Safety concerns are taking center stage and driving hotels to explore innovative measures to ensure the well-being of employees and patrons. One way this is being achieved is through panic buttons. Panic buttons, sometimes referred to as emergency buttons or distress alarms, are devices designed to summon immediate assistance in the event of an emergency or perceived threat.
The significance of panic buttons lies in their ability to provide a rapid response in critical situations, reducing the likelihood of harm or injury. The primary advantage of workplace panic button solutions is their provision of real-time location data, allowing on-site security personnel to promptly reach the precise location and provide immediate assistance. Location information significantly enhances response times, which is particularly valuable in a multi-story hotel with numerous floors, stairwells, and public restroom areas. With a hotel running 24/7, it gives employees an easy way to call for help while working alone or being placed in situations with a risk of danger.
The presence of panic buttons can act as a deterrent to potential wrongdoers, as they know that immediate help is just a push of a button away. This may help prevent incidents from occurring in the first place. They can be especially valuable for individuals who may not be able to call for help in a traditional way due to physical or communication limitations. They provide an accessible means of seeking assistance.
Mandates and regulations surrounding panic buttons are in effect or pending for hotels in many cities and states. Here is a list of panic buttons that currently have mandate for hotels.
Georgia- Pending- Date of Compliance This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval. On or before January 1, 2023. https://legiscan.com/GA/text/SB389/2021
Illinois-Date of Compliance As a result of COVID-19, the original deadline (July 1, 2020) to install and implement these systems was recently extended to March 1, 2021. https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=082003250HArt%2E+5&ActID=4010&ChapterID=68&SeqStart=100000&SeqEnd=700000
Massachusetts-Pending -Date of Compliance Effect 1 year after its passage. https://malegislature.gov/Bills/191/H1657/House/Bill
New Jersey Date of Compliance The law went into effective December 1, 2019. Employers are expected to comply immediately upon the law’s effective date. https://www.nj.gov/labor/worker-protections/panicbutton.shtml
Pennsylvania - Pending Date of Compliance The act shall take effect in 90 days. https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/billinfo/billinfo.cfm?syear=2023&sind=0&body=H&type=B&bn=967
Washington State- Date of Compliance Hotel and motels with 60 or more rooms must meet the requirements of SB 5258 by January 1, 2020. All other businesses subject to the law must meet the requirements by January 1, 2021. https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=5258&Year=2019&Initiative=false?utm_source=weekly_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=jillian&utm_term=2019.01.24&utm_content=advocacy
Florida Miami Beach-Date of Compliance Effective August 1, 2019. http://docmgmt.miamibeachfl.gov/WebLink/DocView.aspx?dbid=0&id=238615&page=1&cr=1
Illinois Chicago-Date of Compliance To take full force and effect on July 1, 2018. https://codelibrary.amlegal.com/codes/chicago/latest/chicago_il/0-0-0-2453187
Washington Seattle-Date of Compliance Effective on July 1, 2020. https://www.seattle.gov/laborstandards/ordinances/hotel-employee-protections/hotel-employees-safety-protections-ordinance
City List California:
Glendale Date of Compliance -Within 30 days of the Initiative effective date or one month of a new hire, requires hotel employers to train hotel workers on the use, protocols and rights pertaining to personal security devices. Ordinance No. 5991 https://www.glendaleca.gov/government/departments/community-development/hospitality-worker-workplace-protections
Long Beach-Any hotel containing fifty (50) or more guest rooms not later than six (6) months following the effective date of November 31, 2018. All other hotels containing less than fifty (50) guest rooms shall be brought into full compliance no later than twelve (12) months following the effective date of November 31, 2018. http://longbeach.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=3703528&GUID=E39DB74A-B8BD-4011-BD95-1DB6B6F81B86&Options=ID%7cText%7c&Search=hotel
Los Angeles-Date of Compliance the Ordinance is estimated to go in effect on August 12, 2022. https://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2022/22-1100-s3_ord_draft_6-13-22.pdf
Oakland-Date of Compliance Effective July 1, 2020. https://www.oaklandca.gov/documents/measure-z
Sacramento -Date of Compliance The ordinance will be effective on March 29, 2018. However, the county will provide a 60-day grace period for businesses to comply with the ordinance after it goes into effect. https://planning.saccounty.gov/Pages/Hotel-Worker-Protection-Act.aspx#:~:text=On%20February%2027th%2C%202018,from%20sexual%20assault%20and%20harassment
Santa Monica-Date of Compliance Effective on January 1, 2020, except for Section 4.67.050, which shall become in effect. https://www.santamonica.gov/press/2019/08/28/hotel-worker-protection-ordinance-passed-by-santa-monica-city-council
West Hollywood-Date of Compliance Measures to protect hotel workers from violent or threatening conduct shall be operative on January 1, 2022 https://www.weho.org/home/showpublisheddocument/50480/637635874302635797
There may be penalties and fines applied to the mandates for non-compliance. It's important to verify the current legal requirements in your specific state or region, as the legislative landscape changes. Additionally, local ordinances within states or cities may have their own regulations, so it's essential for hotel owners and operators to stay informed and compliant with the laws in their respective area.
Contact Renodis on panic button solutions for hotels to keep your employees and guests safe while being compliant with any mandates.