Why might I need a key holder?

When your alarm is installed, you will be asked for details of a neighbour, friend or relative who has a key to your home and are able to visit you at any time (day or night) to check on you if you activate your alarm unexpectedly. This information is asked at the time of installation, so in the event of an emergency, we can check to see who on your contact list can attend, at what time. If none of the key holders are available, we would contact the emergency services who would be able to gain access into your home to assist you quickly, without breaking any doors or windows.

Ideally you should have a minimum of two key holders who live close by – they must be prepared to be called upon during the night or be available to hand their key to the emergency services if necessary.

If, due to the lack of a safe means of access someone has to break into your home to check on you after your alarm has been activated, Mole Valley District Council will not be liable for any repair costs.

What might happen if I don’t have a key holder close by?

If you are not able to provide information of a key holder who lives nearby, or if you prefer not to have your neighbours disturbed after a certain time of the night, you can place a key in a alternative location, e.g. a plant pot or shed – but we do not recommend this. As a safer, more secure alternative, we recommend fitting a key safe, which stores your key(s) securely. Key safes are useful if carers need to access your property, when you are unable to answer the door.

Should you prefer not to have a key safe and hiding your key is the only option, the location of the key will be noted by us and placed onto the our database. This information will only be given out to the emergency services or your doctor, unless we get a specific request from you to do otherwise.

Why have I been asked to do monthly test calls?

Your alarm will be installed fully working. The condition of the batteries within your unit or pendant will be monitored when you place a test call. The advisor will be able to advise that your battery needs to be checked or replaced.

If your alarm is faulty in any way, we aim to visit you as soon as possible, a maximum of two working days.

However, if the recommended test calls have not been placed, Mole Valley District Council cannot be held responsible if the unit is eventually found to be not working properly.

We strongly advise that you place a test call at least every month, especially if you have a smoke or gas detector fitted which is linked to your alarm.

What happens if I have a power cut?

Your alarm has a battery back-up in the main base unit, which keeps your alarm constantly charged as long as your alarm is plugged in and switched on. This ensures that it will still function in the event of a power cut.

If you have a power cut, the alarm unit will automatically make a call to us after a short period of time. This ensures that the equipment is working. The unit will give an audible warning to let you know if there is a problem.

The battery back up should last a minimum of 24 hours. When the power is restored, your alarm should function as normal.

What if my telephone landline is faulty?

Your alarm will not work:

  • If you have a faulty extension or too many pieces of telecommunication equipment fitted in your home the alarm may not work.
  • If you do not replace the receiver correctly after making a phone call, an alarm call may not connect. To minimise the chance of a call not connecting, we aim to install your alarm in a primary telephone socket in your property. However, this is not always practical or in keeping with the client’s wishes. When installed, the line will be checked, so that it cannot be snatched by the alarm pendant.
  • If you are in any doubt that your alarm is not working, please place a test call. If the call is answered by our monitoring centre, you can be confident that the alarm is working. The alarm unit will give you an audible warning to let you know if there is a problem with your phone line.
  • If you need to report that your phone line is faulty, you can always use your mobile phone or ask a neighbour if you can use their telephone.

What should I do if I forget how the alarm unit works?

Just remember:

  • In an emergency, press your pendant or the big button on the alarm unit. If pressed correctly, the pendant’s red light will illuminate (not all buttons on the alarms are red anymore!)
  • Listen for the call connecting, when the call has connected give the operator the details of the emergency
  • If you cannot hear the operator, just keep repeating the reason for the call. If the operator cannot clearly hear you, they will call you back
  • If you can answer the phone, tell the operator what the nature of the emergency is
  • If you cannot answer the telephone, don’t worry the operator will still organise help for you.
  • If you are confused or concerned about the equipment, please call the team on 0300 123 7718. Staff will be pleased to answer any queries you may have and if necessary arrange for a member of staff to visit.
  • At least once a year, you will receive a visit from a member of the team to check the equipment and your details.

Can I use the pendant in the garden?

Yes you can, but the distance into the garden varies depending if there is anything in the way, such as walls or electrical equipment. During installation, the alarm will be tested in your garden.

If you take a fall in the garden and press the pendant, the monitoring centre will still be aware that you need help and take appropriate action.

What do I do if my details change or I move?

If you are moving house, please let us know before you move whether you will be taking your alarm equipment with you, we will need the date of the move, your new address and telephone number.

If you would like us to remove and re-install the equipment, please let us know in good time, so that we can arrange to meet you at the property as close to your moving date as possible.

If you are moving out of the area please call our admin team on 01372 204500 and they will advise whether we are able to continue to provide the service for you.

What do I do if I lose my pendant?

Please call 01372 204500 immediately or press the button on the alarm, and we will give you a replacement as soon as possible – remember while you are without your pendant, an emergency call can be placed by pressing the large button on your alarm.

There will be a charge of £65 for a replacement pendant. If you find your pendant within one month, this charge will be refunded.

If you find your old pendant within the four week period and want to keep both, test the old one first to ensure it is working correctly. (additional charges apply)

Is the equipment bulky and intrusive?

No, the equipment we use is unobtrusive and doesn’t require any modification to your home. Most of the sensors are wireless, so there are no unsightly wires trailing around the home.

How do I pay for the alarm?

Payment by Direct Debit is £19.93 per month, which works out at £4.95 per week.

If you wish to pay by invoice, the charge is £59.79 per quarter (£4.60 per week).These charges will be assessed on an annual basis; in certain circumstances charges may be subject to VAT.

The cost for the alarm equipment includes installation, maintenance and replacement of faulty equipment, emergency call out fees if an engineer is needed to attend during the evening, night or weekends to replace equipment. Unless you require an additional pendant there are no other hidden costs and our installation team will never accept money from you and we do not require payment on or before the day of installation, all payments are made by Direct Debit, Invoice or for non-alarm equipment e.g. a key safe – a cheque made payable to Mole Valley District Council can be accepted.

If you have any questions, call us on 01372 204500 and we will be happy to answer them.