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A Guide to Panic Alarms for Businesses: When and How to Use Them

Businesses are faced with all kinds of challenges. From focusing on growth to making sure the work environment is a safe and secure one for their employees and customers, there’s just so much to do.

While there is no one simple recipe for business growth, there is a simple solution for the safety and security issue that many businesses face – business security systems.

From burglar alarms to CCTV cameras and access control systems, there are quite a few security measures you can take to safeguard your business.

Panic alarms are one such indispensable security and safety tool that makes employees feel safe on their job, particularly if their job requires them to work alone or encounter difficult individuals or instances.

Read on to find out all about panic alarms for businesses, when and how to use them, the different types of panic alarms, how to choose the best one for your business, and much more:


Businesses need to be prepared for all kinds of situations and have the right systems and strategies in place to mitigate risks and minimise loss. Having the right tools to respond to emergencies can make a lot of difference and safeguard human life as well as business property.

Commercial burglar alarms are a great security tool to have on-premises as they help prevent theft and vandalism and detect any unusual activity happening on the property.

These alarms can be extremely beneficial when your main focus is to catch unauthorised access, mainly after work hours. But what can be done when a threat walks in during work hours and puts you and others in danger?

In times like these, you may want emergency services at your door to respond to the threat without wasting a single minute. The solution for this is panic alarms.

Panic alarms are integrated with your burglar alarm system and use the same technology to report a security threat. Instead of having sensors that automatically detect intrusions and unauthorised access, panic alarms are buttons that can be pressed manually to call emergency services at a moment’s notice.

They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and serve the same purpose of alerting the authorities immediately. Compared to burglar alarms, panic alarm alerts are likely to get a high-priority response due to being an emergency.


A panic alarm is similar to a burglar alarm except that the former requires you to manually activate it in order to set out the alert. A burglar alarm, on the other hand, uses various types of sensors to detect unusual activity and automatically sound an alarm.

A panic alarm’s main purpose is to quickly, easily, and efficiently alert the employees and other occupants of the building, as well as the emergency services in the event of a security or safety mishap.

They are usually small and discreet buttons or switches that can be activated with a single press or click and are connected to the relevant security and emergency networks.

When the alarm is activated, it instantly sends an alert to the designated responders and minimises response time to dispatch help as soon as possible.

Panic alarms are especially beneficial in dangerous and high-stress situations where proper verbal communication may become difficult. In such cases, they help reduce confusion and ensure an effective response from the involved parties.


There are several types of panic alarms suitable for use in business settings. They can be used to alert the authorities in case of an emergency and provide employees with a greater sense of safety and security at work.

Some of the most common types of panic alarms for businesses include:

Silent panic alarms

Silent panic alarms, also called non-audible panic alarms, are hidden and mounted out of sight such as under the table. They can be used to alert the authorities in the event of danger without letting the individual(s) causing the threat know about it.

They are mostly used in businesses where the employees are stationed in one position, such as a cashier at a shop, and can be used to call for help while maintaining a calm environment before the authorities arrive.

Audible panic alarms

Audible panic alarms, unlike silent panic alarms, are loud and alert both the authorities as well as the people on the property of the situation. They emit a loud sound when activated and are meant to grab the attention of everyone nearby.

Since they can be heard by everyone, they can be used to notify everyone of the danger and evacuate people if possible. They can also help deter potential threats and scare away the people causing the scene.

Wireless panic alarms

Wireless panic alarms, also called mobile panic alarms, are different from static ‘under-the-counter’ alarms in the sense that they can be moved around and carried. They can be placed on a desk or carried by an employee wherever they go within the business premises.

These alarms are handheld devices that wirelessly transmit an alert signal to a central alarm hub so that the relevant people can be immediately notified. They are reliable within a short distance and provide security to people working alone or in risky situations.

Smart panic alarms

Smart panic alarms are more advanced systems that offer much more in terms of flexibility, control, and security. With smart systems, you can turn your smartphone into a panic alarm.

They work on-site and even on the go away from the business premises, as long as the smartphone is connected to the internet. These systems allow you to send alerts and distress signals to saved contacts or emergency services and can also make use of GPS for quick tracking.

The alarm pairs with a user-friendly app and is a lifesaver for employees working in high-risk situations and who need to be tracked.


Panic alarms are an important part of workplace security, especially during critical events such as burglaries, active shooter situations, fires, natural disasters, and other emergencies.

Proper communication can guarantee quick response time and ensure the safety of employees and customers while minimising damage and disruption.

It can also alert other employees of the potential danger and give them enough time to get to safety, such as during an active shooting situation. The activated panic alarm can both alert the authorities and people on the property so that the former can be dispatched as soon as possible and the latter is aware of the threat on the property.

Safety and security incidents can occur at any place and at any time, and every business needs to be prepared and train its employees to handle the situation in the safest way possible.

Oftentimes, these situations can present themselves almost instantly and may require immediate action to prevent damages, injuries, and loss of life.

Some situations where panic alarms can be especially useful include:

  • Burglaries and intrusionscommercial burglaries are a common nuisance that almost every type of business has to deal with. This is particularly true for properties that do not employ adequate security systems to deter potential criminals. Panic alarms can be very useful in such situations to alert security or the authorities. Employees can activate non-audible alarms if they suspect anything dangerous or unusual and have security personnel dispatched to the scene right away.
  • Personal safety – the nature of certain jobs may be such that employees have to face personal safety threats such as harassment or physical assault. In that case, the use of panic alarms can be invaluable and give them a sense of security that help will be on its way at the click of a button.
  • Hostile individuals – if an employee feels that a customer or visitor is getting hostile and may harm them, and they can see that the situation is getting difficult to manage or diffuse, they can activate the panic alarm and bring it to the attention of security personnel who are professionally trained to handle such situations.
  • Emergencies – emergencies such as fires, floods, and natural disasters can strike at any time and put the lives of everyone in danger. In such situations, every second matters and it requires immediate action on everyone’s part. The best way to alert everyone at once, including the occupants of the building as well as the relevant emergency services, is by using panic alarms. They can also be very useful during medical emergencies where an employee might need immediate attention.
  • Safety checks – some jobs require the employees to work in remote or isolated areas where safety can often be a huge concern. When working alone, the employee can notify their employer if they encounter a dangerous situation and need assistance.


When using panic alarms, it is very important to establish clear guidelines and appropriate protocols to avoid misuse. The employees must be trained on how and when to use the alarm, and if the business has on-site security, they must be responsible to respond to the alarm activations.

It must be kept in mind that panic alarms are to be used only for actual emergencies or when there is a real danger to life or property. False alarms must be avoided at all costs to make sure the alarms are taken seriously when they are activated and also to prevent unnecessary disruption to the regular workflow.

Panic alarms could be used by different types of businesses and their employees. They can particularly benefit people who work alone or in high-risk situations. They can also be useful for people who deal with the public since there are all kinds of people and it’s hard to tell who might be a threat.

Panic alarms can also be used by receptionists, shopworkers, delivery workers, healthcare providers, and those working late shifts.

When it comes to ‘lone working’, the UK has some serious safety legislations laid out by the NHS. By definition, a lone worker is someone who is working in a location without a co-worker nearby or someone working out of sight and earshot of another co-worker.

As per the UK’s Health and Safety Executive, all employers and business owners are required by the law to provide adequate, reliable, and efficient means of communication for such workers so that they can call for help if need be.

This includes devices designed to send out alerts manually or automatically in case of an emergency, and for many businesses, this means using panic alarms for lone workers.


When it comes to choosing the right panic alarm for your business, there are several factors you need to keep in mind. For starters, you need to determine what type of panic alarm you need, where to place it, who to give access to it, and much more.

Here are a few key pointers to help you decide:

  • Functionality – functionality of the panic alarm is one of the most important things to consider as it determines what features you require, whether you need a fixed or portable panic alarm, what integrations you require, and more.
  • Reliability – a panic alarm, like any other security system, needs to be reliable. It should send out an alert as soon as it is activated and must have no risk of false alarms. One way to make sure your panic alarm stays reliable is to have it regularly maintained and tested.
  • Ease of use – a panic alarm must be super easy to use and require simple activation in the form of a button or switch. In the event of an emergency, you wouldn’t want to deal with an alarm system that is difficult to use and wastes time in getting activated.
  • Integrations – panic alarms can be seen as an extension of burglar alarms, and like burglar alarms, they can be easily integrated with your existing or new security systems, personnel, and communications network.
  • Cost – your budget and how much the panic alarm costs will also play a part in the type of system you choose. When it comes to security systems such as panic alarms, it is always better to view them as an investment as they add both value and security to your business.


At Calder Security, we provide a comprehensive range of security solutions that include not just professional installation but also monitoring, maintenance, and repair services.

We are members of the Master Locksmith Association (MLA), approved members of the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB), and also conform to all the relevant British and EU Standards.

We follow all the best practices in the industry and install only high-quality, state-of-the-art security systems.

We offer various levels of monitoring via a 24-hour monitoring centre using Dualcom and BT Redcare signalling, which is the most secure alarm monitoring system and the largest supplier of intelligent alarm signalling services in the UK.

We understand the importance of having to regularly maintain security systems since the inability to do so might result in serious faults and consequent vulnerabilities in your property’s security.

We provide professional maintenance checks and reminders for when the checks are due to help you stay compliant with the law and work fast to restore your security systems to excellent condition.

We offer a 24-hour call-out service for customers and can also repair systems not installed by us. Our engineers are highly skilled and can restore faulty systems to full working order in one visit.

Contact us here or call us at 0800 612 9799 to talk to our experts right away!


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