smoke-detectorA medical alert system is a 24-hour emergency monitoring system. It usually includes a wristband or belt clip with a push-button monitor. If you are having symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, or have fallen, you could push a button and a central base station would answer your call for help. Other larger home monitors detect other emergencies, such as an intruder or fire. These monitors, however, are not included in all medical alert system packages. For example, the LifeFone and MobileHelp packages do not come with fire, smoke, or co2 monitors. The following information explains why fire detection is so important, especially for seniors. Also included is information on how fire detection works and about a couple of companies that do provide fire detection in their medical alert system packages.

Importance of Fire Detection, Especially for Seniors

  1. Fire and its smoke are very deadly and very destructive. It kills hundred thousands of people every year in the US alone. When a fire begins in the home, it sweeps through it very quickly. It can demolish a house within minutes.
  2. The medical alert system calls to the fire station account for the majority of responses by the firefighters.
  3. Seniors are most likely to cause a fire. According to the U.S. Fire Administration and National Fire Data Center, the elderly (65 years or older)

    are 2.5 times more likely to die in fires than the overall population.

    This percentage increases as a person’s age increases. The Data Center reports that the highest percentages of the elderly die or are injured from a fire while sleeping, escaping a fire, or attempting to control the fire.

  4. There are certain conditions that many of the elderly have in common. These conditions are the reason the seniors are more likely to cause, and to die in a fire. Seniors usually have some reduced cognition, such as forgetfulness and decrease in judgment. They also have decreased senses, such as visual impairment and hearing loss. They frequently feel cold even when it is 75 degrees in the house. They also move about more slowly. Seniors are more likely to cause fires due to some of these conditions. For example, an elderly turns on a space heater but forgets about it when going to bed, and it starts a fire. These decreased conditions are also the reasons why the seniors die in the fires. For example, a fire has started, and the smoke alarm is alarming but the senior does not hear it. He also may not smell the smoke or feel the heat.

How fire protection works with a medical alert system

Most fire monitors that come with medical alert system packages, monitor for carbon monoxide, fire, and smoke. There are several monitor alarms placed in different areas of the house. In addition, a base station unit connects via phone line or the internet. When an alarm senses fire, smoke, or co2, it sounds an alarm, and it flashes lights. This alarm sets the rest of the monitor to alarm including the base station. The base station then signals the monitoring service station, which then notifies the fire department and police.

Medical Alert systems with Fire Detection

Two of many Medical alert companies that have fire detection are Bay Alarm Medical and Life Alert. Both of these companies have a 24-hour monitoring service facility. They both do medical monitoring (for falls, heart attacks, strokes, etc…) with a pedant or a wristband. They also have fire, smoke, and co2 monitoring alarms that come with a base station. They both have two-way communication services. Both companies charge an installment fee, and ADT requires a long-term contract where Life Alert does not. Neither company provides a lock box. A lock box is used to lock a door key in it, outside of your house, so the firefighters can use it to get into your house, if needed.

In conclusion, there are many reasons, as described above, why it is crucial for seniors to have fire detection services with their medical alert systems. As you digest the information on take note of those companies offering fire detection, it can be a matter of life or death. You will see that those companies providing this extra level of protection tend to score higher in the reviews and ratings. Our guidance is to pay the little extra for the additional services (in some cases they are included) as they provide a lot of peace of mind for a little additional cost.