Medical Alarm Basics for the Home Alarm System

Most people think of medical alarms as depicted in the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” commercials. Medical alarms are “on” at all times and usually consists of a base control unit that is connected to an electrical outlet and to a telephone line, and wireless activation buttons which might be worn around the neck as a pendant or on the wrist like a wristwatch. Most devices are water resistant, but not waterproof. The device is activate by pushing a button (or sometimes two buttons) There are basically two types of medical monitoring.

  • Two-way voice – When the alarm system is activated by either a stationary button or wireless pendent, the central monitoring operator comes on line over speakers in the house and is able to talk and listen to the person who activated the alarm.
  • Alarm only – When the alarm system is activated by either a stationary button or wireless pendent, the central monitoring operator places a phone call back into the location and either speaks with someone on site or summons aid as predetermined by the customer.

Some burglar alarm systems that have wireless capability can easily accommodate medical pendants without the need of any additional control equipment. Some alarm companies will not monitor medical alarms because of the liability involved. This is usually a result of requirements from their insurance carrier. (Be sure to check with any prospective alarm installation and monitoring company as to the services which they will and will not provide.)


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