Panic Buttons

Organizations leverage InformaCast® for push button alerting in lobby/reception areas, classrooms and other areas that may need to alert the right people of an intruder or disgruntled employee.

Trigger InformaCast from: 

  • Soft Keys on IP Phones
  • SIP Call Buttons
  • Keyboard Function Keys
  • Low-Voltage Relay Buttons

Additional Resource




Emergency Notification and IoT

As reported by, there are currently 6.4 billion connected things in use worldwide. That number is up 30 percent from 2015 and is expected to grow to 20.8 billion by 2020. 

What does this mean for emergency notification? 

Organizations are going to connecting more devices to help spread emergency messages and keep people safe. Devices like panic buttons and IP phones will be trigger emergency notifications with a single push. InformaCast can tie into a number of devices for push-button alerting and offers easy set up so organizations can leverage every communication channel available during an emergency.

See Emergency Notifications Become an Integral Part of IoT blog post for more.


Leveraging Cisco IP Phones

If your organization is using CUCM 11.5.3 or higher, you have access to key safety features for your IP phones from Cisco and Singlewire Software. With InformaCast emergency notification software and Cisco IP phones, users can set up panic buttons right on their desk phones. The panic button can be configured to send text and prerecorded audio to specific security personnel or throughout an organization, with the simple push of a button.

CUCM 11.5.3 makes it quick and easy to set up these safety features on Cisco IP phones because the panic button configuration is included in the CCM Admin interface. That means you don’t need to worry about logging into another system to set up the safety features you need. Using a wizard-like setup process, in a few minutes, you can have panic buttons configured on phones throughout your organization. This empowers everyone in your organization to help spread the word when an emergency occurs.

See Cisco Now Offers Quick Set Up for Two Key InformaCast Safety Features blog post for more.


Message Templates

Once panic buttons are set up, you’ll want to have them loaded with a message that communicates that assistance is needed. It’s important to designate who receives that message to an appropriate response can take place. While certain notifications may need to broadcast to an entire organization, others may only need to reach a select group of people. For example, a panic button placed at a front desk can be used to silently signal that help is needed to security personnel. Here is a sample message organizations may send when a panic button is pushed.

Subject: Panic Button Triggered!

Body: A panic button has been triggered at <INSERT LOCATION>. Please send assistance.

See 7 Emergency Notification Message Templates Every Organization Needs to Have blog post for more.


Use Case: Panic Buttons in K12 Schools

An incident can occur in any part of a K12 school. It’s important to have tools in place that teachers can easily access to send emergency alerts. Schools using Cisco phones can utilize InformaCast to configure panic buttons that can be displayed as speed dials.

When the panic button is pressed on the Cisco phone, whoever is set up to receive the notification (administrator, receptionist, school resource officer, etc.) will see which classroom is requesting assistance. Cisco and InformaCast can then push the feed from the closest video camera so they can review footage in real-time. InformaCast is also able to send alerts to phones, speakers, computer desktops and Jabber devices to reach security personnel quickly, wherever they are.



The message can be customized to include information relevant to the situation. In addition to the room number, the notification can include a pre-built message that includes more specific details, as well as a call back number. Recipients have the option to listen in silently to gain more insight into what is happening in the room or reach out to teachers in nearby classrooms to check on the situation.

See Create Panic Buttons to Send Emergency Notifications in Schools blog post for more.


Finding the Right Panic Button

Some organizations may not want panic buttons on their Cisco IP phones, and instead, prefer to use a PoE panic button to help minimize the risk of the button being accidentally pressed.  SIP-enabled panic buttons and/or intercom endpoints can be set up to trigger and/or receive InformaCast broadcasts. These devices can be mounted under a desk or in a discreet location. If an event takes place, the user depresses the button. The call button automatically makes a call to a preset extension number. InformaCast can be configured to monitor that extension using CallAware and trigger a broadcast. If your organization would prefer to use these devices for panic buttons, Singlewire partners with several vendors that integrate with InformaCast.

Browse Singlewire Ecosystem Partners for Panic Buttons 


Push Button Alerting and More

Soft keys on Cisco IP phones and physical panic buttons can be used for more than just emergencies. InformaCast offers flexible customization methods, so push button alerts can be used for everything from emergencies, to letting people know donuts are available in the breakroom. Every organization should assess its needs before implementing panic buttons. Consider common scenarios where panic buttons would be used and craft concise messages that will be sent when the button is pressed. This helps avoid confusion and creates standard messaging that can be used across an organization.   

See How to Trigger Alerts in a Variety of Ways for more.


User Example: Aspirus Healthcare

One InformaCast user is using push button alerting to change the way they deliver patient care. Aspirus Healthcare in Wisconsin leverages Cisco IP phones in their operating rooms, and have integrated InformaCast to send simple pages when rooms need to be cleaned, or when supplies are ready to be picked up. InformaCast allowed Aspirus to set up a uniform paging system, so regardless of what operating room was being used, the paging codes on the phones are all the same. 

See Aspirus Simplifies Operating Room Paging With InformaCast Notification System Case Study for more.