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.

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.

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