Fortunately, when it comes to the usage of emergency phones many properties have what they deem minimal usage. It may be a pool phone that is only used during pool season (which our emergency dispatchers will tell you is often not the case). Or it could be a wheelchair lift that maybe gets used once a month. This sometimes raises the question, can we disable the phone during the off-season (pool phone) or can the monitoring cost be based on usage?
When understanding the answers to these questions, it’s important to keep in mind that with emergency phones, though the usage may be low, the stakes are incredibly high. Emergency phones are used to help ensure your tenants’ most basic need of safety, and they often address what can be life or death situations.
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Addressing the questions:
Question #1: Can the pool phone be turned off when it is off-season?
First, let’s discuss the liability of a non-working emergency phone. Even though your pool may be closed, often, the most visible, if not the only, emergency phones on the property are located in the vicinity of the pool and should still be accessible. During pool season, this provides additional assurance that anyone who witnesses a pool related emergency, can use the emergency phone to call for help.
However, even during off-season, just because we call it a “pool phone” does not prevent someone from using it during any type of emergency. Many of the calls our emergency dispatchers receive from pool phones are, in fact, not pool-related. Listen to one of the actual calls Kings III has taken from a pool phone from a child at the apartment complex who woke up to his parents missing unexpectedly as one example.
Properties that disable their pool phones during the off-season, could find themselves open to additional liability. If a posted emergency phone is not working and someone tries to use it, what sort of liability does that expose? To protect your property and mitigate risk, all emergency phones must be connected, maintained, and monitored 24/7 regardless of the season. For more info, see our blog post: A Pool Phone In Winter?
Question #2: Why isn’t the cost of my emergency phone based on usage?
We definitely understand that logic. After all, we are in the digital age, so a likely comparison is cell phone usage where you can pay only for the minutes you use, but it’s not the same. Think of it as insurance coverage.
As we mentioned earlier, emergency phones address high-stake situations, similar to an insurance policy. You know (or hope) that you won’t have to use your insurance often, but when you do need to use it, you need help in a big way.
It’s the same concept with your emergency phone. When it is used, responding parties need to be prepared to address difficult situations adeptly. Even if your phone is used minimally, our Emergency Dispatch Center must be staffed 24/7/365 with a team ready for calls.
It would be great if we knew when an emergency was going to happen or when an elevator was in use to flip the switch on, but we have to maintain everything at the ready 24/7 in order to help cover both you and your tenants properly, and in Kings III’s case, we do it really well.
This may raise a third question:
What additional benefit does Kings III offer that sets them apart from alternative monitoring solutions?
Put simply, our team’s training is a key differentiator that sets up apart. If tenants need immediate medical attention, Kings III dispatch center operators can help. Our operators are Advanced Emergency Medical Dispatch (AEMD) certified, meaning they can provide callers with step-by-step pre-arrival medical instructions (including CPR) while emergency services are in transit.
Other essential benefits include response in more than 175 languages and digital call recording.
Unfortunately, emergencies don’t have an off-season, but you, your tenants and staff will have the peace of mind knowing help is there when they need it. Interested in evaluating the need for emergency phones on your property? Contact us here.