FAQ

Q. Do you have a manual for my security system?
A.  Yes, you can open or download a copy of your manual by using this link >>  Download Manual Now

Q. Do you have a Quick Reference Guide for my security system?
A.  Yes, you can open or download a copy of our Quick Reference Guide by using this link >>  Download Manual Now

Q. Do I need an alarm company?
A. An alarm security system decreases the chances of a burglary. In theory, if a burglar knows that a house is equipped with such a system, he or she might move on to another home. Even if the burglar does break in, the burglar has a tendency to stay a shorter amount of time knowing an alarm has gone off. This may decrease the number of items stolen or the extent of damage inflicted. The most important aspect of any security system is balance. It does no good to make your windows burglar-proof when your doors can be easily opened with a pry bar.

Q. I already have a battery-operated smoke detector, why would I need one on a security system?
A. A smoke detector that is built in to your alarm provides more protection for your home or business than a “stand-alone” smoke detector simply because it is monitored by our staff. When smoke is detected, an alarm is sounded and a signal is sent to our monitoring station, even when your alarm is not armed. One of our staff members will then get in touch with you and the fire department to ensure prompt response in the event of a fire.

Q. What is Carbon Monoxide?
A. Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas that causes thousands of deaths each year in North America. It is the leading cause of poisoning death in the United States. The most common appliances in your home or even a car in an attached garage can give off the odorless, invisible, and extremely dangerous gas. You cannot see or smell carbon monoxide, but at high levels it can kill a person within minutes. Carbon monoxide is produced whenever any fuel such as gas, oil, kerosene, wood, or charcoal is burned. When appliances that burn fuel are maintained and properly used, the amount of CO produced is usually not hazardous. However, if appliances are not working properly or are used incorrectly, dangerous levels of CO can result. Hundreds of people die accidentally every year from CO poisoning caused by malfunctioning or improperly used fuel-burning appliances. Even more die from CO produced by idling cars. Carbon monoxide detectors have a life-span of 5 years.

Q. Can I also have a security system for my business?
A. Yes you can! If you approach the alarm companies on this page they will negotiate a special deal for you if you bundle your residential and business security solution with one company. It’s a win – win situation! Adding protection to your home and business is a great piece of mind to have.

Q. What happens if my phone line is cut?
A.  Most alarm systems use a telephone line to transmit signals to the central station. If your alarm is reliant upon only telephone line transmission, although the siren or bell will ring, no signals will be sent to the central station. Your representative can explain the various cellular and radio backup services we can provide to ensure signals are received even if the phone line is cut.

Q. Do I need a separate phone line for the monitoring portion?
A. No, a separate phone line is not necessary. However, the system will seize your phone line for about 60 seconds when sending an emergency alarm signal to our central station.

Q. What important information should I know about using VOIP Telephone Service and my system?

A. There is a service available to provide a lower cost phone service over high-speed Internet (VoIP). American Alarm recommends that you use a regular land line telephone service for use with your alarm system. If you are considering replacing your existing telephone service with VoIP, please be aware that you may prevent your alarm from communicating with the monitoring station. This service is only as dependable as the Internet connection in the premise, which can experience network outages or be affected by power failures. In fact, because of these service outages or slowdowns, many VoIP telephone providers advise their clients not to rely on their services for alarm systems. We are concerned about your safety and security and we want to ensure that your system provides you and your family with consistent peace of mind.

Q. How do I know if my system is working?
A. We always recommend alarm system testing. Your representative will explain how to properly test your system, or we can program automatic test signals from your communicator.

Q. Can I get a break on my insurance if I get an alarm?
A. Yes! Insurance companies also realize the lower risk of exposure for home equipped with a monitored alarm system. Many insurance companies offer discounts of up to 20% if you install a monitored alarm.

Q. What is a monitored alarm system?
A. A monitored alarm system is one that sends alarm signals electronically to a central station, where a qualified operator can dispatch appropriate authorities in the event of a break-in or fire. The central station operator can also contact a list of people of your choice to keep them informed of the situation as it develops.

Q. What about a warranty?

A. The warranty on your alarm system is for one year after it is installed. If you have any questions or concerns, please call our office so we could go over your warranty.

Q. How often should I change the batteries on my system?

A. Approximately every 3-4 years per the manufacturer. Note that if you have frequent power outages and the battery goes dead earlier than normal, the panels that we install will send a signal to the central station indicating the battery needs replaced.

Q. What is the difference between a wired and wireless system?

A. In a wired system all components (Door contacts Motion Detectors, Glass Break Detectors, etc) are directly wired to the alarm panel. In a wireless system components that include a wireless transmitter to communicate with the panel may be installed, eliminating the need for a wire to be run from the component to the control panel. A wired system is usually less expensive but may take slightly longer to install. A wireless system is most useful in situations where there are few or no places to conceal wires. Both systems can be equally reliable assuming batteries are changed in the wireless components when needed.  American Alarm recommends which type to install based on your specific situation; in most cases we are able to install a wired system (saving you money).

Q. Why does my keypad display 'secure system before arming?

A. Your keypad is informing you that the alarm system is not ready to turn on (arm). Common reasons for this are that a door or window is not completely closed, a motion detector may be sensing movement, or a previous alarm has not been cleared out of the memory. Correct the condition and the alarm system will be ready to arm.

Q. How do I change the people listed on my call list?

A. Just call American Alarm at 1-888-ALARM-88) Have your password and account number ready in order to make your changes. Make sure to tell everyone on your call list what to do in case they receive a call from American Alarm.