The first kind of range is the range of the panic button. The second kind of range is covered in the next article.
How far can you be from the base station and still call for help?
The key question here is, “When I press the button to get help, will the base station pick it up?”
If the base station doesn’t pick it up, the device is basically useless. Your unit won’t dial for help, the ambulance won’t come, and you won’t get the help you need.
And there may be no indication that the alert hasn’t worked.
It’s critical that you get a system with enough range for the uses you will put it to.
Think about how your home is arranged. Where do you spend the most time? Where are you located when you might need to call for help?
Consider, also, the areas that are most dangerous.
For example, an elderly man I know spends most of his time sitting in a comfortable chair watching television. He lives alone. But the phone is ten steps away on the kitchen wall. Ordinarily this is great because he gets a little exercise each time the phone rings. But if he has a sudden life-threatening emergency, like a heart attack, he might not be able to get to the phone.
He’s much more likely to trip and fall during times like these and not be able to get to the phone. (In the front he would be fine; someone would come by to help within a few minutes. But in the back he could be waiting quite a few hours out of sight of people in the alleyway until he could get someone’s attention.)
In this man’s case, he needs a unit that has at least enough range to cover him from the front steps to the back area where he parks and puts his garbage. It’s probably not more than 100 feet in either direction, but you have to allow extra distance past what the manufacturer specifies. Manufacturers always specify the best case scenario. Mostly this is the “open field” operational distance. It gets a lot shorter if you’re having to go through walls or other obstructions.
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