Archive for category: Tech Tips

Add a Flood Alarm Sensor to your Security System, It could save you Thousands!

Add a flood alarm Sensor to your alarm system for added protection. A flood in your home or business could cost you thousands in damage if undetected. Some insurance companies do not cover you if you have a flood. Adding a flood alarm sensor to your security system can alert you of water leakage at an early stage giving you enough time to react and save your property. Here is a picture of the hot water tank in my office building. The flood sensor is the small grey plastic thing you see screwed to the floor. It has two small metal tabs, one each end of the sensor and a wire connected to it. If water touches the two metal tabs it creates a short and then trips to the security system which then alerts the monitoring station. There are a few different types of flood sensors available. The flood sensors can be installed wired or you can install them wireless. The wireless flood sensor is great for areas that you cannot run Read More

If your phone line exposed on the outside of your home? If Cut your alarm system monitoring will not work.

Alarm System Telephone Line ConnectionYour alarm system uses your phone line for alarm monitoring.

Most homes in North America have phone lines that come into the home via over head wires, the wires run down the home and terminate in a plastic box then connect to your alarm system and your telephone jacks in the house. The wires can easily be cut and the  box easily accessed. Any burglar can do this very easily and can disable your phone line which will then disable your alarm system monitoring. If you have your phone lines exposed on the side of your home you should always install an alarm system cell backup system which will provide your alarm system monitoring via the cell network.

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Alarm System | Keep your Security System accessible


Its important to keep your security system accessible

The other day i was doing a service call to a customers security system to replace a backup battery. The customer also had a problem with their keypad displaying FC on the screen. When i arrived the 1st thing i needed to do was to locate the alarm system panel. The security system panel was located in the basement closet. When i opened the closet i found the customer had recently installed an AV (audio Video) rack in the closet full of satellite receivers, computer router, PVR etc.

The problem was it has been installed directly in front of the security system box and I was unable to open the box more than about 3 inches. The AV rack was not screwed to the floor so i moved it an extra inch and was able to replace the backup battery. The problem here is if the security system needs servicing more than just replacing the backup battery there is no way we can access the inside of the box. Its is very important that when your alarm system is installed that you do not install AV receivers, built in vacuums

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Alarm Monitoring | Yearly Service For Your Security System

Security System Technician askthesecurityguy
A security system that is serviced yearly is a security system that is going to be reliable and functioning correctly when needed. Many security companies install security systems, hookup the alarm monitoring and you then you don’t hear from them for years until you call them with a problem.

A good security company will offer you a yearly maintenance agreement and explain the value of this to you. Most security systems do indicate when there is a problem by indicating on the keypad with a trouble light and beeping. The will system will also call the alarm monitoring service report the trouble. This is the case for Low Battery, Loss of supervision etc but not the case if you have problems with sensors or general wear and tear. This can only be found by the technician performing an inspection and full test on your system.

The cost of not doing a yearly inspection on your security system can be great and cost you far more in the long run if the system doesn’t function correctly if an intrusion or fire occurs.

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Alarm Monitoring and DSL High Speed Internet?

Alarm System DSL FilterDid you know that if you have DSL high-speed internet at home or at work that you need a DSL filter on the phone line? Many people with alarm monitoring do not know this.  If you do not have the filter installed it can affect the communication of your alarm system  to the monitoring station when your alarm is tripped.

Usually the alarm company that installs your alarm and monitoring will ask this question during in the installation of the alarm and monitoring service, but if you change internet service after the fact you may not have the filter. Read More

False Alarms From a Window Sensor

window alarm sensorAre you having false alarm problems from one of your window sensors? You may be able to fix this yourself and save the cost of a service call.

The most common problem with false alarms from window sensors are caused when the sensor or magnet has moved to far apart on the window or the window frame. Usually the sensors and the magnets are fixed in place in the window and frame with silicone. Over time due to wear and tear or environmental conditions, the magnet or sensor can move and the silicone becomes loose. Most sensors operate where the sensor and Read More

Tech Tips – Keypad Panic Buttons Know How To Use Them

The emergency buttons on your alarm system keypad are a great feature and could save you and your family’s life. Most alarm companies enable the keypad emergency buttons on your alarm system keypads and if they have not you can call them and ask them to.

You should check your keypad and be aware of how the buttons work. Usually you would have 3 buttons available if you have a monitored alarm system. Police Emergency, Fire Emergency and Medical Emergency. If your system is not monitored then just the police emergency button would be enabled. In the mon monitored case, when you press the button only the siren would sound and the police would not be called.  There would be a small sticker above each emergency button to show what the button is for. Read More

Test Your Security System Weekly

Did you know that you are supposed to test your security system weekly? If you check your alarm system user manual you will see it recommends that you to test your system weekly to ensure the system is functioning. You will also see the same disclaimer on the back of your alarm monitoring agreement.

Most people do not test their system yearly let alone weekly. It’s a good idea to follow these recommendations as if you ever have a problem with a break in and your system did not function correctly, the alarm company and maybe your insurance company may refer back to this clause. Your insurance company may not pay you out on your claim. Read More

Tech Tips – Chime Feature

DSC KeypadDid you know that your security system has a chime feature? This feature is handy for homes and businesses. To turn this feature on and off consult your user manual or go to our user manual page to download a copy.

Most alarm systems have the chime feature built-in and its simple to enable and disable when needed. The Honeywell brand of systems, the keypad or keypads chime when and windows or doors are opened but not when they are closed. On the DSC brand of systems, the keypad or keypads chime when the windows or doors are open and closed. On some of the newer DSC systems you can change the chime sound giving you a few different sound options. You could have a different chime sound for windows and different for doors if you choose. Read More

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