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Two employees calculating how many panic buttons they need for their hotel.

How to calculate how many panic buttons you need

Wondering how many hotel staff panic buttons to buy to completely outfit all of your employees? It’s definitely not a one size fits all proposition. Unlike calculating how many bottles of wine to purchase for a dinner party, figuring out how many panic buttons you need for your hotel or property can feel a bit daunting. 

Setting up a panic button solution for the hospitality industry should be easy, so why does it feel so complicated?

Panic button requirements for hotels

If you’re still not completely clear about panic button requirements for hotels, it’s because on some level, the laws are still being written. The mandates can also vary based on your state or city, so it’s wise to pay attention to your legal responsibilities. 

Over the past few years hotel unions, state, and local governments across the nation proposed a rollout of legislation for the safety of hospitality staff. The crux of these laws are the new mandates for  panic buttons for hospitality workers. And while the process seems straightforward, this is a brand new process, so there are some bumps in the road.

Ever since the new laws requiring panic buttons for hotel housekeepers went into effect hotel managers wondered if they were making the right decision when choosing new tech including hotel staff panic buttons. Going beyond cost and staff training, a question often asked was How many panic buttons were needed to ensure your property was properly outfitted? More than that, you need to be 100% certain that all your employees have access to an associate alert device when needed. 

At Relay, we’re proud that our devices connect distanced workers and empower them through the use of a panic button and a completely connected cellular network. Contact us to find out how to empower your staff and clientele through connectivity with a device that alerts anyone to potential danger.

Beyond setting a budget and sticking to it, there are reasons you might have to add some wiggle room to your purchasing decisions. We came up with a few ways to calculate just how many associate alert devices you and your staff will need. 

There are some calculations to be made and logistics to be tackled before you can make that first purchase. In addition to counting every single staff member, there are some other things to keep in mind. 

Answering these questions should help you start shopping for wearable emergency buttons for housekeeping and staff.

1. How large is your property?

Before you can even set up your panic button shopping list, you should probably study the logistics of your hotel and grounds. In addition to figuring out the square feet and actual acreage involved, try to map out paths to and from the property guests or staff may use. To give you an idea of things to take into account, the new Resort World in Las Vegas cost a whopping $4.3 billion to build and has three hotels with 3,500 rooms and 40 restaurants and bars on property. Obviously, calculating the number of panic buttons for this space will go up to the hundreds vs. a local legacy hotel.

Next up: Try to figure out if there are staffers in more isolated areas requiring more check-ins or backup devices. You’re off to a great start.

After you map out the entire property, try to highlight what you can refer to as “red zones” or areas where housekeeping or other staffers might not feel comfortable.

2. Are there any areas of the hotel that seem more isolated than others?

While you always want guests and staffers to feel safe, chances are good there are still some spots on your property that feel a bit creepy at times. After you map out the entire property, try to highlight what you can refer to as “red zones” or areas where housekeeping or other staffers might not feel comfortable. If possible, consider adding backup devices that are easily accessible to your staff. Much in the same way you might have a smoke alarm or fire extinguisher, consider setting up panic button stations where staffers can access a panic alert device if they misplaced or forgot theirs.

3. Pay attention to shift changes, holidays and vacations

While we’d like to think that staffers will automatically have their personal panic button on them at all times, the truth is they might forget sometimes. And if you’re thinking of having front-facing staffers swap out panic buttons between shifts, you should reconsider. 

Many of the laws state that every single staffer considered to be vulnerable in some way must have their own associate alert device. That means if your head housekeeper takes a week off, her panic button can’t be used as a backup. When calculating how many panic buttons you need, you will have to take vacations and sick days into account.

4. Keep some extras around

Unlike company vehicles, it can be easy to sometimes misplace your panic button. And while you want staffers to be vigilant about keeping their panic buttons on them at all times, you don’t want to cause them to panic if they misplace it right before a shift. For that reason it’s always a good reason to keep a few brand new devices around. You don’t want to risk sharing your own unused associate alert device or one that may have a significant amount of wear and tear on it.

5. Calculate and err on the side of caution

Now that you know the number of staffers, size of your space, the shadowy spots, the shift changes and holiday breaks, you have a good idea of how many panic buttons you might need.  

By way of a quick calculation, if you have 61 staffers with differing shifts you might start with the idea of needing 61 panic buttons. Depending on the size of your space, potential red zones, vacation times and losses or misplacing panic buttons, you might need about 85-100 panic buttons to comfortably set up your property.

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