The Downfalls of Using a Deactivated Cell Phone for Your Emergency Pool Phone
Pool and elevator phone monitoring is our core business. Unlike elevator phones, which are required nationwide, some states require emergency pool phones at multifamily and community pools while others do not. Required by state law or not, having an emergency phone easily available to your residents and guests provides value– see why here.
In this day and age, we tend to lean heavily on the idea that everyone has a cell phone readily available. While personal cell phones are useful, they are not always the safest option during emergencies.
We also tend to think of cell phones in the personal sense, but what we have found as an emergency pool phone provider, and particularly in the state of Texas, is that some multifamily communities are unaware that their current pool phone service is actually using a deactivated cell phone. Depending on the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ), this often does not pass inspection for several reasons.
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Top 3 reasons not to use a deactivated cell phone at your apartment or community pool:
- Inability to recognize the caller’s location. Depending on how old the phone is, 911 or the designated monitoring center may not be able to recognize the caller’s location. Unlike a landline that can easily identify the location of where a call is originating, cell phones send signals through radio waves in the air, which means you can dial 911, but the 911 call center will likely not know where you are calling from. Note: this does not mean that cellular options are not available for use in an emergency pool phone. Quite the opposite, as we provide cellular pool phones here at Kings III. This simply means you need to ensure the cellular device is properly set up so that responding parties can accurately identify the location.
- Inability for emergency services to call back into the device. If the phone is without a service plan and happens to get disconnected, no one will be able to call back because the device does not have an assigned number.
- Connecting to the wrong responding authority or monitoring center. Even if you can identify where you are located, when the call is routed to the nearest cell tower it does not always go to the closest 911 center.
Consider the following:
- Certain cell phones are not code compliant according to the Texas Department of Health Services
- Cell phones used poolside must be on and ready to immediately summon help.
- Cell phones that accidentally get turned off will require powering back up and registering with the cellular network before use, which wastes valuable time.
- Cell phones must be connected to a continuous power supply and backup supply in case of power failure.
- Cell phones with twist handles, spring-loaded covers or spring-latch hasps are not ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant.
Taking the appropriate measures to protect the lives of your customers and the stability of your business go hand in hand. We can help you do both. Learn more about our code-compliant cellular emergency phones here.
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