Personal panic buttons typically refer to a mobile / wearable panic button that you can take with you “wherever” you go.

In contrast, fixed panic buttons are normally wired into an alarm system and tied to a premises such as your home or office.

These can also work “wirelessly” over a short distance by being tied into a wireless receiver which is in turn fixed to that specific location.

These transmitter / receivers work just like you gate or garage door’s remote control.

While something as simple as a whistle can be considered a personal panic “button” the term typically refers to more high-tech solutions.

These more high-tech solutions can be broken down into two main categories.

  1. Stand Alone.
  2. Operate on your smartphone. (These include apps which may be linked to a Bluetooth button that you can press as long as your phone is still within Bluetooth range).

Let’s look a little deeper into each of these two categories.

Stand-alone Panic Buttons

Stand-alone devices come in all shapes and sizes from wearable pendants, watches and “candy bar” cellphones.

These small form-factor phone look-alikes resemble cellphones prior to the introduction of smartphones.

These stand-alone panic buttons are characterized by:

  1. Being independent of an app or your smartphone.
  2. Use their own battery.
  3. Have a GPS module.
  4. Have their own sim card / sim card slot.
  5. Only have one or two prominent buttons for ease of use.

Setup of these devices is typically accomplished by sending specific SMS commands to the device or by installing the manufacturer’s configuration software on your pc and then linking the device to your pc via USB cable.

The better quality devices also offer the option of connecting to your pc via Bluetooth to avoid having to use the USB cable.

Panic Button “Apps”

This second category (not second class) are software applications that run on your smartphone, using the native operating system – iOS or Android make up the vast majority – which allows the developer to “hook” into your smartphones hardware and data.

These software apps which rely on your phones battery to power them and have access to your phones:

  1. Contacts
  2. SIM Card
  3. GPS Chip / Module.

You usually have to allow (permit) these apps to access your data and your phones hardware.

Check the App permissions if you are unsure and read the terms and conditions of use as well as the developers privacy policy.

As mentioned earlier some apps have the ability to integrate into their own (or even a 3rd parties) Bluetooth panic button so you can trigger your call for help without directly interacting with your phone as long as you are still within Bluetooth range.

Picture of a woman looking at her panic button app on her smartphone
Software powered panic button apps

What Personal Panic Buttons have in common:

Regardless of which category your personal panic button falls into they all aim to achieve similar outcomes.

  1. Alert pre-defined contacts of your emergency. The majority of apps that we have come across do this by sending SMS’s to your contacts – many times including a link to a map with your location.
  2. Attempt to determine your location using your mobile phones GPS module. This is the most accurate. Some apps use alternative location based services to identify your general location if there is no GPS lock.
  3. May put you in contact with some form of control room or monitoring station. Once your call for help has been received by the monitoring station they will call you to determine what assistance you need – and to confirm your location.

We will explore the Pro’s and Con’s of these personal panic buttons in a future article.

Panic Button Systems focuses on bringing you affordable, accessible, easy-to-understand, simple-to-operate services and products designed to improve your safety and wellbeing.

Our Crisis Call panic button system happens to use world-class technology and we would love you to consider Crisis Call for your needs.

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If our Crisis Call panic button system feels right for you then we would LOVE to welcome you as a customer.

Stay safe – and don’t hesitate to get in contact with any questions.

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