What is a duress alarm?
A duress alarm (sometimes called a panic alarm) is a covert alarm that can be “sounded” in a way that the bad guy thinks everything is normal, but which alerts the security force or police department that there is a problem and specifically that a person is being forced to do something against their will.
For example, If a cashier is being forced to open the cash register for a robbery, there may be a button she pushes (or fails to push!) that will still open the cash drawer, but will also send an alarm to the loss prevention officer, alarm monitoring company or even the police department.
Other duress alarms can be super sneaky. For example…
There may be a lamp or light that must be on to indicate all is well. Or the alarm might be that the light is NOT lit!
Some duress alarms are designed to work over the telephone or walkie-talkie / radio. For example, if the person on the radio says a certain phrase, the receiver recognizes that as the duress code. The phrase must sound natural in the course of using the radio so the bad guy doesn’t suspect anything.
There are two things that MUST be in place for a duress alarm to work.
1. The person using the duress alarm must know exactly what is going to happen if he / she uses the alarm.
This is because if they don’t know exactly what’s going to happen, they will be afraid to use the alarm because they fear it will alert the bad guy that they “sounded the alarm”.
2. The person of team receiving the duress alarm must have set procedures in place defining exactly what to do. If the person receiving the alarm accidentally does something that “tips” that the alarm has been used, it can have dire (even deadly) consequences.
Let me know if you have any questions!
Larry Kaye, P.I.
P.S. – Don’t miss my special report titled… If You Want To Be a Private Investigator Give Up… Unless You Do These Three Things. You can get it on the home page of my blog.