Panic button phone app with armed response in South Africa

Two Durban-based private security companies, Enforce Security Services and ICE Plus, have announced the launch of a phone-based panic button service that includes armed response — Genie ICE.

As described by the companies, the service is essentially a geolocation-enabled emergency notification system which acts as an extension of one’s home alarm system.

Genie ICE is not limited to Enforce Security customers, though they do get a discount.

When a panic is triggered, Enforce dispatches the appropriate emergency response to the location of the Genie ICE subscriber who triggered the panic.

The general procedure, as described by Enforce and ICE Plus, is as follows:

  1. When the panic signal goes through to the Enforce control room, all of the client’s details are presented to the operator, so Enforce knows who they are.
  2. The operator is also shown the client’s exact location on Google Maps, so Enforce knows where they are.
  3. Enforce then contacts the subscriber to determine the nature of the emergency. As with a normal panic, should the subscriber not answer, Enforce will send armed response or SAPS to your location anyway.
  4. Between Enforce’s own operational resources, and its database of third party service providers — including the SAPS and other emergency service agencies — they can dispatch a wide range of services to provide emergency assistance.

If the subscriber is within an Enforce area during an emergency situation that warrants armed response, the company will send its own nearest available resources to their location.

Should you be outside an Enforce area, the company said it will contact someone who can respond, such as the South African Police.

Subscribers may also lodge additional instructions with Enforce for what to do in the case of an emergency.

For example, you may instruct them to call your existing security company in the event of an emergency in addition to Enforce dispatching their own resources to your location.

You could also advise them that you will be hiking the weekend, and should an emergency arise it will likely be medical in nature, Enforce said.

Native mobile applications are available for Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, Windows, and Firefox. ICE Plus has also developed an HTML5 application that can be used on any device that does not have a native app.

Should you trigger a panic where there is a poor data connection, Enforce said the app will detect this and instead make a “speed dial” call to their servers.

They will receive a cell tower location if you are on Vodacom or MTN, or simply send out a panic if you are on Cell C or Telkom.

“This may not be as accurate as GPS, but at least Enforce will know you have pushed your panic button and will then contact you and get help underway if required,” the company said.

To download the app and register for Enforce, you can visit, or use the USSD service at *120*25378*3636723#.

The USSD service attracts network fees of 20 cents per 20 seconds.

Prices for Genie ICE are as follows:

  • For Enforce clients — R15 per phone in addition to normal monthly fee.
  • Others — R159.60 per month, for up to 5 phones in the household.

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Panic button phone app with armed response in South Africa