Panic buttons are specialized emergency devices that are used to request immediate police, fire or medical help. Once a panic button has been pressed, it will send a signal to the security system, which will in turn send a distress signal to a central monitoring station. From there, the central monitoring station will send emergency personnel to the address that they have on file. The type of help that is sent will depend upon how exactly the panic button was programmed with the security system.
Panic buttons are appropriate for both commercial and residential applications. For example, many banks and retail establishments have one or more panic buttons that can be pressed in the event of a robbery. This will alert the authorities without letting the criminals know. A person may also have a panic button inside their home so that if there is a break in, they can quickly alert the police before the burglars realize that the authorities are on their way.
A panic button does not have to be used for calling the police. For instance, an elderly person might have a panic button that they can press to request immediate medical attention. Some panic buttons can be worn in the form of a necklace or bracelet so that the user can carry around the button with them at all times. It is also possible to use a panic button as a fire alarm to immediately alert the fire department in the event of a fire. This can be good for a place where a fire is likely to occur, such as a kitchen.
Some panic buttons come in the form of a wireless keyfob device. These devices usually include multiple buttons, and they can be conveniently attached to a set of car keys. Some of these buttons are typically used for other actions, such as arming or disarming the panel. However, it is common for one of these buttons to be set as a panic button for immediate emergency dispatch. This can serve as easily accessible panic button in the event of an unexpected emergency, such as discovering a home break-in while you are still in your car.
There are some different ways that panic buttons can be programmed with a security panel in order to prevent false alarms. For example, the programming settings may require a panic button to be pressed twice in order to send an alarm signal. Another option is to have the central monitoring station call the user before sending dispatch, in case the button was pressed accidentally. Panic buttons can also be programmed to either have the alarm produce an audible siren or to produce no sound so that the device serves as a silent alarm.
Like many wireless devices, panic buttons can be supervised with the system so that the user will be sure that the device is functioning properly. For example, if the panic button has a low battery or goes out of range, a message will be displayed.