Question: Why isn’t a mobile phone an appropriate personal duress and safety device?
A dedicated personal duress and safety device has major advantages compared to a mobile phone:
- Dedicated alert buttons – using a mobile normally involves unlocking it, choosing the correct app and then finding the contact to either call or text as opposed to a dedicated distress button that will trigger an alert instantly.
- Discrete – there is the potential that a staff member in a threatening situation who pulls out a phone to call or text someone might escalate that threat; whereas, a dedicated personal duress and safety device can often be operated blindly and silently by feeling for the dedicated distress button.
- Durability – a shattered screen or other damage caused by a phone being dropped may inhibit its functionality unlike a more robust duress and safety device designed for reliable operation in industrial workplaces or in high-risk and hazardous environments.
- Real-time location – when the alert button is pressed on a dedicated device, a text message is sent to the emergency numbers that contains a link to a downloadable map of the device location or last known position if a satellite signal is unavailable.
- Mobile signal range – a dedicated duress and safety device will alert the user as soon as it loses its mobile signal and any alerts that are triggered in an out-of-range area are stored and sent as soon as the first bar of signal returns.
- Battery life – mobile phone batteries, especially the older ones, can often go flat before the end of the day; whereas, a personal duress and safety device can last for days or weeks depending on the model and how often it is used.