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Alarm Grid has learned that the alarm permit policy in Colorado Springs, CO also applies to self-monitored users. This is in addition to those who receive central station monitoring service. All Alarm Grid monitored customers in Colorado Springs, CO are required to have a permit.


Many jurisdictions charge fees for operating an alarm system within their limits. However, these rules usually only apply to systems that are connected with a central monitoring station. It is very unusual to see a city mandate a fee for a self-monitored system. But Colorado Springs is one of the few examples.

If you aren't familiar with self-monitoring, it refers to the practice of having a secured system that is monitored, but not connected with a central station. When the system goes into alarm, it sends a signal out to a monitoring platform, such as AlarmNet or Alarm.com. That platform then forwards the signal to the end user via text and/or email. It is then up to the user to request help, if needed.

Monitoring permits in Colorado Springs, CO are renewed annually at the cost of $24 for residences and businesses, and $12 for senior residents. You can learn more about alarm permits in Colorado Springs, CO by checking the Colorado Springs Police Department website here.

At Alarm Grid, we are not fond of alarm permits. They make it more difficult for individuals to protect themselves, their businesses, and, most importantly, their families. However, they are something that we have no control over. As a law-abiding company, we play by the rules, and we inform any customer in a jurisdiction that requires alarm permits to obtain one.

If you are a new or existing Alarm Grid customer wondering if alarm permits are required in your area, then you should contact us at support@alarmgrid.com. We are also happy to discuss our monitoring plans if you want to learn more about our services. We operate support hours from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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When it comes to Z-Wave home automation devices, it is usually understood that they are universally compatible with all Z-Wave controllers and hubs. While this is generally true, some Z-Wave devices may appear as different device types than for what they were originally intended.


If you aren't familiar with Z-Wave, it is an automation protocol that is used with a variety of smart home devices. Some popular Z-Wave accessories include smart lights, door locks, thermostats, smart water valves, and more. In most cases, you can use any Z-Wave device with any Z-Wave controller. However, there are sometimes restrictions on how Z-Wave devices can be used. This depends on the Z-Wave hub that they are enrolled with

A few weeks ago, we wrote an interesting FAQ. It discussed whether not not mixing Z-Wave and Z-Wave Plus devices on the same network is likely to cause issue. Normally, mixing the two protocols will not result in any problems. Z-Wave devices are known for being backwards compatible. You can typically bring a Z-Wave Plus device to a standard Z-Wave controller. And the opposite also applies, as you should have no trouble using a standard Z-Wave device with a Z-Wave Plus controller. The main thing to understand is that by mixing Z-Wave Plus with standard Z-Wave, the devices in which any signal passes (hops) through a standard Z-Wave device will result in the communications functioning as standard Z-Wave.

But there is another issue that we haven't talked about very often. This issue occurs when you pair a Z-Wave Plus device with a standard Z-Wave controller or hub. It's possible that the standard Z-Wave controller might not recognize the Z-Wave Plus device as its proper device type. Instead, the Z-Wave Plus device will still appear in the hub, but it will show up as different device type, usually as a Z-Wave switch.

Some examples of this issue that we've seen are if you try to pair a Qolsys IQ Siren (Z-Wave Plus) with a system that utilizes standard Z-Wave functionality, such as a Honeywell Lyric Controller or a 2GIG GC2. We actually created specific FAQs for using this siren with a Lyric and with a GC2. Another example we recently saw was when someone tried to us an Alarm.com ADC-SWV100 Z-Wave Plus Water Valve with an L7000 System that had an L5100-ZWAVE module. Instead of the system seeing the ADC-SWV100 as a Z-Wave water valve, it saw it as a Z-Wave Switch.

The problem with this issue is that a system only knows how to turn a switch ON or OFF. When a Z-Wave controller sees a device as a "switch", it can only perform the binary function of ON or OFF. And it's won't necessarily know when to automatically activate the device. For example, if a hub sees a Z-Wave siren as a "switch", then it won't know to automatically activate the siren during alarms and to automatically stop it when alarms are cleared.

Fortunately, these situations can often be addressed by creating specific rules and smart scenes that have these devices activate automatically when desired events occurred. This usually requires some very specific instructions, with one scene & rule designed to automatically start the device, and another scene & rule to automatically stop the device. It can be a little tricky to get up, but there is usually some type of work-around other there. Depending on your setup, this may be done locally at the panel, or it may be done through an interactive platform like Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0.

If you are an Alarm Grid customer needing help setting up your automation devices in the way that you want, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com, and we will be happy to help. Remember that our support hours run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Alarm Grid has learned that Total Connect 2.0 is experiencing some temporary issues. Users may be unable to perform security and automation functions during this time. They may also receive delayed notifications, and some notifications may not appear at all. But alarm signals are unaffected.

Resideo is working to fix this issues as soon as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We will update this post once we learn more. If you have any questions regarding this issue, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. Remember, alarm delivery services are not affected. The central station will still be notified about incoming alarms, provided that central station service is included in your monitoring plan.

Update: This issue has mostly been resolved. Total Connect 2.0 notifications may still be delayed, and users will be unable to correct the issue using the Sync Refresh button in the Total Connect 2.0 Mobile App or website. We expect a complete fix shortly.

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We have great news for Total Connect 2.0 users today, as Resideo has made it recently made it possible for a maximum of five (5) SkyBell Video Doorbell devices to a single Total Connect 2.0 account. SkyBell devices are still integrated with Total Connect 2.0 in the same manner as before.

Skybell dbcam trim slim hd video doorbell

If you are unfamiliar with SkyBell Doorbells, they are perfect for monitoring the front of your home and getting activity alerts. These devices conveniently connect with your home's WIFI network, and they can easily replace nearly any doorbell that uses a standard mechanical chime. There is also an adapter available that allows a SkyBell to replace a doorbell that uses a digital chime. Total Connect 2.0 can send updates to your phone whenever a SkyBell device detects motion or whenever someone rings the doorbell. You can also get updates through the native SkyBell app.

Previously, it was possible to only enroll a single SkyBell device with a Total Connect 2.0 account. Users wanting to integrate a second SkyBell device with Total Connect 2.0 needed to get a second account set up. But for many users that will no longer be necessary. And if you were hesitant about getting a second SkyBell because you didn't want to pay extra for an Alarm Grid Video-Only Account, well no you no longer need to worry about that. This is truly the perfect time for you to expand upon your existing SkyBell account.

You do not need true video monitoring service to start using SkyBell Cameras. As long as you have a Total Connect 2.0 account with the SkyBell feature enabled, you will be able to integrate up to five (5) devices with your account. You will need to have your monitoring company enable the feature. Alarm Grid will enable the feature at no additional charge for customers who use our monitoring services. Just contact us at support@alarmgrid.com if you need to have the feature enabled.

We understand that there are some Alarm Grid customers who have existing video accounts for the sole purpose of adding extra SkyBell device. There are even a few Alarm Grid customers with third and fourth accounts just for using extra SkyBell Cameras. The great news for these customers is that these extra accounts no longer necessary. We can deactivate your extra accounts if you have them and help you set up all your SkyBell devices into a single account, provided that you have five (5) or less SkyBell devices. If you fall into this category, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com.

We are also aware that there may be some customers who want to use more than five (5) SkyBell Cameras with a single Total Connect 2.0 account. Unfortunately, this is not possible. This 5 device limit is strict, and we have no way of increasing it. However, you can still use the same solution as before for adding additional SkyBell Cameras beyond the limit. You can add an additional Alarm Grid Video Monitoring Account, and you will be able to set up your additional SkyBell devices with that account. Each account will allow you to use five (5) additional SkyBell Cameras. If you want to use up to ten (10) SkyBell Cameras, you will need two (2) accounts. If you want to use 15 SkyBells, you will need three (3) accounts. And so on.

At this time, Alarm Grid only sells one (1) SkyBell Camera for use with Total Connect 2.0. This is the Honeywell SkyBell DBCAM-TRIM. That is the rectangular version of the SkyBell. The round model, the Honeywell SkyBell DBCAM is discontinued and no longer sold by Alarm Grid. But if you come across the round model somewhere else, then you can certainly set it up for use with Total Connect 2.0. Just remember never to use an Alarm.com SkyBell with Total Connect 2.0 or the SkyBell App.

Keep in mind that SkyBell clips are stored on the SkyBell servers. They are not stored on Total Connect 2.0 or AlarmNet360. This means that SkyBell clips will not count towards your Total Connect 2.0 recording limits. They will also not count towards your security camera limits. If you already have Total Connect 2.0 Security Cameras set up, then you can add up to five (5) SkyBell devices without needing to change or remove any of your existing cameras. Remember that SkyBell video clips are available from the SkyBell servers for up to seven (7) days. After that, they are lost forever and no longer available. But it is possible to download and save any clip for permanent use. Just make sure you do so before the clip is deleted forever.

If you want to learn more about the SkyBell Cameras or our monitoring service for accessing Total Connect 2.0 using a Honeywell Security System, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We maintain support hours from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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It was another productive week for our video team last week, as eight (8) new videos were released on February 12th and 13th. Jorge appeared in the most videos, but fan-favorite Jarrett also showed up. I even appeared in a couple! Let's check out the newest Alarm Grid tutorial videos!


Checking The Simon XT Firmware Version Number

Jorge explains how you can check the Firmware Version Number of an Interlogix Simon XT Security System. The current highest firmware version for the Simon XT is Version 1.6. However, it is particularly important that the system is on at least Firmware Version 1.3. Firmware Version 1.3 is the minimum version needed to install a cellular communicator in the Simon XT Security System so that you can get it connected with Alarm.com for monitoring service.


Using Home Automation on a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 w/o Monitoring

Jorge shows how you can use a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System for smart home automation functions even if the system is not actively monitored. However, getting the system monitored and connected with Alarm.com will open up the door for many more automation functions. By connecting the system with Alarm.com, you can set up smart scenes to have devices like lights, door locks, and smart thermostats activate automatically based on a set schedule or with certain system events.


Using Honeywell 5800 Sensors On a Qolsys IQ Panel 2

Our good man Jarrett explains how you can use Honeywell 5800 Series Sensors on the 345 MHz version of the Qolsys IQ panel 2 Plus. This version of the system can also support 2GIG 345 MHz Sensors and DSC PowerG Sensors. It is also important to note that you can only use uni-directional (one-way) 345 MHz sensors with the system. You cannot use any bi-directional Honeywell 5800 Sensors with the 345 MHz IQ Panel 2 Plus.


Response Types for a Honeywell Lyric Alarm System

I explain Response Types on a Honeywell Lyric Controller. Every sensor enrolled with the system is assigned a Response Type. This setting determines how the system responds when the sensor is faulted. Making sure you set the correct Response Type for each zone is important. If you set the incorrect Response Type for a zone, then the system won't respond the way you want it to when a sensor is faulted. Keep in mind that difference Response Types are available for different Device Types.


Changing the Volume of a Qolsys IQ Panel 2

Jorge shows you how to adjust the volume on the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System. The IQ panel 2 has three (3) volume settings available. There are volume settings Voices, Beeps and Chimes, and Media. Each setting can be adjusted individually as needed. You will need to know the Master Code, the Installer Code, or the Dealer Code to make volume changes. Also keep in mind that setting any volume option to 0 will mute that selection.


Enrolling an IQ Fob with a Qolsys IQ Panel 2

Clean-shaven Jarrett shows you how to enroll a Qolsys IQ Fob with a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System. The Qolsys IQ Fob is a key fob that operates at 319.5 MHz. It offers buttons for arming, disarming, automation, and an auxiliary panic. The actual functions of the buttons are determined based on the sensor group you assign to the key fob zone. The device has a range of about 100 feet, and it works with nearly any security system that supports 319.5 MHz wireless sensors.


Using a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 with Apple HomeKit

Jorge explains how it is not possible to use a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus System with Apple HomeKit. You cannot have HomeKit devices respond automatically based on system events. But the system does offer integrations with Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Also, you can control the system using Siri Shortcuts through Alarm.com. If you need a system that offers full functionality with Apple HomeKit, then we recommend the Honeywell Lyric Controller. The Lyric offers a great HomeKit integration.


Are There Security Systems Better Than a Qolsys IQ Panel Alarm System?

I explain how there are many security systems that are superior to the original Qolsys IQ Panel. The original IQ Panel was the first system released by Qolsys. It has since been replaced by the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus supports more advanced features, improved automation functions, more reliable communication, and more robust sensor support. It also offers a slimmer design and a sleeker profile, making it more aesthetically pleasing.

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Alarm Grid is proud to announce that new Honeywell Lyric System Kits are now available! These new kits come included with Honeywell 5800MINI Door/Window Sensors, which are easy to enroll and install. Now is the perfect time to get started with a new Honeywell Lyric Security System!

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

Customers can choose between the Honeywell LYRIC5800PK Kit and the Honeywell LYRIC5800PK10 Kit. The LYRIC5800PK Kit includes three (3) door and window sensors and one (1) motion sensor. This is a good kit for a smaller home or an apartment where not many sensors are needed. If you have a larger home or business, then the LYRIC5800PK10 Kit is most likely the preferred option. That kit includes ten (10) door and window sensors and one (1) motion sensor. Of course, both kits can be easily expanded upon if needed. The Lyric supports 345 MHz Honeywell 5800 Sensors, 2GIG 345 MHz Sensors, and 128-bit AES encrypted Honeywell SiX Series Sensors.

Previously, Alarm Grid offered Lyric System Kits that featured the VERSA-2GIG Door and Window Contacts. The Honeywell 5800MINI Sensors offer the exact same performance, and they have an identical appearance. The only difference is that the Honeywell 5800MINI Sensors have a red circuit board, while the one for the VERSA-2GIG is yellow. But with the cover closed, you won't be able to see the difference. Both sensors enroll in the same manner, and they both provide excellent function as door and window contacts.

We have included some other accessories with these kits to help you get started. Both kits feature the Honeywell SiXPIR Motion Sensor. This passive infrared (PIR) motion detection sensor offers a coverage area of 40 feet by 56 feet, and it provides pet immunity for small animals weighing up to 80 pounds. As this sensor is part of the SiX Series lineup, it utilizes 128-bit AES encryption for enhanced wireless security. This military-grade encryption makes it nearly impossible for others to hack or takeover. And since the Lyric System supports up to 128 wireless zones, you will have no problem expanding on the system later if needed.

For monitoring service, the Lyric comes with a built-in WIFI card. This allows the system to connect with the AlarmNet360 Servers, provided that you obtain an appropriate monitoring plan. You should also make sure that your monitoring plan includes access to Total Connect 2.0, as that will really unlock some exciting features and capabilities for your system. By accessing TC2 through a web browser or mobile app, you can arm and disarm your system, control Z-Wave home automation devices, check system status and more. Speaking of Z-Wave, the Lyric Panel includes a built-in Z-Wave controller for adding devices like lights, locks and thermostats. You can create Total Connect smart scenes for automatic operation of these devices based on predetermined system events.

But perhaps the biggest benefit to the Lyric Alarm System is its ability to be used with Apple HomeKit. This is an interactive platform for iOS users that offers some impressive features when paired with a Lyric Alarm Panel. You can have your HomeKit devices respond automatically based on certain events of your Lyric System. And if you have a compatible HomeKit Hub, such as an iPad or an Apple TV, then you can control your Lyric System remotely using Siri voice commands sent from your iPhone. Simply put, this integration is awesome, and you will surely want to take advantage of it as much as possible! Just remember that you need to have the Lyric activated for monitoring service in order to enable it with Apple HomeKit.

We are sure that you will love your new Lyric System Kit. The panel is super easy to operate, and you will love its 7-inch full-color touchscreen display. And it looks great whether mounted on a wall or rested on a desk or table using the Honeywell LCP500-DK Desk Mount. If you have any questions about our new Lyric 5800MINI Kits, or if you want to learn more about our monitoring plans, please reach out to us by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. We operate support hours from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Resideo has discovered that certain Honeywell LTE-XV and Honeywell LTE-L3V Communicators have a firmware issue that makes them unable to appear in AlarmNet360. The affected communicators can still process signals and report to the central station. But these affected units must be replaced.

Honeywell lte xv alarmnet verizon lte cellular communicator

The Honeywell LTE-XV is a Verizon LTE Communicator for Honeywell VISTA Systems, while the Honeywell LTE-L3V is a Verizon LTE Communicator for Honeywell L3000 Systems. Only certain LTE-XV and LTE-L3V units are affected. The affected units will have a date code ranging from C305 to C365 or from D001 to D023. Modules outside of those listed dates are unaffected.

If you need to locate the date code for your LTE-XV or LTE-L3V, then it is very easy to find. You can locate the code on the inside of the module itself on the lower-left corner of the MAC sticker. Remember, date codes from C305 to C365 and from D001 to D023 may be affected. These date codes are associated with manufacture dates from November 2019 through January 2020.

Additionally, not all units within the aforementioned date codes are affected. If the communicator has a blue dot on the module or on the product packaging, then it is not affected. The images below show units with blue dots on the packaging, meaning they are not affected by the issue.


Keep in mind that these blue dots will also appear on the communicators themselves. Any communicator with a blue dot is unaffected and does not need to be replaced. Remember, this issue only affects LTE-XV and LTE-L3V units. Other AlarmNet Communicators are not affected.

If you have a Honeywell LTE-XV or Honeywell LTE-L3V without a blue dot on the packaging or on the module itself, check for the listed date code to see if your module is affected. More information on this issue can be found in this document provided from Resideo.

If you believe that you have an affected communicator, or if you need help locating the date code for the module, please contact us at support@alarmgrid.com. We operate support hours from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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The Alarm Grid Video Team has sure had an interesting past few weeks. It all came to head at the start of last week when they uploaded a backlog of seven (7) new videos. No new videos were uploaded after that, so we're rolling with those 7 for this recap. We hope you like the videos!

But where it gets unusual is the fact that four (4) of the new videos featured myself. I don't usually roll up my sleeves and appear in videos, as I don't have quite the star-power of Jorge or the young lad Jarrett. But I was happy to help out. The four videos I appeared in covered the DSC PG9944 Outdoor Image Sensor, which is a great product for anyone with a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus System.

Don't worry - you will still get to enjoy one (1) new video from Jorge and two (2) new videos from that guy wearing the silly Batman jacket. But in all seriousness, we hope you enjoy the new videos and find them helpful in using your security system. Anyway, no more babbling, let's get on with the video recap for the week of February 3rd!


Tilt Sensor That Is Compatible with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2

Jarrett wears a Batman jacket as he explains which tilt sensors are compatible with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System. A tilt sensor is typically used for monitoring a garage door and letting the system know when it is opened or closed. The original Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System uses 319.5 MHz tilt sensors like the Qolsys IQ Tilt-S. If you have an IQ Panel 2 Plus, then you should choose a 319.5 MHz, 345 MHz, or 433 MHz wireless tilt sensor based on the version of the system you have. Unfortunately, there is not yet a PowerG Tilt Sensor.


Honeywell Lyric Alarm System vs Tuxedo Touch Keypad

A nice and polite young man named Jarrett covers the differences between the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System and the Honeywell Tuxedo Touch Touchscreen Keypad. These are two completely different devices with totally different functions. The Lyric is a standalone wireless alarm panel, while the Tuxedo is a keypad for a Honeywell VISTA System. You cannot use the Tuxedo Touch as a keypad for a Lyric System. If you are wanting a dedicated keypad for your Lyric System, then you should check out the Honeywell LKP500.


Communicators That Are Compatible With the Interlogix Simon XTi-5i

Jorge covers the alarm monitoring communicators that are used with the Interlogix Simon XTi-5i Security System. The Simon XTi-5i needs a cellular communicator to work with the Alarm.com platform. There are plenty of communicator options for the Interlogix Simon XTi-5i System. But the most notable ones are those from the Alarm.com XT-511 lineup. These include the Alarm.com XT-511-US-AT (AT&T LTE), the Alarm.com XT-511-US-VZ (Verizon LTE), the Alarm.com XT-511-CA-TL (Telus LTE), the Alarm.com XT-511-US-DP-AT (AT&T LTE & IP), and the Alarm.com XT-511-US-DP-VZ (Verizon LTE & IP)


Does the PG9944 Take Pictures or Videos?

I explain that the DSC PG9944 Outdoor Image Sensor takes pictures, not videos. An image sensor is basically a still-motion camera combined with a motion detection sensor. They are great alternatives to security cameras. When the PG9944 triggers an alarm on the system, it will begin capturing images. Ten (10) images are taken and sent to the panel. If you have an IQ Panel 2 Plus, you can view these 10 images as a stop-motion video. Additionally, the first of these images will be forwarded to Alarm.com for remote viewing. But the PG9944 has no way of capturing video.


Enrolling the DSC PG9944 w/ the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus

I show you how to enroll the DSC PG9944 with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. All versions of the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus are capable of supporting PowerG Sensors like the PG9944. The sensor is enrolled by putting the IQ Panel 2 Plus into its enrollment mode and then activating the enrollment function on the sensor to learn it in. The enrollment button can be a little difficult to reach with batteries installed, so you will likely need to use a thin object like a screwdriver to press and hold the button.


Viewing the Images Captured By the PG9944 On the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus

I show you how to view images taken by the PG9944 on the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. The IQ Panel 2 Plus has a Camera Menu where you can see images taken by the system and any enrolled PowerG Image Sensors. This menu is easily accessed by swiping right or left from the main system screen until you reach the appropriate section. The PG9944 takes ten (10) images when it causes a system alarm, and it sends these images to the IQ Panel 2 Plus for local viewing. The images are viewable as a stop-motion video.


Using the PG9944 Outdoors

I explain how the DSC PG9944 is suitable for use in an outdoor environment. The sensor is able to withstand various environmental conditions that are expected to occur outdoors, including rain, wind, dust, heavy sunlight, and extreme temperatures. However, the PG9944 should not be submerged in water at any time. If you are looking for a PowerG Image Sensor to use exclusively indoors, then you might consider the DSC PG9934P instead. The DSC PG9934P is not suitable for use outdoors, but it is smaller and less expensive than the PG9944.

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One great thing about owning a PowerG Security System is that it is super easy to add a wireless siren. DSC manufactures an indoor model and an outdoor model for PowerG users. Whether you are looking for a DSC NEO Wireless Siren or a new siren for an IQ Panel 2 Plus, we have you covered!


The two (2) sirens in the PowerG lineup include the DSC PG9901 Indoor Alarm Siren and the DSC PG9911B Outdoor Alarm Siren w/ Strobe. Both will easily pair with any system that supports PowerG Sensors. These systems include the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, the DSC PowerSeries NEO w/ added PowerG Transceiver, and the DSC Iotega Security System. Both sirens work great, and they can make a nice addition to nearly any compatible alarm panel.

The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus and the DSC Iotega already include their own built-in sounders that will activate during alarm events. But if you are using the system in a larger home or business, or if you find that the internal sounder isn't loud enough, then you might consider adding an external siren as well. Meanwhile, the DSC PowerSeries NEO Systems are wired panels that are typically paired with hardwired sirens. But if you want to skip the process for wiring a siren, then adding a wireless PowerG Siren can be the perfect solution.

There are two (2) main benefits to adding an external siren with a security system. The first is that most external sirens are louder than the internal sounders built into alarm panels. The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus and the DSC Iotega both have internal sounders rated at 85 dB. The DSC PG9901 and the DSC PG9911B are both rated at 110 dB. Remember that volume increases exponentially with the decibel (dB) rating, so you are certainly getting a major increase in volume output with a DSC PowerG Wireless Siren.

The other major benefit to adding an external siren is that it spreads the sound out during an alarm event. Just because you add an external siren to your wireless system does not mean that the system's internal siren will stop functioning. Instead, both the system's internal sounder and the added siren will activate during alarm events. If you have the external siren in a different area, then you can really spread the sound out. This can be crucial for making sure that everyone on the premises is alerted.

Sirens activate during intrusion, fire, and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms on a system, unless the alarms are specifically set to silent. There are many purposes to alarm sirens, and every system should have one set up. First and foremost, a siren alerts building occupants to let them know that there is danger and that they need to evacuate immediately. A good alarm siren can mean the difference between life and death in many situations.

Sirens also provide assistance to emergency responders, such as police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians. In the heat of the moment, it can be difficult for a responder to determine which home or business is experiencing an emergency. A siren helps eliminate this issue, as the emergency responder will know to go to the location where the siren is coming from. Lastly, sirens are useful during intrusion alarms, as they will often scare off an intruder and prevent them from sticking around to cause more property damage. This is why every security system should have a functional siren set up and configured. And if you have a larger home or business, then setting up multiple alarm sirens is probably in your best interest.

For basic indoor use, the DSC PG9901 is an ideal option. This DSC Indoor Siren produces sounds of up to 110 dB, which is roughly as loud as an industrial grade chainsaw or a live rock concert in a typical venue. If you need a siren for outdoor use, then you should go with the DSC PG9911B. This siren also operates at 110 dB, but it is built to withstand an outdoor environment with its IP55 protection rating. The DSC PG9911B also includes a built-in strobe light, which can be a nice visual indication of an alarm. Please note that some jurisdictions may have restrictions on the color of strobe lights you can use. Make sure to check local laws and see if blue strobe lights are allowed in your area.

Both the DSC PG9901 and the DSC PG9911B are available from Alarm Grid. We're happy to help you get started with a new PowerG Siren. If you have any questions about the DSC PG9901, the DSC PG9911B, or any of the other products on our site, please contact us at support@alarmgrid.com. We operate support hours from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Alarm.com was given the opportunity at the 2020 CMS President's Forum to present some of their upcoming features that will soon be made available. The discussion was led by Alarm.com Product Manager Jennie Lee. We are sure that Alarm.com users will love these features that are coming soon!


These upcoming features are designed to prevent Alarm.com users from needing to contact the central monitoring station and instead manage their own security systems more effectively. This is helpful to Criticom Monitoring Services (CMS) in improving response times, and it also provides a more engaging end user experience. Needless to say, we are very excited about what Alarm.com is bringing to the table!

First, Alarm.com is offering an in-app panic feature that makes it possible to trigger a panic alarm right from the Alarm.com Mobile App. This is great if you ever need to discreetly call for help in the event of an emergency. End users can also use the Alarm.com Mobile App to cancel an alarm or verify that an alarm is legitimate. These features must be enabled by your alarm monitoring company. Alarm Grid customers can contact us at support@alarmgrid.com to get started. But please remember that if you are ever experiencing a confirmed burglary or fire while you at the monitored premises to instead call 911 immediately.

Another upcoming feature that Jennie Lee mentioned is the ability for end users to view their central station event logs directly from the Alarm.com Mobile App. End users will be able to see prior alarm events, as well as any emergency dispatches that may have been ordered. By implementing this feature, Alarm.com is hoping to make things more convenient for end users and prevent them from having to contact the central station directly for simple tasks. This feature should also prove to be very useful for system testing purposes.

Jennie Lee also discussed the upcoming in-app test mode feature that will soon be made available for the Alarm.com Mobile App. End users will be able to access the Alarm.com Mobile App to put their systems on test mode when needed. When the system is in test mode using this service, alarm notifications will still be forwarded to the central station. However, any central station operators will know not to dispatch, and no false alarms will occur. An end user can set the time for their system to remain in test mode, and the system will automatically exit test mode once the set time has expired.

Alarm.com is also going to be putting out some useful tools for alarm technicians that should help to improve the customer experience. Technicians will be able to perform zone syncs on Alarm.com customer accounts. This is needed whenever changes are made to system zones and whenever sensors are added, edited, or removed. Another feature that will be made available to technicians is the ability to quickly and conveniently put a system into test mode on behalf of the end user. Technicians will also soon be able to initiate a Walk Test on an end user's behalf for testing specific sensors and zones. The technicians at Alarm Grid will surely appreciate these great new features!

Lastly, Criticom Monitoring Services President Tony Wilson mentioned that CMS will soon have the ability to see images directly from the DSC PG9934P and DSC PG9944 PowerG Image Sensors. These image sensors are widely used with security systems that support PowerG, including the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. Currently, images produced by these devices are visible from Alarm.com, but they aren't made available to Criticom. But that will soon change, as Alarm.com will be able to automatically forward the produced images to the central monitoring station. The PowerG Image Sensors are only able to capture images during alarm events, so as to maintain privacy for the end user. When the system goes into alarm, the image sensor will produce an image every half-second for five (5) seconds straight, for a total of ten (10) images. The first of these images will be sent immediately to Alarm.com and CMS, while the other nine (9) will be made available to the central station operator as a stop-motion video shortly thereafter.

Overall, our team is very impressed with what Alarm.com will soon be putting out. We think that these upcoming features will really help improve the lives of end users, and they will also make the jobs of our support technicians much easier. If you are interested in starting service with Alarm Grid for access to Alarm.com, you can check out our monitoring page for more information. Also remember that you can email us at support@alarmgrid.com to get started. We maintain support hours from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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