Understanding Falls Detection in MePACS Personal Alarms

Introduction: Enhancing Safety with Falls Detectors

Falls can happen unexpectedly, especially among seniors or people with chronic medical conditions. In Australia, falls account for over 30% of hospitaliations for people aged 65+, which can be a significant concern for seniors and their families. It is therefore important to be aware of the increased risk and take proactive measures to prevent falls.

A personal alarm equipped with a falls detector can be a lifesaver in such situations. In this article, we’ll explore how do falls detector operate and contribute to your personal safety.

Understanding Falls Detectors

Falls detectors operate using different smart sensors that are integrated into the personal alarm system. Their primary function is to identify a sudden fall or drop in height, and automatically activate an alert to the MePACS emergency response centre.

While the sensors are designed to detect sudden changes in altitude, speed or orientation, they may not detect a fall if it was a gradual slump or roll into the floor, or if the fall was braced by an object, such as a chair.

That’s why we recommend that if you’ve experienced a fall, press the button on your alarm to ensure an alert is sent to the emergency response centre. 

Falls Detection in MePACS Alarms:

MePACS has three personal alarms that include falls detection. While the devices may include different sensors, the core principles behind each the falls detection operation are similar.

Fall detection pendant MePACS

Falls Detector Pendant

This Falls Detector Pendant is an accessory to the MePACS Home Alarm. It has a range which covers the house and backyard, depending on the size of the property.

  • Internal sensors are triggered by a sudden, unbroken fall to the ground from a height of one metre (3 ft.) This would happen in a situation such as fainting or tripping, where the person doesn’t brace themselves onto a wall or chair.
  • You’ll know when an alert has been sent to the MePACS 24/7 response team when the pendant flashes and a series of beeps can be heard.
  • The response team will communicate with you through the Home Alarm base unit, not the pendant itself.
  • The falls detector accessory should also be worn around the neck on top of your clothing, as clothing can restrict the movement of the pendant and therefore its ability to be triggered.

It’s important to remember the pendant cannot detect every fall, as every fall is different depending on where you are and how you feel. If you are conscious and able to, it is recommended to press the pendant manually and hold until the lights flash.

MePACS duress alarm features

MePACS Mobile Alarm

Our Mobile Alarm is a great safety companion to take with you out and about in the community.

  • The Mobile Alarm has a few different sensors that work together to detect an unbroken fall, including a gyrometer which identifies a sudden change in angles.
  • It doesn’t have a minimum height at which it will be triggered, so there’s a chance it will be activated by various sudden movements. For example, a downward stroke of your arm while you’re holding it, or if you bend down to pick something up.
  • You will know the alarm has been triggered by a fall when you hear a series of beeps, and be able to communicate with the MePACS 24/7 response team through the two-way speaker.
  • The Mobile Alarm should be worn on your person at all times, either on the lanyard around your neck or clipped to your belt. This ensures it is within easy reach and it can be triggered by your fall or trip, rather than sitting in your backpack or handbag and being activated when it is put down.

Once again, the Mobile Alarm cannot detect every fall, as every fall is different. If you are conscious and able to, it is recommended to press the personal alarm manually, with one short, sharp press.

For more information, visit our Mobile Alarm Page


MePACS Solo watch - personal alarm

MePACS Solo Watch

A stylish and discreet personal alarm on the Samsung Galaxy 3 watch, with features such as GPS technology, falls detection and a heart rate tracker.

  • The Solo watch has advanced internal sensors to detect a true unbroken fall, so it minimises the chance of a false alarm.
  • For the falls detection in this personal alarm watch to be triggered, sensors detect a sudden, unbroken drop (a ‘hard fall’) to the ground followed by seconds of no movement. For example, if you tripped and fell, then lay still without getting up straightaway.
  • If you fell onto a chair, braced against a wall or slumped over, this is known as a ‘soft fall’. The watch may not be triggered and you’ll have to press the watch manually if you can.
  • You’ll know when an alert is sent to MePACS when the watch beeps, vibrates and has a visual countdown on the screen. It’s in this time (specified in the Solo watch manual) that you can cancel the alert by tapping the green ‘thumbs up’ or tick to say you’re okay.
  • It is not recommended to ‘test’ the personal alarm watch for falls detection by dropping it, as the sensors can detect it has been handled. As mentioned above, these sensors are programmed to be triggered by true, hard falls to the ground.
  • The watch is designed to be lightweight and comfortable enough for you to wear as long as possible, only taking it off to charge. We recommend having the MePACS Home Alarm (and the falls detector pendant accessory for falls detection) as well so you can always have a way to signal for help.

Since every fall is different, the internal sensors cannot detect every fall that occurs. If you are conscious and able to, it is always recommended to manually tap the alert icon on the watch face or double press the ‘Alert Key’ (the lower button on the right hand side of the watch) to raise an alert.

For more information, visit our Solo Watch Page 

For more information or to purchase one of these fall detection alarms, please call 1800 685 329 or visit our official Join Now page.