How to Perform a Home Security System Test
Better safe than sorry, right?
Your home security system can keep your family and property safe, but only if it’s functional. Testing your system is essential to ensuring all components are working properly.
Tests can indicate if your system needs maintenance, and ensure it is armed and ready. Don’t wait for a break-in to find out your system isn’t working.
Why Security System Tests are Important
Homeowners should perform system tests to ensure proper communication with the central station monitoring center. If your system isn’t communicating with the central station, operators will be unable to dispatch help to your property.
System tests will also reveal any faulty components, such as window, door, image or water sensors, or smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. We recommend homeowners test their security systems monthly to ensure accuracy.
How to Test Your Security System
You can test your alarm system two ways: through your control panel, or by calling the central station. While the steps can vary depending on the model and manufacturer of your control panel, in general, these would be the steps:
- At the Home screen, tap Security.
- At the Security screen, tap Menu.
- At the Menu screen, tap Toolbox.
- To access the system test, enter the master user code.
- At the Toolbox screen, tap System Test.
To test your system by calling the central station:
- Call the central station monitoring center, and let them know you will be testing your alarm.
- Provide the account number or address of the location you’ll be testing.
- Ask the operator if he or she can switch your system to “test mode.” Also let them know you will be calling back after you test the system to verify the results.
- Secure doors, windows and other items connected to your alarm.
- Arm your system just as you would if you were leaving.
- Wait for the system to verify the alarm is set.
- Open the door or window, or trip a device that is connected to the alarm. Every time you trigger a device, a signal should be sent to the monitoring center.
- Wait a minute after you’ve set off all the devices, and then disarm the alarm.
- Call the monitoring center with your address or account number.
- Ask the operator to verify that they received a successful test of all doors, windows and devices.
- After the test is complete, ask the operator to take your alarm out of test mode.
- If the operator did not receive a signal and there was a failed test, connect with your vendor to request a maintenance appointment immediately.
Like Vector Security, your security company might have a customer portal that allows you to log in and put your system on test mode. You would then only need to contact the Central Station to verify a signal was received.
Regularly testing your system can ensure protection and give you peace of mind.
How have you tested your home security system? Share in the comments below.