Why Should Hotels Implement Panic Buttons?
Implementing hotel panic buttons can be an essential step in ensuring the safety of your employees. Panic buttons can protect employees from threats, provide a quick response time to emergencies, help hotels comply with regulations, and offer a cost-effective safety solution. By implementing a panic button system, hotels can demonstrate their commitment to employee safety, attract potential employees who prioritize safety, and provide a safer work environment for everyone.
Protect Employees from Threats
9 out of 10 Hospitality workers suffered some type of abuse during their dealings with guests, employees who work in guest rooms are especially vulnerable, as they are often required to work alone. The primary reason to implement panic buttons is to protect your employees from threats. With the rise in violent incidences at the workplace, it has become more important than ever to provide employees with a quick and easy way to summon help during an emergency. Panic buttons are wearable and can be easily activated when an employee is in distress, the devices send emergency alerts to hotel personnel with precise location details to provide employees with immediate assistance.
Quick Response Time
Panic button devices can provide a faster response time to emergency situations. In an emergency, every second counts, and panic buttons can provide an immediate response from designated personnel or authorities. Once activated panic button devices can provide the precise floor and room number of the employee in distress and should the employee change location, panic buttons will send updates in real time. This can lead to a faster resolution of the situation and ensure the safety of employees and guests. Panic buttons can also provide a sense of security to employees, in knowing that they have a quick and reliable way to call for help.
Compliance with Regulations
Several states and local municipalities have passed hotel panic button legislation that require hotels to provide safety devices to employees. Major hotel brands have also put regulations in place that require their hotels to implement panic button systems. Providing employees with safety devices/panic buttons can help hotels to meet these requirements and avoid potential penalties.
Attract Prospective Employees
Having panic buttons in place can also help hotels demonstrate their commitment to employee safety and attract potential employees who prioritize safety in the workplace. The Hospitality Industry is currently facing a major labor shortage, 79% of hotels are experiencing staffing shortages and 22% consider those shortages to be severe. 43% of hotels were finding it most difficult to hire housekeepers. Investing in panic buttons will aid in the effort to attract more candidates, by offering prospective employees a safe work environment. Safety is important to employees and hotels that take employee safety seriously are more likely to stand out to prospective employees.
Implementing panic buttons in your hotel can be a cost-effective solution for improving employee safety. There are numerous panic button solutions on the market that can be a good fit for your hotel. Panic buttons can be integrated into existing hardware and software systems that are already being used by hotels. They can be integrated into existing Wi-Fi solutions, as well as with IOT technology. Panic buttons can be installed as a stand-alone service or as an added feature for hotels that are already using services from a panic button provider. Less hardware is required if panic buttons are being added as an additional feature and hotels can leverage existing equipment for installation. As a result, installation is cost effective, and service is reliable with less points of failure. Compared to other safety solutions, panic buttons can provide a more straightforward and cost-effective way to protect your employees from threats.
What Should Hotels Consider When Implementing Panic Buttons?
When considering the implementation of panic buttons in your hotels, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, it is important to choose a panic button system that is easy to use and understand. The system should be accessible to all employees, regardless of their technological expertise. Most hotel panic button laws and brand standards require that hotels implement panic button devices that are easily activated with one touch. Additionally, the system should be reliable and provide a quick response time to emergency situations.
Establish a Clear Protocol
It is crucial to establish a clear protocol for how panic buttons will be used within your hotel. This includes identifying who will respond to alerts, what actions they will take, and how they will communicate with employees during an emergency. Regular training sessions should be provided to all employees to ensure that they understand the protocol and know how to use the panic button system. States and local municipalities that have passed hotel panic button laws have outlined protocols that hotels should follow when it comes to the use of safety devices/panic buttons.
It is important to regularly test the panic button system to ensure it is working correctly. This includes testing the response time, verifying that alerts are being received by designated personnel or authorities, and checking that communication channels are functioning correctly. Regular testing can help to identify any issues with the system and ensure that it is fully operational in the event of an emergency.
What Should Hotels Look for in a Panic Button System?
The right hotel panic button technology can ensure that hotels meet all requirements, while providing a safer work environment for employees.
Panic button signals should be detectable in all locations, reliable connectivity and complete coverage is essential in locating employees in distress. There are hotel panic button solutions that combine Bluetooth, GPS, cellular LTE, and Wi-Fi to ensure reliable connectivity and prevent loss of signal in dead zone areas.
Panic button devices should be wearable and easily accessible. Panic buttons can be worn around the neck, they can be attached to belts or worn anywhere on the employee’s clothing that allows for easy access in the event of an emergency.
The battery life of hotel panic buttons is crucial, as employees will wear devices every day for the entirety of their shifts. Panic buttons can be powered by rechargeable batteries, non-rechargeable batteries, or swappable devices. Some panic button devices offer a battery life of 2 years and other solutions are rechargeable and don’t require batteries to be replaced.
Hotels also need to ensure that there is no disruption of the signal to and from panic button devices. Therefore, the hotel network must be secure, employee safety devices offer encryption on each device, as well as within the hotel network. Panic button systems also have the ability to track specific computer IDs and can identify suspicious activities.
Vendor Spotlight: RelayPro
Hotel panic buttons are a new requirement for hotels, but they don’t have to be a new expense. RelayPro was recently approved by Marriott, IHG and Choice Hotels and has been installed in nearly 2,000 properties. RelayPro is BOTH a 4G/Wi-Fi walkie talkie and a cutting-edge panic button with VOICE communication.