Here are some of the most common questions we hear and the answers too.
Just click on any question below to reveal the answer
Will my alarm system still work during a power outage?
Your system is equipped with a back-up battery to keep your system running for hours in case of a power loss. That’s why it’s important to make sure the panel battery is functioning properly. Make sure to let us know if you’re ever notified of a low battery signal.
Will my system still work if phone lines are down or someone cuts my phone line?
Your system will still alert you locally, but no signal will reach the Command Center until after phone service is restored. Cellular back-up service for your alarm system is available to increase your level of protection. Most of the systems we currently install are wireless, so this would not be an issue. In many instances we are able to save customers money by eliminating their landline and the monthly fee associated with that. Please call us for details.
Do I need to notify anyone that I installed an alarm system?
Make sure to call your local authorities to inform them. Some jurisdictions require a one-time or annual permit fee. Most at least want to have your location registered to know you have a system and ensure a faster response. Many will send you a packet of information on local false alarm ordinances and their department policies. If not, ask them how false alarms are handled in your area.
Do I need to let you know if I have changes with my phone system?
Notify our Service Department if you have any changes (such as adding a prefix) that may affect your panel’s ability to dial-out. Also let us know if you add any equipment to your line that might affect your panel, such as DSL or fax service. It’s important that your alarm panel maintain its ability to take over the phone line in case of an alarm. Obviously, it’s critical to make sure the Command Center has your correct contact number so they can quickly verify any alarm signals they receive.
Do I need to notify anyone if I am remodeling?
Call us if your remodeling might affect any part of your alarm system. Also, if you have fire protection, remember that part of your system is always on. Put your system on test to prevent the chance of false alarms from fumes or steam resulting from tasks such as power sanding, steam cleaning and painting.
How do I silence an alarm?
This varies with different systems. Generally, arming/disarming your system will silence your alarm. Some systems require your user code followed by the escape key. See System Support for more specific information.
How do I stop my keypad from beeping?
This depends on the reason it’s beeping and the type of system you have. A power failure or trouble signal from one of your devices can cause beeping. Most Radionics systems will respond when you press the command key followed by the number 4. Check out System Support in our Services section for more specific information for your panel.
What does it mean when my system says communications failure?
This usually means that your test signal did not get to the Command Center. Do a test to see if your system is working properly. If it’s not, find out if there has been any telephone work done recently. Make sure the phone lines used for the alarm system are still connected and that there has been no recent change in the dialing instructions.
What if I need to know when my system is armed and disarmed?
Your system can be programmed to send signals to show when your system is armed or disarmed. There is an additional charge for the programming and the monthly service. Activity reports can be mailed, e-mailed or faxed to you. You can also opt for online access to see your activity 24 hours a day. Call us for more details
How can I change the battery in my wireless device?
Disarm the system and remove the sensor cover. If you have identical batteries, you can change them yourself. Please be aware that some devices will lose their programming if batteries are removed for more than 60 seconds. Do not remove the batteries to look for replacements.
My alarm system went off accidentally. I quickly put in the code and shut it off. I waited for a call but never received one. Is something wrong?
It’s probably one of two things. Your alarm system allows you a very short time to cancel without sending any signal. In this case, your panel would have known you cancelled the signal so it didn’t send a signal. If a signal was sent and immediately followed by a cancel signal, the central station received a valid cancel. No further action was necessary since they knew an authorized code was entered. You can verify if any signals were received at the central station by calling to review the activity. As always, we recommend you test your system often and especially when there is any concern. If you have any doubts about what took place or questions about your system, please call us.
How can I prevent false alarms?
- Do I need to update the people on my passcard list?
- Do I need to request replacement cards?
- Do all the people who have a key to my home or business also have a valid code to turn off the alarm system?
- Does everyone in my building know the door(s) to use to enter and exit when the system is armed?
- Do I feel confident in the operation of my system?
- Am I sure everyone is adequately trained?
- Am I confident about taking the appropriate cancellation steps in the event of an accidental activation?
- Do I need to order a replacement manual or have certain procedures explained?
- Do I know how to test my system?
- Have I notified my alarm company of any phone number or address changes?
- Have I given them a reliable second number to call if they need to verify an alarm before dispatching?
- Do I know to advise the alarm company about any remodeling (involving fumes, doors, walls, windows)?
- Have I considered using a generic passcode so all users could be identified by one easy-to-remember word or number?
- Have I managed the list of assigned arm/disarm codes so I know who is using each one?
- Do I know to call the alarm company if I acquire an indoor pet because an adjustment might be needed?
- Do I avoid placing large moving objects (balloons, banners, plants) in front of heating vents if the area is protected by motion sensors?
- Do I attend to any building defects that might cause alarm problems (loose fitting doors and windows, rodents, inadequate power, leaking roofs…)?
- Have I contacted the local authorities to learn about permits, registration requirements and false alarm fees?
- Do I let H&S know immediately if I have a problem by calling them?
Can I extend the warranty on my system?
Yes! H&S offers service agreements to cover the cost of repair work and equipment replacement. Please call us for details on how a service agreement can be economical and hassle-free.
How can I earn free monitoring for my system?
It’s simple! Just tell your friends about us and have them mention you when they talk to us. If they buy a system or begin monitoring service with us, we give you three months of free monitoring as a thank-you.
How can I test the system myself?
Like most security companies, we recommend that you have your system professionally maintained at least once a year. We also strongly recommend that you test the system yourself in the interim. To do so, call the Command Center and let them know you want to put your system on test. Your passcard will have all the information you need: the Command Center phone number, your account number and passcode. Some authorities also like to be notified when a test is being performed. Conduct your test by arming your system and setting off devices or by using the test feature, if you have one. Call the Command Center to verify that all the signals you sent were received. When you’re finished testing, tell the Command Center. Call us if you detected any problems.
Why do I need a passcard?
Passcards are used for confirming your identification with the Command Center. You will need to give a valid name and passcode before the Command Center can accept your instructions to cancel or test your alarm. Anyone who has a key for your home and might need to disarm your system should have a passcard and understand the procedures for canceling an alarm. Our customers can fax passcard changes to us at either branch office.
Why should one person be responsible for managing my alarm system?
It’s very important for commercial and industrial accounts to have someone on-site responsible for managing the system. Not only does it improve our ability to service the system, it avoids confusion for the other employees. The system manager would be responsible for keeping the system records, updating user information and training other employees.
What if I want to give the Command Center special instructions?
Let’s say you’re doing some remodeling that might set off a fire alarm or a device needs a battery but you can’t correct the problem immediately. You can instruct the Command Center to put your system, or any part of it, into test for up to 24 hours with verbal instructions. This will prevent an unnecessary dispatch or repeat phone calls. If you need additional time, you can renew your instructions. Make sure to call us if you need special instructions on your account for a longer time.
Can I get a quote over the phone?
While we can answer many of your questions over the phone, the best way for us to prepare a competitive quote to address your needs is for our H&S staff to meet directly with you and inspect the premises for an installation. The meeting and quote are cost-free to you.
Do you install cameras in homes?
Yes, though security cameras are used much more extensively in business applications, we do install them in homes as well. We are careful to address privacy concerns and meet the specifications of the homeowner in these circumstances.
What does the customer receive in a basic security camera installation?
Our basic package (which you can click on our home page) includes cameras, cabling, and a network video recorder (NVR — stores and plays back the video). The customer provides an Internet/Wifi connection, 12-volt electrical outlet and a stand-alone screen, if desired (H&S also sells and installs stand-alone screens for viewing video footage).
Can you give me an exact price over the phone?
Because each installation is unique, it’s important that we meet directly at the home or business of the customer to design a system for their needs. One size shoe does not fit all.
Does installing a system mean we save on insurance?
Many insurance companies offer discounts for homes/businesses installing security systems and/or cameras. H&S recommends you check with your provider.
Can you take over an existing security system?
Yes, we get many requests for this and can often re-use the security equipment onsite as part of a system takeover. That minimizes costs for the customer. Older wired systems can also often be replaced by wireless technology, allowing the customer to eliminate a dedicated landline to the alarm system and potentially save costs (see our offer on the home page).
Are there reasons other than theft, liabilities or break-ins/vandalism that a home/business should think about when considering an intrusion or camera system?
That’s a great question. The short answer is yes. We get requests for camera installations to cover areas in manufacturing and warehouse facilities to ensure safety, check on production and monitor damage to equipment or product. In retail stores, owners/managers may want oversight to see if the store is opening or closing on time, or to monitor employee actions onsite. The bottom line is this: Electronic security protection is NOT just about theft. It’s about PROTECTING your business or home from different risks. H&S is here to help you assess those risks and design a system to meet your needs.
GET RID OF YOUR LANDLINEAND SAVE MONEY!
Do you continue to have a landline for your security system at your business or home? If so, H&S may be able to save you that monthly fee.
With an H&S wireless alarm system, you can eliminate your phone line and cut out that monthly fee. Our monthly fee for security monitoring is $35. Let us help reduce your overall monthly bill!