Wiggly-Amps (22nd July 2014)
I have been asked to find a cost effective (i.e. cheap) way to provide panic buttons in our two isolation rooms, which will sound an alarm in our main admin office when activated.
I'm contemplating building a system using Arduinos or RaspberryPis, but before I do can anyone suggest a ready made alternative which is inexpensive, quick/easy to install, and reliable.
- Continuous alarm until manually silenced (i.e. Not a wireless doorbell as one of our staff suggested)
- Visual indication of which alarm has been triggered
- Stand alone system, although it can run over the existing network
- Cannot be switched off by pupils
- Alarm can only be silenced at the activated button, and then only using using a key (like a fire alarm)
Sorry to be the person, but this is one of the few things I'd actually advise spending money on to get an outside company to organise. You wouldn't want to be in the firing line if the thing breaks when there is an actual emergency.
Sounds more like a job for the Design Technology department.
Depending how far the rooms are from your admin office, a bit of wire, a power source, a button, a buzzer and/or light and a chip to tell it to complete the output circuit until it's reset.
You can get the Emergency door release switches with the break glass just like the fire alarm, but that would break the circuit instead of closing it.
Don't know if this will meet all your requirements but maybe a starting point
http://www.homebase.co.uk/en/homebaseuk/yale-easy-fit-panic-button-123318?_$ja=cgid:8135305456|tsid:49590|cid:2722525 36|lid:18283950120|nw:g|crid:37402249816|rnd:98509 28811069530861|dvc:c|adp:1o1
If it is a safety thing you need to be careful to do it right. If you were to do it with some arduno gear and perhaps a wireless 800mhz, 2.4GHz or the like signal you would need a response code sent back from the office unit to show it had actually made it there. Safety wise I would be uncomfortable with a single form of communication so would opt for a wired signal path and a wireless one each with keep alive responses so you could see at each end if the device was up and running and either of its comms channels were compromised. I'd also have a watchdog timer and checks on the code so that it would recover from a crash along with a periodic manual check of the alarm output.
I hope they already have security cameras in place if it is that dangerous?
@LincolnK I will be contacting some external companies. At this point I'm simply collating the options to pass on to SMT.
@Boredguy That's pretty much what my self build system would be, except the Arduinos would allow it to utilize the existing infrastructure.
@lazerblazer We've got radios already, this will be an emergency backup which will likely never be used. Except by pupils, as some just can't resist a button, especially not a big red one.
@network41 If I'm reading that correctly it's a panic button for a house alarm system. While it's an amusing idea, I don't think the Business Manager would be pleased if I mounted a siren intended to be used outdoors directly over her desk.
@SYNACK It isn't actually expected to be dangerous, but since it's an isolation space for pupils who have been removed from lessons, and it will only be manned by one member of staff at a time*, it's getting CCTV and a panic button, more as a failsafe than anything else.
* We have staffing problems as we close next summer so staff (and pupils) are jumping ship.
The Little Green Button Computer Panic Button Software, Incident Notification System
It's fantastic and cheap. Physical panic alarm buttons can be added that connect via USB.
^ Was just about to say the same
Outsourced solution recommended.
Ideally it needs to be implemented to be able to function on battery power if required, alert the relevant people and not be de-activated by anyone but the response team on arrival.
Such a solution is 'doable' but beyond the scope of my role, is what id be saying to management (As a techy).
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