Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) Providers Consumer Information

FDA News Release

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a news release concerning the safety of a personal emergency response system button worn as a pendant around an individual’s neck. Please click on the following link for further details.

What are Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS)?

Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS, also known as ERS, medical alarms, or fall alarms) are electronic devices that allow a user to send an instant call for help in case of an emergency. There are several varieties of PERS systems, but they usually have three main components:

  • a small button-sized transmitter that may be carried or worn as a pendant,
  • a receiving console that is connected to a telephone, and
  • a monitoring center which may be nationally or locally based.

How do PERS work?

When the transmitter is activated, the preprogrammed telephone number of the monitoring center is automatically dialed. A person working at the call center may then try to call the user to determine the nature of his or her emergency. If the PERS user cannot be reached by phone, a designated person, ambulance, or other emergency service provider may then be dispatched by the monitoring center.

Is there any consumer information available that might help in choosing a PERS provider?

For important consumer information about PERS visit the Federal Trade Commission's website at:

Select the links below to view or print the Federal Trade Commission's Facts for Consumers PERS article:

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) facts for consumers (Word, 26 KB)
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) facts for consumers (Acrobat, 88 KB)

How do I file a complaint against a Texas-serving PERS provider?

For information on how to file a complaint against a DSHS-licensed PERS provider, click here:

In Texas, do PERS companies really need a license?

All entities providing PERS services to Texans must be fully licensed with DSHS unless made specifically exempt by Texas Health and Safety Code Ch. 781 (View the current roster of DSHS-licensed PERS providers under “Find a Licensee”). Entities offering PERS services in combination with fire and/or burglar alarms must be fully licensed with the Department of Public Safety (DPS) as mandated by Texas Occupations Code Ch. 1702.

Last updated March 28, 2016