Monitored vs Non-Monitored
Monitored vs Non-Monitored Alarms – How to Decide What’s Right for You
These are the two main types of personal alarms: monitored alarms and non-monitored alarms.
Each type has its pros and cons, and they both suit different needs.
To help you decide what’s right for you, we’ve created a short guide that looks at each option thoroughly and considers all the important factors that could affect your decisions.
Monitored Alarms – Full Home Coverage and Monitoring
A monitored alarm is an alarm system that connects a personal alarm with an external monitoring centre. This external centre provides 24/7 monitoring, so you can send an alert for help at any time and get a response.
When you activate your personal alarm, it will send an alert to a monitoring staff via your home phone system. The staff at the monitoring centre will then respond according to your agreed response plan. Typically, they will call you first to confirm whether you accidentally activated the alarm. If they don’t get a response from you, they will act according to your pre-agreed instructions. Typical pre-agreed responses include calling emergency services immediately or phoning family or friends to check on you.
In medical emergencies, the monitoring centre can also pass your medical information to the ambulance staff to help them assist better you when they arrive.
|• 24/7 monitoring – Get full monitoring and send an alert for assistance at any time or day.||• More costly – Aside from the installation fee, you’ll also need to pay a monthly fee to maintain the continuous monitoring service|
|• Great for those living alone – Get assistance as soon as possible even if you have no family or friends nearby.||• Less flexible – Monitoring alarms are often leased to the user and must be returned once the regular payments stop. It can also be difficult to switch to a non-monitored system later.|
|• Easy to set up – Most monitored alarms are easy to set up with an existing home phone system and monitoring centres.||• Reluctance to activate alert – Some users may feel reluctant to activate an alert because they’re afraid of ‘bothering’ people, especially those who are not their family or friends.|
Non-Monitored Alarms – The Affordable, Flexible Choice
A non-monitored alarm is essentially an automated telephone system (also called an autodialler) that dials preset numbers when its alarm is activated. It is not connected to any external monitoring centre.
When you activate it, your personal alarm will call all pre-programmed numbers one by one until the call is answered. Some personal alarms provide direct voice communication that let you talk with your contacts while other alarms provide pre-recorded messages.
Because they are not connected to a home phone system, non-monitored alarms are more mobile and can be used outside your home more easily.
|• More affordable – You can get a non-monitored alarm with a one-off payment, and you won’t need to pay any ongoing monthly fees.||• Requires people to answer – These alarms rely on your network of responders to get an appropriate response. If they don’t respond immediately, you might not get the assistance you need as soon as possible.|
|• Contact people you know – You can program your alarm to contact your trusted friends or family, so you can get a response from people you know.||• Requires people to answer – These alarms rely on your network of responders to get an appropriate response. If they don’t respond immediately, you might not get the assistance you need as soon as possible.|
|• Flexible – You can program your alarm to call any number and even integrate it with a full monitored system in the future if you wish.|
Comparing Both Alarms Across Different Factors
To make the right decision, it also helps to compare both alarms across different factors. This will help you understand what’s more suitable for your needs and circumstances.
|Instillation||Equal – Both alarms are relatively easy to install and set up|
|Response Level||Monitored Alarm|
|Coverage Range||Non-monitored Alarm|
|Support Network||Monitored Alarm|
What’s Right for You?
There’s no right personal alarm system for everyone – what’s right for you may be different from someone else.
To choose the right system for you, it’s important to consider your needs and circumstances and determine how well each option matches these.
But the good news is that many of today’s personal alarms come packed with useful features, whether you’re getting monitored or non-monitored alarms.