolved without having to draw on emergency resources.
Do you need an audible alarm?
For some scenarios, it’s important that a loud, audible alarm sounds to alert all members of staff that action is needed. However, in many cases, discretion is called for. Being able to silently call for help without drawing attention to the fact can prevent an aggressive member of the public feeling further aggravated.
Do you need a mobile app-only system, or would a desktop option also be helpful?
Some panic alarm systems are purely mobile-based. Whilst this can be really helpful, particularly for remote workers, there are some drawbacks. What if someone doesn’t have their phone with them, or the battery dies? What if you work somewhere where mobile phones are not permitted? A desktop option would be a better solution here.
But remember to compare the detail around desktop systems too. For example, will it still work when a computer is in screensaver mode and password protected? This ensures a colleague can raise an alert from any computer on the system, not just their own, potentially saving critical seconds in the event of an emergency.
How does the system identify someone’s location?
GPS tracking integrated into a mobile app can be very helpful in locating remote workers. But within an office environment, being able to narrow an alert to a particular office may be enough.
What is the connection technology?
Whilst most panic alarm systems these days are wireless, some may rely on having Wi-Fi or mobile signal. Whilst this is sufficient in most connected societies, there are still some instances where these signals can fail. If this is a likely scenario for your workers, check out other options including satellite, Bluetooth, or a hardwired system.
Is the system scalable?
Workforces do change over time. How easy would it be to add new personnel to your panic alarm system? How will this impact the overall cost? You don’t want to outgrow your system soon after having installed it.
Are updates free?
As with all technology, any panic alarm system worth its salt will be evolving and improving over time. Check that you will have access to the latest updates without having to pay for an upgrade each time. Otherwise, you may quickly be left with an out-of-date system.
What is the ongoing support like?
Reading reviews of systems and checking out the level of online support available is a good place to start. How easy is it to reach the support team? How responsive are they? Is there someone you can talk to if you have any problems? There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to get help with technology and meeting nothing but silence in return. In the worst scenario, it can render your entire system next to useless.
Is there a free trial?
One of the best ways to help finalise your decision as to which is the best panic alarm system for you is to trial it. Many companies will offer a free trial before you have to commit. This gives you the opportunity to see first-hand how the system works, put it through its paces and gather feedback from your colleagues.
The importance of getting it right
Choosing the wrong accounts package for your company can lead to frustration, wasted time and perhaps wasted money. But choosing the wrong panic alarm system can have much more serious implications. If a member of your team is unable to get the help they need when they need it, health and safety may be put at risk. So, it’s important to take the time to ask all of these questions before rushing into a buying decision.
If you have any questions about whether Little Green Button might be the best panic alarm system for you, please do get in touch. A member of our support team will be happy to help. And we offer a free 21-day trial too!