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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.

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Qolsys released the Qolsys IQ WIFI last week. The IQ WIFI supports dual-band (2.4GHZ and 5GHz) WIFI and can be used as a stand-alone router. It can also be installed in parallel with an existing network. This provides a separate secure WIFI connection for security devices such as cameras.

WIFI is about as common these days as home phones with a traditional copper line (POTS or Plain Old Telephone Service) were from the 1960's through the early 2000's. However, the adoption of WIFI networking has seen some challenges that were not really an issue when using POTS. Namely, the end-user installation and configuration aspect of WIFI networks, as well as issues with getting, and then staying, connected to them. The security industry has embraced WIFI in a big way in recent years, therefore security system users have felt the pain created by these challenges.

For this reason, Qolsys has introduced the Qolsys IQ WIFI. The IQ WIFI is a mesh-capable controller and agent system. Up to eight (8) devices can be supported per network. One IQ WIFI will connect to the modem, router, or switch via a wired ethernet cable. This IQ WIFI will become the controller for the mesh network. Then, up to seven (7) additional IQ WIFI units acting as Agents can be added for a total of eight (8) devices. This allows a user to blanket virtually every nook and cranny of the home or business with a safe and easily configured WIFI connection. If you have a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus with firmware version 2.6.0 or later, the network can be configured right from the panel's touchscreen. The range between IQ WIFIs is approximately 130 ft. (39.62 m) with a coverage area of approximately 1,500 square feet (139 square meters). Wireless IEEE 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz and IEEE 802.11 a/n/ac 5GHz frequencies are supported.

The Qolsys IQ WIFI can be used as a stand-alone router. Each one contains a WAN port, a LAN port, and a barrel connector for power. Each one also has a WPS button. If your ISP provides you with a combination Modem/Router device, connect the WAN port of the IQ WIFI to one of the available ethernet ports on the Modem/Router. From there you can use the IQ WIFI as a wired or WIFI router. For wired devices, connect directly to the LAN port on the IQ WIFI. If you have more than one wired device to connect, connect a multi-port switch to the IQ WIFI LAN port, and then connect your other wired ethernet devices to the switch. As an alternative, connect the WAN port on the IQ WIFI to an existing router or switch, and then using this device as the Controller, build a parallel WIFI mesh network(s) out from there.

Up to seven (7) additional IQ WIFI devices can be added as Agents to create a mesh network that is as strong as you need it to be. This allows you to run a separate WIFI network inside your home or business that is virtually invisible to anyone attempting to hack in from the outside. Another attractive feature of this type of configuration is the ease of replacing the Internet facing hardware. Any time you need to swap out the main modem or router, all you do is swap out the existing hardware, then connect the Qolsys IQ WIFI acting as the Controller to the new piece of equipment. All of the WIFI devices that have been configured to connect through the IQ WIFI will keep their current configuration. There is no need to go around to each WIFI device and enter new credentials. This is particularly welcome when you have WIFI equipment, such as fixed-mount cameras, that may be installed in multiple and difficult to reach locations.

In many cases, security devices can only use the 2.4GHz WIFI band. When the SSID for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz are the same, this can cause issues for those devices that don't support both frequencies. We've seen this in many instances with the Honeywell Lyric. By allowing the user to separate the two bands, achieved by changing the SSID on one or both of them, you can make sure that any device that needs to use only one band or the other can find and then remain connected to the proper WIFI network. It may seem counter-intuitive to think that a Qolsys product could help to stabilize the WIFI connection for a Resideo or Honeywell alarm system, but it is absolutely possible.

When Qolsys first talked about this device, they called it the Qolsys IQ Router. Since then, they have updated the name to Qolsys IQ WIFI and they plan to release a separate device called the Qolsys IQ Router2, or possibly the IQ WIFI6 later in the year. This will be a more robust device supporting both WIFI and potentially another technology such as Z-Wave, Zigbee, or maybe even PowerG. We look forward to hearing about many more new products to come! What do you think of the Qolsys IQ WIFI? Leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you.


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The police department in Sandy Springs, GA is one of several that adhere to a policy of Verified Response when it comes to burglar alarms. They require proof that a crime has occurred before they will respond. Proof can come in one of several forms, which we will be discussing here.

Different police jurisdictions define verified response in different ways with different verification criteria. In some jurisdictions, a second burglar alarm activation on a different zone within the same address occurring within a certain period of time qualifies as verification. For others, there must be audio, video, or onsite verification before the police will respond. In Sandy Springs, GA, the latter type of verification is required. The full Alarm Dispatch Guidelines for Sandy Springs, GA can be found here.

This is not to say that the City of Sandy Springs or any other police department that otherwise requires verification won't respond to any type of alarm without proof of an issue at the site. For most jurisdictions, if there is a Panic, Duress, Hold-up, Medical, CO, Elevator or Fire alarm, the requirement for verification is waived and immediate dispatch can be requested. But, at least in the case of Sandy Springs, if authorities respond and there is no evidence of criminal activity or any other emergency, then false alarm fees will apply.

Furthermore, if a monitoring station employee requests public safety dispatch on an alarm based on audio or video proof that a crime is occurring or has occurred, then Sandy Springs requires that they submit proof of verification within 24 Hours of the dispatch request. Failure to do so will incur additional fines! Proof can either be described to the monitoring station employee by the end-user after checking their cameras or other means of verification, or it can come from the monitoring station employee themselves having reviewed audio or video evidence. The burden of proof has been placed squarely on the monitoring company.

If a customer has an alarm system that uses Audio Alarm Verification, sometimes referred to as 2-Way Voice, then the monitoring station can use this to verify if an unauthorized individual is onsite. In the case of Sandy Springs, silence does not count as proof of an issue, the monitoring station dispatcher must hear footsteps, talking, sounds of rummaging, or other proof of an issue at the site. If the customer has video surveillance, either the customer, or in some cases the monitoring station, can use the video system to verify if an alarm is an actual break-in. The customer may even have a friendly neighbor who is willing to receive a notification from the alarm monitoring company and will go and check things out for them and report back.

However, not every monitoring company will support 2-Way Voice. Currently at Alarm Grid, we don't support this option. And not every customer wants to blanket their property with security cameras. Some properties are too large, or too far away from neighbors to make relying on a neighbor a viable option. In these cases, the best option may be to employ a guard service.

In the past few years, Alarm Grid has partnered with a company called Vet Sec to provide an onsite guard response to monitored locations in jurisdictions such as Sandy Springs. Vet Sec employs guards, in most cases these guards are unarmed or they may be armed with non-lethal weapons (tasers). Once an alarm occurs, the monitoring station will contact Vet Sec, rather than the local police department. A single guard will respond and check the location for signs of a break-in or any other criminal activity, such as vandalism. If evidence of a crime is found, they will notify the monitoring station and wait up to 30 minutes for a key holder and the authorities to arrive. In exchange, they charge a fee for this site visit. The price may vary by location. In most cases, the police should respond within 30 minutes, but if it takes longer for them to arrive, and the customer or other key holder wants the guard to wait with them, then additional fees may apply.

There are several great things about this service. For one, just like with Alarm Grid monitoring, there is no contract so a customer can cancel at any time. Also, this is a "pay as you go" service, so a customer is only billed if a guard actually responds to their monitored location. The fees are billed to Alarm Grid and are then applied to the customer's monthly monitoring fee on the next automatic bill date. Alarm Grid does not markup this fee, we simply pass the fee along to the customer. What we pay, you pay.

Areas in the United States where Verified Response is Required:

State City Guard Service Available?
Alaska Cantwell No
Delta Junction No
Fairbanks No
Galena No
Healy No
Nenana No
Northway No
Tok No
Arizona Surprise No
California Fontana Yes
Colorado Fort Collins No
Golden Yes
Georgia Sandy Springs Yes
Michigan Detroit Yes
Nevada Henderson Yes
Las Vegas Yes
North Las Vegas Yes
Golden Yes
Oregon Eugene Yes (Within City Limits Only)
Washington Bellingham Yes
Burien Yes
Wenatchee No
Kent (Commercial Only) No
Yakima Yes
Seattle (Recommended, not Required) Yes
Wisconsin Milwaukee Yes
Golden Yes
Utah Salt Lake City Yes
Golden Yes

Please keep in mind that this list is something that may evolve with little notice. It may be difficult to keep the list 100% accurate, but we will do our best. There have actually been a few places where the police department tried using verified response, and then changed their mind due to increases in property crime. San Jose, CA is one that comes to mind. It was reported in 2019 that they had decided to change their policy and move away from requiring verified response.

You may have noticed that the list above didn't feature any locations from our neighbor to the north. There are a couple of places in Canada that require a version of verified response. Winnipeg, Manitoba, and London and Toronto, Ontario have all adopted a more lax definition of this type of verification. In all three of these locations, the police department will accept two or more activations of two or more separate burglary zones as a form of verification. Currently, Alarm Grid does not offer a guard service in any of the Canadian provinces. If this changes, we'll be sure to update this blog post.

So, of course the burning question is, "How much does it cost?" For most locations the charge is $45 per site visit. There are a few locations where the price differs. In Sandy Springs, GA, the price is $68 per site visit. In Albuquerque, NM customers currently pay $57.07 per visit, and in Eugene, OR the price is $60 per site visit.

What do you think of the Verified Response Policy recently implemented in Sandy Springs, GA? Is it overdue, or overreach? Tell us what you think in the comments below. We'd love to hear from you. Stay tuned to our blog for more exciting security industry news. If you need help figuring out what system you have in the house you just moved into, or you're looking to upgrade an existing system, or to install one for the first time, reach out to us via email at support@alarmgrid.com. We're here Monday - Friday from 9 am to 8 pm Eastern. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Qolsys recently released a service bulletin describing an issue with certain IQ Hardwire 16-F units. This issue affects both the small enclosure and large enclosure versions. Under certain circumstances, affected units can signal a false tamper/tamper restore message for connected zones.

Qolsys TSB #210708, which was released on July 8, 2021, describes this issue, and the corrective action Qolsys is taking to remedy the problem. They do not provide a lot of information regarding what "conditions" bring about this behavior. We have asked for more detail, and if more information is forthcoming, we will provide updates here in our blog.

Rest assured that only a certain number of these devices are affected, and we will provide users with the necessary information to determine if they have one of these units. Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F units that were manufactured outside of the window in question are not affected and should not exhibit this behavior.

How to determine if your Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F small enclosure (SKU: QS7133-840) is affected:

On the unit itself, or on the box that the unit came in, check the Revision Sticker. This will appear as a bar code on the sticker and will be marked with SN: and DL: If the 4th character of the SN, moving from left to right, is a "C" then the Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F small enclosure should be returned/replaced.

How to determine if your Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F large enclosure (SKU: QS7134-840) is affected:

On the Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F large enclosure, the way you determine the revision is the same, but the revision information is different. On these units the revision to be on the lookout for is "B" rather than "C". This sticker should also appear on the unit itself as well as on the box that the unit comes in. Since these devices come from the factory with an enclosure, the sticker may be on the enclosure rather than the printed circuit board. When reading the sticker, the 4th character when viewing the SN from left to right is "B" on affected units. See the example below:

Qolsys has pulled back available affected stock to correct this issue. Units that may have been affected, but have since been pulled back into manufacturing and reworked or replaced, will sport a sticker that says "TEST OK".


If you purchase a Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F that falls within the Revision range discussed above, but the item has a "TEST OK" sticker affixed somewhere on the packaging or the unit itself, then you do not have to worry about this issue. If you purchased a Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F prior to the date that this notice was released, and your device falls within the revision range discussed above, then you should contact your distributor to discuss replacing the unit. Per Qolsys, you should do this even if you haven't observed the behavior described in this Technical Service Bulletin.

If you are an Alarm Grid customer, and you purchased an affected unit from Alarm Grid, you can contact us at support@alarmgrid.com. We are here Monday - Friday from 9am to 8pm ET. If you prefer to speak to us by phone, you can reach us at 888-818-7728. It is our pleasure to assist you with any and all of your alarm needs. Stay safe!

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I don't usually get the opportunity to talk about my personal life very often in this blog. But today, I wanted to briefly share my personal experience registering an alarm system in Pompano Beach, FL. Specifically, I want to focus on the sensible alarm registration policy in the city.


Earlier this year, I had the fortune of purchasing my first home, located just half a mile from the Alarm Grid headquarters. Along with this purchase came a brand-new Honeywell Lyric Security System and monitoring service from Alarm Grid. Maybe someday I'll show the inner workings of my home security setup. But for now, I just want to talk about the positive experience I have had in registering my system with the city of Pompano Beach, FL. This is truly an example of a local alarm authority maintaining a very reasonable policy.

As the operator of a monitored security system in Pompano Beach, FL, I am required by the local jurisdiction to register my system annually with the city. The annual registration fee is a mere $25, and it covers me until December 31st of the same year. This struck me as very reasonable, and I do not believe that it would deter anyone in my community from protecting their home with a monitored system. But the aspect that left me quite impressed was the professional and sincere follow-up that I received after registering.

Upon receipt of my payment, the city of Pompano Beach, FL sent me a welcome letter to verify registration. It included a decal that I can display outside to verify that my system is registered with the city. The welcome letter itself was also very informative in its own right. This message specifically mentioned the importance of regularly testing a security system, complete with a reminder to place the system on test mode with the central station first. The letter went on to present a long list of common causes of false alarms. It even made specific mention of motion detection sensors, which, as a security professional, I am very well aware of how they can cause problems if not installed properly.

The letter ended on a rather serious note, as it mentioned that less than 2% of the alarms that the local police and fire departments respond to are actual emergencies. It urged users to do their part to reduce the false alarm rate by receiving proper training from the alarm provider. Luckily for me, my monitoring provider is also my employer, so I have received plenty of training in preventing false alarms. But I can easily see a typical homeowner who isn't experienced in using a system making a mistake and potentially causing a false alarm.

Taking a step back, I honestly think that my city has a very sensible methodology in handling security systems. There isn't an extreme "verified response" policy, and the local authorities will respond to any alarm event. I believe that this is important for members of the community to feel safe in their homes and to place trust in those who protect and serve. But at the same time, my city acknowledges that false alarms are a legitimate problem, and system users are urged to do their part to prevent them. I think that is very reasonable, as we must all do our part to not abuse the system and waste the time and resources of our local authorities.

Out of curiosity, I looked up the false alarm fining policies for Pompano Beach, FL. It turns out that the first three (3) false alarm events within one (1) calendar year, provided that the system is registered, will result in warnings. The fourth (4th) false alarm within a year will result in a $25 fine, the fifth (5th) will result in a $50 fine, and the sixth (6th) and all subsequent false alarms within the year will each result in a $100 fine. Again, I am fine with this policy, as causing more than three (3) false alarms with a year is pretty foolish, and by that point, a user probably should be fined if they have not corrected the problem.

I might take a closer look at the letter and its fine details another time. But I will end this post by saying that I am proud of my city for taking a very reasonable approach to what is a well- known issue. Alarm Grid does its part to stop false alarms by working to train its customers in operating their security systems responsibly. We strongly advise checking this guide to false alarm prevention, as it provides a plethora of tips to ensure that you're not the one increasing the false alarm rate.

You can also email us if you have any questions or concerns about using your system. We are always happy to talk about false alarm prevention so that you can feel confident your day-to-day security system interactions. Monitored Alarm Grid customers should email support@alarmgrid.com with any questions they might have. This email is also good if you are interested in starting new monitoring service to protect your home or business. We check our email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you prevent false alarms!

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We have been patiently waiting for a slow news day to cover this story. After all, security systems are our top priority. But we also need to do something different every once in awhile. And so, we present to you our story of the Blazin' Wing Challenge at the nearby Buffalo Wild Wings.


This infamous event took place back in late June, before our headquarters fully reopened. While everyone at Alarm Grid was invited to take the challenge (whether they were working remotely or not), only three of us mustered up the courage to try and consume 12 ultra-spicy buffalo wings in six minutes or less. With the chicken wings doused in a sauce rated at 350,000 Scoville Units, and no napkins or drinks allowed, we knew we had our work cut out.

The three of us attempting the challenge included:

  • Joshua - One of the three Alarm Grid Co-Founders. He is obsessed with Fortnite and apparently lacks the gene to let him know when he is consuming something spicy.
  • James - The Alarm Grid Video Producer and Cameraman. He is ex-military and insisted that the wings stood "no chance".
  • Michael - Me. The guy at Alarm Grid who spends all day writing. Sometimes I voluntarily embarrass myself in front of the camera when Jarrett is having a bad hair day.

And with that, here is the shocking, uncensored footage of the events that unfolded:

As for some spoilers on how everyone fared, we'll accordingly go in order, from most triumphant to most failure.

As much as we wanted to overthrow our boss as the king of the wing, Joshua utterly destroyed the challenge with a time of 2 minutes, 10 seconds. He also earned major style points by consuming the 350,000 Scoville Unit wings without so much as breaking a sweat and truly consuming them like a refined gentleman. Truly a master of the wing-eating technique. Bravo Joshua. Bravo.

While Joshua consumed his wings like a decent human being, I, Michael, elected to take the opposite approach, instead choosing to attack the hot wings much like a ravenous animal. I earned absolutely zero style points and forever have video footage of myself eating like a buffoon. But it was all worth it, as I came out a winner, with a blazin' time of 4 minutes, 20 seconds. Coincidentally, this was twice Joshua's time. Oh well. A win is a win.

Last, and certainly least, poor James ultimately did not finish the challenge, dropping out about halfway through. Despite his mad trash-talking skills prior to the challenge, he could not back up his words, and he will forever be branded a failure at the game of eating hot wings. We are very disappointed, as we were all hoping for a clean sweep for Alarm Grid. But I guess two out of three isn't that bad.

For our efforts, Josh and I were awarded T-Shirts. Unfortunately, Josh was too busy to pose for a picture (he is an Alarm Grid co-founder after all). So you will just have to settle for a pic of me rockin' my new threads.


If you are interested in attempting the Blazin' Wing Challenge, contact your local Buffalo Wild Wings for more information. All in all, this was a ton of fun, and we're very grateful that we had the opportunity to come together and do something like this. The waitstaff at Buffalo Wild Wings was great, and we were very impressed with how accommodating they were.

While (some of us) enjoy eating spicy wings, we enjoy alarm monitoring even more! If you are interested in signing up for service with the best monitoring provider ever, please email support@alarmgrid.com. We check email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Hi DIYers! This is Part 2 of our Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Install Guide. Today, we will be focusing on a variety of topics, mostly arming the system, bypassing sensors, adjusting arming settings, Bluetooth disarming, adjusting user codes, the system messaging center, and panic buttons.

Qolsys iq panel 2 at and t wireless security system with at and If you want to start from the beginning, you can find Part 1 of this series right here.

This install guide of ours is designed to follow the manual for the system. If you want to follow along with the manual for the system, then it is available here. Just keep in mind that the order in which we present information may be different from the manual. The processes shown here fully apply whether you are using an original Qolsys IQ Panel 2, or a newer Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus System. Today, we will have two (2) videos to accompany this content. With that out of the way, let's begin!

Our Part 4 video focuses primarily on Arming/Disarming the Qolsys IQ Panel 2. When you arm your system, you are putting it into a secure state. Many Sensor Groups for the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 are only active when the system is in an armed state. We recommend reviewing the Sensor Groups so that you know how different sensors will respond when the system is activated.

Qolsys iq dw mini s encrypted wireless sensors for iq panel 2 qs

To keep things simple, you will generally use Arm Away when all occupants plan to be away from the premises. When the system is in this state, there should be nobody inside the building, and nobody should be around to activate Interior Sensors. If someone will still be inside the building, but you want to put the perimeter protection points into a secure state, then you can put the system into Arm Stay mode. This way, the system will not go into alarm if Interior Sensors are activated. However, the system will still respond to Perimeter Zones and Entry/Exit Zones.

You will also likely want to adjust the various arming settings for your Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System. There is an entire menu in system settings for this purpose. You may also want to adjust your Entry Delays and Exit Delays. In the simplest terms, Entry Delay is how long you have to disarm the system after activating an Entry/Exit Zone before an alarm will occur. Exit Delay is how long you have to vacate the premises when Arming Away before the arming setting will go into effect. Once the Arm Away setting has gone into effect, then activating an Entry/Exit Zone will trigger the Entry Delay countdown, and you will need to disarm within that time period. It is also important to understand that there are both Normal Entry/Exit Delays and Long Entry/Exit Delays. The Long Entry/Exit Delays are important to adjust if you are using any zones with Sensor Group 12 - Entry/Exit - Long Delay. Use this zone type for a door that you may sometimes use to enter or exit but that is further from the system, and so requires a longer delay period. If you do not have any zones like this, then the Long Entry/Exit Delays are irrelevant.

One convenient feature for the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 is automatic Bluetooth disarming. If enabled, this will have the system automatically disarm when you bring your phone within Bluetooth range of the system. The way that this works is that the system expects you to bring your phone with you when you arm the system and leave for the day. When you return later on, you will bring your phone back with you. The system will automatically receive the Bluetooth signal from your phone, and it will disarm without you needing to enter a code. Remember, this feature only works if you enable it. This will require you to program your phone with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System as a Bluetooth device. You will also want to make sure you adjust the Bluetooth settings for the panel accordingly.

Our Part 5 video covers some miscellaneous tips for the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 System. Specifically, we cover system codes, the messaging center, and system panic buttons. Setting up user codes is something you will likely do if someone new is now using the panel, and they need their own code. Likewise, you may want to delete a code if someone is no longer permitted to use your system. At the very least, you should change the system Master Code (also called Admin) away from its default of 1234. Keeping this code at 1234 is a major security risk!

The messaging center for the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 is a great way to see if any events occurred on your system while you were away. These events can include things like someone making an incorrect code entry, a system trouble that occurred, an alarm on the system, and so much more. You can conveniently access this section right from the main screen of your IQ Panel 2. If you see that your messaging center has a notification, then you should check it as soon as you can so that you can see what occurred on your system. Once you "acknowledge" the notifications, the messages will clear.

Lastly, there is a section of the main screen of the IQ Panel 2 where you can trigger emergency panics. These include Police Panics, Fire Alarms, and Auxiliary Medical Panics. Additionally, you can activate Police and Medical Panics as "silent" so that no audible siren occurs when the alarm is triggered. Keep in mind that these panics are really only useful if you have your IQ Panel 2 monitored with central station monitoring service. The central station will receive the incoming alert and know to take action immediately. If you only have self-monitoring service, then a notification for the alarm will still be sent to you via text and/or email notification. But if you already knowingly triggered one of the system panic buttons, then that isn't very useful. However, for users with central station service, these panic buttons can be a quick and easy way to get help during an emergency.


We hope that these videos help you get started with your new Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus System! Remember, you can always email us at support@alarmgrid.com if you have any further questions or if you need further assistance. Our support hours are from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Hi DIYers! Today, we're presenting our own guide for installing the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. This system is very easy to use, and it can be installed by virtually anyone using nothing more than a screwdriver! This is the perfect security system for your home, office, or apartment!

Qolsys iq panel 2 at and t wireless security system with at and Most of the information presented in this post can be found in the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 DIY Installation Manual. You are free to follow along with that manual, which can be found here. We also have three (3) videos that we will include along the way. Feel free to follow along with those as well. All of this information applies to both the original IQ Panel 2 and the newer IQ Panel 2 Plus. With that out of the way, let's get started!

The first thing you will want to do is power on the system. The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus comes with everything you need to get started. Once you have opened up the box, you should locate the panel, the power supply transformer, the power wire, the panel back cover, and the table stand. You will also want to have a screwdriver on hand.


Start by connecting the spade lugs of the power cable to the transformer. The IQ Panel 2 Plus uses DC power, so you must make sure to follow polarity. That means connecting the positive (+) wire and negative (-) wire accordingly. The positive and negative ends on the IQ Panel 2 power cable are marked for this purpose. The positive (+) wire has grey dashes and ends in a red spade connector. The negative (-) wire is solid white without grey dashes and ends in a black spade connector. Make sure that the wires are connected with the proper terminals on the transformer. You can see the positive (+) and negative (-) terminals marked on the transformer. The connection should be nice and snug, but not overly tight.

From there, you can connect the other end of the power cable to the IQ Panel 2 Plus System. There is a simple barrel connection for this purpose. The transformer can then be plugged into a wall outlet. When applying the panel back cover, make sure to run both the power cable and the thin RF receiver cable out from the indentation on the back cover. The back cover should snap nicely into place. The convenient table stand can be installed by putting it into the keyhole slots on the back of the panel and then sliding up. You can power on the system by pressing and holding the side power button until the system LED remains lit.


After the system powers on and boots up, you will be greeted by the Setup Wizard. It is recommended that you go through the Setup Wizard, as it will walk you through the entire setup process. Note that some steps of the Wizard will require you to activate the system for monitoring service. This involves registering the panel's built-in cellular communicator with Alarm.com. This is optional for initial set up. You can always register the cellular communicator with Alarm.com later.

Remember that activating the system is something you will definitely want to do before too long, as that is the only way for it to send out signals to you and/or a central station. Remember that you will need to provide the IMEI Number for the system in order for your monitoring company to activate the cellular communicator. This can be found on a sticker on the back of the panel. It will also be shown as you move through the Wizard.

You will do several things as you go through the Setup Wizard. You will connect the system to a WIFI network, run an initial check for the system, add sensors, perform an initial sensor test, set up the built-in panel glass break sensor, add Z-Wave home automation devices, pair your phone for automatic Bluetooth disarming, pair secondary IQ Remote Keypads, and add system users. Remember that you will want to have a good idea of Sensor Groups when enrolling sensors. You can learn all about the IQ Panel 2 Sensor Groups in this helpful FAQ.


The last thing you will want to do is install your sensors. We only focused on door and window contacts and motion sensors, but many of the same principles apply across any sensor type. What's great about wireless sensors that are used with the IQ Panel 2 Plus is that they can be mounted without drilling holes into the wall or using any power tools. You can safely mount and secure these sensors using double-sided foam tape. Most wireless sensors come with their own double-sided tape for this purpose, or you can buy some off our site!

There are a few general tips when mounting these sensors. When mounting door and window contacts, you should have the magnet on the moving structure of the door or window, and the sensor itself on the door or window frame. Make sure the magnet is aligned with any indication marker shown on the sensor. Also remember to keep the magnet spacing gap in mind. Most Qolsys Door and Window Sensors allow for a magnet spacing gap of up to 0.75 inches.


As for motion sensors, you should have them mounted flat on a wall or corner-mounted. But keep in mind that only a flat-mount will allow you to install without drilling any holes. The motion sensor should be nice and level, and it should be installed at a height between 6 and 8 feet. Qolsys recommends 7.5 feet, which provides the best possible results. The motion sensor should not be facing any windows, vents, or air ducts. It should also not be facing any nearby furniture or stairwells if you have pets!

Most importantly, remember to test ALL your sensors after the final installation!


And that wraps up our Part 1 Guide for installing and using the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. Look forward to Part 2 coming soon! If you have any questions about the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus or our monitoring service, please reach out to us by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. Remember that our support hours are from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Hi DIYers, and Happy Halloween! We are celebrating the holiday with a new sign for our headquarters. We went with blue of course, and we think the end result looks great! A special thank you goes out to the workers who did an outstanding job of putting up the sign and helping us stand out.


Alarm Grid has come a long way in its 7+ years of existence. Originally, orders were being processed right out of the home for one of the owners. Now we have our own building with our own beautiful sign. We would like to thank each and every one of our customers who helped make this possible. Thank you for your continued support, and you can expect more big things from us moving forward.

As usual, if you want to learn more about our monitoring services or our products, you can always email us at support@alarmgrid.com. Remember that our support hours run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We will check your email at our earliest convenience and reply back as soon as we can. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Door alarm sensors, or contacts, are some of the most important devices used with security systems. These devices alert a user whenever their door is opened. They can be used on virtually any type of door. These might include a front door, a back door, screen doors, a patio door, a shed, cabinets and any door inside the building. We typically find that door alarm sensors are some of the easiest to use devices with an alarm system. But still, it can be helpful to read through a comprehensive guide explaining the full ins and outs of these devices. So it here is - everything you've ever to know about door alarm sensors.

Qolsys iq dw mini s encrypted wireless sensors for iq panel 2 qsThe Basics of Door Alarm Sensors

Most traditional door sensors feature a relatively simple design and premise. These devices usually consist of a sensor and a magnet. The sensor is placed on or inside the door frame, and the magnet is placed on or inside the door itself, within a half inch of the sensor. Opening the door will cause the magnet to pull away and separate from the sensor. When this happens, a reed switch inside the sensor will activate. This will cause the sensor to send a signal to the security system, letting it know that the door was opened. The system will then perform the appropriate response based on how the sensor's Response Type was programmed. At the surface, it's all very simple. Some examples of these traditional sensors include the Honeywell 5800MINI, the Honeywell SiXMINICT and the VERSA-2GIG Sensor. Traditional door sensors can be either surface-mounted or recessed.

Honeywell 5800mini interior wireless door and window sensor

There's also a second variation of door sensors, known as mechanical door sensors. This type of sensor features a physical switch that is pressed down when the door is closed. When the door is opened, the switch will pop up, causing the sensor to activate. From there, the system will perform the Response Type assigned to the zone for that sensor. This type of door alarm sensor is far less common than the other type of sensor. However, the end result is still the same - the system will still perform the programmed Response Type when the sensor is activated. An example of this type of sensor is the Honeywell 5800RPS. While you are less likely to come across this type of door sensor, it's still worth mentioning just in case. Mechanical door sensors are only available in the recessed variety.

Honeywell 5800rps wireless recessed door and window plunger sensTypes of Door Sensors - The Two Distinctions

Now that you know the very basics of door sensors, you can start thinking about the different types. While almost every door sensors operates using one of the two mechanisms mentioned above, there are two other distinctions that are commonly made between door sensors. These are whether the door sensor is wireless or wired and whether the door sensor is surface-mounted or recessed. These considerations will play a big role in determining which door sensor you choose to purchase for your alarm system.

A wireless door sensor will communicate with an alarm system wirelessly. This will prevent the need for running a wire from the system to the door sensor. This can make wireless door sensors significantly easier to install. Another great aspect of wireless door sensors is that they can usually be auto-enrolled with the security system. That said, a wireless sensor will need to have its battery replaced every three to five years. On the other hand, a wired door sensor will need to be physically connected with the alarm system. This can make the installation considerably more difficult in certain cases. However, a wired sensor will never require any battery replacements.

If you are using a wireless door sensor with a wired alarm system, such as a Honeywell VISTA Panel, then you will need to use a wireless receiver. This will allow the wireless signal to be received by the system. When choosing a wireless door sensor, make sure that the wireless frequencies it uses are compatible with your alarm system. For example, Honeywell Panels look for wireless signals that operate at a frequency of 345 MHz, while Qolsys Panels use signals that operate at a frequency of 319.5 MHz. If you try to use a wireless door sensor that does not communicate at the correct wireless frequency, then it will not function with the alarm system.

Honeywell 5800rp wireless repeaterThe other major distinction between door sensors is surface-mount sensors versus recessed sensors. Simply put, surface-mount sensors are installed on the outside of the door and its frame, while recessed sensors are installed in the inside. Surface-mount sensors require no drilling. In the easiest scenario, it is possible to mount them using a double-sided adhesive (foam tape). They can also be mounted using screws. With their easier installation, this is generally the preferred type of door sensor. Most users do not mind the fact that a small sensor will be visible on the outside of the door.

Honeywell 5820l super slim wireless door and window sensorHowever, for users who do want a more discrete installation, there are recessed door sensors. These sensors and their magnets need to be inserted into holes that are drilled into both the door and the frame. The exact size of the holes will depend on the specific model of the recessed door sensor that is being installed. Once the sensor and magnet have been installed, they will not be visible from the outside. That said, most users opt for surface-mount door sensors due to the easier installation.

Honeywell 5818mnl wireless recessed door sensor and window senso

Some Notes on Response Types

The primary function of any security sensor is determined by its Response Type. This refers to what action the system will take when the zone is faulted (e.g. the door is opened). Below are the Response Types that are most commonly used with door sensors:

  • Entry / Exit: If the door is opened while the system is armed stay or armed away, then the system will need to be disarmed within its entry delay period. If the system is not disarmed within this time period, then an alarm event will occur. Most alarms will feature two different Entry / Exit settings. This allows two different entry delay periods to be used on the same system for different zones.
  • Perimeter: If the door is opened while the system is armed stay or armed away, then an alarm event will occur immediately.
  • Interior Follower: If the system is set to armed away, an alarm event will immediately occur if the door is opened, assuming that an entry / exit zone is not faulted first. If an entry / exit zone is faulted first, then the system must be disarmed within its entry delay period, otherwise an alarm event will occur.
  • Interior With Delay: If the system is set to armed away and the door is opened, then the system must be disarmed within its entry delay period. If the system is not disarmed within this time period, then an alarm event will occur.
  • Day / Night: If the system is disarmed and the door is opened, a trouble event will occur on the system. If the system is armed away or armed stay and the door is opened, an alarm event will immediately occur on the system.
  • 24 Hour Audible: Opening the door will immediately cause a full system siren and an alarm to be set off, regardless of what state the system is currently in. This Response Type should not be used unless the door should never be opened for any reason.
  • 24 Hour Auxiliary: Same as 24 Hour Audible, but only the panel itself will produce a siren. Any external sirens or noisemakers will not activate. This zone type is ideal for emergency medical cabinets that would only be opened in a serious medical emergency.
  • 24 Hour Silent: Same as 24 Hour Audible, but no siren or sound will be produced.
  • Fire No Verification: Opening the door will immediately cause a fire alarm to be set off, regardless of what state the system is currently in. This is the ideal Response Type for fire doors.

Certain Response Types are only available for certain Device Types. Depending upon the panel you are using, not all of these Response Types will be made available for the Device Type of "Door". A way to work around this is to set the Device Type to "Other". This will allow you to set any possible Response Type for the door sensor.

2gig dw10 wireless slim door slash window contactOther Programming Settings

Programming a door sensor has to do with more than just the Response Type and the Device Type. Below are some of the other programming settings available for a door sensor. Please note that these settings are specific for a Honeywell Lyric Controller, and different settings may be available on another type of panel.

  • Serial Number: This is how the system will specifically identify the exact door sensor that is being used.
  • Loop Number: This tells the door sensor what function it should perform. Each door sensor usually has a specific loop number that should be set for the device to function as a door sensor. Some door sensors have multiple possible functions that can be used with the device. One example is the Honeywell 5816, which can be used as both a door sensor and as a wireless transmitter depending upon the loop number that is set.
  • Zone Descriptors: These serve as the name of the door sensor. The panel will announce the zone descriptors whenever the zone for that sensor is affected.
  • Alarm Report: This tells the system whether or not it should send an outbound signal to the central monitoring station. If you turn this off, then all the sounds and sirens will still be made, but a distress signal will never be sent to the central station. An example for turning this off might be if you are monitoring a liquor cabinet to make sure your teenage doesn't get into it. You might want a very loud siren to go off so that you know if this happens. However, you obviously wouldn't want the police to show up at your house in this situation!
  • Chime: This will have the panel produce a simple chime whenever the door is opened. Many panels will allow you to toggle between different chime options for the panel. Remember, you will still need to have the local chime for the system enabled from the main settings menu.
  • Supervision: This will have the system monitor the door sensor for low battery or loss of signal. Keep this enabled to make sure that the door sensor is always in proper working order. This setting is only used with wireless door sensors.

For any programming questions related to a specific panel, please consult the programming guide for that panel. This information is readily available on the Alarm Grid website in the form of FAQs.

Honeywell 5816 wireless door window sensor

Common Door Sensor Questions

Below are some questions that are commonly asked about door sensors:

1. How do I program my door sensor?

If it is a wireless door sensor, it can most likely be auto-enrolled.This is accomplished by accessing zone programming on the system and then faulting and restoring the door sensor three times to learn it in. You can fault and restore the door sensor by separating the sensor and the magnet and then clicking them back together. From there, make any necessary programming configurations on the panel. See the above information on Response Types and other programming settings.

If it is a wired door sensor with a hardwired VISTA Panel, then we recommend consulting this FAQ. You may also need to consult the VISTA 15P and 20P Programming Guide.

Honeywell vista 15p alarm control panel

2. How long do door sensor batteries last?

A wireless door sensor will typically require a battery replacement every three to five years. Wired door sensors do not use batteries, and they will never require a battery replacement.

Panasonic cr123a 3v battery

3. How close should the door sensor be to its magnet?

We usually recommend placing the door sensor magnet within a half inch of the sensor. Some sensors may allow for a greater separation distance than others before a faulted zone will occur. The closer the magnet is to the sensor, the less likely an unwanted fault or a false alarm is to occur.

Honeywell 5899 magnet for 5816 wireless door sensor and window s

4. Are there any encrypted wireless door sensors?

Yes, there are encrypted wireless door sensors. The Honeywell SiXCT, the Honeywell SiXMINICT, the Qolsys IQ DW MINI-S and the Qolsys IQ Recessed Door-S are all encrypted wireless door sensors.

Honeywell sixct wireless door slash window contact for lyric con

5. What is the best door sensor?

Please see the following FAQs:

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