Telecare for monitoring temperature, power outage (UK/EU)

[grow_thumb image=”” thumb_width=”150″ /]With winter very near, and the UK already having a bout of wild weather, something necessary to know but often overlooked until there’s a problem for carers is if the heat or power is on in an older or disabled person’s home. Thus a press release sent to Founder Steve got this Editor’s attention. This simple plug-in device, Envirotxt, detects whether the temperature falls below a set low or high temperature, rises suddenly (possible fire) or the power is out. It then alerts via one of three pre-set text messages sent via GSM to a mobile phone of your choice (family member, local authority). The cost is a little high (£99) but there does not appear to be any additional monthly subscription cost. South Derbyshire-based Tekview has several similar devices for both UK and EU users (Envirotxt appears to be UK only at present; they do not have US-suitable versions). For larger installations they have management software with some enhanced features. Worth looking into for your local authority or simply for your personal use. Website page. Press release. Video. If you know of or have used similar notification devices, please add them in Comments.

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  1. There are lots of devices and linked technologies available to identify cold properties. Many fail because they don’t recognise that a problem exists only if the individual is present in the room. In the same way, a low temperature in a lounge during the night may not be significant but during the day is worthy of an alert. These products (including SenCit and ThermoTxt) are reviewed on T-Cubed’s Telecare EPG resource which also includes a description of a more sophisticated alert that is based on a central heating thermostat.
    Unfortunately, knowing that the temperature is dangerously low is only half the problem. A more significant one is persuading a financially challenged individual to turn on the heating when they are struggling to pay the electricity or gas bills.


    I would plug the device into a slave timer (£3 from most large supermarkets/DIY stores) and only have the device operating from 8am to 8pm. This would stop the 3.45am texts to say your Mum’s house is very very chilly; no sh*t Batman.

    The bigger issue for me is getting a text to say the power has gone off at your Mum’s when in fact all she has done is turned the socket off; something she does everynight before bed. I checked this out with Envirotxt as I genuinely enquired about it for my mother in law – who switches all the sockets off. I then get a text, I try to ring her but she does not answer the phone so I go over there. Not because I am concerned for her overnight as i know she will be wrapped up in bed but for the £80 worth of food in her freezer that I am petrified of replacing as it will be defrosting.

    Price it at £20 and I will use it when I am on holiday to protect my house from fire, frozen pipes, defrosting freezers etc. Or make it a free standing device and I will put it in my vivarium/tropical room to alert me if the snakes and Gekkos are feeling a bit fresh. Either of these can be responded to by me or by someone I ask to pop around and check.

  3. The Envirotxt has 2 time zones for day and night so you can stop alerts at night or have different temperatures at night. The unit uses less than 10 pence of electricity per month so no need to turn it off but I understand that some still will. It also has a fast temperature alert for potential fires so useful all year round as a Telecare product. There is no such thing as a 100% solution for anything but Envirotxt is a low cost multi function remote alert for several potential issues with a great low cost SMS only 12 month sim package so very affordable.