Q: What if the power of the security system goes off?
A: The alarm system has a back up rechargeable battery that will power the system until the electricity comes back on. The battery will last approximately 24 hours without electricity, depending on the system type and how old the battery is. When the electricity comes back on the system will recharge the battery. We recommend the battery be changed approximately every three years.
Q: How does monitoring work?
A: When one of the devices triggers and alarm, the security system seizes the phone line and sends a digital message the central station. The operator will then call the premise to verify the alarm. If your phone line is busy or no one answers, they will dispatch the police. If you have set off the alarm yourself, wait and the phone will ring, answer it and the operator will ask you for your password. When you give the proper password the alarm will be cancelled.
Q: Should I have my system monitored?
A: Yes, it is highly recommended that you connect your security system to a local central station so that in case of an alarm you will be notified immediately as well as the proper authorities. You would not want to experience a break in whileyou were on vacation and come home to an open door. Most insurance companies offer a discount with a monitored alarm system.
Q: If I had a security system installed will it help my insurance rates?
A: Yes. Almost every insurance provider offers some level of a discount when you have a monitored security system installed. With monitored smoke detectors the insurance discount could be higher.
Q: Can I have my alarm system monitored even if I don’t have a phone line installed in my home?
A: Yes. There have been many advancements in home security technology and today you can connect your system also trough GPRS or broadband IP communication modes so the system will be able to send alerts and alarm messages to the central station via these channels. It also recommended to use one of these channels even if you do have a phone line - as a back up in case of line failures or intentional sabotage. In addition, many companies offer cellular monitoring as it is by far one of the fastest and most reliable forms of alarm transmission today.
Q: What is a PIR?
A: A passive infrared motion detector (PIR) is an electronic security device that detects intruders by sensing motion or body heat in the area being protected. Most PIRs are designed to be used when your family is away from the home or when noone will be passing through the area covered by the PIR.
Q: I have a dog. Does that mean I can’t install a PIR?
A: No. Most home security companies can provide you with a “pet immune” motion detectors, which allows dog and cat lovers to enjoy the same level of protection they would receive with a standard PIR. These state-of-the-art sensors provide “petimmunity” for animals weighing up to 38kg (85lb), depending on the manufacturer. Pet immune PIRs allow your pet to move about freely but can still detect an intruder’s movement.
Q: How do the Glass-break detectors work?
A: Acoustic glass-break detectors usually mounted on ceilings and walls, work by “listening” for the sound of breaking glass in a window. This kind of advanced wireless or hardwired technology can provide shatter and shock protection for your windows, so often intruders are sensed and the alarm sounded before they are able to gain access to your home.
Q: I already have battery operated smoke detectors in my home, so why would I need one installed also with the security system?
A: The battery operated smoke detectors are “stand alone” devices that will alarm when smoke is detected. However, a wireless smoke detector connected and supervised by a security system, immediately sends an alarm also to the central station which can more quickly response in cases of life-threatening cases or when the family members are sleeping while the fire starts. That way, if you do have a fire, the central station will notifies your fire department instantaneously, saving valuable time to prevent loss of property and/or lives.
Q: What is the difference between a control panel and a keypad?
A: The term "control panel" refers to the “brain” of the home security system. Whether this is a full panel with LCD and keypad or just the circuit board covered with plastics, the control panel is the component that supervises all the devices and sends the central station the alarms when triggered. A keypad, however, is a peripheral device that connected to the control panel. It is a user interface that allows youto arming and disarm or control some of the system functions and programming. In addition, the keypad provides a constant display of system status information.
Q: What is a Zone?
A: During you home alarm system installation it is divided to separate independent areas of protection based on function. Those functions might include indoor intrusion, outdoor intrusion, fire, medical, panic, or critical condition monitoring. These areas are Zones and each of them can be activated or deactivated separately from other areas. This means that activity can occur in one zone without activating the alarm in other zones. A zone can refer to a single device such as a motion detector or glass-break or reference a complete circuit such asa fire alarm.
Q: What is a Partition?
A: Generally speaking, partitioning an alarm system will allow you to have 2 or more independently controllable areas, as well as limit or control access to either by use of codes, and sometimes, code authority levels. Using the Partitions feature in your home security system can be beneficial if you have outbuildings that you would like to be secured independently of a main area, as well as have them remain armed or disarmed while other areas have their states changed. A system with Partition mode usually has some general requirements and access considerations. Most systems will have a system master code, as well as a partition master code. A system master code usually has the ability to access theentire system and partitions, while a partition master code is limited to the partition area only.
Q: Where should I install my Control Panel?
A: Before choosing the right place to install your home security system, keep in mind that this is sensitive electronic equipment that will require periodic maintenance. Given that in mind below are a few recommendations for a proper place to install: 1.Make sure there is enough space to comfortably work and operate the system 2.Install the unit in an area, which is accessible without special equipment. 3.Install the unit within a cool, dry area - follow the manufacturer's directions for temperature rating. 4.Avoid installation in: attics, extremely hot or humid areas, areas subject to flooding or moisture, areas close to gas mains, areas which may be subject to remodel or change.
Q: Can I be notified when my system is armed or disarmed?
A: Yes, almost all new panel from recent years can send how Armed/Disarmed notification to the home owner, and even how thesystem was armed (away or home). This feature is mainly used for parents to receive a verification that the kids arrived home safely.
Q: Why is my motion sensor providing false detections?
A: A motion detector may activate false alarms due to improper installation of the device. Movement of objects such as blinds and curtains within the range of the detector may trigger a false alarm. In this cases the detector may require relocation or adjustment by a professional technician.
Q: Is a wireless home security system reliable enough?
A: Several years ago, wireless intrusion alarm systems were considered to be less reliable than wired systems. In the last ten years or so, wireless communication and technologies for alarm systems have improved significantly and today wireless home security systems installation are growing each year. Both the professional industry and home owners came to realize that the advantages of a wireless system are huge and the reliability of the communication has gotten closer to the reliability provided with wired systems.
Q: Why does my smoke alarm go into alarm when I can't see smoke?
A: There could be several reasons for a smoke detector to trigger false alarms: 1. Wrong installation – the detector may be installed too close to a furnace or an oven which produce combustion particles. 2. Sensor Chamber is blocked – dust, dirt or insects often covers the chamber. In these cases you can vacuum clean it oruse a soft brush to remove the dirt.
Q: Why does the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend that home smoke alarms be replaced after 10 years?
A: As electronic devices, smoke alarms are subject to random failures. In 10 years there is roughly a 30% probability of failure before replacement. After 15 years, the chances are that your alarm has failed. Therefore, replacing alarms after 10 years protects against the accumulated chance of failure.
Q: How many smoke detectors do I need?
A: Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement. Many fatal fires begin late at night or in the early morning. For extra safety, install smoke alarms both inside and outside the sleeping area. On floors without bedrooms, place detectors in or near living areas. A good place for a smoke detector in a two-story house is at the top of the stairs since smoke from downstairs will rise along that path. Also, smoke alarms should be installed on the ceiling or 6 to 8 inches below the ceiling on side walls. Since smoke and many deadly gases rise, installing your smoke alarms at the proper level will provide you with the earliest warning possible. Always follow the manufacturer's installation instructions