8 Questions About Home Security Systems Answered


We answer your most frequently asked questions about home security systems.

1. How does a home security system work?

Sensors detect common security breaches such as a door or window opening, the sound of breaking glass, or movement within a room. There are also sensors that detect changes in the home’s environment such as water leaks, low/high temperatures, smoke, or carbon monoxide. These sensors are dispersed throughout your home and connected, usually wirelessly, to a central control panel.

When a sensor is triggered, an alarm sounds so you are alerted right away. At the same time, the control panel sends an alert message to the NWOSS Monitoring Station.

Because most alarms are accidentally triggered, the NWOSS Monitoring Staff will contact you to verify that you need help. If you confirm the alarm or don’t answer the phone, the Monitoring Staff will dispatch the proper local emergency responders depending on the type of alert message received. For example, if a smoke detector is triggered, the Monitoring Staff would notify your local fire department.

How does a home security system work?

2. What happens when an alarm goes off?

When your alarm system goes off, you will hear a loud siren. You can disarm your system by entering a security code into the keypad. If you do not enter the code within 30 seconds, the system will go into alarm. Once triggered, you will have up to 60 seconds to cancel the alarm by entering your code.

3. How does a security system know when someone is breaking in?

Intrusion detection sensors connected to the system monitor for break-ins. There are different types of sensors available that can detect: doors/windows opening; movement within a room; or the sound of breaking glass.

4. Am I going to have trouble with false alarms?

Some municipalities charge fees when emergency responders are dispatched for a false alarm. To mitigate false alarms, our Monitoring Station will contact you to determine if an alarm is false before dispatching first responders.

5. How will you know when an alarm happens?

The security system uses your home’s Wi-Fi or local cellular network to transmit messages to our alarm monitoring center.

6. How do I move around the house with motion detectors?

Our systems have two operating modes: Home Mode and Away Mode. Home mode protects the perimeter of your house by activating only the door and window sensors, allowing you to move freely throughout your home.

7. Will I set the alarm off when I come home?

We program our systems to allow you time to disarm the system when you enter certain doors of your home.

8. What if the power goes out or the internet is down?

Our systems are designed with back-up batteries to keep working when the power is out. Some systems use back-up lines of communication that can be used when the internet is down.

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