How Arm Away, Arm Stay and Arm Night Work

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Hi DIYers! Today, we're going to discuss the three main Arming modes used with alarm systems and explain how exactly they work. The three modes to discuss are Arm Away, Arm Stay and Arm Night. The key is knowing which Zone Types are active in each Arming mode and which ones are bypassed.

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For the purpose of this post, we will be providing information specific to Honeywell Alarm Systems. However, this information can be applied across virtually any alarm control panel with the relevant Arming modes. Each mode has a specific application and time when it is most appropriate. Also remember that 24-Hour Zones (burg, fire, CO, auxiliary, audible, silent) will remain active at all times and can always cause an alarm, even when the system is disarmed. With that in mind, let's get started!

Arm Away

  • Use when you leave your home.
  • Perimeter Zones and Day/Night Zones will cause immediate alarms, including during the Exit Delay countdown.
  • User must disarm within the set Entry/Delay Period after activating an Entry/Exit Zone or an Interior w/ Delay Zone, or else an alarm will occur.
  • If an Interior Follower Zone is activated, then an immediate alarm will occur, unless it was activated after an Entry/Exit Zone.
  • If Auto-Stay Arming is enabled, then an Entry/Exit Zone must be activated when Arming Away, or else the system will revert to Arm Stay mode after the countdown.
  • The system will continuously beep during the Exit Delay countdown when Arming Away, unless a Silent Exit is performed.

Arm Stay

  • Use when someone is in the building, but you want the system to remain in an Armed state.
  • Interior Follower Zones and Interior w/ Delay Zones are automatically bypassed and cannot cause an alarm.
  • Perimeter Zones and Day/Night Zones will cause immediate alarms, including during the Exit Delay countdown.
  • If an Entry/Exit Zone is activated, the user must Disarm within a set Entry Delay period, or else an immediate alarm will occur.
  • The system will not continuously beep during the Exit Delay countdown when Arming Stay.

Arm Night

  • Essentially a more-secure version of Arm Stay Mode.
  • Set an Interior Zone to not be bypassed by enabling the Arm Night option for that zone within Zone Programming.
  • Interior Zones without Arm Night enabled will be bypassed.
  • Set Arm Night by choosing Arm Stay and then highlight the option for Arm Night on the code entry screen.
  • Arm Night option is only available if you have at least one Interior Zone with the Arm Night option enabled.


  • Mode when the system is not in a secured state.
  • Most security zones can be activated without causing an alarm.
  • The system will still display faulted zones, chime and read out Zone Descriptors if enabled.
  • If a Day/Night Zone is activated, then a trouble condition will occur.
  • If a 24-Hour Zone is activated, a system alarm will still occur.
  • The 24-Hour Zone category includes most Life-Safety Sensors, such as smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, as well as police and medical panic buttons.

If you're an Alarm Grid monitored customer and you have any questions about your system's arming functions, please reach out to us. You may email or call us during our normal business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F at (888) 818-7728. And if you aren't already signed-up, then you can click the link in the upper-left corner of the page to get started. We look forward to working with you.

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