website Choosing the Right Personal Fall Alarm – The Wiring behind the Wording

Choosing the Right Personal Fall Alarm – The Wiring behind the Wording


So, you’re looking for a Pendant Alarm System as you have a Family member or Friend who you believe would benefit from having such a device?

My first question is Why do they need it?

  • Are they isolated and living alone, located more than 30 mins from where Friends or Family could reach them?
  • Are they Vulnerable, Frail or Unsteady on their feet and prone to Falls?
  • Are they relatively physically active and regularly away form the home & garden area?

The reasons for someone’s Need for such a Device are many and as far as Helpline is concerned, that Need is clearly client specific. Namely, anyone might benefit from such a Device! So long as it is the Right Device for their Needs! 

So, what Type of Device do they need?

Your Family Member or Friend will clearly benefit from such a Device that best meets their needs. Namely, it will need to be tailored to their requirements! Moreover, it will need to be reliable and work when required? So, which type should you choose?

I can guess that by now you have scoured the internet seeking an Alarm System that meets your perceived requirements for your Family member or Friend. Doubtless you will have seen that there is a myriad of devices available, the endless choices can become quite confusing, especially for such an important decision.

At Helpline Ltd we can assist you in determining the most appropriate Device for your needs! Because we understand the market and can draw from our own experience of providing a service when delivering these Type of Devices, derived from a Customer Base of Thousands, for well over a decade!

We know what will work for you and more importantly, we know what does not! 

Most of our customers have the need of an Installed Base Unit in their home together with a Remote Button they either wear around the neck or on their wrist. Should the Client need help then all they need to do is, Press the Remote Button (also known as the red button or the lifeline button). This will signal the Installed Base Unit which automatically calls the programmed Emergency Response Centre, who will then attempt to audio call the Client via the Speaker in the Base Unit. Once contact is established help is initiated. If contact cannot be established then the Listed Key Holders will be contacted and ultimately, if necessary, an Ambulance will be dispatched. Thus, Help will be delivered! Peace of Mind for your Family will be assured!

So, how will Alarm Devices be installed?The Base Unit is placed as centrally as possible within the property to maximise the signal coverage of the Remote Button. However, the range of the Remote Button in this type of installation is particularly good and will be more than adequate for the Home and Garden Area of most properties.

This type of Base Unit Installation is generally series connected with your Normal Landline Telephone, therefore, it will require an Active Telephone Point, which is sufficiently near to an Electrical Mains Plug Socket. Property variations are common of course, and it might require extensions as part of the installation? The duration of the Installation is often predicated by the property locations of the Telephone Point in relation to the Power Point.

Based on our experience, we now supply less than half a dozen different types of this device, due mainly to the fact that, we rate them high on Reliability!  Beware, there are other providers / suppliers that will make grand claims about their product that we know by experience do not always come up to Standard! Hence our preferred Range of Products is quite narrow, and for good reason. With equipment this vital it's important to have the best in place. Based on the many years of experience we have, we place great trust in Device manufacturers such as Tunstall and TeleAlarm. The Tunstall Vi Unit is our predominant Device together with the TeleAlarm TA74 Unit which possesses the Best Audio Quality in its Class.


Tunstall Vi Base Unit and Remote Buttons
Tunstall Vi Base Unit

TeleAlarm TA74 Base Unit
TeleAlarm TA74 Base Unit


The above type of installation is all well and good of course if you have an Active Telephone Landline. But what if you do not?

To date options in this case have been somewhat limited, however with the proliferation of Broadband and the Internet, changes are at hand in the way we all communicate. So much so, that as I write, the Major Service Providers in the UK (i.e. BT) are currently in the process of converting the Analogue UK Network to a Fully Digital Network. This is scheduled to be completed by 2025. Make no mistake though, it is already happening!! This will have a major impact on the Alarm System Industry as currently most of these devices are all connected via an old Analogue Copper Wire Telephone System. Once the Digital Changeover is complete, this will necessitate that Installed Base Units will have to be compatible with the New Network!

Being aware of the “changeover,” Helpline started to Trial New Digital Units last year and to date our current preferred Unit is the TeleAlarm TA74 which we have successfully installed with Clients both in an Analogue and Digital protocol. This will allow us to remotely reprogram the Installed Unit via Cloud Services once the Changeover is complete and thus our Clients equipment will be “Future Proofed” and most importantly their ongoing protection will be seamless. Moreover, this Device provides for connection to a Client Broadband Provider via LAN Cable to their Modem, removing the need for an Active Telephone Landline!

Note: Be aware not all Modems have a vacant LAN Cable Connection, does yours?

So far then, if your Family Member or Friend is generally located at home or in the garden area and has a need of one of these type of Installed Base Unit / Remote Buttons and the property has an Active Telephone Landline and/or Broadband Modem Connection then this might the appropriate type of Personal Alarm System for you.

But what if they are frail and subject to Falls, or what if they cannot press personal alarm button?

There is a Device called a Falls Detector, it is small, like the Remote Button and can be worn the same way. Once programmed to the Base Unit, the Falls Detector can sense sudden height and acceleration changes, the same that occurin a Fall and if the Client is unable to Press the Button, it will automatically signal the Base Unit which will call the Response Centre who will then initiate help.

But Beware: There is not a Falls Detector yet available that can sense 100% of Every type of Fall!  (i.e. If the Client Slumps against a wall and slides to the floor! Or, Rolls out of a Chair to the floor etc!) They are designed with software algorithms that sense sudden and detectable changes in Height & Acceleration. So, the majority of Falls will be detected, but not All. Nevertheless, would you rather your Family Member or Friend had Some protection or None?   


Tunstall iVi Falls Detector
Tunstall iVi Falls Detector


Finally, what if your Family member or Friend is relatively physically active?

Many of our Clients still enjoy being physically active, I myself used to take long walks alone, along the Cliff Paths and up on the Moorland. Right up until it was pointed out to me that, what if I had a Fall, who would know where I was? I replied that, I had my Mobile Phone with me! But my Mobile didn’t always get a Signal and if it did, what happens if I was unable to dial out?

What I needed was a GPS Device that would automatically connect via a Roaming Sim, to up to 4 different Mobile Networks, (Standard Mobile Sim only connects to One Network if it can?!)  The Device would also need a built - in Falls Detector! Maybe have two – way communication as well. Perhaps that seems too much to ask? Well, at Helpline Ltd, we have such a Device and it is currently in use throughout the UK and we are carrying out Trials with others. In the same Helpline manner, we will establish what device is best suited to our Client’s requirements and which of those “actually” do what their manufacturer’s claim they do!

Helpline GPS on a Lanyard
Helpline GPS Unit in its Docking Station 


So many of us, if not all, have become accustomed to using Smart Phones which rely heavily on Network Providers supplying a reliable signal to be effective? Yet we’ve still experienced times when that signal has dropped out and we could not connect? That must be kept in mind if you select a GPS Device for your needs, remember there are no 100% guarantees with any personal alarm device. However, what you will achieve in having one is, the Enhancement of Protection, that will mitigate the chances of them being left all alone in the event of accident. And that will also ensure, Peace of Mind for the rest of your Family & Friends.

If you want real experience and expert advice on what would be the right choice for you or a loved one, please call us, we're always happy to help make sure you've got the right options in mind. We're always here to Helpline.