RCT Homes is using 250 Guardian24 MicroGuard devices to protect their lone working and at-risk employees.
The devices enable users to raise an alarm simply by pressing the device’s central SOS button. This connects them to Guardian24’s alarm receiving centre (ARC) where two-way audio enables a trained controller to either listen in to the situation or speak if it’s safe to do so.
The MicroGuard devices also have a voice-memo button so that users can leave a pre-alert message with details such as where they are going and who they are meeting. ARC controllers can then listen to the message as soon as an alarm is raised.
The Microguard devices are designed to be worn discreetly on a lanyard, attached to a belt or ID card or carried as a keyring. This is a crucial element of the device, allowing it to remain unseen by an aggressor in potentially dangerous situations.
The Guardian24 service proved a success recently when an incident occurred during one employee’s visit to a tenant’s home. The tenant became verbally aggressive towards the member of staff who subsequently pressed the alarm button. Controllers at the ARC were able to listen in to the situation and once it was safe to speak, confirmed the safety of the member of staff and contacted managers at RCT Homes.
Claire Overd, support services team manager, RCT Homes, said, “We were impressed by the device’s ability to listen in and have two-way communication. It’s necessary that all staff can speak with a responder in case something like this happens again.”
Will Murray, marketing director, Guardian24, said, “Fortunately, on this occasion the employee was not harmed, but it’s a sad fact that changes to the benefits system are leading to an increase in violence towards housing staff.
“As Guardian24 is certified to the highest possible standards, every alarm we receive is treated as life-threatening and our controllers will keep the alarm open until they are certain the individual is safe.”