Be A Responsible Owner: Test Your Security System Regularly
Testing your security system might not make the list of the “Top 10 Things You Have To Do Today,” but it certainly should make the list at some point. After all, you wouldn’t want to get caught with your pants down (so to speak) as you’re running out the door to catch a flight or an important meeting.
It's Easy To Test Your System
Testing your security system is one of those necessary evils - and pretty important for the proper care of your home alarm system. Testing your system regularly (once a month, at least) lets us know that your system is communicating to our central station operators and it gives you the peace of mind that you are looking for. As we explained when we first met, we take your security very seriously, but you need to let us know if any changes happened since we “got connected.” For instance, if you’ve done any recent construction or remodeling or if you changed anything with your phone system, internet or cable, it’s your responsibility to let us know. Testing your system is easy and it only takes a few minutes. Although a minor interruption to your day, it will be well worth it in the long run. So, go grab yourself a cup of coffee and let’s get to it:
Step One: Call Us.
Dial 1-800-4SHIELD (1-800-474-4353) Tell the operator that you are calling to test your system. We’ll need to alert our dispatchers that your system is in test mode… That way, when you start pushing buttons, and they receive weird signals, they won’t panic and send the police. (In case you haven’t learned that yet, the police get grumpy with frequent false alarms.) If you’re not careful and you accidentally set your alarm off too frequently, the police will slap you with a fine. I’m quite sure that you don’t want that extra bill in your mailbox!
Note: Please be prepared to share your address and security false alarm code word. The operator will put your system in “test mode.” That means that communication with your police department will be temporarily be suspended. (Generally, we request that communication with the police department be suspended for about fifteen minutes, or at least until your test is over.) You will be placed on hold for a brief moment while our operator contacts our dispatcher. Please enjoy our delightful hold music!
Step Two: Arm Your System
Arm your system as if you were leaving for a bit. Depending on your type of system, you may need to enter your code or the "away" key.
Step 3: Trip Your System
Open a door, window or, if you have motion detectors, move so as to trip your system… You’ll know that you were successful when you hear your alarm sounding. Cover your ears, but let the siren sound for about fifteen seconds. (It takes a few seconds for the signal to be detected by our dispatchers.)
Note: You will be disconnected from our operator! Don’t worry though… you’ll get a call back in the next step.
Step 4. Turn Your Alarm Off
Enter your security code to silence the alarm. Always enter your numbers slowly and carefully to avoid any mistakes. (It helps to punch in the numbers with the rhythm of the beeps!)
(This is when you will be disconnected.)
Here’s what’s happening on our end: Upon your alarm activation, our operators receive a signal from your control panel via the RJ31X Telephone Interface. This is a fancy name for the technology within your alarm system that allows communication between your premise and our dispatchers. Your alarm signal has first priority on your phone line, therefore, when we are testing your system, we’ll lose connection to each other because your alarm system is communicating. The signal will interrupt our conversation! After the test, you will receive a call back from our operator confirming whether or not we received your duress signal.
Step 5. Wait For A Return Call From Us
Wait few minutes for us to call you back with the results of the test. If all goes well, we will have received a signal. If we don’t call you back, there’s a problem… no signal was detected we’ll need to troubleshoot further. In some cases, we can correct the problem remotely. In other cases, we’ll recommend a service call to troubleshoot further. Either way, we’ll fix the problem.
Now, go enjoy that coffee…