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4 Things to Consider for Staff Attack Alarms

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Workplace violence is a serious security concern, especially in healthcare facilities. Staff attack alarms are essential for creating a safer environment for patients and staff. Not only can they help you better coordinate resources and staff in an emergency, but good staff attack alarms are also invaluable for reducing response times when it matters most. Here are a few things to consider for staff attack alarms:

1. Customizable and Scalable System

One of the things to consider for staff attack alarms is the degree to which they are customizable and scalable. Facilities and operations are unique and will vary in what installation and configuration will work best for their needs.

The system and options offered need to be flexible enough to meet those needs, which means customization. It also needs to be able to fit small and large applications and be able to scale up or down as needs evolve over time. Along with these qualities, the system and all components of it should be easy to use.

2. Various Types of Devices and Alarms

Efficient alarm systems will offer a variety of devices and alarm configuration options to allow facilities to get what they need for effective staff attack alarms. The types of alarms available, sound options, silent alarm options, visual signals, and more are all things to consider for staff attack alarms.

Types of Alarms

Different types of alarms will fit best in different situations. There may be infrared systems used in some places while an installed station with a panic button may be better in other areas. Wearables for personal alarms make a lot of sense in nursing applications. There should be a good mix of various devices and both wireless and wired options.

Sound Options

A good staff attack alarm will be distinct. If it is configured for an alarm to sound, it should be distinct from other alarms. It should also be easily distinguishable from background noise.

Usually, a good rule of thumb is for an audible staff attack alarm to be at least six decibels louder than the average ambient or background noise of the environment, if not more. Depending on specific requirements, your alarms may need to be even louder to be considered in compliance.

Silent Alarms

On the other hand, silent panic buttons and staff attack alarms also need to be available. In some situations, an audible alarm can make things worse and can increase the danger and threat.

This can often be the case when staff attack alarms are used to help prevent workplace violence. Depending on the situation and the facility, you may want staff attack alarm options that can be loud and attention-catching and also have the option for staff to use silent alarms to call for help.

Visual Signals

Effective staff attack alarms, provided they are designed gain attention and not to be silent, have both audible and visual signals. Strobe lights or lights that change to a different color are common options for visual alarm signals. Not only can these help further differentiate staff attack alarms from other types of alarms and combat alarm fatigue, but they can also accommodate anyone who is hearing impaired.

If using flashing strobe lights for visual signals, make sure the frequency is fewer than five times per second. People with certain types of epilepsy can be triggered into seizures if the flash frequency is more than five times per second. Given that healthcare facilities are commonly where staff attack alarms are installed, it’s important to take this into account as there will likely be patients that can be affected.

3. Flexible Installation and Location

Another thing to consider for staff attack alarms is the location. Even with personal alarms that a staff member may carry on their person, consider whether it clips on a belt, is carried in a pocket, is worn as a pendant, is integrated into a phone, etc.

If a staff attack alarm device will be installed as a station or a button, it’s important to consider where it will go and whether it needs to be highly visible or hidden. In convenience or retail stores, panic buttons are often hidden from customers, but their location is well-known to staff. Similarly, staff attack alarms may be installed in hard-to-reach locations to make them less obvious and help reduce false alarms.

At the same time, if they are meant to be visible and accessible in an emergency, then they need to be able to be installed on a wall or another accessible area in the room. Regardless of which option or options work best for your facility, the installation options should be flexible enough to meet your needs.

4. Seamless Integration With Other Systems

An important consideration for staff attack alarms is whether they can integrate with other systems and how well they integrate. Especially in healthcare facilities, staff attack alarms should be integrated fully and seamlessly with nurse call systems and other security systems.

Many high-quality nurse call systems include staff attack alarms as part of their comprehensive system. Whether built-in or through integration during installation, you should be able to configure staff attack alarms to trigger alerts in other relevant systems.

For example, if you are using a nurse call system and an alarm is triggered, it should appear in that centralized location and trigger the appropriate alerts and notifications for rapid response. Additionally, when alarms are triggered, the system should have technology in place to provide location data for where the alarm was triggered.

Protect Patients and Staff With Security Solutions From NEPPS

Good healthcare security solutions, including effective staff attack alarms, help protect staff and patients while assisting in providing better outcomes. Faster response, better coordination and allocation of resources, and more are all things that come along with good staff attack alarms and support processes in place.

Keeping these things to consider for staff attack alarms in mind and working with an experienced security systems integrator can make sure you get the benefits of staff attack alarms and the peace of mind that comes with quality products and installation. If you need to upgrade or replace the security systems in your healthcare or assisted living facility, contact NEPPS at 1-800-736-1456.