Security alarm systems provide homeowners a sense of safety when it comes to their families and properties. This is why it is important to install one in your home given that burglaries and other uneventful things may strike anytime. But just as crucial is the proper maintenance of your alarm system. Aside from ensuring that your alarm will work when it is most needed, maintaining your home security system also prevents false alarms. According to the statistics from the Fairfox County, 95-98 percent of alarm calls turn out to be false alarms, which take away police away from real emergencies.
While security alarm systems offer annual checkups, you can definitely make use of a working knowledge of keeping your alarm system in good condition. From inspecting the components to checking the batteries to making sure that the control panel is able to communicate, here are the tips that you should know for efficient alarm system troubleshooting and maintenance.
Inspect your premises once a week
Schedule regular checks on your house to ensure that everything in it does not adversely affect the performance of your alarm system. The locks on the doors and windows should be in place and in good condition. Look out for the frames around them for any defects. See if your sensors need re-fastening so they are secure. Also, small things like sensors with the cover not put on properly can affect your alarm. Your interior decorations and HVAC equipment should not cause movement and set off detectors. Readjust or change your exterior lights as needed.
Check the cables
All security alarm systems, even the wireless, are connected with at least one cable. Check all cables like for the electricity, telephone line, and so on. Make repairs as soon as you see cut or damaged cords. Make sure that the control panel is securely plugged in and that the outlet or power strip is tucked away in a safe location. If you have babies crawling on the floor, baby proof everything electrical in your home to prevent injuries as well.
Know when to update the batteries
In case of power failures, alarm systems rely on backup batteries. To prepare for power outages or surges, get surge suppressors on your alarm system and make sure that the batteries have four hours of charge at the minimum.
The batteries in your control panel lose their optimal efficiency over time and thus, need to be replaced every three to five years. If you have a wireless security alarm system, the batteries in your wireless sensors and panic buttons need to be replaced more often. It is best to refer to the user manual so you can get a more accurate timeline for the alarm system model that you have.
Immediately tend to beeping signals
Your alarm system may give off beeping signals at the most inconvenient times, but these beeps are your alarm’s way of telling you that there is something wrong with the system. First, make sure the system is disarmed to stop the beeping so you can calmly troubleshoot.
Different alarm systems have different troubleshooting guides, but basically, you will have to refer to the user manual to understand the trouble that the system detected. For instance, to fix false beeping of a DSC alarm system, pressing the star (*) key and then the number 2 will reveal a trouble code number. This trouble code has a corresponding meaning in the user manual. Common troubles are low battery, AC power loss, nonworking telephone line and communication, sensor issues, and loss of time on the system clock.
Regularly clean the components of your alarm system
Having clean equipment makes a huge difference in the performance of your alarm system. Clean cameras provide a clear and unobstructed view of your home. Dirt-free sensors are more able to accurately detect causes for alarm such as a moving intruder and smoke.
Dust dirt from your control panel, detectors, cameras, and other equipment. Use only gentle cleaning substances. If you are not sure how to clean a specific item, check the manual for the instructions. After cleaning, test your devices like the cameras to see if the feed is clear and is recording.
See your alarm system in work by testing it
This is covered in the annual checks if you availed a maintenance contract from your security services provider, but you can also do this on your own. Older security systems need to be tested every three months. If you have a newer alarm system, every six months will do.
To start, call your central monitoring station and let them know that you are testing your alarm system to avoid having dispatchers respond to your alarm test. Turn on the alarm system and trigger it by opening a door or window. After the alarm rings for 15 seconds, enter your code to turn the alarm off. Call again your central station to ask if they got the signal from your alarm system.
The user manual is your guide to everything concerning the specific model of your alarm security system — from the functions to troubleshooting to proper maintenance. Carefully read the instructions. If you keep the hard copy, put in somewhere everyone in your household can easily access it, preferably somewhere near the control panel. You can also download a soft copy, which is helpful for when you remotely monitor your alarm system.
Have the pertinent details on hand
Prepare a list of the information that you have and the information that you need to know should you contact the customer service support of your alarm security system provider. Be clear not only with the brand and model of your alarm system, but also with the issues that you see with it. Make sure you understand their troubleshooting instructions so you can efficiently fix whatever alarm system problem that you have. Also, communicate any concerns so you know what to do and what to expect.
Securing your home definitely does not end with installing an alarm system. Regular maintenance is important to ensure optimal efficiency and to avoid false alarms. Create reminders on your calendar if you must. After all, better be safe than sorry especially when it is the security of your home and your family at stake.
Aby League is a qualitative researcher and a passionate writer. She is an innovator and technology enthusiast. She has been writing about health, psychology, home improvement and technology. You can see more of her articles on Elite Daily. To know her more, follow her on Twitter.