The most important thing to know is when to trigger the panic button. Immediate police intervention should only be called when absolutely necessary and false alarms could be a waste of time, money and resources. Therefore, use the alarm when absolutely certain that:
- You are in danger of being harmed.
- Someone else close by may be in danger.
- When the person you are with is about to or has already harmed himself.
- If there is a medical emergency.
A panic button system usually consists of a button which, when pressed, activates the alarm by sending a signal to either the local emergency team, e.g. the police, or to a monitoring service. Then a communication system, usually via control panels and signaling devices, summons help when the alarm is activated. The type of communication system can vary depending on resources available and the threat level of the situation. For example, most panic alarm systems are designed to alert a monitoring center who will then call the police or other appropriate authorities to respond. But some panic alarms are connected to an on-site security staff or to non-security personnel who then form their own response team of employees from different departments. Panic alarms are typically installed in easily accessible yet hidden locations.