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Pendant Alarms

Before you buy a pendant alarm consider the following points;

Top Tip

Decide if you need a pendant alarm with or without a call centre.

Most alarms consist of a button (usually red) on a cord worn around the neck or on a strap around the wrist. When the button is pressed it triggers an alarm via an enabled unit to a call centre that is manned 24hrs a day - this then activates a call to your contacts.

You can replace your existing telephone and get a new telephone with alarm system fitted - alternatively you can choose an alarm only unit and plug your existing telephone into it. It is safest to wear your alarm whenever you are up - take it with you when you get up in the night or use the bath - most are waterproof but check with your provider.

A power point socket about 2 meters from your telephone socket is needed.

Whether your alarm goes to a call centre or friends and family they may need access to keys - use a keysafe and don't bolt the door - double lock instead.

consider extra triggers fitted around the house these may include pull cords, or sensors that raise an alarm if something appears amiss.

Alarm systems with a call centre

Top Tip

Check the range between the pendant and receiver box.

You may feel reassured that there will always be staff on hand to answer your alert - normally you would expect to pay a monthly fee. Check that you get a low battery warning - either via call centre or audible alert. Does it warn you of electricity power loss and have sufficient battery back-up?

Try the alarm out from time to time. If you set it off by mistake and don't have time to cancel it don't worry as the call centre will only ring you to check you are ok.

Alarm systems without a call centre

There is no monthly fee for a system without a call centre.

You will need to purchase a specific pendant alarm telephone which can be programmed with the numbers of the people you wish the unit to alert when you press your alarm button and a recorded message is sent to them to let them know you need help. If the first number is busy (or goes to voice mail) the unit will dial the next pre-programmed number unit a call is answered.

Mobile telephones

Top Tip

Check the community alarm is part of Telecare Services Association(TSA).

Mobile telephones sometimes have an SOS button. This is a standard Pay As You Go mobile phone with a special button pre-programmed with the number of someone you wish the SOS alert call to go to. These can be bulky to carry around at all times - but have the advantage of working away from the home.

There are a range of options available to people who may not always think to press an alarm in the event of an emergency.

If you are a disabled person you may be able to claim VAT relief,

Buying versus renting

It's worth considering whether you would prefer to buy or rent a system. It's worth comparing prices from different providers.


General support information


Disabled Living Foundation:


Demonstration videos

Section coming soon