Pendant alarms can be a lifeline anytime, but during disruptive weather conditions they’re even more important. That’s why it’s beneficial to know some functions of your monitored alarm, ideally before the bad weather hits. With that in mind, here’s some advice we’ve put together for monitored pendant alarm users during a storm.
Hazards during adverse weather can include slippy surfaces, freezing temperatures & electricity cuts. The potential repercussions of these can be made less severe, by wearing a pendant alarm.
#1 Test your pendant alarm button (ideally before the storm)
If you have a telecare system or monitored alarm at home, you should carry out regular test calls to your telecare provider, usually around once a month. But if you think bad weather is on the way, you might want to do an extra test call, to ensure your alarm button is functioning correctly. Explain to the the call-handler that you’re just checking that your alarm is working, before or during the storm.
#2 Know your monitored alarm’s back-up battery duration
If there’s a power cut, you’ll need to know if your pendant alarm button will still work. Thankfully, in most cases you should still be able to place an emergency call, even during an electricity failure. That’s because there’s a built in back-up battery in the base-unit of most telecare alarms. So providing your home phone-line is still working, or if you have a GSM alarm with built in back-up battery, then you should be able to use your alarm button to call for help. However, if you have an IP/broadband telecare alarm system, this may not always be the case. Therefore, it’s best to always check with your telecare provider, regardless of the type of telecare system you have in place.
You can ask your monitoring station to verify the back-up battery duration of your pendant alarm during a test call, or by phoning them. That way, if there is a power cut, you’ll know if your alarm button should still work & if so, approximately for how long
The duration of your pendant alarm backup battery will be based mainly on the age and type of your telecare system. For instance, one of the telecare alarms supplied by our Sponsor, TASK Community Care, the TeleAlarm Carephone 74 has a minimum back-up battery duration of 48 hours with one 30 minute call (…that’s the battery duration at date of purchase and following the battery having been fully charged). If your call to the monitoring centre is longer than 30 minutes, that would consume more battery.
#3 If the lights go out & you’re in potential danger, don’t hesitate to press your alarm button
One of the most dangerous aspects of a storm can be the resulting electricity black-outs. Particularly if you are left in darkness suddenly, in or around your home. If your power has gone out and you are worried, or in a potentially dangerous situation, just press your emergency button and explain to the telecare operator what has happened. They can stay on the line to reassure you, until they know you are safe. The trained telecare call-handlers can also alert your nominated keyholders.
#4 Always wear your pendant alarm when you’re outdoors, around your home
If you need to go outside during bad weather, even if its just a few steps from the door, you should always wear your alarm button, to call for help if you need it. Even the most basic alarm button alarm should work for a minimum of 50 meters from the base-unit (that’s line of sight distance, i.e. with nothing in-between). However newer, quality pendant alarms can have line of sight range of up to 300 meters. For instance, the Bosch Tx transmitter supplied by our Sponsor, TASK Community Care has a maximum range in free field of 300 meters.
#5 At night, make sure your alarm button is always worn, or within reach (& take it with you…)
If you don’t wear your pendant alarm button at night, make sure it’s kept beside you, within reach at all times. If you get out of bed for any reason, such as to go to the bathroom or kitchen, always take the pendant button with you. Many falls happen at night, often on staircases and in the kitchen or bathroom (…remember these areas are more likely to have slippery floors).
Updated: October 2019