In our post on Smart Security System Design, we discuss several of the choices alarm customers must make. Additionally, we also discuss the pros and cons of several of these options. For example, customers must decide whether to install a hardwired or wireless alarm. Moreover, they also have to determine which types of sensors fit their needs, as well as how they wish to monitor their security system. However, our previous post does not include information about alarm keypads. Keypads have more influence on a customer’s experience using their security system than any other piece of alarm equipment. Therefore, today we’ll dedicate an entire post to explaining keypad options for your alarm.

For starters, we’ll explain what role these keypads play within a complete security system. Then, after getting familiar with the basics, we’ll explore a few different keypad styles. First, we’ll look at the differences between hardwired keypads and their wireless counterparts. Then we’ll focus on keypads that also double as an alarm’s control panel. Finally, we’ll share some information on products that complete some of the same tasks as keypads. Installing keypad-free alarm control components can save you money while still allowing you to control your system from different locations. Now, let’s get started with a quick education on our security system keypads!

A Honeywell Vista Keypad

An alarm’s keypad, such as this Honeywell model, allows users to control and program their entire security system from one location.

Your Alarm Keypad Primer

As we’ll discuss in the rest of this post, alarm keypads take on a few different forms. However, they all perform largely the same types of tasks. Security system keypads provide a way for you to control your alarm system. This includes performing tasks such as arming and disarming the system. Furthermore, you can use your keypads to program your alarm as well. For example, you can add and delete user codes at the keypad. Most modern keypads also have a screen on them to display any important system status updates, such as low sensor batteries or information from past alarm activations.

When we install an alarm, we always put keypads near any frequently used exterior doors. This allows users to disarm the security system immediately upon entering their property. Additionally, master bedrooms also make a popular location for a keypad installation. Installing keypads in this room allows homeowners to control their alarm and view status updates without walking all the way to a door. This adds both security and convenience to your alarm system. Next, let’s move on and explain some of the various keypad options for your alarm.

Hardwired Keypads

Traditionally, security systems require a control panel to create power for the alarm’s keypads, sirens, and security sensors. Even systems with wireless security devices often require wiring that runs from every keypad and siren location back to the main panel. We normally install this panel in a property’s basement. From there, we get our wires from the panel itself wherever we want to put these hardwired devices. Ideally, we have the chance to run this wiring during a home’s construction. However, we can usually fish wires through walls to get to first-story keypads and sirens from the basement when installing an alarm in a finshed home.

Of course, homeowners with finished houses often wish to install keypads in second-floor bedrooms or hallways. Occasionally, we can get creative and still run our wires to these locations. For example, some homes have first-floor closets that we can use to hide wiring running straight from the basement to the second story. Unfortunately, this is certainly not always the case. In some instances, we have to use a different type of technology altogether to get a keypad into these locations. Let’s see how we add this security in our next section!

Wireless Keypads

A QOLSYS IQ Panel 2 with a disaply showing the system is disarmed

The QOLSYS IQ Panel provides a complete security system unit that eliminates the need to run any wires from a separate control panel.

If we foresee any difficulty in running wiring from an alarm panel to a keypad, we can use a wireless keypad to solve this issue. While not every type of alarm panel supports these convenient devices, the types of panels that we install do provide wireless keypad options. Despite their “wireless” label, we still generally hardwire these keypads into an outlet for power. In these instances, the keypad’s “wireless” technology refers to its ability to communicate with the panel wirelessly upon installation. However, a few of these keypads also allow for battery-powered operation. Obviously, this option proves ideal when installing a wireless keypad far away from any outlets. So far, we’ve discussed keypads that we must connect to a separate alarm panel. Now, let’s examine the possibility of installing a keypad that also acts as the “brains” of the entire security system!

Complete Keypad/Panel Units

As with many technology-related industries, the security industry features quickly-evolving security solutions for a variety of purposes. One of the most important developments has been the rise in popularity of alarm keypad/panel all-in-one units. Just as you’d guess by the description, these keypads double as alarm panels. This allows us to install these alarm systems even in locations where we cannot run wiring from a panel to a keypad. Moreover, installing these systems often saves customers quite a bit of money. After all, running wiring takes time and effort, and customers pay for this time.

In fact, we prefer to use this type of system for new installations. Specifically, we recommend installing the QOLSYS IQ Panel 4. This security system includes a panel/keypad unit, as well as the ability to install connected wireless keypads around your property. The convenience and affordability provided by these systems make them increasingly popular with our customers! Last but certainly not least, let’s see how you can control your alarm without touching a keypad at all.

Keypad-Free System Control Options

As we’ve pointed out, our keypad options for your alarm provide a simple and effective means of controlling your security system. However, some situations call for the ability to control your alarm without the need to get to a keypad. For example, emergency situations might call for you to activate your alarm’s “panic” features. Every alarm system we install has the ablility to create an alarm and security monitoring response by hitting and holding a “panic” button on the system’s keypad.

Unfortunately, an emergency taking place while you are away from the keypad requires a quicker response. Luckily, we offer remote keyfobs that allow you to control your alarm from elsewhere on your property. These fobs allow for remote system arming and disarming. Additionally, they also double as a wireless panic device. This eliminates the need to run to a security keypad in order to create this type of alarm activation.

A hand holding a phone open to the app

Interactive cellular monitoring through allows users to control their security system and activate an alarm panic response with a cell phone app.

Furthermore, we also offer a solution that allows your cell phone to act as an alarm control and panic activation device. Our cellular dialer, powered by, offers our customer remote alarm access. Therefore, interactive monitoring customers can arm and disarm their security system using their cell phones at any time, from anywhere. Additionally, they can also activate a panic response using their phones as well. The convenience and added security created by adding this security makes our interactive monitoring our most popular type of security monitoring for new alarms.

Finding the Right Keypad Options for Your Alarm

We hope that this post has educated you on the various keypad options for your alarm. Morevover, we encourage you to contact us with any related questions you may have. We will happily answer any security-related concerns or inquiries you can throw our way. Perhaps you have a security system but wish to add some of the equpment or options we’ve discussed in this post. Or, maybe you have no alarm right now, and wish to create an effective security plan from the ground up. Either way, we are here to help you.

Furthermore, we encourage you to take advantage of our free site survey program. We offer free consultations and security product quotes to both new and existing customers alike. While on site, we can address any security-related concerns you may have. Additionally, we can make our own recommendations based on what we observe during our visit. Together, we can create a complete security plan to keep you, your entire property, and everyone on it as safe and secure as possible!