BrickHouse Medical Alert Review
COVID-19 Update: Since the medical alert industry is considered to be “essential” during the COVID crisis, monitoring and customer service centers are still open and ready to help. To learn more about how a medical alert device can help keep you or your elderly loved one safe and connected during this pandemic, take a look at our list of essential products for seniors during COVID-19.
Medical alert systems have been available for over 40 years, and these systems are especially popular among older adults who want to stay as independent as possible while they age.
Dozens of companies now offer monitored medical alert services that connect a caller with an emergency response center that can dispatch help immediately. Because most medical alert call buttons can easily be activated by those with limited dexterity, these devices provide seniors with an effective and reliable way to call for assistance.
What is BrickHouse Alert?
BrickHouse Alert is a monitored medical alert service offered by BrickHouse Security, an industry-leading security and surveillance system provider based in New York City. BrickHouse is a fully licensed security company that works with individuals, businesses and government organizations including the United States Department of Homeland Security, the New York Police Department, and Boeing.
Unlike other medical alert companies that have a variety of help buttons and systems, BrickHouse has a single personal emergency response system that connects to the AT&T cellular network.
Best Features of the BrickHouse Alert Personal Emergency Response System
What makes BrickHouse Alert stand out in the crowded medical alert marketplace is their all-inclusive emergency call button. This wearable medical alert pendant includes a GPS transponder along with a speaker and microphone so that users can speak with call center operators directly through their help button. The BrickHouse device is also equipped with an SOS button that subscribers can press at any time to call for help, and the charging cradle is included.
The BrickHouse Alert system is designed to be durable and user-friendly, with a waterproof case that makes it safe to wear in wet environments such as the shower.
BrickHouse Alert customers can add the WanderAlert caretaker monitoring app to their monthly monitoring plan. This app allows authorized user access to real-time information about the location of the user, which may be useful for those who suffer from dementia or other conditions that could lead to wandering.
While many other medical alert companies lease their equipment to customers, BrickHouse Alert sells their medical alert pendant for $79.99, and customers do not need to return the device when they no longer need medical alert monitoring services. This also means that customers can’t get a refund on the device purchase price if they cancel their monitoring service through BrickHouse Alert.
As with many other medical alert companies, BrickHouse offers monthly, quarterly and annual service plans. Each of these plans include 24/7 emergency call monitoring, while the WanderAlert caretaker app costs an extra $5 per month on all plans. In order to get the lowest possible price on BrickHouse Alert medical alert monitoring services, customers need to pay for a full year of service in advance.
BrickHouse Alert costs $29.99 per month when paying on a month-to-month basis. Quarterly plans cost $89.98 and are billed every 90 days, while annual service plans cost $299.88 and are billed every 365 days.
Pros and Cons of the BrickHouse Alert Personal Emergency Response System
When shopping for a medical alert system for yourself or a loved one, it’s important to review the pros and cons of each service you’re considering. Here’s what you need to know about the BrickHouse Alert system:
Pros of BrickHouse Alert:
- 24/7 call monitoring center is UL-listed and staffed by emergency operators fluent in English and Spanish
- BrickHouse Alert customers can provide the call center with a list of emergency contacts who will be alerted if the customer activates their medical alert help button
- The BrickHouse Alert pendant is waterproof, making it safe for use in damp environments such as the shower
- No landline phone needed
- The optional WanderAlert app lets users set up a virtual geofence, which sends alerts to caregivers when the BrickHouse Alert user leaves a specific area
- The device holds a charge for up to 5 days
- Users can wear the BrickHouse Alert pendant on a lanyard, clip in to their belt or waistband, or carry it in a pocket or purse
- Because BrickHouse Alert uses the AT&T cellular network, users can call for help anywhere there is a good cell signal from AT&T or an affiliated mobile phone carrier
- No activation fees
- Wireless charging cradle and lanyard included in the purchase price
- Unlike some other mobile medical alert buttons, the BrickHouse Alert device doesn’t require the use of a mobile base unit
Cons of BrickHouse Alert:
- Customers must pay $79.99 to purchase the BrickHouse Alert device
- If a new customer decides to cancel their service, they must do so within 10 days of activation in order to get a refund on any unused service
- Only one help button offered – no medical alert watch or wrist-mounted option
- No automatic fall detection feature
- The WanderAlert caretaker monitoring app costs an additional $5 per month
- Subscribers need to recharge their help button every 5 days, and the device takes approximately 5 hours to fully recharge
- In order to get the lowest available monthly monitoring rate, users must purchase an annual plan
- The company reserves the right to increase monthly fees by up to 9% each year once a customer has been with BrickHouse Alert for 12 months
- The BrickHouse Alert pendant is only warrantied against manufacturer defects for one year
- Customers must provide written notice to the company 30 days before cancelling the service or prior to the end of any term agreement, otherwise, the service will be automatically renewed
Can I buy the BrickHouse Alert from a store?
Customers must phone a toll-free number to purchase the BrickHouse Alert medical pendant and choose an emergency call monitoring service plan.
Does BrickHouse offer any other medical alert call buttons?
No. The BrickHouse Alert is the only personal emergency system offered by BrickHouse Security.
Is a landline required?
The BrickHouse Alert has a built-in cellular SIM card that connects the device with the AT&T cellular network.
Prior to ordering the BrickHouse Alert, customers should verify that there is a good cellular signal in their home and neighborhood.
What happens when the help button is activated?
When a BrickHouse Alert customer presses the SOS button on their emergency pendant, the device dials the BrickHouse call monitoring center, which operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The call center operator will speak with the customer through the speakerphone in the pendant to assess what type of assistance is needed. Depending on the personal profile of the subscriber, the operator may notify the caller’s emergency contacts, call 9-1-1, or do both.
Does BrickHouse offer automatic fall detection?
No. Automatic fall detection isn’t currently available through BrickHouse Alert.
Who can access the BrickHouse Alert WanderAlert app?
While the WanderAlert app is available to anyone with a compatible smartphone or tablet, only authorized caregivers and loved ones are able to see information about a particular BrickHouse Alert client.
Are caregivers notified if the customer removes their BrickHouse Alert help button?
The WanderAlert app features a dashboard that displays vital information about the BrickHouse Alert user, including their motion state. This feature lets caregivers check the last known location of the device using the GPS locator, and it time-stamps the activity so caregivers can identify if the customer has been immobile or the device isn’t being carried.
What is a geofence and how does it work with BrickHouse Alert?
A geofence is a virtual boundary that works in conjunction with a GPS-linked device that is paired with a location tracking app.
The BrickHouse Alert Wander Alert feature lets caregivers define a specific geographical area where their client or loved one can move about freely. This could be a home, senior care facility, neighborhood, town or county.
When a geofence is in place, caregivers are immediately notified via text message if the BrickHouse Alert customer travels outside of the designated safe area while wearing or carrying the medical alert pendant. Although the system can’t prevent the user from leaving their designated safe area, the Wander Alert app does provide detailed real-time information on the users’ location that is indicated on a color map.
Is the BrickHouse Alert just for seniors?
Although BrickHouse targets seniors in their medical alert marketing materials, the BrickHouse Alert can be used by anyone who wants a mobile personal emergency response system.