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Making Sense of Panic Alarms: 2 State, Duress Codes, & Wireless

You may think a panic alarm is as simple as something as a holdup alarm. You press it, law enforcement comes. It can be if this is what you need, but there are other types of alarms and variations on this that give you more flexibility and control over how a situation at your business plays out. Let’s go over three variations on panic alarms that can make you more able to control an evolving situation:

2 State Buttons

These are buttons that give you more flexibility in how you call for help. Maybe the situation isn’t dangerous, but you worry it will be. Perhaps a former employee has entered and is acting in a threatening way. Maybe an unhappy customer is making others worry for their safety. This is good for situations where there is no direct threat involved, but you think things may be headed in that direction.

For this kind of circumstance, you can press the lower threat level. This can notify law enforcement that you need aid, but that it’s not a dire emergency. You still have the higher threat level state you can press if you need it or if things get worse before law enforcement arrives. You can also set these buttons to notify different layers of security. For instance, you can set it so the lower state notifies your internal security, whereas the higher state notifies both your security and law enforcement.

Duress Codes

A duress code can be used if you’re in trouble and someone tells you to turn the alarm system off. Since a robber doesn’t know the real code, you can enter a duress code into a keypad. They will think you’ve entered the real code, but in reality you’ve communicated a silent alarm that notifies law enforcement.

Used on its own, this can mean it’s harder to trigger a silent alarm – you have to have time to enter the code. Used in conjunction with holdup alarms, it gives you one more layer to ensure that you’re protected and have an opportunity to notify authorities.


The advantage of a wireless holdup alarm is that it can be placed wherever you like. It can also be relocated if you choose differently or reorganize your store. You’ll need to make sure the batteries are charged reliably, though. Forget this, and you’ve made your alarm useless.

With wired alarms, you don’t have to worry about batteries, but you also can’t relocate the alarm. Choose which is right to help protect your business. There are a lot more options to holdup alarms and panic alarms than you might think.