Check your alarm

2008-05-08 00:00

You should run a full system check on your alarm system every two weeks, or at least every month. It is your responsibility to do this, whether you are a business, school or home.

The security company will charge you a hefty service fee to do this and it’s so easy to do yourself.

Don’t forget to check that your monitoring company is receiving signals — radios go faulty and telephone connectors get burnt out by lightning. It’s useless having a working system if no signals are getting through.

You need two people to check the system. Phone your security company and ask them to put you “on test”.

You need to give them five minutes to do this, so use this time to close up the house as if you are going away. One of you must stand by the keypad to activate and deactivate the alarm. The other must go to the first area to be tested: a door with magnetic contacts or a room with a “beady eye”.

Person one activates the alarm, person two then deliberately sets it off by activating the component being tested — opening the door, or moving across the room.

Person one deactivates the alarm and person two goes to the next component. Repeat until all components have been tested. (I know it’s painful, but it only takes about 20 minutes and you’ll be so glad you did.)

And don’t forget to test your panic buttons.

Once you have finished, phone your security company and ask them what signals were received, make sure they got the panic signals. Then ask them for a reference number and write it down. In the event of a burglary, being able to provide this number to your insurance company can often expedite a claim.

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