Why It's Important to Test Your Home Security System - My Alarm Center

Home Security System Test: Why It’s Important and How to Do It

home security system test

How realistic would it be to expect a car that sat idle for three years to start up and operate perfectly? Or how about a home that sat vacant for five years? Would you expect the air conditioner to work? And it’s exactly why conducting a home security system test is so important.

Just like with any piece of mechanical equipment, periodic testing of your home security system is essential for optimal performance. In the event of an emergency, there are no second chances. Your security system and home fire alarm system must work flawlessly when needed.

How to Test Your Home Security System

Testing your home security service helps to ensure that your home security system will work properly. It identifies problem areas that may require attention from your home security company. You want to test alarm signals as they appear on your home security alarm system control panel and at the alarm monitoring center to ensure proper communication between both.

Procedures for testing your wireless home security system may vary by manufacturer. Consult your owner’s manual for more details. However, the general steps laid out here should work well for most systems. Be sure to keep your account number and unique personal identification password or code handy when speaking to your home security monitoring service.

You should conduct a home security system test each month. Here’s how to do it:

  • Call your home security monitoring service and request to put your system in ‘Test’ mode. This is an important step so when you send in a signal from your security system, they do not contact the emergency services.
  • Arm the security system in ‘Stay’ mode. This way you can freely move around the home while testing.
  • Once the system is fully armed, open a door or window that is connected to the security system. Once the siren has sounded, wait for 45 seconds, then promptly disarm the system.
  • Call your home security monitoring service back to confirm they received the signal from your security system. Then, confirm you are ready to take your system off ‘Test’ mode.

Test All Sensors and Motion Detectors

Testing the signal between your panel and monitoring station is important, but it’s just one piece of the protection puzzle. Double checking that all of your installed sensors and motion detectors are also properly functioning ensures that your panel has something to communicate if and when the time comes. Here’s what to do:

  • First, verify that your system is in “Ready” mode and not armed. Disarm the system to avoid the deployment of emergency services.
  • Open each door and window where sensors are installed, doing so one at a time.
  • Check your panel. It should display the door or window that you are testing.
  • Close the door or window. Your panel should change back to “Ready” mode.
  • Repeat this process for each of your motion detectors.

Test Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors

Testing your CO and smoke detectors regularly are other important pillars to your home and family’s safety. Test smoke and CO detectors monthly, and as a general rule, swap for fresh batteries annually. You don’t want to be at risk of a house fire or carbon monoxide poisoningHere’s how to conduct a CO and smoke detector test: 

  • Remember, when testing either detector, it should make a noise after pressing the “test” button.
  • If no noise occurs when pressing the test button, start by changing the batteries in the device.
  • If this doesn’t work, make sure to contact your home security system provider.

As an additional in-home test, you may consider canned smoke. Available to order online or from your local hardware store, canned smoke simulates real smoke interacting with your detectors in a safe way. It allows for a more hands-on test than simply pressing the “test” button.

Additional resources about testing your system, and general trouble shooting techniques, can be found in our handy online Knowledge Base.

For More Security and Home Automation Tips and Solutions, Stick with My Alarm Center

Preventative maintenance is the name of the game for making sure your home or business stays safe. After all, if the security system in place doesn’t function properly, how can you expect it to provide protection? Conduct regular tests of all of the components of your security system, and keep it running smooth all year long!

And if you’re looking for more ways to keep yourself and your family safe, check out our home security and automation services at My Alarm Center. We offer a wide range of home security options to protect you and your family. If you’re ready to discuss our custom solutions, contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you prepare for what’s next.