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7 min read

Panic Buttons for Organizations

Choosing the Right Panic Buttons for Your Organization_1-min

Businesses need to be prepared for a range of situations that their company could become impacted by so that they can ensure the safety of staff and customers, mitigate risks and minimize losses. Having strategies, systems, and the right tools in place to respond to critical incidents and other emergency situations can make a major difference in outcomes when an emergency situation actually occurs. Communication strategies, evacuation procedures, and training for employees are key to this as well as ensuring that the company has invested in the right resources to keep people safe.

Table of contents

What types of critical incidents do businesses need to prepare for in 2023?

Why communication is important in critical incidents

How a panic button for the office can help save time in an emergency

Types of panic buttons to consider

How to choose the right panic button for your organization

Why the DeskAlerts panic alert system is a great choice for your organization

What types of critical incidents do businesses need to prepare for in 2023?

The world is a volatile place, and businesses need to prepare for various types of critical incidents that can affect their operations, employees, and customers. Workplace emergencies are unexpected events or situations that pose a threat to the health and safety of employees or the workplace itself. These situations can occur suddenly and require immediate action to prevent injury, loss of life, or damage to property.  They can take many forms, including:

1. Active shooters

Active shooters are people who are actively engaged in killing, or attempting to kill, people with firearms in settings like schools, workplaces, public spaces, and other locations where people gather. 

In the first four months of 2023, there have been more mass shooting incidents in the USA than there have been days of the year, according to the Gun Safety Archive.

When an active shooting situation occurs, people need to act quickly and decisively. This can include calling for help, running to safety, hiding, or fighting back as a last resort. It’s important for businesses, schools, and other organizations to have plans in place to respond to an active shooter situation. This should include procedures for reporting incidents, training on evacuation and shelter-in-place procedures, and communication strategies to keep employees, customers, students, patients, and members of the public informed and safe. 

2. Workplace violence

Active shooters aren’t the only type of violence in the workplace that businesses need to be prepared to deal with. Workplace violence can occur in the form of physical assault, threats of violence, or other aggressive behavior that puts employees’ safety at risk. Any type of workplace setting can be affected by workplace violence, including offices, factories, retail stores, educational institutions, and healthcare organizations.  

Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace for employees and to take steps to prevent and respond to workplace violence. This can include providing security measures such as installing security cameras and panic buttons and training employees on recognizing and responding to potential threats.

3. Civil unrest

Civil unrest typically refers to public protests, demonstrations, riots, and other forms of collective action that can disrupt social and economic activities in a community. It can have a significant impact on businesses, depending on the severity and duration of the unrest.  It can result in an interruption to business activities, property damage, or a threat to employee and customer safety. 

Businesses need to have plans in place for responding to these types of disruptions and prioritize the safety and well-being of employees and customers above all else. 

4. Fire

Fires can start in the workplace due to a variety of factors, including electrical malfunctions, smoking, and cooking. They can even be started maliciously. 

If there’s a fire in the workplace, it’s important to act quickly and follow established emergency procedures. This includes calling for help and evacuating staff to safety.

5. Natural disasters

There are many different types of natural disasters that businesses could be impacted by. This can include hurricanes, severe weather events, tornados, earthquakes, wildfires, and floods. They can often occur with little or no warning and disrupt operations, damage property, and threaten the safety of employees.

Some types of natural disasters are more prevalent in some geographic areas than others. Businesses need to plan for the most likely natural disaster scenarios where they carry out their operations and put strategies and systems in place to keep people safe.

6. Chemical spills

A chemical spill at work can be a serious and dangerous situation that requires immediate action.  The most important priority in the event of a chemical spill is to ensure the safety of any people in the area. Exposure to dangerous chemicals can be potentially fatal.

Why communication is important in critical incidents

Communication is vital in any workplace incident, especially during critical events such as active shooter situations, natural disasters, fires, and other emergencies.

Effective communication can ensure the safety of employees and customers, minimize the damage and disruption and facilitate a quick and efficient response to emergencies.

Clear and timely communication can alert employees to potential dangers and enable them to take appropriate actions to protect themselves and others. For example, if there is an active shooter situation, quick and clear communication can help employees quickly lock down or evacuate the area, potentially saving lives.

How a panic button for the office can help save time in an emergency

A panic button is a type of device designed to quickly and easily alert employees or emergency services to a situation that requires immediate attention. Typically, panic buttons are small buttons or switches that can be activated with one press or click. They are often connected to security, emergency, and other communication networks. 

When a panic button is activated, it immediately sends an alert to designated personnel that can speed up the response time and ensure help arrives as quickly as possible.  In high-stress emergency situations, confusion can be a major barrier to an effective response. A panic button can help reduce confusion by providing a clear and concise message that help is needed.

Types of panic buttons to consider

There are different types of panic buttons available depending on the specific needs of the organization. The common types include:

1. Wired panic alarm buttons

These are connected directly to security systems or communications networks through a wired connection. They might be wall-mounted or integrated with other devices, such as alarm keypads.

2. Wireless panic buttons

These panic buttons are connected to security systems or communications networks using wireless technologies such as Bluetooth, Wi-fi, or cell phone signals. They may be portable, wearable, or handheld devices that people can carry with them.

3. VOIP phones

Emergency notifications can be sent to either all or select VoIP desk phones within an organization to let people know that there is a critical situation.

4. Software panic buttons

There are different panic buttons on the market that can be activated quickly from computer desktops via a shortcut or via mobile apps. The panic software will trigger a response to specific emergency notification systems.

How to choose the right panic button for your organization

Choosing the right panic button for your organization depends on several factors, including the size of the organization, the industry that you operate in, and the specific needs and requirements of your business, as well as the types of emergency situations that might occur.

The following factors should be considered when choosing a panic button:

  • Functionality. What features are necessary for your organization? Do you need a portable panic button? Do you need a security panic button system? Do you need a panic button for the office that can be integrated into other existing systems? Make a list of the must-have features and use it as a guide when evaluating the different panic button options on the market.
  • Ease of use. Choose a panic button that’s easy to use with a simple activation that’s easy to understand. Consider factors such as size, shape, and placement of the button so that it can be easily accessed in an emergency.
  • Reliability. Panic buttons that are reliable and have a low risk of false alarms are the wisest choice. Regular testing of the panic button will help to ensure it is functioning properly.
  • Integrations. Consider whether the panic button can be easily integrated with your existing security systems or communications networks. This will help ensure there is a fast and effective response in an emergency.
  • Cost. Evaluate all the factors involved in the pricing of different panic button options. Is it a one-off cost? Will there be ongoing costs such as maintenance, subscriptions, or service fees?
  • Legal requirements. In some jurisdictions, there are specific legal requirements for panic buttons in certain industries. You should check your local laws and regulations to ensure that the system you are looking to invest in is compliant.

Why the DeskAlerts panic alert system is a great choice for your organization

Choosing the Right Panic Buttons for Your Organization_2-1-min

DeskAlerts is an emergency notification software system that is installed on employees’ corporate devices, including laptops, desktop computers, digital screens, cell phones, and tablets. It can quickly alert up to 10,000 people about an emergency within seconds, sending notifications to their screens.

DeskAlerts has a virtual panic button that can be used in an emergency to launch specific notifications with just one click. Shortcuts are created in advance and are placed on the mobile phones and desktop screens of people in the organization who have emergency management roles. When the person clicks on the panic button software shortcut, it triggers emergency alerts being sent to all corporate devices.

The shortcuts can be used to send different types of notifications on people's devise, including pop-up alerts, full-screen alerts, and scrolling desktop tickers.

Emergency notifications sent via the DeskAlerts panic button software can be prepared in advance to save time when it is needed the most.

This includes:

  • Creating a suite of alerts covering the most likely emergency scenarios that your business will need (fires, active shooters, severe weather, etc.).
  • Using customizable templates that let you adjust titles, colors, and text. You can even embed video or images such as fire evacuation routes.
  • Integration with other emergency warning systems within your organization.
  • Color coding to categorize the messages based on the emergency type to facilitate quicker publishing.
  • The ability to send to segmented audiences, for example, all employees in one specific geographic area.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the panic button in the workplace?

A panic button refers to a device that can be used to summon assistance during emergencies at the workplace. It achieves this by alerting an emergency contact, an assigned employee, local law enforcement, or security and emergency services.

When should a panic button be used?

If you are experiencing a police, fire, or medical emergency, please dial 9-1-1 for immediate assistance. Panic buttons should only be utilized if dialing 9-1-1 is not feasible.

Should a panic button be silent?

When an alarm or siren goes off unexpectedly, it can cause a surge of stress and unpredictable behavior, which could potentially lead to danger. Those who offer security guidance to banks are aware of this and recommend triggering alarms quietly rather than escalating the situation.

How does a duress button work?

The basic form of a duress alarm typically involves an emergency button that can be pressed during a crisis to notify those monitoring the alarm. Once alerted, responders can utilize the alarm to pinpoint the individual in distress and provide necessary aid.


When an emergency impacts your organization, you generally don’t have a lot of time to respond… and every second counts when it comes to life and death. Ensuring you have a range of different tools at your disposal to protect people in an emergency can give you the best chance possible to keep your employees safe. Get in touch with our team of experts today for a free demonstration of how the DeskAlerts panic software can send notifications to your employees quickly in an emergency to help save their lives.

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