Panic or Hold-up Systems
Description and Purpose
A panic system is used to provide a basic cry
for help. Although typically used in
Intrusion Detection Systems for Hold-up alarm applications,
panic buttons provide important notification capabilities for many
In a Hold-up system, the button typically
invokes a policy at a distant
monitoring station. In Fire Alarm systems, the Manual Pull Station is
a type of panic button that specifically requests emergency service from
the Fire Department. In addition, it invokes local policies by activating
Because a panic button can cause policies to
be invoked at a distance, and locally, it is ideal for being the initial
trigger for any kind of policy. This document briefly discusses some
applications where a panic button can be used.
Panic buttons can be used to invoke a
pre-determined policy in response to a given critical event. You can
choose to display and acknowledge critical events from the system
keypad, the monitoring station, or both.
Consider applying a panic system to a
laboratory facility. Materials stored at a laboratory may be acids, gases,
bases, or bio-toxins. Many of these items are classified by the CDC as
Agents. You can see
examples of OSHA’s policies regarding handling, storage, and cleanup
at their web site at
For each chemical, there is a specific policy
regarding its handling, storage, cleanup, fire suppression, or medical
treatment. Policy enforcement is a challenge because it involves two
people: the person who discovered or caused the critical event, and the
supervisor who invokes the policy locally. Other facility occupants should
not depend upon the personality and mood of those who discover and those
who decide how to react to a critical event.
Proper local notification is essential in a
crisis. To speed assistance during a crisis, the person who discovers or
causes a critical event should notify others in the local building or
department by using a Panic System. In a laboratory or storage facility,
when a particular panic button is pressed, the system activates a
particular notification for the crisis. This particular notification
initiates a particular local procedure to cleanup or repair that which
caused the crisis.
Furthermore, proper authority notification is
essential in a crisis. It is important for responding authorities to be
prepared for a specific crisis. Equipment and tool requirements vary based
upon the nature of the crisis.
Where to use Panic Systems
There are many facility types that include
Panic systems in the building systems. Some examples of these facilities
public processing centers.