It seems every week we're reporting a new feature being rolled out by Alarm.com. They recently added remote Duress Code programming through the Alarm.com app or website. Alarm.com must first enable this feature for the dealer, then users will have access if their panel supports the feature.
Before any Alarm.com user can start configuring codes remotely, the alarm dealer for the customer account must have this feature enabled. If the feature is not showing up when a user attempts to remotely program the Duress Code, contact the Alarm.com dealer and ask them to enable it. They may need to contact their Alarm.com Sales Representative to get the feature enabled.
Next, be sure that the alarm panel being used supports this feature. We have an FAQ on how to set up this feature via the Alarm.com Website and another FAQ on how to set up this feature using the Alarm.com App. Both of these FAQs have a list of compatible panels, and advise if a single or multiple codes are supported by the panel.
The way a Duress Code works is simple. If a system user is forced to interact with their alarm panel in any way, though this will usually involve disarming the system, if the Duress Code is used, then in addition to performing the security system function a silent signal is sent to the monitoring station alerting them to the fact that the system user is under duress. They are being forced to do something against their will. The monitoring station will receive this signal and then process it according to the customer's pre-stated wishes, and their own policies regarding duress situations.
The key element to the use of a Duress Code is the ability for someone who is not onsite to receive the signal and immediately take action. If the security system is not monitored by a trained 24/7 monitoring station employee then the Duress Code might just as well not exist. It may be possible to send a text, email, or push notification to someone outside the home or business, but there's a good chance that person may never see it, or may not understand what they're seeing. If there is any concern that a duress situation might occur, then central station monitoring is the best way to protect the people you love.
And finally, one thing I nearly forgot to mention above, an Alarm.com dealer cannot program a Duress User for a customer through their panel programming portal. Only the Admin Alarm.com Account user, the homeowner or business owner, is allowed to affect these codes remotely. So, what do you think about this new feature? Do you like the idea of being able to control system Duress Codes remotely? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts. We always enjoy hearing from our readers. That's all for now, stay safe out there.