In Case of Emergency: The Rise of Hotel Panic Buttons

Hotel guestroom door lock, security — employee safety, secure technologies

Housekeeping is one of the most dangerous jobs in a hotel. A threatening guest, mistakenly mixed chemicals, and dangerous items left in guestrooms are all job hazards. Moreover, housekeepers are usually alone without quick access to assistance from other hotel staff and security. Having an emergency button to use in crisis situations can assist in threatening situations, keep employees safe, and prevent the worst.

Adria Levtchenko, CEO and co-founder of service optimization and data analytics platform PurpleCloud Technologies, found out about the importance of implementing an emergency button when she worked as a housekeeping manager. Housekeepers would accidentally mix hazardous chemicals or even find guests’ used needles. Adding the PurpleCloud Panic Button to the company’s platform was a no-brainer to her. She says, “We wanted to make sure we had a panic button that could give more information than just specifically calling for help. We want our staff to come with the right tools, like have an EpiPen or masks, so they’re not injuring themselves walking into a toxic environment.”

The PurpleCloud Panic Button is more than physical hardware; because it’s paired with the PurpleCloud software, housekeeper and room data allows the hotel to send the correct type of assistance. Levtchenko says, “We know who pressed it, if they have allergies, where they last were throughout the day. We can see their path and which rooms they had access to with their master key. If they feel unsafe in a hallway, they’re probably going to go into a room and hide. They might be difficult to find. We’re pairing that hardware and software together to get an intelligent picture of where people are.”


Emergency technology can evolve to voice activation by potentially having a code word that can be used in hotels with smart speakers—like an Amazon Alexa or Google Home—so any staff member can let the front desk know if someone is in danger. As hotels continue to adopt changing technology, more advanced analytics and tracking can be added to the software.

And although the PurpleCloud Panic Button is primarily for housekeepers, any staff member that feels they are in danger can use this technology. Levtchenko adds, “It’s all about speed. Knowing as much information as possible in advance is critical to getting any emergency situations taken care of quickly.”



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  1. Panic-buttons have been making headlines in recent years for a good reason – research reveals that sexual harassment of hotel workers is shockingly common-place. In a 2016 survey of 500 housekeepers in Chicago, 49 percent said guests had flashed them. According to Stand with Women Against Abuse, a coalition of community and labor groups, about eight in 10 hotel workers have encountered some form of verbal aggression or harassment at work.

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