Updated: Jul 25
Fortunately, when it comes to emergency phones, many properties have what they deem minimal usage. It may be a pool phone 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. These scenarios can raise some fundamental questions - such as, can we disable the phone during the off-season, or can the monitoring cost be based on usage?
When understanding the answers to these questions, it's essential 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.
Our best-in-class emergency phone plus monitoring solutions provide peace of mind and are backed by decades of expertise. Let's dive into some of these crucial questions and unpack them here.
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. This provides additional assurance that anyone who witnesses a swimming pool or other related emergency can use the emergency phone to call for help during pool season.
However, even during the off-season, just because we call it a "pool phone" does not prevent someone from using it during any 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. This call is 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. What sort of liability does that expose if a posted emergency phone is not working and someone tries to use it? All emergency phones must be connected, maintained, and monitored 24/7 regardless of the season to protect your property and mitigate risk.
Why isn't the cost of my emergency phone-based on usage?
We 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.