Security system for retirement home

For a nursing home for the elderly in one of the new federal states, a safety system had to be planned according to the conditions and the infrastructure of the nursing home and used in conjunction with the patient call, fire alarm system and building services.


It was assumed that only a modern system with an innovative and open structure would be used to implement future technical improvements and innovations.

The task of the security system is to receive emergency calls, manage them intelligently, and issue alerts and information to support staff in a variety of areas, such as patient call, fire alarm, home automation and other emergencies.

The system to be used had to be an alarm and information server in the true sense of the word, which fulfills the required services without restriction. Decoupled hardware inputs, third-party systems, sensors, alarm output units and similar techniques had to be integrated into the overall system.

Other types of alarm, such as personal security, evacuation, machine monitoring, building alarms (ventilation, heating, air conditioning, etc.), burglar and panic alarms, door / door alarms, reminder of periodic work, etc., had to be retrofitted, if necessary ,

The stated requirements for the alarm and information server had to be at least realized and offered.

The bidders were free to offer additional components and functions as an alternative to optimize the overall solution.

Four out of five bidders offered New Voice’s “MobiCall” alarm and information server for efficient alerting, reliable personal protection, secure monitoring and optimization of workflows.

For the planned system, as required in the call, a data sheet with extensive descriptions in German language could be attached.

solution demands

The following basic requirements had to be met by the alarm and information server.

  • It was a highly available solution with the functionality of a self-monitoring (interfaces, functions, etc.) required. With the correspondingly selected hardware (server hardware according to RAID 1) and the watchdog control box, an availability of> 99.9% is achieved.
  • Defective hardware components and software errors are detected by suitable measures and reported automatically within a very short time.
  • The system had to be connected to the communication system via standardized SØ interfaces. It was an unrestricted requirement that all special services for alarming processes be implemented bidirectionally by both systems.
  • Emergency calls and information had to be taken from the existing nurse call system and fire alarm system via intelligent interfaces (data interfaces with the ESPA 4.4.4 protocol). Due to the intelligent interfaces, the alarm and information server can recognize from which triggering device (button of the nurse call system, fire alarm button, smoke detector, etc.) the respective emergency call comes.
  • Each emergency call had to have its own scenario to trigger a special alert. Each alarm is assigned a timer. After an alarm has been triggered, a notification scenario dependent on day and time is executed immediately.
  • Contact boxes had to be used to relay information to the alarm and information server as alarms, and vice versa, to control technical equipment (eg heating).

On the one side of the contact boxes, a LAN connection had to form the interface to the alarm and information server, while on the other side contacts as openers and closers had to provide the interfaces to the technical equipment. Depending on requirements, relay inputs and outputs must also be switched on.

The contact boxes had to be designed in their technology in such a way that they can be monitored by the alarm and information server for their function.

As a result of the requirements, the WAGO 750 series contact boxes with modular design have been used for up to 512 New Voice contacts.
About the alarm and information server had a variety of alarms in a variety of forms parallel recording, editing and be discontinued. Individual alarms and alarm groups had to be realized together.

The following types of alarm triggering had to be implemented for the planned protection:

  • Triggering of alarms by taking over information from a nurse call system type Ackermann. The transfer takes place via a serial data interface with the protocol ESPA 4.4.4.
  • Triggering of alarms by taking over information from a fire alarm system type detectomat. The transfer takes place via a serial data interface with the protocol ESPA 4.4.4.

Expiry of the alarm

The alarms are triggered by nurse call system, fire alarm system, telephone sets, GSM terminals and contacts.

Individual alarms and group alarms with up to 8 participants had to be realized. The alarm and information server sends the participants belonging to the respective alarm group a corresponding text message on the display of the in-house telephone terminal. With the transmission of the message sounds at the same time a conspicuous special ringing tone. If the alarm call is accepted as a call, an appropriate text is also announced.

The parallel alarming on further internal and external telephone sets, portable radio, PC as well as the transmission of alarms by E-Mail, SMS, visually and acoustically had to be set up alternatively.

In addition to direct messages, time-dependent messages are also possible. The time dependent messages, e.g. Call of the police / fire department after adjustable time if the process is not stopped before, is free to define.

In order to ensure a targeted rapid alerting of the individual subscribers, the number of connection channels between alarm and information server and the communication system was dimensioned accordingly. If in individual cases the number of subscribers to be alarmed exceeds the number of connection channels, the subscribers who are not yet alerted are processed successively by the system, depending on their priority.

Alarm scenarios

If an alarm is triggered, up to 8 participants are alerted simultaneously. A triggering by PC, by SMS or by mail is currently not required, but can be implemented by the system at any time.

When sending an alarm message, the alarm is sent simultaneously to internal and optionally to external participants. Alternatively, prioritizations, e.g. first internal, then external signaling to be set up.

Each alarm informs the called party with a special ringing tone. In the display of the terminal, the alarming place is specified in plain text. The alarm is set individually with or without acknowledgments.

If an internal subscriber called by an emergency call speaks, the call is forcibly disconnected. After that the scenario described is realized.

If required and supported by the corresponding terminal, the loudspeakers of the terminals are automatically opened. Thereafter, an announcement takes place, based on the triggering event.

Multiple repetitions of the alarms are possible if the alarm was not successful the first time.

Escalation scenarios

If an alarm is not scheduled, escalation scenarios are programmed. Depending on the type of alarm, different escalation scenarios are implemented.

Escalation scenarios are set differently depending on the date and time.

Priority levels

Each alarm has a priority assigned to it. If several alarms occur simultaneously, the alarm with the highest priority is processed first / sent out first.

Subscribers of the same priority are called in random order. With different subscriber priorities, it can be set whether the priority order is strictly adhered to during selection or whether subscribers of lower priority are interposed in dialing pauses.

Conference call

After sending an alarm, conferences with predefined participants are automatically switched. Both external and internal participants are involved.

The structure of the conferences is done automatically by “MobiCall”, but can also be done manually.

At least 2 simultaneous conferences with at least 6 participants per conference are possible.


Announcement texts are required for various functions. The announcement texts are recorded by authorized bodies or entered in writing (text to speech). For each alarm situation, an individual announcement text is available.

There are 10 fixed announcement texts available, which are stored digitally. Individual texts can be entered at will and changed at any time. The text length is up to 30 seconds.

Different announcement texts can be used after shift operation, date and time.

Alarm acknowledgment

The settings on the alarm and information server were made so that an alarm must be acknowledged or not acknowledged. The acknowledgment takes place via a telephone set.

If alarms have to be acknowledged, there is the option of a positive (can react) or negative (can not respond) acknowledgment. In addition, it can be determined whether an acknowledgment has to be made during or after the alarm message.

If an alarm message is acknowledged during the announcement, the acknowledgment is possible at the earliest after hearing 50% of the message text. Individual settings are possible.

Messages are output in parallel to several terminals. An acknowledgment on one of the terminals applies to this subscriber and simultaneously to the parallel messages. The alarm message to the parallel terminals is aborted.

Alarm cancellation

If an alarm is canceled, this is done only by authorized persons or terminals.

To release the alarm, a code number is entered into an authorized terminal in addition to an access procedure or a permanently programmed key is pressed. The alarm cancellation is made and displayed on corresponding displays of terminals.

False alarm

It can be decided during a triggered alarm whether it is an acute alarm or a false alarm. If it is determined to be a false alarm, the alarm scenario is aborted by a specific procedure.

Logging alarm processes

The logging of the alarm processes is a prerequisite in the case described.

For optimal tracking of an alarm case, logging to the second is made from where the messages came from, which recipients received the messages and which are activated due to the message.

All alarms and the subsequent actions are included in a log. The individual log messages in the files and printouts have current message numbers and second-exact time stamps. The highest priority in logging is the documentation of non-attendees. This applies equally to internally and externally controlled participants.

Any acknowledgments are documented like any other process with details of the recipient, date, time, message, and acknowledgment type.

The logging takes place as a backup in one or more log files (log files). The generated log files can not be manipulated by the administrator.

The logging is saved for evaluation on the server.

The use of the alarm and information server “MobiCall” from New Voice has fully met the requirements of the nursing home. The individual existing systems such as patient call, fire alarm system and home automation were integrated as specified.

The ongoing development of “MobiCall” ensures that future technologies (such as IoT) will also be integrated to meet the increasing demands of security technology.

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