Home Security Blog

Posted By

The Alarm Grid office will be closed Wednesday, July 4th in observance of Independence Day. During this time, customers will be unable to contact us via phone, and our technicians will not be checking the support email. We will normal resume business operations on Thursday, July 5th.

Once we re-open on Thursday, you will be able to contact us as normal. You can reach us at support@alarmgrid.com or over the phone at 888-818-7728 from 9AM to 8PM Monday thru Friday. We hope that everyone has a fun and safe Independence Day as we honor our country, and we look forward to providing you with continued support in the future.


Posted By

Hi DIYers! We're back with another weekly video update. Most of the videos focused on Honeywell Systems this week. These videos featured our support members Joe, Jorge and Dylan demonstrating how to perform various actions and functions on alarm systems and through Total Connect 2.0.

Adding Z-Wave to a VISTA System

Joe talks about the possible options for adding Z-Wave home automation devices to a Honeywell VISTA System. To use Z-Wave, a VISTA system will need either a Honeywell VAM or a Tuxedo Touch Keypad. Users can control their programmed Z-Wave devices and establish any rules and scenes through their Tuxedo Touch or through the Total Connect 2.0 interactive service. The system will need a WIFI or cellular connection in order to work with Total Connect 2.0.

The Best Place to Install a Lyric Alarm System

Joe discusses the ideal place for installing a Honeywell Lyric Controller. Users will typically want to have their panel or an external keypad placed by their main point of entry for easy access. A great external keypad to use with the Lyric is the Honeywell LKP500. Another option is to use the My Home Controller App to control the system. And of course, a user can access their Lyric System through the Total Connect service.

Using a 2GIG GC3 w/o Monitoring

Jorge goes over the capabilities of 2GIG GC3 System that is not receiving alarm monitoring service. Without monitoring, a GC3 will only serve as a local sounder. This is good for alerting on-site users to alarm events. The device can also be used for local Z-Wave control. However, the system will have no way of alerting off-site users to any alarm events, and remote Z-Wave control will be impossible. This makes alarm monitoring very important for anyone who intends on being away from their GC3 System for any period of time.

Red Exclamation Point on a Lyric Alarm System

Dylan talks about what the Red Exclamation Point symbol on a Honeywell Lyric Controller means. This symbol represents the panic button on the system. It does not mean that there is an error or that there is anything wrong with the system. When the button is pressed and held, the system will display the different types of distress signals that can be sent to a central monitoring station. The button will only work if the system is receiving active alarm monitoring service.

Controlling the System and Bypassing Sensors in Total Connect 2.0

Jorge explains how to control a Honeywell Alarm System and bypass system sensors through the Total Connect 2.0 service. To access their system, a user must provide their username and password. The user can control their system from the main screen. The user can arm away or arm stay, and the command will be sent to their system. They can then disarm their system from this screen. There is also a sensors button that is used for bypassing sensors.

Disabling a Long Range Radio on a VISTA Alarm System

Joe shows users how to disable a long range radio on a VISTA Alarm System. This is useful for clearing a Check 103 Error or for downgrading to a phone line connection. To disable the communicator, a user must first access Installer Programming. From there, the *29 field must be accessed. Entering in 0 for this field will disable the communicator for the system. The *29 field can be reaccessed at any time re-enable to communicator.

Adding User Code to a VISTA Security System

Joe explains how to add a new user to a VISTA Security System. This can be done from Total Connect 2.0 or locally from the keypad. To do this from the keypad, a user must provide the Master Code for the system. The Master Code must be entered. followed by 8, then the 2-digit user code and finally the desired 4-digit user code. The panel will chime when the new code has been successfully added. The new user code will be able to arm and disarm the system as needed.



Posted By

Hi DIYers! This is an update on Honeywell's partition support rollout for Total Connect 2.0. We previously posted that Honeywell was releasing partition support for TC2 users in stages. This update will allow users to control multiple partitions for compatible systems from Total Connect.

We just wanted to confirm that this rollout has been completed successfully. Everyone who has a compatible VISTA System and access to Total Connect 2.0 should now be able to control multiple partitions through the service. This update provides users with access to the following features on TC2:

  • Name partitions
  • Arm and disarm individual partitions
  • Bypass sensors
  • Assign partition control to different users
  • Enable or disable event notifications
  • Set remote disarming capabilities for individual partitions
  • Choose which user codes can activate and edit partition settings
  • View activity of fire partitions remotely (cannot control a fire partition remotely)

If your update has not gone through successfully, please contact us at support@alarmgrid.com, or call us at 888-818-7728 during normal business hours, which are 9am - 8pm Monday thru Friday. If you would like to learn more about TC2 partition support, please click here.


Posted By

Telguard has announced that their HomeControl Flex service now supports Amazon Alexa. Users can provide voice commands through an Amazon Alexa device to operate home automation devices. This makes it easier than ever for Telguard HomeControl users to operate their home automation devices.

In order for this to be possible, users will need a HomeControl Flex subscription and a Telguard FlexHub. To enable voice control, start by enabling the HomeControl Flex Skill through the Amazon Alexa App.The Alexa App will then walk you through the rest of the setup process. From there, you will be able to control your home automation devices using voice commands sent through your Amazon Alexa device.

At this time, it is only possible to control home automation devices through the HomeControl Flex Skill. Telguard says that it will soon be possible for a user to arm their system in this manner as well. Make sure to keep an eye on our blog for further updates.

Tags: , , , ,


Posted By

When it comes to smoke detectors, these crucial life-safety devices can be split into two main types. These are standalone smoke detectors and system smoke detectors. The difference between these two categories is that system smokes are connected with an alarm system for monitoring.

Honeywell 5806w3 wireless smoke detector

With a standalone smoke detector, the device is nothing more than a local noise-making device for alerting on-site building occupants to the presence of a fire. However, a system smoke detector will provide a greater level of functionality. In addition to providing an audible alert of a fire, a system smoke will also cause a fire alarm on the system with which it is programmed.

With that in mind, a system smoke detector is the only type of smoke detector that can send alerts to the end user and/or a central monitoring station about any fire that has occurred in a building. This means that system smoke detectors are the only devices that can request automatic fire dispatch from a central station or alert off-site users to the presence of a fire.

Both system and standalone smoke detectors can include a feature known as "one-go, all-go". This feature means that the smoke detectors are interconnected, and if one smoke in the network activates, the others will activate as well. The one-go, all go function can be very important for ensuring that the entire building is alerted to a fire. Traditionally, this feature was only available for hardwired smokes. But in more recent years, wireless smoke detectors, like the Honeywell SiXSMOKE, have adopted this feature as well.

Honeywell sixsmoke wireless smoke slash heat detector for lyric

As a company that deals with alarm systems and monitoring, Alarm Grid specializes in system smoke detectors. We believe that it is very important that people use system smoke detectors over standalone smokes. If a fire occurs when there is nobody in the building, only a system smoke can alert those who aren't on the premises. This is very important for ensuring that the situation is under control and that the fire does not spread to surrounding areas. And for customers who are connected with a central station, system smokes will allow them to receive automatic emergency fire dispatch in the event of a fire.

However, there is a way to essentially turn standalone smoke detectors into system smoke detectors. This is accomplished using a takeover module. A takeover module is a type of wireless sensor that listens for the sound of an activated smoke detector. If a takeover module picks up this type of sound, it will send an alert to the alarm system to let it know about the fire. This will allow a standalone smoke detector to function as a system smoke detector with an alarm system. One example of a smoke detector takeover module is the Encore FireFighter FF345. This wireless device will send a 345 MHz wireless signal so that a standalone smoke detector can communicate with a compatible alarm system.

Encore firefighter ff345 circular smoke detector takeover moduleRemember, while standalone smoke detectors can be very useful for alerting building occupants, only a system smoke detector can request emergency help when nobody is on-site. Alarm Grid offers a great selection of system smoke and heat detectors that are designed for use with alarm systems. Protect your home or business, and get one today!

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


Posted By

Alarm Grid is now offering the T6 Z-Wave Thermostat from Honeywell. This intuitive device is excellent for controlling the HVAC system inside any home or business. It provides support for complete heating and cooling control, and it is very easy to set up compared to other thermostats.

The Honeywell T6 uses Z-Wave Plus technology for communicating with an alarm system. It was previously known as the Lyric T6 Pro Z-Wave Thermostat, but Honeywell changed the name to simply T6 in order to avoid confusion with the Lyric lineup. The device will work with any alarm system that supports Z-Wave devices, including the Honeywell Lyric Controller. Although it is manufactured by Honeywell, the T6 will work with other brands of systems that support Z-Wave as well. Depending on the system that is used, the T6 can controlled from Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com.

One thing that makes the T6 great is its ability to be used without a common power from a C-wire. Instead, the thermostat can operate effectively on battery power alone. But if a C-wire is used (which is usually 24VAC from the HVAC equipment), then the thermostat will allow other Z-Wave devices to operate through it as their wireless signals travel back to the Z-Wave controller. But this feature cannot be performed if the T6 is running on strictly battery power.

We have already tested the T6 Thermostat with the Lyric Controller to great success. Our team is particularly impressed with the device's ease of setup and its overall clean user interface. Z-Wave plus capabilities allow it to function extremely reliably on a Z-Wave network, making it a very dependable device. It also provides excellent flexibility with its ability to be used with a C-wire. All of this makes the T6 our new favorite Z-Wave thermostat. You can purchase yours on the Alarm Grid site right now!

Tags: ,


Posted By

Hi DIYers! Alarm Grid is proud to officially offer DSC Panels and security sensors. As of today, DSC equipment is now available for purchase from Alarm Grid. This includes the wireless all-in-one DSC Impassa System, legacy DSC 433 MHz Sensors, DSC PowerG Sensors and DSC hardwired sensors.

DSC (Digital Security Controls) is a Canadian company that has been providing great innovations in security technology since 1979. The company is known for its reliable equipment that is used for monitoring homes and businesses worldwide. Their panels and sensors provide exceptional performance, and they are constantly providing great innovations for the security industry as a whole.

Our launch for DSC products is based around the DSC Impassa. This is a wireless all-in-one system with an integrated touch-button controller. The main benefit to the Impassa is that it is the only wireless DSC System that provides support for 433 MHz sensors and offers local installer programming. And with an Alarm.com cellular communicator, the system can readily receive cellular monitoring and access the Alarm.com service. All of the DSC Impassa Systems being sold by Alarm Grid will include an integrated cellular communicator designed for use with either the AT&T or the Verizon network.

We are also extremely excited to offer the new DSC PowerG Sensors as well. These are some of the most powerful and versatile security sensors we have ever seen. The PowerG Sensors operate at a wireless frequency of 915 MHz, which prevents them from interfering with system peripherals that operate on the lower 300-400 MHz bands. What makes these sensors particularly amazing is their ability to operate nearly half a mile away from an alarm system in an indoor setting. This makes them perfect for many applications, such as in barns or detached garages. All PowerG Sensors are also protected by 128-bit AES encryption to prevent them from being taken over.

Please note that the DSC Impassa will NOT work with the DSC PowerG Sensors. At this time, we do not offer any panels that can support these devices. However, Qolsys has stated that they should soon be releasing a PowerG daughtercard for their IQ Panel 2 System. This is a perfect solution for users who want to integrate PowerG Sensors into their setup. Additionally, we plan to add DSC Security Systems that do support the PowerG devices in the near future. We'll make sure to provide you with any updates through our daily blog.

Wireless PowerG Door/Window Contact

Wireless PowerG Digital Pet-Immune PIR Motion Detector Wireless PowerG 4-Button Key

If you need sensors for a DSC Impassa, you should go with the legacy DSC 433 MHz Sensors. These are reliable sensors that have proven to be very effective in countless installations. We are happy to announce that these sensors are now available on our site. Additionally, we also have a brand-new selection of DSC hardwired sensors that are available as well. These hardwired sensors can be used in essentially the same way as hardwired Honeywell sensors, and we have many options to choose from.

If you have any questions about DSC Systems or Sensors, please contact us for additional support. You may email us at support@alarmgrid.com or call us at 888-818-7728 from 9am to 8pm M-F.

Alarm grid inside security stickers

Tags: ,


Posted By

Hi DIYers! Yes, we just had a video recap a few days ago. But we wanted to get out this week's edition early, since we have an exciting announcement coming Monday - it's a secret! We still have four great videos starring Dylan and Jorge this time. These videos focused on Honeywell products.

Programming a Honeywell 5816 Sensor

Dylan goes over the programming process for a Honeywell 5816 Door and Window Contact. This is a wireless sensor that works with Honeywell and 2GIG Systems. To learn the 5816, access zone programming, and put the system into its sensor enrollment mode. Then separate the sensor from its magnet to activate it. The system should recognize the sensor. Repeat this process two more times to learn it in. Then configure the settings for that wireless zone, and save your changes.

Changing the Master Code on a LYNX Touch System

Dylan talks about how to change the Master Code for a Honeywell LYNX Touch System. The Master Code is the code that is primarily used for system arming and disarming. Unlike the Installer Code, a user will certainly want to change their Master Code. Leaving this code at its default could present a major security risk if an intruder knows the default code. The Master Code on a LYNX Touch can be changed from the user-level programming menu.

Using the Tuxedo Touch as a Keypad for a Lyric Alarm System

Jorge explains that the Tuxedo Touch cannot be used as an external keypad for a Lyric Controller. The Tuxedo Touch is designed to be used with a hardwired Honeywell VISTA Panel. The device will provide a VISTA with a touchscreen controller, and it also serves as a Z-Wave controller for integrating home automation devices with the system. The Tuxedo Touch will not work with the Lyric Controller. If a user wants an external keypad for the Lyric Controller, they should use the Honeywell LKP500.

Self Monitoring on a Lyric Alarm System

Jorge discusses how the Honeywell Lyric Controller can be self-monitored. This means that the system will not connect with a central monitoring station. Instead, it will be up to the end user to report any alarm events to the authorities. This is made possible using a service called Total Connect 2.0. Any alarm event that occurs will be sent from the Lyric System to Total Connect 2.0. The user can then receive a text and/or email alert directly from Total Connect 2.0 to immediately let them know about the alarm. Check out our Monitoring Page to learn more.



Posted By

At Alarm Grid, we often encourage users to "roll with what they got" and get as much as they can out of their current system. But there are some cases where enough is enough, and upgrading to a brand-new panel is the best option. Here are 5 reasons for you to make a system upgrade.

1. You don't know the Installer Code. Virtually every alarm system comes equipped with a default Installer Code that is absolutely necessary for providing basic programming functions. We recommend leaving this code at the default because it can be very difficult to get into programming if you lose this code. Additionally, you might not know the system's Installer Code if it was monitored by a different company that intentionally changed the code.

Some systems will technically allow you to get back into programming even if you lose this code. However, this can be a tedious process, as you may need to reset the system to factory default settings. This would require you to reprogram every sensor for the system. And some systems don't even allow this. So if you lose your Installer Code and can't get back into programming, sometimes the best option is to just start fresh with a completely new security system. Depending on the system you choose, you may even be able to keep all your old sensors as well.

Honeywell 5816 wireless door window sensor

2. You want more reliable communication. Nearly every alarm system on the market today is capable of achieving a dual-path communication setup with WIFI and cellular connectivity. This type of setup will provide ultra-fast speeds and excellent reliability. Even many older systems can be upgraded to achieve a similar setup. Cellular connectivity in particular is highly important for anyone who is serious about receiving reliable alarm monitoring services.

Unfortunately, some older systems are stuck using phone line monitoring, and they cannot be upgraded to a superior communication path. Using a phone line is extremely discouraged, as it is an outdated technology that offers unreliable service and slow connection speeds. Not to mention, phone service has some serious issues of its own. So if you're still using an alarm system with phone line connectivity, and you want more reliable and faster monitoring, it might time to make a change.

Honeywell lyric lte a at and t lte cellular communicator for the

3. You want easier daily access. Many older alarm systems are controlled through touch-button keypads that are wired in with the system. While this is fine for many users, it doesn't necessarily compare with the convenience of a touchscreen controller. This type of control will make it much easier to perform daily tasks like arming and disarming from the panel. And while there are certain touchscreen controllers for certain systems (e.g. the Honeywell Tuxedo Touch for VISTA Panels and the Interlogix Two-Way Talking TouchScreen for Interlogix Panels), they are often very expensive in their own right.

Many users often find that the best option is to simply ditch their hardwired system entirely and upgrade to a new wireless one with a touchscreen. And even if you have a large number of hardwired sensors, you can probably bring them over with a compatible wired to wireless converter. For example, the Honeywell 5800C2W will allow hardwired sensors to be used with a new wireless Honeywell System.

Honeywell 5800c2w hardwire to wireless system 9 zone conversion module4. You want more advanced sensors. Alarm sensors are continuing to become more and more advanced over time. And eventually, certain features that are added will simply be incompatible with an older system. An example of this involves the Honeywell SiX Series Sensors and the Qolsys S-Line Sensors. These sensors are both protected by 128-bit AES encryption, which makes them virtually impossible to takeover or hack into. However, this encryption limits their system compatibility. For the SiX Series Sensors, they can only work with Honeywell Lyric Panels. Meanwhile, the Qolsys S-Line Sensors will only work with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2.

It's not to say that older legacy sensors are bad or anything. They will work just fine with a security setup. But they aren't always going to offer the same advanced features and capabilities as newer sensors. So any users who want to incorporate more advanced system sensors into their setup may need to make an upgrade.

Honeywell sixpir lyric smart sensor motion

5. You want to obtain a smart home. Older alarm systems are often limited in how they can be controlled remotely. They are also sometimes restricted in their functionality with smart home applications, such as Google Home and Apple HomeKit. Most of this is done through an interactive service platform, like Honeywell's Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. In fact, most security experts would agree that an alarm system is fairly outdate if it cannot connect with an interactive service platform.

An interactive service is usually accessed through a web browser or through a mobile app on a smartphone. There are some useful basic features that come with virtually any interactive service. These features include arming and disarming the system, checking the status of sensors, controlling Z-Wave home automation devices and viewing the live feed of programmed security sensors. So with access to an interactive service platform, these actions can be performed from nearly anywhere in the world.

Most smart home devices follow a certain protocol when interacting with an alarm system. In these cases, an interactive service platform typically acts as a "middleman" between the smart device and the security system. Any command that is is sent through the smart device (e.g. a Google Home device or an Amazon Alexa device) will first be sent to the interactive service server (e.g. Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com) and then to the system (e.g. the Honeywell Lyric Controller or the 2GIG GC3).

However, this type of access can be impossible for older alarm systems. So if you want to obtain a smarter home security setup, upgrading your system may be a good first step.

So, which system is right for me?

If you're in the market for a new system, we generally recommend choosing a wireless system. Most users find that wireless systems are easier to program, and they will provide all-in-one access for the user. These systems are also compatible with some of the most advanced sensors on the market, and they can all be used with an interactive service platform.

Our most favorite systems are the Honeywell Lyric Controller, the 2GIG GC3 and the Qolsys IQ Panel 2. These are all outstanding wireless systems that will provide tremendous functions and features for an end user. They are also each compatible with certain smart home applications. Make sure to check compatibility before making your decision if you want to achieve a smart home setup. But regardless, you can't go wrong with any of these outstanding systems.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system 2gig gc3 diy wireless security system w slash 7 screen Qolsys iq panel 2 at and t wireless security system with at and
Tags: , , , ,


Posted By

Hi DIYers! In today's product highlight, we are featuring the Honeywell SiXGB Glass Break Detector. This wireless glass break sensor is designed exclusively for use with Honeywell Lyric Systems, including the Honeywell Lyric Controller. The device is great for monitoring any glass windows or protective glass casings.

Honeywell sixgb wireless glass break detector

The SiXGB is the only glass break detector from the Honeywell SiX Series lineup. These are some of the most advanced pieces of security equipment available today. Like the other SiX Sensors, the SiXGB is fully protected with 128-bit AES encryption. This makes it nearly impossible for hackers or potential intruders to wirelessly take over or disable the device.

As a wireless sensor, the SiXGB communicates with the Lyric using a 2.4 GHz WIFI signal. The device boasts a maximum communication range of up to 300 feet. It is bi-directional, and it can receive automatic updates from the system itself. The sensor features a sleek and modern design that will fit in with almost any decor. Integrated LED lights assist with both device testing and enrollment.

The SiXGB functions best when it has a direct line of sight to the glass that it is monitoring. The device will need to hear both the "thud" of an object striking against the glass and the "shattering" sound of the glass itself in order to activate. The device can monitor plate, tempered, laminated, wired, coated and sealed insulating glass. However, the glass must be within the thickness requirements that are outlined below:

The SiXGB is available for purchase on the Alarm Grid site. Get a SiXGB for your Lyric System today!

Tags: , ,