Sometimes we have things become so commonplace in our life that they just seem to blend into the background. Thus is often the case with things such as our alarm systems. In this article, we take a look at a few of the most common overlooked and underused features of the standard modern alarm system that we see out in the field from time to time. Are you guilty of these?…
which turns on all sensors, and the other is Stay Mode. This mode only arms the doors and windows and allows you to move freely around without setting off motion detectors or interior doors. Its amazing to me the number of people who have this option yet never use it. This day in age its hard to read or watch the news without hearing about people taking advantage of other people even in their own homes. Home Invasion is unfortunately a real thing and seems to be a growing trend. If you have your system set to stay while your home, it certainly can’t stop someone from kicking in your door, but it does do three things immediately. First and foremost, it lets you know that there is an issue because the system is in alarm. Second, it lets the intruder know that the alarm system is aware of their presence and the element of surprise is gone. And third, and most importantly, the system, in the blink of an eye has notified the monitoring station that there is an intruder. Now depending on your system and how it was setup, the follow up to that intrusion detection will be handled differently, but its important that you work with your security company to understand that process and what you need to do to stay safe. If you need further assistance with this, we would be happy to help. Just click the contact-us button or give us a call today!
2. Arm without Code
Did you know that your system can most likely be armed without a 4 digit code? Most modern security systems can be armed with just 1 or 2 button presses and don’t require the full code to arm the system. This means you have no reason to give a code to a cleaning crew, contractor, or temporary guest who simply needs to arm the system when they leave. Its also worth mentioning that you can change your code and probably should if you have given it out to anyone over the years. One final note about that code, you can write it down, but don’t put it on the peg board next to the keypad… believe it or not, I’ve see it!
3. Emergency Buttons
Almost every system ever made has the ability to use keys on the key pad with a secondary function besides what they are labeled. Most commonly that is the numbers 1,2 and 3 keys but not always. You will have to check your system documentation, contact your security provider or if you don’t have access to either , give us a call or email and we will be glad to help! These multi function buttons can be setup (and possibly already are) to call for Fire, Medical, or Police when held down or pressed in conjunction with a second button. This means that in an emergency anyone can quickly summon the appropriate help with the press of a button. This is also and option on several Key Fobs even if they don’t have a button for emergency, pressing two buttons simultaneously can send off a panic. Panic buttons are not limited to the Key Fobs and Key Pads, they are also offered in whats known as a PERS button (Personal Emergency Response System) and were originally made popular by the “I’ve fallen and cant get up” commercial from the 90’s. These single button remotes can be worn on a wrist band, neck strap or mounded in key locations around your home or office. They can be programmed for medical response, or for silent alarm police response. If you have any questions about adding one of these to your system contact your security provider and as always if they are unavailable or you need additional support, feel free to call us and we will be glad to help!
One of the simplest system settings that we see under used in security systems is the chime feature. In the event that you don’t want your system armed for stay when your home ( Maybe you have windows and doors open for summer breezes or you’re doing some spring cleaning) you can turn on, and should always keep on, the chime feature. Some clients have told me in the past that this chime feature is irritating but i can promise you that it is one of those sounds that you get used to and without even knowing it, it programs you to be aware when people are coming and going in you home or office. This mild programming provides us an awareness that we otherwise often take for granted. Most people would agree that knowing when someone enters or leave the premises is information that they would like to know yet time and time again I see this feature turned off. As with most of the features listed here this is a simple change that can be done by you with little effort and no programming knowledge. Refer to your system manual, call your security provider, or as always, if you need assistance we are always available to help. Give us a call or shoot us an email with your needs and or questions.
This one I can’t stress enough! When is the last time you tested your system? It’s actually not hard to do and the old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is certainly true. The process for doing this is simple. First you need to call you monitoring company and let them know you want to place your system on test. Once that is done, arm your system and have at it.. open the doors, windows, and dance in front of the motion detectors. Once you have tested all the detectors in your home or office, call the monitoring station back and get them to list what they got. If it all checks out, then your system is working great! If things are missing, or they didnt get a call in from you system, Try again and this time wait a fill 3 minutes before disarming. Yes the siren is loud, but in the event that something happens, its worth a few minutes of loud noise to know for sure that everything is working fine! One last note, If you have smoke detectors on your system these need to be tested too. Call your security company at least once a year to have them checked out if not more often than that. These are life safety devices and failure is not an option!
As always, if there are ever any questions or concerns about your system, feel free to call us and discuss it. Our Primary concern is that your system perform properly so that you, your property, and you family are safe.