Any time we install a monitored burglar alarm system, we work with customers to help them keep their security working for years and years to come. Unfortunately, many customers take a “set it and forget it” approach to keeping their alarm operational. We always install security equipment designed to withstand daily use and operational wear and tear. However, following some basic alarm maintenance tips and best practices for security system usage will help you maintain the most effective security possible in the long term. In this post, we share these pointers with you to make the most of your alarm experience.

To start, we’ll review the importance of smart security system design. Keeping long-term usage in mind from the beginning will go a long way towards maintaining your security. Then, we’ll share some best practices for alarm use. While these tips will not necessarily extend the life of your alarm, they will make it more effective. From there, we’ll explain how to properly check and test your alarm. This includes testing the effectiveness of devices as well as alarm monitoring. Finally, we’ll share how you can set yourself up for consistent, reliable alarm performance! Now, let’s get started by seeing how effective alarm design can make your security as effective as possible.

Setting Yourself Up for Success

When we talk about security system design, we have a couple types of planning in mind. First and foremost, we must make choices about the equipment we install. Right off the bat, we go about selecting an alarm panel that will last you a long time. Of course, this means avoiding cheaper systems that have have frequent technical issues and glitches. Moreover, it also means choosing a current alarm panel that will have parts available for it when we need them. Often, panels reach the end of their useful life cycles due to obsolescence. This occurs when a manufacturer stops supporting a security system and making parts for it. When this happens, if a system needs to be added on to, or if it needs even a simple repair, we often cannot complete the work. Therefore, you should work with your alarm provider to choose an alarm that will stand the test of time.

In addition to choosing the right alarm, having a full grasp of your alarm sensor options remains important as well. For example, trying to cover large areas with short-range motion detectors will decrease your security. Make sure the equipment you want to install meets the security demands of the application. Doing so will help ensure your alarm works for you when you need it most. Let’s now turn our attention to one of our alarm maintenance tips that deals with carefully setting up the different codes that keep your alarm secure.

A hand entering a code on a keypad

We highly recommend adding multiple codes to your alarm and deleting them as needed, rather than having many people using the same code.

Keeping Your Alarm as Effective as Possible

In addition to creating a great alarm design, we also want to help you use your alarm in an effective manner. In particular, an alarm’s activation/de-activation codes and your verbal passcodes deserve special attention. Let’s tackle this important topic starting with the codes you use for daily alarm operation. When many customers set these codes up, they often create one or maybe two codes. Then, they give these out to whoever may need to get in their home. Unfortunately, this can lead to acquiantences or contractors coming back uninvited years down the line and using the codes you gave them to disarm your security. For this reason, we recommend keeping a couple permanent codes as well as some rotating guest codes. These additional codes should get deleted and changed frequently to keep your alarm’s security intact.

Finally, keeping your verbal passcodes updated can also keep your security more effective. Upon an alarm activation, our central station calls the premise to determine whether to dispatch the authorities. If you wanted to cancel an alarm at that point, you would then recite a verbal passcode to verify your idenity. This keeps thieves from cancelling a police appearance at your home — unless they know the passcode. For this reason, we also recommend creating multiple verbal passcodes that get changed as needed. Now that we’ve covered proper system design and alarm code maintenance, let’s review proper alarm equipment checking and testing.

Checking and Testing Alarm Equipment

We recommend taking a few practical steps towards maintaining your security equipment. For starters, we ask our customers to visually inspect security equipment on a regular basis, especially in basements, garages, or in other areas where dirt may collect. A buildup of dirt in an environmental sensor or a developing spiderweb in a motion detector can easily cause a malfunction. Taking this advice can keep your equipment running for years longer than it would if you let dirt and grime build up until it makes your security equipment fail.

In addition to checking on your sensors, we also recommend testing your alarm’s monitoring. To perform this test, simply call your alarm company and have them put your system on “test” mode. This will cancel the usual central station response to an alarm. At that point, the person from your alarm company can stay on the line while you arm your security system. After completing this step, simply open a door or window to activate the alarm. After 30 seconds or so, your security company can see the alarm signal come through and let you know. Furthermore, modern alarm systems also test their communication with the central station on a regular basis. If you have an antiquated alarm system, consider upgrading to one that will perform these tests. Doing so can help you catch any issues before they keep your alarm from dialing out during an emergency.

Ensuring Future Maintenance and Security

When we install an alarm, we also provide customers a means to keep equipment maintained and working with no unexpected expenses in the years to come. We offer security equipment warranty plans to help ensure your equipment works when you need it most. All of these warranty plans include free replacement of security equipment when it fails. Furthermore, some of them even include annual testing and inspections of burglar-alarm related components! Signing up for one of these plans greatly enhances your security’s long-term effectiveness. Of course, doing so can also save you money in cases where you require us to replace any security-related items. Adding this security has long remained one of our top alarm maintenance tips due to the short-term and long-term security and cost benefits, in addition to the aditional peace of mind these plans provide.

A hand holding a paper that reads "Inspection Passed"

Periodical alarm inspections help ensure that your alarm’s components and monitoring service will work when needed.

Making Our Alarm Maintenance Tips Work for You

We hope that these alarm alarm maintenance tips help you experience the security of an alarm for many, many years going forward. Additionally, we invite you to contact us with any questions this post may raise for you. We will happily answer any and all of your security-related inquiries. Moreover, we also invite you to take advantage of our free site survey program. We provide both new and existing customers alike with complimentary, no-strings-attached security audits and equipment quotes. During our visit, we can address any and all security concerns you may have. Moreover, we can also make suggestions of our own based on our observations of your property.

Perhaps you have an alarm in place but want to put some of these tips to work for you. Or, maybe you have yet to install an alarm, and wish to successfully build a system from the ground up. Either way, we are happy to help! Over our 34-plus years in business, we’ve worked with over a thousand customers to create alarms that meet their own unique security needs. Together, we can create a complete security plan to keep you, your property, and everyone in it as safe and secure as possible!