Troubleshooting a Home Security System

Home security systems are available in a wide array of choices when it comes to their features. You can find a simple system that sets off an alarm when the doors are opened or a more technical system that contacts law enforcement for you and which can be accessed from a remote location. When you choose a home security system for your home, you may have some questions about problems you're experiencing. While a technician is the best person to tell you if something is actually wrong, you might note a few simple troubleshooting tips in the meantime.

1. The system takes a long time to notify law enforcement

Many systems today are tied in with law enforcement emergency lines, but they still have a delay so that you as the user can turn it off in case you don't have an emergency or the emergency is contained. Very often you can adjust this delay, and you might determine the best choice for you when the system is installed. For someone with medical conditions or for the elderly, a short delay may be better; whereas, a longer delay can be better in other homes.

2. An internal motion detector gives false readings

Very often there are things in your home that the detector may read as motion, and this can be something as simple as airflow from a heating vent or nearby window air conditioner. The movement of blinds or curtains or even nearby houseplants can also make your alarm sound, so note if there is anything near the motion detectors that may be giving off these false readings.

3. Emergency services arrive even after hitting the cancel button on the front panel

Many alarms are set up with panic buttons; these are connected to the police or fire department and they may not have a cancel feature. This is for your own safety; if you have an intruder in your home, you don't want him or her to cancel your alarm after hitting the panic button. Be sure you understand this and don't hit the panic buttons carelessly if they cannot be cancelled.

4. The system stops working after the power goes out

Most home security systems will have a backup battery that immediately switches on when the power goes out, but these batteries only have a certain life expectancy, just like normal batteries. They may need replacing on occasion, so check your system's owner's manual to note when you need new batteries. Also, if the power has been out for several days, the battery may simply drain from being in use for this long.