You rely on your home security alarm to protect your family in the event of a break-in or fire. Whether you are sleeping in your own bed or away on business, you want to know that your system will work properly when it’s needed most. Test your system on a regular basis to ensure that everything is operating the way it should.
It’s important to look at sensors occasionally and make sure they are still in place. A sensor that has fallen out of position is not protecting your home, and it should be addressed immediately. Physically inspect all sensors to ensure that they are in place and unbroken before you proceed with the test.
While you are looking at the window sensors, take a moment to check window locks and door locks. Latch them securely and try jiggling the window or door to ensure that they remain locked. This is particularly important on ground-level bedroom windows. Windows that are easily opened are tempting for thieves, and it’s always best to keep them out of the house completely. While the alarm would sound and protect your family, it’s still wise to keep the windows locked and avoid the stress.
• Start by Calling the Monitoring Company
False alarms are never fun, and you can avoid one easily by calling the monitoring company when you are preparing to test the system. They recommend monthly testing, so they are more than happy to place your account on test while you go through the necessary checks of the system.
• Disable the Siren
You don’t want the siren wailing every time you open a window during the test, so take the time to turn it off. It may be tempting to leave the siren on just to see the neighbors start to twitch, but then they will ignore your alarm if it ever goes off in a real emergency. If you live out in the country and don’t mind the siren, then you can leave it engaged. If you aren’t sure how to turn the siren off, ask the security representative to walk you through the process when you call to inform them of the test.
• Set the Alarm and Start Testing Entries
Methodically move through one room of your house at a time and open the exit doors and windows. Open and close each location, listening to be sure that your alarm has detected the change. Walk back and forth in front of motion detectors to ensure that they sense your movement. Test smoke detectors by using a can of smoke used for testing these systems. Flood sensors can be checked by using a piece of metal to connect the metal prongs on the sensor. This will create the same effect as water and the alarm should sound. Use a carbon monoxide testing kit to make sure CO detectors are working properly.
• Call the Monitoring Company and Turn the System On
A quick phone call will restore service to your alarm and ensure that your home is once again protected. If you have turned off the siren, have the agent step you through turning it back on.
Test Communications with the Alarm Company
Once you know that all sensors are working properly inside the home, you need to make sure that your system will communicate properly with the monitoring company. Arm the system and set it off. While the alarm is going off and sending a signal to the company, you should not have a dial tone on your home phone. If the line is dead or you hear a buzzing similar to a fax tone, then the system needs to be serviced. Notify the company that you will do this ahead of time to avoid a false alarm.
The monitoring company is responsible for responding to alarm calls, but you are responsible for maintaining the system inside your home. Most companies expect that you will perform regular checks of the system to ensure that there are not any broken sensors or other problems. They are happy to correct any problems, but it is up to you to notify them of issues.Personalized Assistance
If the testing process seems a little overwhelming, you don’t have to worry. Help is only a phone call away. Most monitoring companies are happy to step you through the process of testing your system. It’s the best way to ensure that your family remains safe with a working alarm system.
Your home security system provides you with valuable protection from fire, carbon monoxide and break-ins. You can count on the monitoring company to keep an eye on your system, but it’s up to you to test it occasionally. The monitoring company can walk you through the process if you have any questions, but you will see that it is very easy to handle the test yourself.