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How To Test Your Alarm System

Posted By: Adrian Salas on Friday, July 13th, 2012
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Testing your alarm system can be very beneficial in many different aspects when it comes to your home security. It not only ensures your system is working properly, but also ensures connectivity.

Having your system connected correctly at all times is vital to whether your alarm will communicate with your monitoring station when your alarm goes off. Once you alarm system is triggered, the monitoring station receives a notification that your alarm went off, and follows the set procedure.

The first step to testing your home security alarm system is to make sure your account is on test. You do not want to get a false alarm. Typically you have a set amount of times you can get a false alarm depending on the city or state you live in. After you have reached the maximum amount of false alarms, you can be fined for every time you have one. I’m sure you do not want to have to pay money for that, so make sure your account is on test! You can either call the monitoring station or your home security company to place your account on test. At Protect America we ask our customers to call in once a month to do a monthly test, and we put the account on test with the monitoring station to provide a quality test.

The next step is to put your alarm on. You can either choose to turn your siren off if you don’t want to hear the loud sound while testing, but if you don’t mind, leave it on and let it blare away. It all depends and is up to you on if you want turn it off or not, everyone is different. You can ask your security rep to walk you through turning the siren off if you need.

Once you have the alarm system on, you can go through all the sensors you would like to test. If you’re going to test a door or window sensor, you want to open and close the locations one by one. Again, some people may have a different preference when it comes to this. You may want to test every single one, or you may want to just test a few of them if your system is reading “system ok” when you press status.

If you’re going to test a motion detector, make sure you walk in front of it back and forth. You want to create motion in the air of where you have it aimed. Remember, these are infrared motion detectors and are triggered when they sense heat and motion.

When it comes to testing your smoke detectors you can you can use a can of smoke provided by Protect America. The can of smoke is filled with artificial smoke and is ideal when it comes to testing these. We never recommend testing by burning something and placing it by the smoke detector. Although I once had a gentlemen on the phone one time who decided to burn a piece of paper… And well, it did work, but we never recommend doing that.

If you have flood sensors, you can simply test those by using a piece of metal to adjoin the two metal prongs on the end of the sensor. This completes the circuit of connectivity. It works just as water would. It completes a flow of current enabling the alarm to get a response and alarm the monitoring station.

The last step here is to obviously take your account off of test mode. You can either ask your rep to remove the test if they have not already set it to expire.

Testing your system can be a routine, or you can make it fun. I’d probably go with making it fun. Having the family join in on testing the alarm system monthly could be a good thing. Explaining to your kids or family how each part of the alarm system works can be very beneficial in understanding home security safety.

If you are a Protect America customer do not forget to test your system. If we haven’t heard from you in a while, please call us to test your system. It’s quick, easy and free! If you are not a Protect America customer and would like more information, fill out the contact form on the top right column of this webpage and an experienced security expert will contact you. Ask for a free security assessment. 

Adrian Salas
Meet the Author

Adrian Salas

Blog Writer

As one of Protect America’s top security experts, Adrian blogs about the most pressing issues and frequently asked questions homeowners might have. Adrian’s expertise spans from technology and safety tips to news, communication and blogging. In his spare time, Adrian manages a host of other successful blogs and enjoys the vibrant nightlife of Austin, Texas.

* Information used for home security alarm system comparisons was obtained November 2013 through telephone and online research. ADT prices: based on total out-of-pocket expense to obtain services; installation based on fees for similar home security equipment packages; "Monitoring" price listed includes the additional "warranty" or "extended service plan".

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