You have a great home security system. It reports directly to a monitoring company and you might even have a system that allows you remote access from a cell phone or tablet. You rely on this system to keep you and your family safe. But, from time to time, home security systems break down – in whole or in part. Make sure you test your home system from time to time to ensure it is in proper working order.
Trip the Security Alarm
One of the best and easiest ways to test your system is to make sure the communication services between your home and the monitoring company are working properly. Most systems that connect to a central service station use the phone system. If you trigger your alarm and it is transmitting the signal to the central station, you should hear no dial tone. If you do get a dial tone, your system may not be properly connecting to the system. Have a professional come out and do a check.
Your motion detectors will need to be tested separately. This is done by casually walking across the area the detector is set to cover. It is important to note that most systems aren’t designed to detect motions like jumping or waving hands, and are set not to detect small pets in the area. Remember, you can’t test a motion detector by standing in front of it waving your arms.
Do you have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home? Simple battery-operated units usually have a test button on them. If you push the button and it does not beep, you’ll need to replace the batteries. It’s a good habit to change smoke detector batteries when you change your clocks for Daylight Savings and Standard Time. Most approved carbon monoxide detectors have an expiration date of 7 years. If your unit surpasses the expiration, it may chirp (differently than an emergency alarm) until you replace it completely.
Check Your Contract
Many security and home safety systems, including life alert systems, have safety and maintenance check clauses in their monitoring contracts. Make sure you read the contract and pay attention to how often you are supposed to check the system – a procedure that usually involves making contact with the monitoring station. Failure to do regular checks may void your contract, or the company’s liability, if your system ever does fail to report an intrusion, fire, or some other emergency.
Make checking your home’s security and safety systems a part of your monthly maintenance routine. The entire procedure should only take a few minutes and will ensure your home is properly protected.