facebook
top of page

“Understanding the “Alarm on Test” Feature in Home Security Systems”

Updated: Jul 11



Home security systems offer an "Alarm on test" option. This lets homeowners check their alarm's performance without calling emergency services. When on, this mode stops talking with the monitoring panel but keeps the system running as usual. You can set off different sensors during a test. Door contacts and motion detectors are examples. The system acts like it's a real alarm. Siren’s blare and lights flash, but no one alerts the cops or monitoring company.


This option plays a big role in upkeep and fixing issues. It helps owners make sure all parts work right. It also gets them used to how the system acts. Most new security setups have an easy way to start and stop test mode. You can often do this through a control panel or phone app. It's important to test every so often. This keeps your home safe and your system in good shape.

 

What Does “Alarm on Test” Mean?

 

"Alarm on test" is a special mode in home security systems that allows homeowners to check if their alarm is working correctly without causing a full emergency response. Here's what it means:


When you put your alarm system in test mode:

  1. The system operates normally but doesn't contact the monitoring center or emergency services.

  2. You can trigger sensors (like opening doors or walking past motion detectors) to see if they're working.

  3. The alarm will sound, and lights may flash, just like in a real emergency.

  4. This helps you verify all parts of your system are functioning properly.


Test mode is important because:

  • It lets you check your system without worrying about false alarms.

  • You can familiarize yourself with how the system works.

  • It helps identify any bad sensors or equipment that need repair.


To use test mode:

  1. Activate it through your control panel or mobile app.

  2. Test various sensors and equipment.

  3. Listen for the alarm and watch for any visual indicators.

  4. When done, remember to exit test mode.


It's recommended to test your system regularly, often monthly, to guarantee it's always ready to protect your home. If you find any issues during testing, contact your security provider (Securimax) for assistance.

 

How the “Alarm on Test” Feature Works:

 

The "alarm on test" feature is an important tool for keeping and making sure everything is working right in your home security system. Here's how it works:


Activation:

You can activate the test mode through your system's control panel, a mobile app, or by contacting your security provider. Once activated, the system enters a special state where it functions normally but doesn't alert authorities or the monitoring center.


System Behavior:

During the test, your alarm system operates as it would in a real emergency, with a few key differences:

  1. Sensors and detectors remain working and will trigger when activated.

  2. Sirens and visual alerts (like flashing lights) will activate when triggered.

  3. The system won't send alerts to the monitoring center or emergency services.

  4. In some systems, a "test" indicator may appear on the control panel.


Testing Process:

  1. Arm the system as you normally would.

  2. Trigger different sensors by opening doors, windows, or walking past motion detectors.

  3. Listen for the alarm siren and check for any alerts on the panel.

  4. Verify that all the equipment you have tested is registering correctly on your control panel or app.


Duration:

The test mode usually has a set time period (often 15 minutes to an hour) after which it automatically turns off. Some systems let you manually end the test when you're finished.


Monitoring Center Interaction:

While your system won't alert the monitoring center during a test, some companies may still know that your system is in test mode. This helps them by treating any signals they might get as actual emergencies.


Post-Test: After completing your test:

  1. Make sure you have exited test mode.

  2. Check that your system has returned to its normal, active state.

  3. Look over any logs or reports that come up during the test, so you know right away of any issues.


Regular testing using this feature helps make sure your security system is always ready to protect your home. It allows you to catch and address any problems quickly, keeping your home security setup working at its best.




How to Perform an “Alarm on Test”

 

Performing an "alarm on test" is an easy process that helps guarantee your security system is working correctly. Here is a step-by-step guide:


  1. Notify your monitoring company: Before you start, call your security company (Securimax) to let them know you will be testing the system. This helps them from calling emergency services during your test.

  2. Access the control panel: Check your security system's main control panel. You may need to enter your access code to unlock it.

  3. Enter test mode: Look for a "Test" button or option in the panel menu. On some systems, you might need to press a combination of keys (like *+ Test). Talk your security company if unsure.

  4. Confirm test mode: The panel should display a message confirming it's in test mode. Some systems may beep or flash a light to let you know.

  5. Test individual components:


  1. Door/window sensors: Open and close each protected door and window.

  2. Motion detectors: Walk in front of each detector.

  3. Glass break sensors: Clap loudly near windows with these sensors.

  4. Smoke/CO detectors: Press their test buttons.

  5. Panic buttons: Press each one briefly.


  1. Verify responses: For each test, make sure the panel responds right (usually with a beep or display message).

  2. Check communication: Check your system’s connection to the control panel. You will need to punch in a special code or hit a certain combo of buttons to do this.

  3. Review results: Many panels will give you a summary of tested equipment. Note any that didn't respond correctly.

  4. Exit test mode: Usually, you'll press the same button/sequence used to enter test mode. Confirm the system returns to normal operation.

  5. Re-arm the system: Make sure your security system is armed and fully working after testing.

  6. Follow up: If you noticed any issues during testing, contact your security provider for assistance or repairs.


Remember to perform this test regularly – monthly is often recommended – to make sure your system remains in top working condition. This routine maintenance helps guarantee your home stays protected always.

 

 

Professional Assistance with Alarm Testing:

 

While homeowners can perform basic alarm tests, getting professional help offers several advantages:


  1. Expertise: Security technicians have a deep knowledge of different types of systems and can spot issues you might miss.

  2. Comprehensive testing: Professionals can perform a more detailed test, including checking backup batteries, cellular connections, and other components not easy to get to by homeowners.

  3. System updates: Technicians can update your system's software and firmware during the test, guaranteeing it has the newest features and security patches.

  4. Sensor calibration: They can fine-tune sensors to reduce false alarms while being sensitive to real threats.

  5. Code compliance: Professionals ensure your system meets local regulations and insurance requirements.

  6. Training: They can provide hands-on training, helping you understand your system better.

  7. Immediate repairs: If issues are found, technicians can often fix them on the spot.

  8. Documentation: Professional tests come with reports, which can be helpful for insurance purposes.

  9. Timesaving: A professional can correctly test your entire system, saving you time and effort.

  10. Peace of mind: Expert testing makes sure that your system is working and protecting your home properly.


Securimax offers professional testing services, either as part of a maintenance plan or as a separate service. It is best to have a professional test done every year, in addition to your regular self-tests.

 

 

Conclusion:

 

Regular alarm testing is important to have a strong home security system. Whether you're performing self-tests or getting professional help, these checks guarantee your system is ready to protect your home when needed. Self-checks help you know your system and find any issues. Professional tests dig deeper and offer expert advice.


By combining regular self-tests with professional inspections, you can keep your security system running at its best. Remember, a well-maintained alarm system not only prevents break-ins but also provides peace of mind for you and your family. Make alarm testing a routine part of your home maintenance to keep your property secure.




FAQ:

 

What does putting an alarm in test mean?


Putting an alarm in test mode means temporarily deactivating its ability to send out emergency alerts or activate its usual response mechanisms, such as notifying the fire department or sounding a loud siren. This mode is often used during maintenance, troubleshooting, or installation to ensure the alarm system works correctly without causing unnecessary disruptions or panic. It allows technicians to test the alarm's functionality and performance without triggering a real emergency response.

 

How to put a home alarm in test mode?


Putting a home alarm in test mode involves the following steps, though the exact procedure can vary depending on the specific system. Here is a general guide:


  1. Consult the User Manual: Check the user manual for your specific alarm system model. It will provide detailed instructions on how to enter test mode.

  2. Notify the Monitoring Company: If a security company (like Securimax) monitors your alarm system, inform them that you are about to put the system in test mode. This prevents false alarms from being treated as real emergencies.

  3. Disarm the System: Ensure the alarm system is disarmed. This is usually done by entering your security code on the keypad.

  4. Access the Test Mode:

  • Via Keypad: Use the system’s keypad to enter the test mode. This typically involves entering a specific sequence of numbers or pressing a particular button. Commonly, this might be labeled as “Test,” “Mode,” or a similar term.

  • Via Mobile App: If your alarm system is connected to a mobile app, you can often enter test mode through the app’s settings or control panel.

  1. Follow On-Screen Instructions: Some systems provide step-by-step instructions on the keypad screen or app once you enter test mode. Follow these instructions to test different components such as door/window sensors, motion detectors, and smoke detectors.

  2. Perform the Tests: Activate each sensor and ensure the alarm panel indicates that the sensor is working correctly. For example, open doors or windows, walk in front of motion detectors, and press test buttons on smoke detectors.

  3. Exit Test Mode: Once testing is complete, exit test mode by following the system’s instructions. This usually involves entering a specific command or pressing a button to return to normal operation.

  4. Confirm with Monitoring Company: If you notified your monitoring company, let them know that you have completed the tests, and the system is back to normal.



Always refer to your alarm system's specific instructions, as procedures can vary between different brands and models.

 

 

How do I turn off an alarm test?


To turn off an alarm test and return your alarm system to its normal operating mode, follow these general steps. Keep in mind that specific instructions may vary depending on your alarm system's make and model:


  1. Consult the User Manual: Check the user manual for instructions specific to your alarm system model on how to exit test mode.

  2. Use the Keypad or App:

  • Keypad: Enter the appropriate code or sequence on the alarm system's keypad to exit test mode. This might involve entering your disarm code or a specific test mode exit code.

  • Mobile App: If your alarm system uses a mobile app, navigate to the settings or control panel within the app and follow the instructions to exit test mode.

  1. Follow On-Screen Instructions: If your system provides on-screen instructions (either on the keypad or the app), follow them carefully to ensure the system exits test mode properly.

  2. Confirm with Monitoring Company: If you notified your monitoring company before starting the test, inform them that the test is complete, and the system is back to its normal state. This ensures they resume monitoring your system as usual.

  3. Check System Status: Verify that the alarm system is back to its normal operational mode. The keypad or app should indicate that the system is ready to arm or is in its usual monitoring state.



Here is a more specific step-by-step example for many common systems:


  1. Disarm the System: Enter your disarm code on the keypad to ensure the system is not armed.

  2. Enter Exit Code: If your system requires a specific code to exit test mode, enter that code. This information can be found in the user manual.

  3. Use the "Exit Test Mode" Button: Some systems have a dedicated button or option labeled "Exit Test Mode" on the keypad or app. Press or select this option.

  4. Confirm Exit: Follow any prompts to confirm that you want to exit test mode.


By following these steps, you should be able to turn off the alarm test and return your alarm system to its regular monitoring state.

13 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page