Have you ever considered the notion that a burglar may force you or a member of your household to turn off your home security alarm upon breaking and entering? The thought of it is terrifying at the very least. However, it is important to be prepared for every scenario that could possibly happen. And while a home security system will undoubtedly be able to save lives in the event of a burglary or break in, there are some burglars that will push it to the limit in order to get away with a crime. If you’ve ever worried about a burglar forcing you to enter your home alarm code into the system, you’ve also probably thought about whether there’s a way you could secretly signal this to the authorities. Well there’s no reason to worry any longer. The secret way to do this is called a duress code.
The Duress Code
What is a duress code? This code is entered on the keypad, sending a silent signal to the monitoring station of the system provider. It does not disable the system. But to your captor, you’re simply obeying his or her command to stop the alarm. The intruder may not even know there is such a thing as an alarm duress code, and therefore won’t have a clue what you’re really doing.
If you don’t yet have a security system installed, inquire about this with the technician as well as the company. Every company has a different duress code protocol. Many large companies use a pre-set duress code. For example, ADT has been known to use the 2580 combination, which is the numbers right down the middle of the panel. Many burglars might know this information already since it is available online. However, we believe this can still leave you vulnerable. The problem with default duress codes is that if a burglar/home invader knows it, they will also know you are signaling distress. So if you are not a Protect America customer – find out if your system has a default duress code. If there’s a default code, immediately change it. Of course, if there’s none, take measures to get one.
At Protect America, you choose your own duress code. Our Simon XT and Touch Screen control panels can store 8 user codes and 1 duress (panic) code in addition to the other codes you set. The panic code will simply set off a silent alarm so that if you are caught in a hostage situation, it will appear as if your home security system is disabled. In reality, the police or appropriate authorities will be dispatched immediately. If you want to brush up on what you know about our Simon XT, simply refer to the manual. All the information about setting up your codes can be found here or by calling in or chatting online with one of our helpful representatives.
If you’re having a difficult time deciding on your duress code, we sometimes suggest using your daily code backwards. For example, if your usual code is 1123…your duress code could be 3211. It is easy to remember and doesn’t need to be written anywhere if you already know your original user code. Read more about duress codes here.