Line Seizure? What???

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Updated: June 9, 2022

Our Basic Medical Alert Set-Up Guide Provides Easy To Follow Steps

Our Basic Medical Alert Set-Up Guide Provides Easy To Follow Steps

Medical alert monitoring systems typically send their medical alarm information and any conversations between the monitoring station and your loved one over a telephone line. If you read our LifeStation reviews, you know all of this happens with a simple push of a button.  When the medical alert button is pressed, the system basically dials the central monitoring facility, sends some data to their computers to tell them where the emergency call is coming from, and then connects the call to a central station dispatcher who can then talk hands-free with your loved one.  This all happens within about 30 seconds or so.

Sounds simple right? Well, basically it is.  But what happens if someone is already on the phone?  That’s where “line seizure” comes in.  Line seizure basically disconnects the telephone in your home so that your medical alert monitoring system can then take over the phone line to make the call to the central monitoring station.  It “seizes” the line.

How does it do that? Well most systems have you unplug your telephone from the wall and plug it into the medical alert monitoring console.  You then plug another wire from the medical alert console back to the wall.  Sound confusing?  Don’t worry, see our basic set-up guide for instructions.  We even have a video there to show you how.

Now that your phone is wired through your medical alert monitoring console, the console can now seize the line if needed.  But what if someone is on another phone in the home, or maybe the other phone was accidentally never hung-up?  That’s where line seizure won’t help you unless the entire home’s phone wiring is rewired for line seizure.  Is it difficult?  A little.  It’s really not a do-it-yourself type job.  I’ll try to briefly explain it and then give you a simple alternative.

When your phone line comes to your house, it typically goes to a small gray phone box on the outside of your home.  From there, all your house phones are connected to the line outside.  Line seizure requires what is called an RJ-31x jack.

Line Seizure Wiring

Line Seizure Wiring

This jack wires between the outside line coming into your home, and the telephones in your house.  The jack is where the medical alert monitoring console would get connected.  Now it’s between the line outside and the phones inside.  It can now seize or disconnect the phones from inside the home to make the call it needs.

“Sounds important.  How do I do it?” Well, most likely you won’t.  It can get real confusing and something you really don’t want to mess with.  The point of this is to make you aware of what line seizure is and what affect it could have on a medical alert monitoring system’s operation.

So now for the simple idea I mentioned earlier. I actually have two.  The first is to only have one telephone in the house.  That would include answering machines and dial-up computer modems.  If you have all of these, then just be sure that they are all wired into the medical alert monitoring console and not directly to the wall.  You may need some phone adapters to make it work.  Just stop by your local home center or Best Buy.  They should have what you need.

“Great idea, but only one phone won’t do.”  Simple.  Just get one of those cordless phone kits that has multiple handsets.  It only requires one phone connection that can be easily wired through your medical alert monitoring system.  Just be sure that all other phones are disconnected from the wall jacks. Also, it would be a great idea to get an  ICE cell phone which stands for In Case of Emergencies. You can add this system to any cell phone and it allows first responders to easily access your medical information and emergency contacts.

Now that you’re armed with this new technical knowledge, you should feel even more peace of mind from your medical alert monitoring system. For more important questions about medical alert systems you might not know to ask, check out our Philips Lifeline review as an example.