The 'control box' or 'base unit' is the part of the telecare system which is connected to your phone line, and receives signals from your personal buttons and sensors. Most control boxes have two cables attached, one cable connects to your phone line and another cable needs to be plugged into an electric socket. Any personal buttons, sensors or alerting devices communicate with the base unit via radio signals and thus dont need to be connected with wires. Most base units contain a speaker and microphone to enable you to have a conversation with your monitoring centre . The microphone is quite sensitive so you can be some distance from the base unit and still be heard by the call centre staff. Many base units have an alarm button on the front to trigger the alarm (although you're more likely to use your personal alarm button) and a cancel button to cancel an accidental alarm call.
Consider where you will locate your 'control box' or 'base unit'. They need to be within reach (approximately 2 metres) of both a telephone and mains socket.
One important consideration is to ensure there is no interference between the telecare system and your existing telephone equipment. As a general rule there should not be more than four telephone devices including telephones, modems, faxes and answermachines connected to the same line. Thus when a telecare alarm is installed you should have a maximum of three other telephones, faxes or answer machines on the same line. This is because of the Ringer Equivalence Number.
Some control boxes are available with an extended radio coverage. These are designed for use in houses with older more solid walls, and for properties with very large gardens which extend beyond the normal radio range.
A ruggedised alarm is also available which is designed to be extra tough, for use in environments where the equipment needs greater durability. This telecare alarm does not require attachment to a telephone line as it works through the mobile phone network.
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