In the wake of new hotel worker safety ordinances and the increased focus on worker safety by hoteliers, many properties may benefit from considering new advancements in safety technology and devices.
Consider Your Property Needs
Hoteliers play a crucial role in maximizing the benefits of safety technology, including panic buttons. Jeff Engel, CEO of Location Tech, a company that creates wireless panic button systems, highlights the importance of understanding hotels’ needs before choosing the right solution.
“Safety technology solutions should work closely with existing systems as well as employee behavior,” he said. Each hotel property is unique, and safety requirements may vary based on factors like size, location, and existing communication systems.
Larger hotels may opt for a panic button that, when activated, alerts the on-staff security team. Meanwhile, smaller hotels may choose an alternative system. For example, ROAR makes a panic button that alerts 9-1-1 directly when activated.
“That way, you’re bypassing any kind of security,” said company Vice President of Sales Sandy Murray Hanson. “So, it’s not eliminating smaller hotels that don’t have security on staff.”
Consider User Experience
Hoteliers should also consider user friendliness when deciding on a model of panic button to use. Safety technology company Relay creates radios for everyday use and simply incorporates a panic button feature into each device.
“It helps build familiarity, which makes it more likely for employees to actually use them in a crisis situation,” said Relay Senior Vice President of Marketing Jon Schniepp.
Murray Hanson shares ROAR’s approach to user-friendliness: “Our panic buttons are on lanyards or on keys because if someone is being attacked, they’re not going to be able to cross over to push it at their wrist.”
Engel added that one size does not fit all when it comes to panic buttons; that’s why Location Tech offers a variety of product options. “Hoteliers can let their employees pick and choose what device is appropriate for the job description,” he said.
Consider Technological Advancements
Another critical aspect of panic button devices that safety technology companies continue to perfect is real-time location tracking. Murray Hanson states, “Our panic buttons are on a Bluetooth mesh system, so we have zero ‘dead zones.’ We know exactly where you are when you press that button, even if you run down stairwells or into another room.”
Engel added that his staff constantly runs scenarios and drills on-site at hotels to eliminate dead zones and optimize the panic button signal.
“You have the air, you have the building materials, you have the shape of the hallways—all of these make for a very complex signal flow math problem that we’re solving,” he added.
Moreover, these panic button systems are designed to adapt to each hotel’s unique needs. Engel explains Location Tech’s approach: “We can give an appropriate level solution for a police force and a separate solution for a small 100-room hotel. And not overwhelm them with what they don’t need.”
The evolving panic button technology also addresses language barriers in diverse hotel environments. Schniepp reveals Relay’s upcoming feature: “We’re trialing a really advanced language translation feature, which should allow staff members to communicate as a team across many languages in real-time.”
By choosing the right safety technology, considering user-friendliness, and embracing technological advancements, hoteliers can enhance the safety and security of their properties, and promote a safe and comfortable experience for staff and guests.
“We know being a hotelier isn’t easy,” added Schniepp. “But it’s made a lot easier when you have some technology in your hand that makes you feel safer and makes staff feel prepared.”