Most alarm companies recommend that you test your security system monthly, but what exactly does that mean? Just like a car, your alarm system needs periodic tune-ups … some done by you and some by a qualified alarm company. Let’s look at YOUR responsibilities.
Test Your Alarm System
Review the step-by-step instructions that your alarm company provided. If you can’t find the instructions, call your alarm company and ask for a new copy.
- Contact your alarm monitoring company to inform them when you will conduct a test. It’s best to test the system during the day so you don’t bother neighbors with the alarm sound. Your alarm company should place your company in “test status” to assure that your test does NOT trigger a false alarm.
- First locate each sensor. Turn on the alarm system. An individual should walk in front of each sensor; allow the alarm to sound for 45 seconds. Most alarm equipment has delays, so the sensor will not send an alarm signal to the monitoring company until at least 30-45 seconds have passed.
- Open each door and window to trigger those sensors.
- Ask the monitoring company to relay all of the alarm signals to assure the test signals were received correctly.
- After the test, contact the alarm company to conclude the test and assure that your account is removed from test status.
Check Your Surveillance Cameras
- Review the surveillance recording for the previous day and night. Is the recording sharp and clear? Is the lighting appropriate?
- Check the focus and alignment for each security camera.
- If applicable, replace the recording medium on a regular basis. Re-using the same videotape month after month will cause the picture quality to deteriorate. Of course, that isn’t an issue for digital video recorders.
- Assure that recordings are stored for 90 days. If you have an unexplained loss, reviewing surveillance videos may help you find an item or identify how a loss happened.
- Finally, respond to every alarm. Burglars may trip your alarm repeatedly over multiple days to lull you into thinking the alarm system is faulty. Once you no longer respond to the alarm, they strike for real.
Be proactive! Keep your alarm system in tip-top shape.