Social housing provider, RCT Homes has selected Guardian24’s state-of-the-art MicroGuard device to protect their lone working and at-risk employees.
RCT Homes, is a registered social landlord to over 11,000 properties in a diverse and highly disadvantaged area of South Wales. From allocating housing and collecting rent to major home refurbishments, RCT Homes’ employees are regularly involved within the community. Much of the work performed by RCT Homes involves employees working alone in tenants’ homes. Without immediate help at hand, Housing staff are exposed to a greater risk of assault, attack or sustaining injury whilst performing their duties.
After consulting with Guardian24, RCT Homes decided to replace their incumbent personal safety alarms with over 250 MicroGuard devices. With the ever growing problem of attacks on Housing Officers, it was essential for RCT Homes that the safety device they were using had two-way audio capabilities, something their previous solution had lacked. The MicroGuard would enable users to raise an alarm simply by pressing the device’s central SOS button. This would connect 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 safe to do so.
The MicroGuard also features a voice memo button, allowing the user to leave a pre-alert message with details such as where they are going and who they are meeting. ARC Controllers can then listen to this information as soon as an alarm is raised.
The flexible design of the MicroGuard enables RCT Homes’ staff to wear the device discreetly in a number of ways – as pendant on a lanyard, attached to a belt holster, 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.
Certified to the highest industry standards, including ‘Secured by Design’ and BS 8484, Guardian24 are able to summon the highest level of Police response to assist the user. The Guardian24 service proved a success 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 within RCT Homes.
Claire Overd, Support Services Team Manager at RCT Homes commented, “We were impressed by the device’s ability to listen in and have two-way communication. It’s necessary for us that all staff can speak with a responder should something like this happen again.”
Will Murray, Guardian24’s Marketing Director added, “Fortunately, on this occasion the employee was not physically 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 industry 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.”