A wireless panic button has become a common feature in an increasing number of homes and businesses. For those who are not familiar with the terminology, the device is usually a single-button gadget that is portable and meant to be operated at a touch. Some panic buttons are dual-button devices. The principle of these devices is that the alarm is only activated if both buttons are simultaneously depressed. This means there is less chance of a nervous or clumsy operator triggering a false alarm. Depressing the panic button results in a signal being sent to a central control panel in order to trigger an alarm or alert.
Most businesses use a wireless panic alarm in case the store is held up. For this reason, the button is usually mounted under the cash register or the counter. Activation of the transmitter results from the button being pressed, and it transmits a radio frequency (RF) signal to its receiver. The alarm is thus triggered, and the center of operations is alerted of a possible burglary or robbery. Most of the time, the alarm that is triggered is usually a silent one in order to alert authorities and not the intruders.
A panic button alarm can also be used in residential homes too. In this context, it functions as an extension of a wireless security system. This means it can either be mounted discreetly on a wall, or even right at the front door if the homeowner sees fit to do so. A panic button is also portable, and has a similar appearance to a key-fob. For homeowners or residents who might for whatever reason feel unsafe in the home, portable panic buttons can also be worn on a neck chain or wristband to ensure its constant proximity. Of course, the panic button should be placed in a spot that is easily reached when the family retires for the night, or multiple units acquired.
Consumers who are comfortable with their existing personal security features might wonder what incentive there is to use wireless panic buttons. In fact, one of the most attractive features of wireless security is how easy it is to install a panic button system. All a person needs is a few predetermined points to which the transmitters and receiver will be attached. A wireless system does away with the need for an installation crew, which means there is no need to open up the home to complete strangers and the cost is considerably lower.
This is because, in addition to being extremely easy to install, adding a wireless panic alarm to a security system requires less labor compared to installing a wired panic button system. As the installation process is simpler and easier, it means that a home or business owner will spend less time on the installation. He or she also will not have to concern his or herself with hiding wires in unobtrusive locations to prevent them from looking like an eyesore. The non-invasive installation process also means there is less damage to the property, e.g., drilled walls and plaster dust, which makes cleanup much easier.
A wireless panic button alarm is also less likely to become damaged or compromised during day-to-day exposure to regular household or business traffic. This is because it lacks wires that can be knocked out of place or damaged when or if subsequent renovation works take place. The wireless basis of operations also means that the power supply will not be interrupted due to cut or damaged wires.
One of the most obvious advantages of wireless panic buttons is that they can be set up anywhere the building owner wants. Again, there is no need to think of where which wires will go with each installation. And if you have to vacate the premises, all you have to do is remove the transmitters and receiver and you are ready to go!
However, nothing is perfect, and panic buttons are no different. The fact that they run solely on batteries can be a double-edged sword. For one thing, a power cut will not affect the transmission, but you need to replace or recharge the batteries at regular intervals to ensure you are not caught flatfooted.
One disadvantage to such a wireless system is one that is a real cause for concern. As the wireless transmission is made over radio frequency, there is always a chance that the signal can be intercepted or jammed by malicious parties for nefarious purposes. The chances of this taking place are quite small, but the repercussions can be quite serious. Signal interruption in lower-end systems can also occur during inclement weather, especially when electrical, rain or snow storms occur.
The signal strength of the transmitter may prove to be less than satisfactory if you use a wireless panic alarm in too large an area. Again, this is particularly evident with lower-end systems that fail to transmit a clear signal across a number of rooms, which can result in the signal becoming garbled or a complete lack of reception.
A wireless panic button system is an attractive option as far as installation and maintenance go. However, a person should be aware of its potential drawbacks as well before opting for such a system, although these can be largely mitigated against by buying quality. For many though, the advantages of a wireless set-up far outweigh any potential inconveniences.