Personal Emergency Response System FAQ
As you navigate our Frequently Asked Questions page, you may also find the following Tech Tip videos helpful:
My PERS unit has been “calling for help” for more than 5 minutes and is not connecting to the Response Center. What should I do?
FOR LANDLINE UNITS ONLY:
1. Often, the color of the status light on the PERS unit will tell you what is going wrong and how to fix it. Check the status light next to the large "Help" button on your PERS unit. It should be a constant green light, meaning the unit is connected properly.
- Steady red light: The unit has been activated by an alarm signal and is trying to call the Response Center. Didn't mean to call? Press the black "reset" button on the back of the unit.
- Green flashing light: The power from the power outlet is not available and the unit is running on the backup battery. Please plug the unit into a working power outlet.
- Red flashing light: The unit is not connected to an operating telephone line. Please ensure your phone line is working by checking for a dial tone or contacting your phone provider.
- Orange flashing light: The unit is using the backup battery AND it is not connected to an operating telephone line. Please plug the unit into a working power outlet and a working phone jack.
- Steady green light: The unit is properly connected to a working phone line and to power, and is not currently trying to contact the Response Center. This is the color you want!
2. Next, check that your setup of the PERS unit matches the image above, and that all connections are secure:
- The power cord is plugged into the electrical outlet in the wall.
- The telephone cord that we shipped with the PERS (MXD) unit is plugged into the jack labeled "wall" on the PERS unit, and that cord runs to the phone jack in the wall of your house. The PERS unit will not work with any other type of phone cord other than the one we provided.
- If you are using a landline telephone, that phone cord (supplied by you) runs from the jack labeled "phone" on the PERS unit to the telephone. This allows you to continue using your landline phone, except when there is a call being made to the Response Center.
3. Third, make sure your phone service meets the requirements of our PERS units. Ask these questions:
- Is the phone jack in your home active? Plug a phone into that jack and see if there is a dial tone. Make a call out to ensure that the phone line is active.
- Can the phone service in your home dial 1-800 numbers? This is a requirement of PERS units.
- Does your phone require a "9" to dial out? If so, this requirement may need to be removed before the unit can successfully connect to the Response Center.
You may also watch to watch our Tech Tip Video:
Troubleshooting Your Personal Emergency Response System [▷] (Landline Unit)
FOR CELLULAR UNITS ONLY:
- Check the status light below the Help button. Your unit should be a constant green light, meaning it has a strong enough cellular connection.
- If your unit is not displaying a constant green light: Check to ensure the unit’s antenna is screwed tightly onto the unit and is in a vertical position.
- Try moving the unit closer to a window to improve cell signal.
- Make sure the unit is not close to other major electrical appliances and cordless phone base units.
- Verify there is strong 3G cell coverage in your residence. Press the black reset button on the back of the unit - it should announce the signal strength in bars (2.5 is the minimum). We always check to see that your address has strong 3G (AT&T) service before recommending or fulfilling an order for a cellular PERS unit, but occasionally the residence will be located inside a building with very thick walls, which can limit cellular connectivity. You do not need a cell phone to be able to use a cellular unit.
- If none of the above correct the cellular connection, please email us. This action will automatically open a help ticket and alert our customer service team, who will then reach out to you.
What do the status light colors on the PERS base unit mean?
The status light is located next to the large "Help" button on your PERS unit.
- Steady green light: The unit is properly connected. It has both a phone connection (landline or cellular) that is working, and it currently has power. Steady green = good to go.
- Steady red light: The unit has been activated by an alarm signal and is currently trying to call the Response Center.
- Green flashing light: The power from the power outlet is not available and the unit is running on the backup battery.
- Red flashing light: The unit is not connected to an operating telephone line, or if it is a cellular unit, there is a problem with the cellular connection (such as weak signal strength).
- Orange flashing light: The unit is not connected to power (currently using the backup battery) AND it is not connected to a phone line / cellular connection.
What does the T/L (Test/Learn) Button do?
The white T/L (Test/Learn) Button is located on the rear of your MXD unit. It is used to place your MXD unit into special modes to conduct range tests for your personal help button (PHB), to program PHBs and other accessories, and to allow technical personnel to diagnose problems and adjust the unit. Please only press this button if directed by SimplyHome staff. Unless otherwise directed, the unit should remain in "Monitoring Mode."
I haven’t used my unit in a while, how do I know it is working?
The base unit should have a constant green status light visible next to the Help button.
We also recommend testing the unit once a month -- simply inform the Response Center that you are performing a test to make sure the unit is working.
How often should I test my unit?
Once per month. You can test the unit by pressing your pendant (PHB) or the Help button on the unit.
Should I wear my pendant to bed at night? What about wearing it in the bathroom, such as when showering? What about wearing it outside?
We recommend placing the pendant beside your bed where it is accessible, where you will not roll over on it and accidentally activate the alert.
Your pendant is waterproof and should be worn in the bathtub and in the shower, both areas where individuals have a high number of slips and falls.
The base unit can receive signals from the pendant from a distance of up to 600 feet, if not otherwise obstructed, so depending on the distance from the base unit, the pendant may work if you are in close proximity to your home.
How can I program a new pendant into my PERS unit?
The following steps will assist you with programming a new pendant into your PERS unit.
Step 1: Press the T/L button on the back of the base unit one time. The device will say "range test mode"
Step 2: Press the Help button. The device will say "program personal help buttons."
Step 3: Press and hold down the pendant button for three seconds. The PERS unit will beep multiple times.
Step 3: After the PERS unit has beeped, press the black reset button on the back of the unit. The unit will state, “System Ready.”
Step 5: Verify that the pendant was successfully programmed by pressing the pendant and ensuring the PERS unit calls for help. To cancel the test, press the black reset button the back of the unit.
The following video is also helpful: Reprogramming a New Pendant Into Your PERS [▷]
How do I know if my PERS unit has a low battery?
While the PERS unit is plugged into power, the unit automatically performs periodic battery tests. If the battery voltage is low, the unit will automatically alert the Response Center if the battery is low and you will be notified. This can occur because the unit has been without power (such as in a power outage or if it is plugged into an outlet controlled by a light switch). The base unit back-up battery provides power for up to 80 hours.
If a notification of "Battery Test Failure" is received:
- First, make sure the unit is plugged securely into a working electrical outlet. Please charge the unit for a solid 24 hours.
- Next, to test the battery, press and hold down the T/L button and then also press and hold down the reset button, releasing them at the same time.
- The unit will say "factory test mode." Press the T/L button until the unit says "mode 5."
- Wait up to 20 minutes; the unit will say either "Battery Good" or "Battery Bad."
Are PERS compatible with VoIP?
Magic Jack and Vonage are the most compatible. However, we cannot guarantee that PERS units will be compatible with VoIP. If you have VoIP service and have questions, please contact Customer Service at 877.684.3581.
What if I need to change the responders for the PERS system?
If you need to permanently change the responders for a PERS, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and a help ticket will be generated.
If a one-time temporary responder change is needed, you may also email your request to email us at email@example.com.
If frequent responder changes need to be made, please consider implementing internal changes to your current method of contact, such as assigning a designated cell phone or generic email address to your rotating responders. We would be happy to provide you with information on how to set up this designated method of communication if further assistance is needed.
Please be advised that as of June 1, 2017 we limit temporary responder changes to once per calendar month as part of our standard monthly service fees. 48-hours’ advance written notice must be given in order to accommodate the requested change in a timely manner. If responder change requests exceed once per month, a standard hourly rate of $75.00/hour applies for each change requested, with a minimum of 1 service hour per request. The total number of hours will depend on the complexity of the change and how many products and locations are affected. If more than one temporary responder change request is submitted in a calendar month, you automatically agree to the hourly charges to make the change.
For additional questions about our PERS units, including information about our Fall-Detecting unit and all product specifications, please visit the PERS Product Page.