Guidelines for BJC saftey and security team usage of communications equipment on Shabbat and Yom tov
1. The equipment may be used freely when necessary for communicating security issues ONLY.
2. Regarding Hilchot Shabbat and Yom tov, there are two categories of usage – each with its own law:
Non emergency usage: When routine procedures are being followed (e.g. turning the devices on or testing them) a shinui should be employed whenever possible. A shinui refers to performing an action that is normally considered a violation of Shabbat or Yom tov in an unusual manner, for example by using the back of one’s fingers or to use a knuckle to depress a button rather than one’s fingertip.
[Please note that our policy relates to the use of a shinui in these circumstances as a chmumra, a stringency that is beyond the letter of the law that preserves the sanctity of Shabbat. Therefore, when in doubt, do NOT use a shinui.]
Emergency usage: In the context of the security or safety situations that the BJC security team would treat as an emergency, the devices should be used normally. Please do NOT use a shinui in these circumstances. Use of a shinui in these situations is a misunderstanding of halacha and could result in tragedy.