Every bank manger wants to provide a safe environment for employees and customers. With just about any business there is a chance that an angry or unstable customer, disgruntled employee, someone with a mental illness or a robber will cause or threaten violence in the establishment. Installation of a panic button is a great way to potentially mitigate this danger.
What is a Panic Button?
A panic button is a hardwired or wireless device that can alert the police to an emergency situation. If hardwired, these small buttons are usually placed in a discreet location, like just under the lip of a desk or teller counter. It’s important to place buttons in locations where employees will likely be at the time of a situation. When a robber yells “freeze” an employee should be able to quickly hit the button without anyone noticing. If the panic button is wireless, they can be placed in ones pocket and carried throughout the premises. This provides security for the employee even when they are away from their desk. When pressed, on duty police in the area will be dispatched to your location immediately.
Should a Panic Button Be Silent?
The next question to ask is if your bank should a have silent panic button or one that sounds an alarm. Do you want a culprit to hear the siren and potentially try to make a run for it? There is a risk that this might upset the perpetrator and cause them to lash out or inflict immediate violence, or it could encourage them to leave the premises. Is it safer to have police arrive unexpectedly and catch the criminal off guard? This could potentially result in a hostage situation.
It’s critical that each bank evaluate whether a silent alarm or audible siren makes the most sense. The majority of banks choose a silent alarm in order to avoid further exasperating the situation. Ultimately, deciding between a siren and silent panic button depends on the bank and potential risk scenarios at hand.
Can Panic Button’s Prevent Against Disgruntled Employees?
Firing an employee is never easy. People have families, children and mortgages to pay. The vast majority of people take a firing or layoff in stride. Unbeknownst to the company, an employee may be on their last straw or there may be an undiscovered mental illness at hand. A strategically placed panic button is a strong line of defense for if an ex-employee were ever to return with violent intentions.
Where Should I Place Panic Buttons?
As briefly mentioned before, panic buttons are either hardwired or wireless. Wireless panic buttons do not need to have designated locations. However, for hardwired panic buttons, placement is very important, as they cannot be easily moved. Anyone that sits on the front lines of the bank should have access to a panic button, such as employees at a teller counter or reception area. For hardwired buttons, it’s best to place panic buttons within reach, but out of site, so the button can be pushed discretely. It’s also a good idea for people in a back office to have access to a panic button, who may be able to hear and react to a dangerous situation before being confronted.
There are roughly 5,000 bank robberies that occur in the U.S. every year. Although the likelihood of a bank robbery occurring in YOUR bank is small, especially in our Southern Illinois communities, it’s important to plan for the worst and hope for the best. Security Alarm Corporation offers affordable panic button solutions, sometimes even as low as $300.
Contact us if you’d like to learn more about panic buttons options or would like help determining if a panic button is the right choice for your bank.