Automated Emergency Notifications and Response

How to Create a One-Button Emergency Response System

scream alert response system concept

When seconds count, a single-button alert system is essential for your organization’s safety. Whether you need to establish a lockdown or let everyone know about a fire, the rapid notification capability is important.

Emergency alert buttons can be placed at various parts of the facility and connected to your IP security system. This means you can provide different responses depending on the location. You can also have unique buttons for specific emergencies. For example, you can respond to a fire or establish a lockdown depending on the button pushed.  Here’s how it works:

The secret behind automated emergency responses is the addition of “if-then” logic in the latest security software systems. This powerful programming feature is now available in video management software, advanced door access control systems and in facility-wide paging systems. The if-then action tables allow you to detect a specific alarm and then react accordingly. 

Video Management Software Logic

Artificial intelligence can be added to your surveillance system. For example, the X-series IP cameras include an analytic capability that can detect IO inputs, motion detected in specific areas, line crossing, gunshots and even screams. They also have input and output connections that allow them to be connected to external buttons and trigger other devices.

If-then logic is built into the Wisenet WAVE video management software (VMS) and the Ocularis 5 VMS. The rules and events engine allows you to define a specific response based on the camera’s alarm.

Video Management Software Motion on Camera
Video Management Software Set Up

For example, the screens from the WAVE software show how you can respond to motion detected, by notifying the security person.

Video Management Software Motion on Camera Notification
Video Management Software Motion on Camera Notification

A variety of sounds such as an alarm clock or siren can be selected to notify the person viewing the video.  

The camera system can also be configured (by selecting the “Speak” option) so that a button connected to an IP camera can cause a recorded message to be played over the paging system.  The message can be broadcast to everyone in the facility.

Emergency Camera System Automated Response
Emergency Camera System Automated Response

Door Access Control System

The professional door access control system includes advanced door control software that allows you to respond to alarms that are detected at the door. A linkage can be established between a door reader and other systems on the network.

The alarms include situations such as access denied, anti-passback, duress alarm, an emergency password used, etc. When one of these conditions occurs video from a camera can be popped up on a security guards monitor.

Door Access System Automated Response
Door Access System Automated Response

The linkage table provides the if-then logic that makes it easy to automate a response to an emergency situation. For example, a button can be attached to one of the door readers. If the button is pushed, all the doors can be locked or unlocked. A signal can also be sent to an IP paging system that includes its own if-then logic capability. Now you can make a campus-wide announcement or an announcement to one building that instructs everyone what to do in the emergency.  

Emergency Audio Paging System

The network attached paging system can also be automated using its own if-then logic tables. You can connect a number of buttons to the system.  Each button can cause a different type of announcement.

IP Paging System Emergency Response Diagram
IP Paging System Emergency Response Diagram

One button can be used to announce a lockdown, while another button can make a fire alarm announcement.  

Since the IP paging systems have many zones, it is possible to have one button trigger an announcement in one part of the campus or facility, while another button triggers a different message in a different building.


Security systems that are connected to the network are getting much smarter. The addition of the logic tables, provide very flexible reactions to all types of situations. We can react to dangerous alarms very quickly. When time is critical, these automated systems are essential for improving our safety.  

If you would like help selecting the right IP security system, please contact us. We can be reached at 1-800-431-1658 in the USA, or at 914-944-3425 everywhere else, or use our contact form.