Most people associate alarm systems with noise and panic. After all, security companies often advertise a blaring siren response upon alarm activation. Both burglar and fire emergencies usually warrant this type of reaction. However, in some cases, silent alarm options create a more effective response than a panic-inducing one. Today, we will examine some of these situations, as well as how we help prepare our customers for them.

We will begin by looking at how our alarm panel itself prepares customers for a worst-case scenario. From there, we will look at panic buttons that create a central station response without a siren activation. These buttons can be installed in place or be mobile, and we will look at both options. From there, we will examine how your smartphone can create a discreet alarm response if necessary. This recent offering has quickly become one of our most popular silent alarm options. Now, let’s dive in with a look at how your alarm system likely has a built-in feature allowing for a silent emergency response.

Have a Duress Code Programmed into Your Alarm

In our post on Avoiding Common Security Mistakes, we pointed out that burglars prefer victimizing empty houses. In fact, in that post we shared that nearly 3 out of 4 burglaries occur in empty homes. Of course, burglars wish to avoid getting caught, so this statistic should come as no surprise. However, this does not make the fear of a break-in while you are home less potent. A home invasion that puts criminals and residents in a home together represents a worse-case security scenario. Sometimes, these situations turn violent. We urge homeowners to stay as non-confrontational as possible under these circumstances.

However, what about cases where the alarm’s siren is screaming during this exact situation? Surely the burglar will tell the homeowner to disarm the security system. If completed, of course, this action will also cancel any police response created by the alarm. With this prospect in mind, we often program a “duress code” into our customers’ alarm panels. This code turns the alarm’s siren off. At the same time, it sends a silent signal to our central station. Rather than cancelling a police response, a duress code often speeds it up. Our central station calls the local police and alerts them to a potential home invasion. We urge alarm customers to ensure they are given this security when installing an alarm. Now, let’s look at how panic buttons provide a couple unique silent alarm options for our customers.

A panic device's activation button.

Panic buttons such as this model made by United Security Products can call for help through your alarm system silently without setting off your siren.

Take Advantage of Silent Panic Buttons

Panic buttons add security by allowing a quick alarm response even if the security system is disarmed. Activating a panic button sends an immediate central station response and, in many cases, creates a siren response as well. However, we also offer panic buttons that create a central station response with no siren response at all! In this section, we look at a couple silent panic options for your alarm system. Let’s start by focusing on panic buttons that we install in the most likely places that you will need them.

Permanently Installed Panic Buttons

Both business owners and homeowners often install panic buttons in high-importance areas. For example, store owners may install panic buttons underneath counters. In a hold-up situation, this creates the ideal alarm response. After all, activating a siren with a potentially-armed robber in front of the register is not an ideal response. Therefore, silent panic buttons are a security staple in the retail world. Furthermore, our central station gives both an address and a location description to the authorities upon an alarm activation. This means that the police will arrive knowing of a potential hold-up at a retail or commercial location.

An Interlogix wireless panic wristband

Portable medical panic buttons, such as this one by Interlogix, allow users to call for medical help without activating their alarm’s siren.

In homes, our customers often install these devices in their bedrooms. We urge our customers to arm their security systems after everyone arrives home for the day. Doing so can scare a burglar away if someone does attempt a break-in overnight. However, customers who do not follow this advice may awake to the sound of an intruder in the home. At this point, sounding the alarm’s siren can create a more dangerous situation. A silent panic response will send the police, without creating a siren response or a phone call from the central station. Now that we’ve looked at a couple silent alarm options that stay in place, let’s look at a couple options that remain mobile as customers move about their property.

Panic Devices that Travel with You

Obviously, stationary panic devices installed in areas of specific importance will ensure that people around these areas always have help at their fingertips. However, some people like having the security of a mobile panic button available at all times. For example, elderly homeowners often purchase medical pendants or wristbands that call for an ambulance if needed. Activating these devices generally causes the alarm keypad to “beep” softly to alert anyone in the home that the device has been activated, but medical panic buttons will not activate an alarm’s siren.

Furthermore, we offer key fobs that many alarm customers use to arm and disarm their security systems. These remotes provide the most convenient option for controlling alarm systems in both homes and businesses. Additionally, these remotes allow users to activate a panic response by simultaneously holding down both the “arm” and “disarm” keys for a few seconds. Doing so sends an immediate panic signal to the alarm panel, just like the stationary panic devices we described in the previous section. Depending on our customers’ preference, we can program this panic signal to create an audible or silent alarm response. This makes a key fob remote a great mobile silent alarm option for customers looking for this security. Now, let’s look at a unique service that allows customers to use their phones to discreetly activate a security system!

An app displaying panic signal options. users can activate a number of both audible and silent panic button options from their cell phones.

Use Your Smartphone to Create a Silent Panic Response

Up to this point, the silent alarm options described in this post require users to be onsite. However, we do offer a unique option that puts both audible and silent panic responses at users’ fingertips at all times. We can offer alarm customers this option when they take advantage of our interactive cellular monitoring service. Cellular monitoring involves installing a cellular dialer in an alarm panel to communicate with our central station. Cell dialers can monitor alarms in the absence of an onsite phone line. Some customers with phone lines still install cell dialers as a backup in case their phone lines go down. Since burglars often cut a home’s phone lines before committing a crime, we always recommend taking this precaution.

Additionally, our cellular dialer by also allows customers to control their alarm systems remotely. This is where the “interactive” part of interactive cell monitoring comes in. When customers have this service, they have control over their alarm at all times through the free app. This allows them to arm and disarm their security system with their smartphones at any time. The app also offers the panic button options pictured here. Perhaps you arrive home after a quick trip out one day and don’t like what you see upon arriving home. Now, you can take out your phone and activate a silent alarm to alert the central station and create a police dispatch. The level of security and convenience provided by this service makes it our most popular monitoring option to date!

Creating Silent Alarm Options that Fit Your Security Needs

We hope that this post has shown you how taking advantage of silent alarm options can add security to your own home or business. If you have any questions about the material in this post, we encourage you to contact us. We will be happy to answer any security-related inquiries you may have. Furthermore, we provide free site surveys for both residential and commercial locations. While on site, we can address any security concerns you may have. Additionally, we can make suggestions of our own based on what we see. Together, we can create a security plan that uses both audible and silent security measures to provide you with as much security as possible.