Best types of tech gadgets and personal alarms to stay safe at home

5 minute read

Woman turning the dial of a wall mounted digital thermostat

We’ve put together a list of some of the best types of home tech and personal alarms to help people stay independent.

It’s natural to worry about losing some independence in later years. Fortunately there are some great home tech gadgets and personal alarms that can help people stay independent and safe, both at home and further afield.


Video doorbells

Video doorbells are becoming increasingly common in homes across the UK as they can provide additional security and reassurance, especially for those who live alone. They allow people to see and speak to callers before deciding whether to open the door.

Video doorbells can also be linked to a mobile phone app – so if someone is in the garden when the doorbell rings they can see who it is without having to trek to the front door. It also means visitors can be identified, even when the homeowner is away.


Remote heating and hot water control tech

Keeping the central heating and hot water at the right temperature is easier with gadgets. These link to a home heating system and can be set up to come on at a certain time and temperature.

A smart thermostat can be controlled through a mobile phone app and operated remotely – by the home owner or a trusted family member, for example.


Motion sensor lights

Battery operated and easy to install, motion detecting lights are a great addition to help prevent trips and falls in the home, especially at night when hazards are less easily seen. They automatically come on when they sense movement nearby, so can be used to create a lit pathway to help someone safely navigate their home in the dark, without needing to feel around for light switches.

Placing motion sensor lights next to the bed, along the hall and near stairwells can help make night-time bathroom visits easier and safer.


User friendly phones

Today’s smartphones are used for much more than just making and receiving calls, with numerous apps and features from calendars to cameras and more.

However, not everyone needs all that functionality and for some, modern mobiles can be too fiddly to use. There are easier to use models which might better suit people who want the benefit of a mobile but with features like big buttons or large screens.

With the rise of the mobile phone, there’s a move away from having a home phone, but for many people it’s still a necessity to have a landline. As with mobiles, you can get home phones that feature bigger buttons to make numbers easier to see and dial, and some models are compatible with hearing aids too. It’s important to note though that traditional landlines are being phased out by 2025 as part of an upgrade to the UK’s telephone network and not all current landline phones will be compatible with the new system. You can find out more about the changes here.


Personal alarms for home and away

A wearable personal alarm offers security and protection by connecting the user to 24-hour emergency support at the touch of a button. In the event of an accident, taking ill suddenly or having a fall, the wearer can press the alarm and get the help they need.

Personal alarms have changed a lot and there are now a range of options to consider when looking at what’s right for each person.

Often stylish and discreet in design, they can be worn as a pendant, wrist strap, belt clip or keyring. There are even smartwatches with a built-in alarm and speaker.


There are different personal alarms for home and garden use, while others provide coverage out and about, making it easier to go further afield including travel throughout the UK.

New technology even allows some types of personal alarms to feature fall detection. These have a built-in sensor that automatically signals for help if it detects the wearer has had a hard fall.

For people who only keep a mobile phone for use in emergencies, the right personal alarm may actually offer a more suitable solution, since it’s always with them, works at the touch of a single button and often has a longer battery life.

With personal alarm services there is usually an initial set-up fee and then an ongoing monthly subscription which varies depending on the type of alarm and the level of service.

Age Co offers a range of Personal Alarms with 24-hour emergency response service through Taking Care, a Which? Trusted Trader-approved service provider in the UK. You can find out more and compare the different personal alarms available here.