Security Partners offers next-generation PERS device

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

LANCASTER, Pa.—Security Partners, a wholesale monitoring center located here, is taking PERS to the next level as the exclusive mid-Atlantic distributor of LifeBeacon, a mobile “emergency call center” with integrated GPS.

Security Partners’ marketing director Joseph Mitton said LifeBeacon trumps the range of a traditional PERS device, typically limited to a small radius surrounding a telephone base unit in a home, by utilizing a nationwide network of cellular towers and infrastructure. A GPS receiver in each device can map and transmit the position of the user in real time, and there is a one-touch, two-way voice link to the monitoring station.

By removing POTS from the equation, LifeBeacon—designed to be worn around the wrist or as a pendant—can generate a personal alert from anywhere a cell signal can reach. The device is manufactured by LiveFree Emergency Response Inc. of Pocatello, Idaho.

Mitton said the company is selling LifeBeacon directly to dealers for $199 per unit. There is no installation cost, and monitoring is handled by the company’s CSAA Five Diamond-certified central station.

 “The same people who handle our alarms handle the signals from the LifeBeacons,” Mitton told Security Systems News. “Our people take care of all of the setup. All the dealer has to do is essentially sell the device. There is no labor on their end.”

Company President Patrick Egan said in a statement announcing the distributorship: “This truly opens up new RMR sources for companies, with no associated labor costs.”

While LifeBeacon’s safety benefits are obvious for senior citizens, Mitton said the new device also can help parents keep tabs on their children.

“If they’re latch-key kids, you can give them (a LifeBeacon) and they can call for help if they need it,” he said. “As soon as we get the signal we can track down where they are and send help directly to them.”

When activated, LifeBeacon automatically switches into full audio mode, allowing users to speak directly to the central station. That feature, combined with GPS and the fact that users wear the device, can generate response times that are up to three times faster than with traditional PERS, the company said in a news release.

“One of the concerns we’ve heard is that ‘Well, people already have cellphones,’” Mitton said. “That’s true, but people don’t always carry their cellphones, they can’t always find their cellphones, or they don’t always have their cellphones turned on. If something should happen, (LifeBeacon) is not dependent on you calling out.”