RESIDENTS in assisted-living and warden-assisted accommodation are at risk because their emergency communications are increasingly likely to fail, it is claimed.

Poole business Sentinel Fire and Security is warning that a rollout of digital communications is leaving analogue systems dangerously exposed.

The company says a percentage of analogue emergency calls fail, and that figure will rise.

An elderly or infirm resident who relies on pulling a red chord or pushing a button around their neck could find that the call will not get through, the business says.

By 2025, the country will have moved entirely to digital systems after BT Openreach completes the new fibre telecommunications infrastructure.

Any environment that has not upgraded puts people’s lives at greater risk, Sentinel claims.

Sentinel, founded by engineers Aaron Keith and Niall Harper, says it has been rushing to upgrade system.

Mr Keith said: “There is very little understanding about this change but it is extremely worrying. Perhaps because it is a niche area, people are unaware that a percentage of emergency calls on analogue systems won’t connect.

“Obviously if you are an elderly person who has had a fall this could mean lying on the floor until someone arrives.

“Anyone in technology-enabled care relies on these systems if there is an emergency. While the country’s standards are among the strictest in the world, the infrastructure is creaking.

“That is why the government mandated BT Openreach to install a fibre network, making everything digital. And it is ahead of schedule.

“The analogue system it is replacing is not being upgraded so the percentage of failed calls will rise – quite alarmingly, so it’s been predicted.”

Mr Harper said: “We have been installing hybrid and digital systems for clients who were themselves unaware of the situation.

“Our team of nine engineers make sure they future-proof systems and not only is this important for residents’ peace of mind, but it is something insurance companies look out for.”