2018 Update

The most important part of a home security system is making sure it is working properly. You don’t want to find out too late that your sensor failed. Scroll down for a sensor test to ensure yours are working. 


One of the most common home security devices is a sensor. Sensors help connect various entry points or hazards around your home to the central panel that communicates with our monitoring facilities to keep you safe. When a sensor fails, you might be unsure how to fix it. In this post we will discuss the various reasons why a sensor might fail and what you can do to fix it!

A “Sensor Failure” happens when the control panel loses communication with the sensor. When the control panel realizes the disconnect it will start to announce a “Trouble Condition” by beeping and/or illuminating a solid “System Status” button. By pressing the “Status” button the control panel will announce what sensor has gone into failure.

Why is my Sensor Failing?

There are three main reasons why a “Sensor Failure” would exist on your system and they are as follows:

  • Dead or Low Batteries – The typical battery life for a sensor is between 2-5 years but of course this is dependent on usage. Meaning, the battery in a sensor that is used on a window will last longer than a sensor on a door that is opened frequently. It is recommended that if you are experiencing a “Sensor Failure” and you have had the sensor for more than two years that the battery on the sensor is replaced. Batteries can be purchased from a local vendor or here at Protect America. Below is a list of batteries for the most common devices sold by Protect America.

  • Distance – All sensors must be within 100 ft. of the control panel in order to communicate properly and because of the distance requirement we recommend that the control panel be placed in a centrally located area of the home.
  • Interference – This is usually caused by a large appliance or another wireless device being near the control panel or the sensor. It is recommended that any appliances or wireless device be at least 7-10 ft. away from either the control panel or sensor.

Things that Could Cause Interference:

The following list includes all of the things that could cause an interference:

  • Interior Concrete Walls
  • Large Appliances
  • Large Metal Objects
  • Large Mirrors
  • Large Screen Televisions
  • Metal Doors/Windows
  • Metal Stud Construction
  • Metallic Wall Paper
  • Wireless Door Bells
  • Wireless Gaming Remotes
  • Wireless Routers
  • Wireless Telephone

The recommended solution is to move the object causing the interference. If that is not possible then move the control panel closer to the sensor.

Once we have looked at each reason it will be important to perform a “Sensor Test”. This will test the communication between the control panel and the sensor. Remember to press the “Status” button and write down the sensor(s) that is in failure.

Perform a sensor test by following the steps below:

  1. Scroll Up/Down until the screen displays “System Tests” and press the “OK” button
  2. Enter your 4 digit Master Code and press the “OK” button
  3. Scroll Up/Down until the screen displays and press the “OK” button
  4. The screen will prompt you to trip of all the sensors.
  5. Open and then close the sensor that is indicating “Sensor Failure
  6. Once the sensor is opened and closed the display will show the sensor number and the packets the control panel has received from the sensor. We are looking for the packets to equal between 4 and 16 in order to have optimal communication.
  7. Repeat steps 5 & 6 for each sensor that is in failure
  8. Once all of the sensors have been tested press the “OK” button 5 times to exit the test.

If you have checked for the 3 causes for failures, performed a sensor test and the condition still exists please contact Protect America through our online chat for further assistance.