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An elderly personal alarm with automatic fall detection can detect a fall and call for help without you needing to push the button. This is vital is you are unconscious or immobile following a sudden illness or a fall. The call will automatically go through to either your nominated contacts or a SureSafe operator, depending on which service you have chosen. You will be able to get the help you need fast, even if you are unable to press the button.

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Testing Your Personal Alarm: What, Why & How

Article by Daniel Westhead Daniel Westhead Sure Safe Alarms
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Personal alarms are a powerful bit of kit for keeping older people safe. And, like many tools, they need to be checked over occasionally to make sure they’re still working as intended.

Fortunately, it’s not difficult at all to test your personal alarm to confirm it’s still in tip-top shape. In this post, we’ll discuss what it means to test alarms, how to do it and why it’s so important.

What is testing a personal alarm?

First, let’s talk about personal alarms for a moment. When we talk about testing a personal alarm, we’re referring to testing any kind of wearable alarm that allows you to press a single button to call for help in an emergency. The alarm might be in the form of a talking pendant or a wrist alarm that resembles a smart watch. Either way, the core idea of testing the alarm is the same.

Put simply, you need to make sure the alarm is calling for help correctly when you press the button. Since these alarms are meant to be activated only in an emergency, not testing the alarm could mean that you find out there’s a glitch with the alarm at the worst possible moment – during a crisis.

This type of alarm needs to be tested:

  • When you first receive it
  • Once a month

How to test an alarm

So, how can you test your alarm?

If you have a SureSafe personal alarm, you can take a look at our User Guides page to see individualised instructions for your alarm.

However, as long as you know how to operate your alarm, you know how to test your alarm. That’s because testing your alarm simply means pressing the button to make sure your call for help is reaching who it’s meant to reach. This test also helps to make sure that you know how to use the alarm, and it lets you know what to expect if you do end up using the alarm in a real crisis.

If you have an alarm that works with a base unit inside your home, then you’ll need to test the alarm in every room of your home to make sure there are no spots where the connection doesn’t reach.

Some alarms call your family and friends when you press their button, while others call a 24/7 expert response centre. The test procedure will be slightly different depending on which option you chose when you purchased your alarm.

If you have a family and friends alarm, you should alert your designated contacts ahead of time that you’re doing a test call. That way, when they get the call, they can save the number in their phones as “Nana’s personal alarm” or something similar.

If you have a 24/7 monitored alarm, you’ll find yourself speaking to the response centre. In this case, you don’t need to alert anyone ahead of time. However, if you have an alarm that allows the response centre to see your GPS location, you should make sure this function works too. The response operative on the phone with you will be able to tell you what to do.

Why it’s important to test alarms

So, why is testing your alarm so crucial?

Firstly, testing your personal alarm as soon as you set it up ensures that everything is up and running properly. Similarly, testing your alarm monthly makes sure that it’s still working as it’s supposed to.

But this isn’t the only reason. Another reason to test your alarm is that during an emergency it’s very difficult to think clearly. Sometimes seconds count, so you don’t want to waste precious moments looking at your alarm and wondering whether you’re activating it correctly.

When you’ve tested your alarm, you know how to use it and what will happen once you’ve pressed the button. There’s no moment of uncertainty adding to the tension of a crisis.

Protection for elderly people and peace of mind for carers

Personal alarms for the elderly are great assets for any older person. If you live independently, they ensure that you’ll never really be alone in a crisis. You’ll have the confidence to go about your daily tasks without worrying.

And if you’re an elderly person who has carers, personal alarms can offer peace of mind in those moments when a carer is out doing the shopping or is in a different part of your home.

Once you’ve invested in a great personal alarm, testing is the step that helps make sure you get all the benefits of it. Fortunately, it’s just as quick and easy to test the alarm as it is to call for help in a real crisis – all you have to do is press that button.

If you’re wondering which type of alarm we’ve discussed is right for you, feel free to reach out to us at SureSafe for a chat. We can talk with you about the difference between a family monitored alarm and one that calls a response centre. We can also advise you as to whether a pendant or wrist alarm might suit you better. And if you’re wondering about extra functionalities like GPS tracking, we can explain those too.

How can you get in touch with us? Just give us a call on 0800 112 3201, use our live chat or request a call back. We’ll be happy to chat with you about which of our affordable, easy to use alarms would suit you best.

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