Terms & Conditions

1. The terms

1.1. What are these terms? The terms and conditions which are set out here apply to the services that we supply to you.

1.2. Why you should read them: It is very important that you read these terms carefully because they tell you who we are, how we will provide the HEARS services to you, how you and we may change or end the contract, what to do if there is a problem and other important information. If you think that there is a mistake in these terms, please contact us to discuss.


2.1. Who we are. We are HEARS, the Home Emergency Alarm Response Service which is provided by Ipswich Borough Council.

2.2. How to contact us. You can contact us by:

  • Phone: (01473) 433444
  • Online: www.hearsalarm.co.uk 
  • Post: HEARS service, Grafton House, 15-17 Russell Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 2DE

2.3. How we may contact you. If we have to contact you we will do so by telephone or by writing to you at the email or postal address you provided to us.

2.4. ”Writing” includes emails. When we use the words “writing” or “written” in these terms, this includes emails and online.


3.1. How we will accept your application for HEARS services. Our acceptance of your application for HEARS services will take place when we carry out our initial assessment of your needs and requirements at your property and agree that HEARS services would be appropriate and you accept that assessment outcome, at which point a contract will come into existence between you and us.


4.1. What services do we provide? HEARS provides two types of support services, which are explained here for you. They are:


4.2. Who can use our services? Any individual who is a resident within specified area of Ipswich and surrounding areas which are covered by the HEARS service who has registered with HEARS to receive our services.

4.3. Can more than one person in the same property receive services from HEARS? Yes provided they have both registered with HEARS to receive services. HEARS will only respond to alarms which have been activated by a named customer who is already registered with HEARS. Each individual who registers with HEARS will receive their individual mobile button.

4.4. What happens if you apply to HEARS? When applying for HEARS services you will be asked to provide full medical details of every illness and disability you suffer from. While receiving HEARS services you must update HEARS immediately of any changes to your health.

4.5. During the initial visit to your property, HEARS will carry out a full assessment of your needs and requirements to decide whether the service is appropriate for you. This assessment will be based on the information you provide to us and what we see during the assessment visit. HEARS will then decide whether to proceed to provide the service to you.

4.6. HEARS will agree to provide the service which you applied for if the assessment shows that the service is appropriate to meet your needs/requirements.

4.7. If you wish to appoint representatives to act on your behalf, or have legally appointed representatives, you MUST give us their details, or provide a copy of any document authorising Power of Attorney or any other legal capacity for acting on your behalf before HEARS can act upon your instruction.

4.8. If you have made an Advance Decision or appointed a lasting power of attorney for health and welfare you must inform HEARS of this and provide it to us with the written record. You must immediately update HEARS if you change your Advanced Decision or your appointment of a lasting power of attorney.

4.9. HEARS cannot accept liability for any loss or damage arising as a result of your failure to provide the service with this information.


5.1. What is the alarm? The alarm is any alarm unit, mobile button, surge plug, smoke detector, falls detector and telephone adapter, which you are provided by HEARS when receiving our services.

5.2. What you should know about the operation of the alarm: These are important points for you to remember about the alarm:


  • You must test the alarm regularly (recommended every week).
  • HEARS will repair or replace the alarm if we are notified of a fault.
  • HEARS is not responsible for repairing the telephone line or the telephone socket that the alarm must be connected to in order for it to work properly.
  • You are liable for the cost of repairing or replacing the alarm if it becomes lost or damaged (with the exception of normal wear and tear). You are advised to obtain appropriate insurance for the alarm.

6.1. What is the key safe box? The key safe box is a secure locked box located on the outside of the property for the purposes of storing keys. Only one box is required per property where more than one person living there is using our services.

6.2. When must you have a key safe box? If you have signed up for:


6.3. Why you must have a key safe box. When you have signed up to these HEARS services, the HEARS responders may need to get into your property after you have triggered the alarm. To do this they will need to have access to a key to your door.

6.4. Where can you get a key safe box from? You can get a key safe box from HEARS for a one off charge and HEARS will install the box on the initial visit to your property or you can buy the box privately and have it installed privately.

6.5. What happens if you already have a key safe box installed? If you are an existing customer and you already had a key safe box installed by the HEARS service, you will take immediate ownership and responsibility of the box.

6.6. If you have the box supplied and installed by HEARS please note the following important points:

  • The HEARS Key Safe Box will have a four-digit code, which will be provided to you.
  • You will need to provide the HEARS service with two keys to your home at the time of the HEARS alarm installation
  • One of the keys will be located in the key safe box at your property and the other will be kept by HEARS at a secure location nearby.
  • All key safe boxes fitted by HEARS will be your responsibility following installation

6.7. If you have the box supplied and installed privately please note the following important points:

  • A key safe box fitted which has been supplied and fitted privately will be your responsibility
  • It will be your responsibility to ensure that a door key is located in the box at all times
  • You must provide the HEARS service with the following information (which must updated with HEARS immediately if it changes) when the alarm is being installed by HEARS at your property:
    • Access code to the box
    • Location of box

6.8. Who will have access to the key safe box?

  • You
  • In an emergency only, your nominated contacts, GP or emergency services
  • Whoever you or your next of kin authorise HEARS in writing to give the details of the box to

Please note: HEARS will not incur any liability to you or anyone else as a result of any third party gaining access to the key safe box unless it is due to HEARS negligence.

6.9. What other practical requirements must be met when receiving the HEARS services? The following points are important and should be remembered by you:

  • You must allow HEARS responders access to your property when they are responding to an alarm unless you have good reason not to do so. If we are unable to gain access, we will notify the emergency services or liaise with nominated contact(s/next of kin.
  • You must allow the HEARS staff access into your home so that they can maintain the alarm system.

Please note: You should check people’s identity before allowing them in – everyone should carry a standard Ipswich Borough

Council ID badge. You can call 01473 433444 to check. Alternatively, you can activate the alarm and to speak to HEARS control to check the identity of the HEARS responder.

  • If the locks are changed at your property it is your responsibility to ensure that:
    • MONITORING ONLY – Your nominated contacts are given a replacement key
    • MONITORING & RESPONDING – you must immediately notify the HEARS service and provide new key(s) as well as the key(s) being replaced in the key safe box.
  • HEARS recommend you do not allow the BT ‘1571’ or any other voicemail service to be installed on the landline to the property.

Please note: There may be interference and HEARS cannot guarantee the alarm will work correctly. HEARS does not accept responsibility for any service interruption. Please ensure voicemail messages are deleted on a regular basis.

  • If HEARS is unable to gain access to your property having received an alarm call, we may ask the emergency services to attend who might then force entry.
  • If HEARS feels there is a misuse of the service by the customer(s) then they will:
    • Bring this to the customer(s) attention
    • Liaise with nominated contacts
    • Liaise with next of kin
    • Review the situation for improvement
    • If no improvement is made then the service may be withdrawn.
  • If HEARS has concerns over your welfare then they may pass information to the emergency services or other health agencies.
  • You must ensure that:
  • the telephone line, telephone socket and power socket are working properly at all times. If they are not then you must have them repaired or replaced. HEARS is not responsible for this.
  • HEARS records are kept up to date with your nominated contacts details.
  • HEARS records are kept up to date your with medical condition(s).


7.1.1. If you activate the alarm the 24-hours HEARS control team will be called to assess your situation and establish what help is needed.

7.1.2. If required HEARS will alert your nominated contacts whose details you provided to HEARS when applying for the service, GP or emergency services to assist you.

Please note: Responders DO NOT attend your home for MONITORING ONLY


7.2.1. If you activate the alarm the 24-hours HEARS control team will be called to assess your situation and establish what help is needed.

7.2.2. If required:

  • The HEARS Responding team or the emergency services will be dispatched to you.
  • HEARS will alert your nominated contacts whose contact details you will have provided when signing up for the service.

7.2.3. What will HEARS responders do if they attend? They will carry out an initial assessment and depending on that they will carry out the following as appropriate and as necessary:

  • Provide first aid
  • Carry out a passive lift or manual handling
  • Call the emergency services
  • Notify your nominated contacts
  • Complete an incident report
  • Refer to other agencies

7.2.4. What will HEARS responders not do when they attend?

They will NOT:

  • Help with routine care or nursing matters, e.g. toileting, personal care, putting to or getting out of bed, etc.
  • Administer drugs or medication or deal with dressings
  • Carry out household chores, post letters or collect prescriptions
  • Prepare meals or refreshments
  • Complete documents on your behalf
  • Attend to electrical problems including resetting trip switches, change light bulbs, etc, unless related to HEARS alarm
  • Do anything that does not constitute a genuine emergency

7.2.5. Will HEARS responders use my own hoist? Before HEARS can use your hoist, the following conditions will apply:

  • You must have provided HEARS with details of the supplier of the hoist and when it was last serviced
  • The HEARS responders must be satisfied that it is suitable for use
  • The hoist must have been serviced within the last 12 months
  • You will sign an incident report form which will be completed by the HEARS responders if they use your hoist.

7.2.6. What happens if HEARS cannot use my hoist? If the HEARS responders cannot use the hoist and have no other means of lifting you safely then HEARS will contact the emergency services.


8.1. Does HEARS provide any add-ons to the services above? Yes, we provide the following:

  • Smoke detector
    • Smoke detectors which will be installed by HEARS in a suitable location at your property though we will not be responsible for the minimal damage caused by the installation/removal of equipment when doing so.
    • A Key Safe box is required with this additional service to enable immediate access by the emergency services.
  • Falls detector
    • A falls detector is activated by the velocity and acceleration of a fall. It is therefore important to note that a falls detector will NOT detect all types of falls e.g. slipping from a chair. If you apply for this add-on, the HEARS service will carry out an initial full assessment of your needs to establish whether the requirements of the falls detector specification as prescribed by the manufacturer are met.
    • The add-on service will only be provided if the manufacturer’s specification is met.

9.1. Further information on the response process: Here are some important points on HEARS responses to alarm calls received:

9.1.1. Unless there is a mechanical or electrical failure, or there are other circumstances beyond the HEARS service control, the control team will answer all emergency calls made by the alarm.

9.1.2. HEARS will not be liable for any delays in responding to alarms which are outside its control. We will contact you as soon as we can and we will take steps to minimise the effects of any such delay.

9.1.3. All alarm calls are recorded for quality of service and training purposes.

9.1.4. If your alarm is activated and HEARS cannot make contact via the alarm or by phone:


  • For MONITORING ONLY service – HEARS will attempt to notify one of your nominated contacts. If HEARS are unable to make contact with any of them, they may notify the emergency services. HEARS will have no further responsibility after the nominated contacts or
  • For MONITORING & RESPONDING service – HEARS will dispatch the HEARS responding team to your property.

10.1. What are HEARS’ charges? The charges for our services are as set out on our website at www.hearsalarm.co.uk/services, or available by contacting the service.

10.2. How and when do you pay?

  • Your first payment after starting to receive the service will include payment in arrears for the relevant proportion of the month in which you started as well as payment in advance for the whole of the following month.
  • Payments are due in advance on the first day of each month (or on the next working day if the first falls on a weekend or bank holiday).
  • The HEARS service is subscription based and must be paid via Direct Debit.

10.3. Will the charges change? The HEARS service can vary all charges and if it does so it will give you one month’s notice of the changes in writing.

10.4. Are there any other costs associated with receiving the service? If you report any lost equipment, the HEARS service will replace this for a one-off charge of:

  • Mobile Button – £49.99
  • Falls Detector – £99.99
  • Smoke Detector – £49.99
  • Alarm Unit – £99.99

Please note: If the equipment is found within 1 week of it being reported lost to HEARS, providing the equipment has not been damaged and is fully functional at the time of collection, the charge will be refunded to you. HEARS service – Terms & Conditions (March 2019)

10.5. What happens if the charges are not paid? if you fail to make 2 payments in a row or fail to make 3 payments within a six month period, we would class that as a persistent failure to pay that would justify us terminating the agreement.


11.1. How will HEARS use your personal information? Your personal data includes any information, which identifies you such as your name, address, health details and financial details. HEARS will comply with all relevant legal obligations when handling your personal data. You can view more details about our privacy statement at: www.ipswich.gov.uk/privacy

11.2. As a HEARS’ customer you agree that your personal information may be held by us so we can provide you with the HEARS services which you have applied for. You can withdraw your consent at any time. This information will be obtained from:

  • You directly
  • Your next of kin
  • Your nominated contacts
  • Health agencies
  • Your GP

Please note: HEARS may contact your doctor if they consider it necessary to obtain any information.

11.3. Who may we need to pass your information to? We may pass your personal information to the following but only in limited circumstances as explained below:

  • A medical professional
  • Your nominated contacts
  • Next of kin
  • Health agencies
  • Other agreed person(s)

However, we will only do so in the following circumstances:


  • Where you specifically agree to us doing so; or
  • HEARS thinks it is necessary to do so in the interests of your health/well-being.

12.1. Can this agreement be ended? Yes. This arrangement between you and HEARS can be ended by you or by us.

12.2. By you

  • If you want to end this agreement, you will need to notify the service. You can let us know by:
  • Phone: (01473) 433444
  • Online: www.hearsalarm.co.uk 
  • Post: HEARS service, Grafton House, 15-17 Russell Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 2DE
  • Once the HEARS service is notified of a cancellation you will be charged to the last day of the month.
  • If you end this agreement, any payments made in advance in respect of a period beyond the service cancellation date will be refunded.

12.3. By us

  • We can end the agreement by giving you one month’s notice in writing.
  • However, note that we can end the agreement with shorter notice if:
  • You are not keeping to your obligations under this agreement;
  • The alarm equipment supplied to you is persistently misused;
  • The alarm equipment supplied to you has been deliberately damaged;
  • You withdraw your consent for the service to disclose information;
  • You persistently fail or refuse to make any payments due. So, if you fail to make 2 payments in a row or fail to make 3 payments within a six month period, we would class that as a persistent failure to pay that would justify us terminating the agreement.
  • We also reserve the right to withdraw or suspend the service immediately in the following circumstances:
  • You are causing danger to the HEARS staff through your actions or inappropriate behaviour;
  • Your continued use of the alarm is putting the lives of other users at risk;
  • Meeting your needs is putting a demand on the HEARS resources which cannot be met by the resources available to it;
  • You repeatedly refuse to accept the support offered by the HEARS staff or alternative or enhanced care offered by other agencies;
  • You are repeatedly asking for help that HEARS does not consider a reasonable request;
  • It is no longer appropriate for you to receive the service, for example, due to a deterioration in your health or needs such that you require help over and above that which the HEARS service is able to provide.

12.4. Before we withdraw or suspend the service, we only do so after full consideration and after all efforts have been undertaken. This will include liaising with:

  • Nominated contacts
  • Next of kin
  • Other agencies
  • HEARS responding team

12.5. If HEARS ends the contract, any payments made by you in advance in respect of a period beyond the service cancellation date will be refunded to you.

12.6. You have a right to change your mind. You can change your mind about signing up with HEARS. You have 14 days from when we first visit your property to carry out our assessment of your needs and requirements. Please let us know either by:

  • Phone: (01473) 433444
  • Online: www.hearsalarm.co.uk 
  • Post: HEARS service, Grafton House, 15-17 Russell Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 2DE

You will need to supply us with your name and address when doing so. If you cancel after we have started the services, you must pay us for the services provided up until the time you tell us that you have changed your mind.

12.7. What happens to the equipment after the agreement ends? At the end of the agreement all the alarm equipment must be returned. Collection will need to be arranged with the HEARS team. If there is any damage to the alarm equipment (apart from wear and tear) or if any of the equipment is missing you will be obliged to pay us for the cost of repairing or replacing it.


13.1. HEARS will not be responsible for any loss, damage, injury or death, caused to you or anyone else unless it happens as a direct result of HEARS’ negligence.

13.2. We do not exclude or limit in any way our liability to you where it would be unlawful to do so. This includes liability for death or personal injury caused by our negligence or the negligence of our employees, agents or subcontractors; for fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation; for breach of your legal rights.

13.3. We are responsible to you for foreseeable loss and damage caused by us.

13.4. We may transfer our rights and obligations under these terms to another organisation. We will always tell you in writing if this happens and we will ensure that the transfer will not affect your rights under this agreement.

13.5. Nobody else has any rights under this agreement except you and us.

13.6. If a court finds part of this contract illegal, the rest will continue in force.

13.7. Even if we delay in enforcing this contract, we can still enforce it later.

13.8. These terms are governed by English law and you can bring legal proceedings in respect of the services in the English courts.

13.9. If we have any concerns about whether you may not have capacity to make decisions in your own best interest, HEARS will refer our concerns about this to Adult Social Care Services at Suffolk County Council and make onward referrals to other agencies as appropriate.

13.10. What to do if you want to tell us about a problem with the service: If you have a complaint about the product, you can contact us by:

  • In writing: Complaints Service, Ipswich Borough Council Grafton House, 15-17 Russell Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 2DE
  • Online: ipswich.gov.uk/complaints

13.11. We are under a legal duty to supply our services to you in accordance with these terms and conditions. Nothing in these terms will affect your legal rights.

We're here to help, call 01473 433236 or enquire online

We're here to help, call 01473 433236 or enquire online