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Hi DIYers! We hope that you had a safe and fun Memorial Day weekend. Our video team managed to produce eight (8) new videos last week. Joe was featured in five (5) new videos, mostly covering the August Smart Lock Pro. Jorge and Jarrett both had a video apiece, and I made one as well.

Connecting an August Smart Lock Pro with the August Home App

Joe explains how to connect your August Smart Lock Pro with the August Home App. This is one of the first things you will do with the August Smart Lock Pro. The August Home App allows you to operate your lock from your smartphone. You can control the lock through Bluetooth if you are within 10 to 15 feet. You can also operate the lock remotely from almost anywhere if you have the August Connect WIFI Bridge.


Including the August Smart Lock Pro

Joe shows users how to include the August Smart Lock Pro with a Z-Wave network. This is important if you want to control the August Smart Lock Pro from an interactive service platform from Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. The pairing process is completed through the August Home App. You will need to have the lock paired with the app before you can pair it with a Z-Wave network. You will also need access to your Z-Wave hub or controller.


Defaulting the August Smart Lock Pro

Joe teaches users how to perform a factory default for an August Smart Lock Pro. To perform a factory reset, you will need to access your August account through the August Home App. Doing this will clear any Z-Wave and WIFI settings for the lock. You will need to reprogram the lock from scratch using the app. You should only perform a factory reset if you plan on giving away the lock or as a final troubleshooting step.


Excluding the August Smart Lock Pro

Joe covers the process for excluding the August Smart Lock Pro from a Z-Wave network. Unlike most Z-Wave devices, you don't need to clear the August Smart Lock Pro before adding it to a Z-Wave network. Instead, you will only do this if you are clearing the device from the network so that you can add it to a new one. You can complete the exclusion process through the August Home App. If you don't have access to your Z-Wave hub, you will need to perform a Z-Wave factory reset.


Getting an Alarm or Zone Open or Close to Activate a Honeywell IP Camera

Joe talks about how you can create notifications to have your Resideo IP Cameras activate when sensors are faulted or during alarm events. Normally, these cameras will only activate when they detect motion or sound. You can create these notifications through Total Connect 2.0. It is also possible to set specific hours when a camera can initiate a recording. This way, even if a zone is faulted, the camera will only capture clips during certain predetermined hours.


Temperature Sensor Notifications from a Lyric via Apple HomeKit

Jorge explains how you cannot receive temperature sensor notifications from Apple HomeKit when used with a Resideo Lyric Alarm System. HomeKit will only provide specific alerts for intrusion zones on the Lyric. For all other zones, only a General Lyric System Alert will be displayed. This makes it impossible to determine exactly which zone was faulted. However, you can still use HomeKit alongside Total Connect 2.0. The TC2 service will provide specific alerts for any faulted zone.


Is AlarmGrid Compliant with Nationally Recognized Industry Standards?

In a very rare video appearance, I talk about how Alarm Grid is compliant with Nationally Recognized Industry Standards. Nearly all of the systems and sensors that we sell are certified by Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories. Additionally, our central monitoring partner Criticom Monitoring Services is UL Listed and FM Approved. While we may occasionally have equipment on our site that is still in the process of being approved by a NRTL, we stand behind our manufacturers and are confident in their offerings.


Finding the Firmware Revision on a Lynx Touch

Coming through with a video at the very last minute, Jarrett teaches users how to find the Firmware Revision on a Resideo Lynx Touch System. If you want to perform a firmware update for these systems, then you will need the LYNXTOUCH-MSD Updater Tool. It is no longer possible to push an update over-the-air (OTA). Getting these systems on the latest firmware is important if you plan to use an LTE cellular communicator. Please note that you will also need an alarm monitoring plan that includes cellular connectivity.

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Hi DIYers! We have many customers who wonder what happens if their security system is destroyed when an intruder breaks into their home. Fortunately, alarm manufacturers considered this possibility. They put protective measures in place to deal with this issue. Enter Crash & Smash and APL.

2gig gc3 diy wireless security system w slash 7 screenCrash and Smash (C&S) for Alarm.com and Advanced Protection Logic (APL) for Total Connect 2.0 are both features designed to provide an added layer of protection in case an alarm panel and/or its communicator are destroyed during a home invasion. These features help ensure that the police are still dispatched and that the end user receives the help they need. An intruder might think they're okay because they have destroyed the panel, but the system is smart enough to overcome this issue.

Just last week, we made a post covering Entry and Exit Delays. Well it turns out that the Entry Delay period plays a big part in C&S and APL. As we discussed last week, if an Entry/Exit Zone is faulted while the system is Armed, an Entry Delay countdown begins. This period gives the end user a chance to Disarm their system before an alarm occurs. But what if the panel gets destroyed during this countdown? After all, the panel won't be able to send out an alarm signal. But this is where Crash and Smash and APL take priority. How they do this is actually quite smart.

Whenever a system goes into Entry Delay, it immediately sends out a signal to the Alarm.com Servers (ADC) or the AlarmNet Servers (TC2). This signal just lets the server know that the system is now in an Entry Delay period. The servers are smart enough to know that since the system is now in an Entry Delay period, a Disarm or an Alarm must follow. If neither event follows, then logically the panel must have been destroyed. The server will then know to send a signal to the central station to let a trained dispatcher know that the panel has been destroyed and dispatch is needed right away.

Please note that the Alarm.com Servers and the AlarmNet Servers do not send signals to the central station as soon as the usual Entry Delay period expires. These servers also account for delays in sending signals. A little more than a minute of additional time is added beyond the normal Entry Delay period before a C&S or APL signal is sent to the central station. This is done to prevent false alarms.

Advanced Protection Logic and Crash & Smash also work during alarms that do not follow Entry Delay periods. If the system has Alarm Report Delay enabled and an intrusion alarm occurs, then the system will not actually alert the central station the very instant that the alarm occurs. The system will actually enter into a short Alarm Report Delay period that is usually less than a minute in length. This delay period gives the user a chance to Disarm the system and cancel the alarm to stop the signal from being sent out. If an intruder destroys the system during this Alarm Report Delay period, APL or C&S will ensure that emergency dispatch is still sent out. Alarm Grid encourages users to disable Alarm Report Delay on their panel if possible.

It's also worth mentioning that the Alarm.com Servers and the AlarmNet Servers send all C&S and APL signals directly to the central station. The end user does not receive an alert from Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0 when these signals are sent out. In other words, C&S and APL do not work with self-monitored customers. You need a central station monitoring plan to use these features. Additionally, C&S and APL do not work with phone line monitoring. You need an IP communicator or a cellular communicator.

If you have any questions about Crash & Smash or Advanced Protection Logic, or if you want to learn more about our monitoring service, please reach out to us! The best way to contact us is to send an email to support@alarmgrid.com. We will check the email at our earliest convenience and respond as quickly as possible. If you prefer to speak on the phone, we are available from 9am to 8pm EST M-F at (888) 818-7728. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Hi DIYers! We hope you had a great Mother's Day weekend. Last week, our video team put up a bunch of new videos, 9 to be exact. All were posts on Thursday and Friday. We love helping users get the most out of their alarm systems and smart home networks. Let's take a look at the new videos!

Updating the Firmware on a Lyric Alarm System's SiXFOB

Jarrett kicks things off by showing you how to update the firmware for a Honeywell SiXFOB Key Fob. This key fob is designed exclusively for use with the Honeywell Lyric Controller. Unlike most SiX Series devices, the SiXFOB needs to receive firmware updates manually. The Lyric should be running the latest firmware version before performing the update. Updating the firmware for the SiXFOB will ensure that it works as effectively as possible. Updating the firmware will affect any zones associated with the SiXFOB.


Including a Schlage Z-Wave Lock

The ever friendly and helpful Joe shows you how to include a Schlage Z-Wave Lock into your local Z-Wave network. Pairing your Z-Wave lock is necessary for getting the most out of the device. You need to do this to control the lock remotely and to use it with smart scenes. Pairing a lock with an alarm panel is often a great option. You can then use it with an interactive service platform like Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. Please note that you will need a monitoring plan with access to one of these services.


Excluding a Schlage Z-Wave Lock

Joe helps you some more by showing how to exclude your Schlage Z-Wave Lock from a Z-Wave network. This is an important step if you plan to transfer the lock from one Z-Wave hub to another. You should also do this before completing the initial pairing process. Many Z-Wave smart home devices are paired with Z-Wave networks before they even leave the factory for testing purposes. Clearing the lock first will ensure that you can pair it successfully.


Adding a Siren to the Qolsys Hardwire 16-F

Joe is back again, and this time he's gonna show you how to add a siren to a Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F. This is a wired to wireless converter that allows you to use hardwired sensors with a wireless 319.5 MHz system. The module was specifically designed with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus in mind. What's unique about the Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F is that it includes siren terminals and a built-in siren relay which can be controlled wirelessly by the panel. No external relay is needed for the connected siren, as long as the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 has a hardware RF PIC version 11.1.4 G2 or higher.


Powering the Honeywell Vista-20P

If you just can't get enough of Joe, then you're in luck! He will show you how to provide power to your Honeywell VISTA 20P Hardwired Security System. The panel receives power through two sources. Its primary power source is a plug-in transformer, specifically the Honeywell 1321. If the electricity goes out, then the system can remain powered on through its backup battery. We recommend using an UltraTech 1240 for this purpose. All of this equipment can be purchased from the Alarm Grid site.


How Alarm Systems Work

Hey look, it's Jorge! He's going to explain how alarm systems work. The centerpiece of every alarm system is the control panel. This panel receives signals from sensors that are used throughout the premises. There are sensors for letting the system know if a door or window is opened, if there is movement in the area, if glass is broken, if there is a fire, or really almost any troubling condition that warrants your attention. The system then responds based on the zone configuration and its current arming state.


The Tuxedo Touch - Not An AlarmNet Communicator

If you think the Tuxedo Touch WIFI is an AlarmNet Communicator, then you are sorely mistaken. Jorge is here to set the record straight and explain that the Tuxedo Touch is not a communicator. It is just a touchscreen keypad used with VISTA Series Systems. The keypad uses WIFI connectivity to transmit Z-Wave home automation signals to and from Total Connect 2.0. But you will still need a separate communicator for connecting your system with the AlarmNet Servers.


Programming Report Codes For a Self Monitoring Plan With Alarm Grid

Let's say you sign-up for a self-monitoring plan with Alarm Grid. Great! But since you are self-monitored, you don't need your system reporting out to a central monitoring station. Jorge will show you how to disable the reporting codes for your system so that it functions properly. This process is only necessary for self-monitored systems that use Total Connect 2.0. You do not need to disable report codes for Alarm.com Systems, since Alarm Grid can do it from their end.


Defaulting a Schlage Z-Wave Lock

Joe returns to tell you how to default a Schlage Z-Wave Lock. By performing a factory reset, the lock will be restored to its factory default settings. This will clear any Z-Wave settings, as well as any codes programmed for the device. You will need to re-add the lock to your Z-Wave network. You should check the programming sticker on the lock to find the default user codes. The programming sticker is found underneath the device's main cover.

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Hi DIYers! We're back with another Alarm Grid Tip. Today's tip is to always know your Entry and Exit Delay periods and how they are used. Nearly every alarm system has these settings, and configuring them properly is important for any DIY user. Let's take a look at Entry and Exit Delays!

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Let's start with Entry Delays. When you enter your home while your system is armed, you probably don't want an alarm to occur. After all, you've done nothing wrong. All you've done is open a door. It's not like you smashed a window or burst open a wall. But at the same time, you want your alarm system to confirm that it's you that entered your home. For example, if you forgot to lock the door, an intruder might walk right inside.

This is actually where the very premise of alarm systems comes into play. In its Armed state, your system will want you to Disarm when an Entry/Exit door is opened. But you aren't a magician or a wizard. You can't just, poof, Disarm your system instantly. You have to get inside, close the door, set your stuff down, calm down your dog or cat, walk over to your keypad, enter your code and Disarm your system. Needless to say, this might take a minute or so.

That is why Entry Delay periods are important. They give you a small period of time for you to Disarm your system before it goes into alarm. Since you know your system's code, you should be able to Disarm in a timely manner. But an intruder who doesn't know the code won't be able to provide verification in time. The Entry Delay period will expire, and the central station will come calling to make sure everything is alright. An intruder won't know the false alarm passcode, and emergency dispatch will be sent out momentarily.

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But wait! We understand the stress that Entry Delay periods can present! If you have a short Entry Delay period, you might be running frantically to your keypad to avoid that awkward conversation with the central station dispatcher.

"Yeah, sorry, I didn't get to the keypad in time. My false alarm passcode is DIYer." - The person with too short of an Entry Delay period.

But fortunately, you're a DIYer! You can go into programming and adjust your Entry Delay period. That way, you can set it to a duration that allows you to comfortably and calmly reach your system's keypad and Disarm the system. But remember, the shorter you keep this delay period, the sooner dispatch will be sent out in a real emergency.

We also understand that some situations require longer Entry Delay periods than others. For example, you might enter your home from your basement door. It might take you longer to walk up those stairs and reach the keypad than if you entered from your front door. Never fear, alarm manufacturers covered that as well. This is done by having multiple Entry Delay periods on the same system. They are usually conveniently named "Entry Delay 1" and "Entry Delay 2". We know, these are very creative names.

Each delay zone can be set individually to work with either Entry Delay 1 or Entry Delay 2 based on its programmed Response Type. So if you want a longer or shorter Entry Delay period for certain zones, then you have the power! Please note that the Entry Delay 2 period should always be the longer of the two, and is also commonly associated with Garage Door Zones. Keep this in mind when system planning.

Of course, you can also Disarm your system before even entering your home using a keyfob. Or if you have Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com, you can just open the mobile app on your smartphone and Disarm from there. But hey, maybe you forgot your phone and keyfob inside. In that case, knowing your Entry Delay period and how long you have to Disarm your panel is important!

Some common Response Types that use Entry Delay periods: Entry Exit 1, Entry Exit 2, Interior With Delay, Garage.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

Whew! That was a lot to take in. But we saved time to discuss Exit Delay periods. When you Arm your system, there is usually that brief period of time where you need to collect your belongings, say bye bye to your precious puppy, leave the premises and lock the door behind you. During this time, you don't want your system to go into alarm because you activated a sensor. You want to have a moment to safely leave without worry. That is why we have Exit Delay periods.

The Exit Delay gives you a chance to exit the premises without worrying about setting off an alarm. Once the Exit Delay period expires, your system will be Armed. However, it's also important to touch on Auto-Stay Arming here. When you Arm Away using your panel or keypad, the assumption is that you will activate an Entry/Exit Zone on the way out. If no Entry/Exit zone fault and restore is seen by the system, it will assume that someone (you) is still present inside the building. If Auto-Stay Arming is enabled, the system will prevent false alarms by switching to Arm Stay at the end of the Exit count down, even though you Armed Away. To avoid this, open an Entry/Exit Zone during the Exit Delay countdown, or disable Auto-Stay Arming.

Just like with Entry Delay periods, you, as a DIYer, can adjust your Exit Delay. Most systems only have a single Exit Delay period, but you can easily configure it based on your needs. Find a time period that allows you to comfortably leave your home without worry, and set that as your Exit Delay. That way, you won't be scrambling to rush out the door whenever you Arm your system!

And again, you can always Arm from outside your home using a keyfob or a mobile app. Doing this will tell the system to ignore any Auto-Stay Arming settings, as you may not fault an Entry/Exit Zone when using a fob or app. Using either of these methods from outside your house will eliminate any worry you have about Exit Delay periods. But if you ever find yourself Arming from your panel or keypad like many of us do, you will want to keep that Exit Delay period in the back of your mind. Make sure you get out in time!

Honeywell sixfob key fob for lyric controller

We hope that this post was helpful in explaining Entry and Exit Delay periods to you! If you have any further questions or you need help changing the Entry and/or Exit Delay periods on your panel, please reach out to us. We offer free support for Alarm Grid monitored customers! The best way to reach us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. You may also call us during our regular business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to helping you get the most out of your security system.

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Great news DIYers! The Total Connect 2.0 Service used with Honeywell and Resideo Alarm Panels now supports If This, Then That, otherwise known as IFTTT. This is huge for TC2, as a plethora of new integrations and features are now possible! TC2 users can visit this page to get started.


As you may know, Total Connect 2.0 is an interactive service platform used with Resideo Alarm Systems. The service can be used with any compatible panel that has an AlarmNet Cellular or IP Communicator installed and activated. Once a user has a Total Connect 2.0 account, they can access the platform through the Total Connect 2.0 website or through a mobile app on their Android or iOS device.

Accessing TC2 allows an end user to perform various system functions. These functions include Arming and Disarming their system, checking current system status, controlling connected Z-Wave smart home devices, viewing connected Resideo IP Cameras and more. The end user will need an active monitoring plan that includes access to the TC2 platform. Users who are not currently monitored should check out our monitoring page for more information about alarm monitoring service.

It was already possible to use Total Connect 2.0 to trigger security system and Z-Wave actions based around certain predetermined events and time schedules. But IFTTT support adds a world of new possibilities. Thanks to IFTTT, end users can now quickly and easily integrate peripherals like Lutron Smart Lights, Sonos Speakers, Phillips Hue Lights, Roomba devices, Rachio Sprinklers, MyQ Garage Doors, Somfy Blinds and more.

IFTTT works by using Triggers and Actions. Basically when a certain "Trigger" occurs, an "Action" will follow. Currently, IFTTT only allows TC2 "Triggers" caused by changing the arming status of your system, or an alarm event on your system. We are hopeful that IFTTT will allow specific sensor triggers sometime in the future. Additionally, IFTTT can be used to create Triggers based on date & time or a predetermined schedule. The Action that follows a Trigger could be something like telling your Sonos Sound System to start playing music, your Lutron Lights to all turn off, or your Rachio Sprinkler System to start watering the grass.

What's great about IFTTT is that it is ultra-customizable and offers nearly any possible combination of connected devices and responses. You can have multiple Actions corresponding to the same Trigger, or multiple Triggers to cause the same Action. And despite being extremely intricate in terms of possible combinations, creating individual commands in IFTTT is actually quite easy. We are sure that end users will love this new integration and the ease of use that it provides.

We expect to release new content in the near future to help users get started with IFTTT for TC2. This will likely include all-new FAQs and videos designed to walk users through the process of creating new Triggers and Actions for use with their Resideo Alarm Systems and their connected smart devices. Stay tuned for more content coming soon!

For now, if you want to learn more about IFTTT and how it can be used with TC2, the best way is to reach out to us. We recommend sending an email to support@alarmgrid.com with your question or concern. We will check your email at our earliest convenience and respond back as quickly as possible. If you prefer to call us, you can do so at (888) 818-7728 during our normal business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you learn all about IFTTT.

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Hi DIYers! Today, we're taking a look at SimpliSafe and how their monitoring service and equipment compares with Alarm Grid. We believe that this information will be helpful to end users when deciding upon an alarm monitoring provider. Let's see how SimpliSafe stacks up with Alarm Grid.

Alarm grid inside security stickers

Proprietary Equipment

When a customer signs up for SimpliSafe, they are required to purchase a security panel and sensors directly from the company. This equipment is proprietary to SimpliSafe, and it will only work with their monitoring service. A user cannot take their SimpliSafe System and bring it to a different monitoring company. The equipment is for use with SimpliSafe only.

SimpliSafe does not require its customers to sign contracts. Their monitoring service is offered on a month-to-month basis. A customer can leave SimpliSafe at any time. The problem is that their system will be useless for alarm monitoring with any monitoring service outside of SimpliSafe. Unless a customer is willing to buy a completely new system, they will be stuck with SimpliSafe as their only option.

Alarm Grid does not manufacture its own equipment. Instead, Alarm Grid sells equipment from reputable manufacturers like Resideo/Honeywell, 2GIG, Qolsys and Interlogix. All the equipment sold on the Alarm Grid website is non-proprietary. If a customer decides to leave Alarm Grid, they can certainly bring their alarm panel, sensors and communicator with them to a new company.

Customers do not need to purchase their equipment from the Alarm Grid website. If they can find a better deal elsewhere, then we will encourage them to buy it from that location instead. Likewise, if a customer has an existing alarm system, we will do everything possible to take it over and make it work with our service. At Alarm Grid, we want to minimize the cost for our customers. Many systems and sensors can be taken over so that the customer does not need to buy new equipment.

Just like SimpliSafe, Alarm Grid is no contract, and customers pay on a month-to-month basis. The difference is that if a customer leaves Alarm Grid, they can take their system with them. Since the equipment we service is all non-proprietary, it can be taken over by any willing monitoring company. As a result, customers stick with Alarm Grid because they are pleased with the service and support we provide. This is the reason our customers refrain from taking their system and business elsewhere.

Equipment Compliance

Any reputable security equipment should be listed by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL). This is mandatory for meeting the requirements of National Electrical Code, NFPA 70 and UL Standards. For SimpliSafe, the proprietary wireless smoke detector and proprietary wireless carbon monoxide detector are both listed and labeled by the NRTL Intertek. This puts these devices in compliance with the aforementioned standards.

However, no other piece of SimpliSafe equipment is listed by Intertek. This includes the SimpliSafe Base Station (Panel) and the rest of the SimpliSafe Sensors. In fact, this equipment is not listed by any NRTL. In other words, this equipment is not necessarily compliant with UL Standards. It has not met the UL requirement of independent third-party testing needed for certified equipment. SimpliSafe says that they test their own equipment to UL standards, but this is different from the required third-party testing.

The equipment sold on the Alarm Grid website is UL or ETL listed and properly certified. It has met the third-party testing requirements. Additionally, the equipment we are familiar with taking over is also compliant with these standards. Again, companies like Resideo/Honeywell, 2GIG and Qolsys are known for their strict compliance. When you buy equipment from Alarm Grid you can be certain that you are getting quality equipment that is certified with the latest requirements.

Destruction Protection

Just like many systems, the SimpliSafe Base Station is designed to be placed out in the open for easy access. If an intruder destroys the base station before an alarm signal is sent out, then the signals might not go through successfully. To prevent this, SimpliSafe recommends disguising their system. One article claimed that a SimpliSafe representative suggested disguising their base station with a "lamp shade".

For Alarm Grid customers, their systems are connected with a reporting service like AlarmNet or Alarm.com. AlarmNet offers Advanced Protection Logic (APL), while Alarm.com provides "Crash & Smash". Although these features differ slightly, their general principle is the same. Both features are designed to ensure that the authorities are still properly dispatched if the security panel is destroyed.

The basic premise behind APL and Crash & Smash is that an alarm panel will immediately send an alert to the reporting service (AlarmNet or ADC) when an Entry Delay or communication delay period is activated. The reporting service will then know that either a system Disarm or an Alarm signal must logically follow. If after a certain period of time no signal is received, then the service will know that the panel must have been destroyed. In this case, APL or Crash & Smash will take effect, and the monitoring station will be notified.

Simply put, SimpliSafe does not offer this type of protection. Instead, the company advises its customers to hide and disguise its system. This can be very risky if an intruder recognizes the SimpliSafe Base Station and knows to destroy it. Additionally, the SimpliSafe Sensors do not include tamper covers. It's easily possible for a smart intruder to remove the cover for the sensor, take out the battery and beat the SimpliSafe System.

Life-Safety Offerings

Section NFPA 72 of the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code requires that smoke detectors and CO detectors have the technical capability to produce distinct Temporal 3 and Temporal 4 sounding respectively. This is crucial for being able to actively distinguish between the type of danger at-hand and take the appropriate action.

SimpliSafe Smoke and CO Detectors do not have this functionality. As a result, they are non-compliant with NFPA 72. The only way for a SimpliSafe user to determine the cause of the alarm is to check the system's keypad or the associated text message from the SimpliSafe network. The SimpliSafe Base Station has an 85 dB sounder that meets code. However, this sounder is positioned downward. This positioning can muffle the siren and make it less likely for others to hear it.

SimpliSafe does offer an unsupervised external wireless siren that operates at 105 dB. However, this siren has no tamper switches and can be easily disabled by anyone who gains access. If the siren were to be taken offline, it is possible that the end user might not find out about this until it's too late.

Alarm Grid sells smokes and CO detectors with built-in sounders that meet the respective Temporal 3 and Temporal 4 sounder requirements. We also advise the use of supervised sirens that are either wired-in with the panel or protected by the system. Additionally, the wireless panels we sell feature built-in sounders that are positioned in such a manner that they can be easily heard when activated.

Conclusion

Whether you decide to go with SimpliSafe, Alarm Grid or a different monitoring company entirely is up to you. We can say that with Alarm Grid you can obtain a quality system that meets all the needed standards and requirements for your area. If you ever aren't satisfied with Alarm Grid for any reason, you can take the system you invested money into elsewhere and use it with a different monitoring company. You will also receive monitoring service that protects you and your family if your system is ever destroyed during a break-in.

We encourage you to check out our alarm monitoring page for more information about our monitoring services. If you decide that Alarm Grid is the right choice for your home, you can select a monitoring plan right from the same page. This page is also available through the orange "Alarm Monitoring" button at the top of any page on our website.

If you have any questions or you want to learn more about alarm monitoring, we invite you to reach out to us. The best way to reach us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. You can also call us at (888) 818-7728 during our normal business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F to speak with one of our security planners. Our team is here to help you make the right choice for home security monitoring, and we look forward to protecting you and your loved ones.

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Hi DIYers! We haven't made an Alarm Grid Tips post in while, so we figured now was a good time. The tip for today is to always take pictures when swapping out a hardwired alarm control panel with a new one. A few clear and detailed pictures can help you greatly with rewiring later on.

Honeywell vista 20p wired alarm control panel

If you have an older alarm system, there may be many benefits to upgrading to a newer model. A more advanced panel will allow for a greater number of zones and support for new functions and features. Many people upgrade so that they can access an interactive service platform like Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. This will allow you to control your system and check its status remotely using a smartphone.

When a person makes a system upgrade, they will usually want to bring their existing sensors to their new setup if possible. Even if the panel itself is old and outdated, the sensors may still be perfectly suitable for regular use. It can be very expensive to buy a complete new set of sensors. And the user won't even need to move their sensors. They can remain in the same location and just wire-in with the new panel.

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But if you have a complete hardwired system, then there are likely many sensors and other pieces of equipment running from various locations on the circuit board. Certain devices like sirens can require a surprisingly intricate setup, and it can be difficult to remember where everything goes. Even if you are just transferring sensors and other devices from one panel to another, the task can be surprisingly challenging without a visual aid.

For that reason, we recommend taking pictures before trying to bring over equipment from one panel to another. You don't need to take many, just enough to see where everything goes and where every connection ends up. In many cases, a new panel will follow a very similar wiring setup to the one it is replacing. By using your images as a guide, you will have a much easier time making a successful transition.

This same principle also applies if you are upgrading to a wireless system from a hardwired system. Wireless systems can support hardwired sensors by using wired to wireless converters. A wired to wireless converter works by connecting directly with hardwired sensors and sending out wireless signals to the panel on their behalf. The system will then recognize these wired sensors just like any regular wireless sensor.

Honeywell 5800c2w hardwire to wireless system 9 zone conversion moduleWiring sensors to a converter is actually very similar to wiring to a panel. The pictures of your old hardwired setup will be surprisingly helpful when connecting to a wired to wireless converter. You can check the pictures to see which wire goes to which terminal and even make sure the backup power supply is connected correctly. By placing the converter in the old location of the previous panel, all the sensors can remain in the same spot and easily connect with the converter(s).

So if you are ever upgrading from an older hardwired system, make sure to take some pictures first! We hope this basic tip was helpful to some DIY installers out there. Keep checking our blog for more Alarm Grid Tips in the future.

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Hi DIYers! It's hard to believe, but it's already May. Time sure flies doesn't it? Summer is quickly approaching and now is a great time to buy temperature sensors for your home. This way, you can be quickly notified if your home's AC system is ever not cooling the building properly.

Honeywell 5821 wireless temperature sensor and water sensor exte

Temperature sensors aren't just for letting you know about low-temperatures. They can also let you know about unusually high temperatures that would only occur if the AC went out. This is great for ensuring that the house you come home to is nice and comfortably. There's nothing worse than ending your day only to find that your AC went out and your home is uncomfortably hot! Our temperature sensors are also great for pairing with smart thermostats, which can often send you remote alerts when temperatures go outside certain thresholds.

Today, we're taking a look at three temperature sensors that you might consider adding to your system. We'll be focusing on the high-temperature sensing capabilities here, but we may brush over other features as well. Let's take a look!

Honeywell 5821

The Honeywell 5821 has two possible temperature settings. If programmed as Loop 2 with both DIP switches OFF, the sensor will alert the system when the temperature rises above 95°F for more than 10 minutes. You can also set it to SW1 DIP Switch ON and SW2 DIP Switch OFF on Loop 2 to have the sensor activate when the temperature rises above 75°F for more than 10 minutes.

The option to choose between a 95°F and a 75°F threshold is very useful, as some homes in different areas will certainly have different normal temperatures! The sensor also offers freeze detection and flood monitoring when paired with a water detection probe. An optional wired temperature probe is also available. The device operates at 345 MHz.

Qolsys IQ Temp

The Qolsys IQ Temp offers high-temperature detection at 100°F. The zone will then restore when the temperature falls below 95°F. Although this might be too high for many homes, there are some very hot areas that frequently exceed 110°F or even 120°F. This is a relatively simple device that can easily pair with nearly any 319.5 MHz alarm system. It also offers freeze detection at 40°F and restores once the temperature rises above 45°F. Like most temperature sensors, the high and low temperature zones will need to be configured separately.

2GIG FT6-345

The 2GIG FT6-345 Wireless Flood and Temperature Detector is a 345 MHz sensor designed with 2GIG Security Systems in mind. The sensor uses Loop 2 for high-temperature detection. It activates when a temperature of 95°F or higher is detected for three straight minutes. The sensor will restore when the temperature falls below 95°F for three straight minutes. The sensor can also be programmed with Loop 1 for freeze detection (41°F or lower for three straight minutes) or Loop 3 for water detection.

If you need help choosing a high-temperature detector for your home, please reach out to us! We can help you determine the best solution for your needs. The best way to reach us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. We will check your email at our earliest convenience and respond back as quickly as possible. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Hi DIYers! Today, we want to discuss some of our favorite smart locks from the likes of Kwikset, Yale and August. There are many great reasons to add a smart lock to your home, and we are sure that you will love the convenience they offer. They are great for Alarm Grid monitored customers.




Smart locks represent a great addition to nearly any home or business. These devices typically enroll with a central hub, such as a Z-Wave controller or into your Apple HomeKit network. You will then be able to control the lock through an app on the Android or iOS smartphone. This is great if you ever want to let someone inside while you are away and then make sure the door is locked after they leave.

Z-Wave locks are particularly useful because you can access them through the Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com service that you use with your security system. These services will also provide you with text and/or email alerts whenever your lock is used. And iOS users always appreciate HomeKit compatibility. They find it highly convenient to be able to control their smart locks through Siri voice commands.

Alarm Grid has been putting out some FAQs to help you get started with various Z-Wave locks. We encourage you to check out some of the FAQs listed below:

Of course, you can buy some excellent Z-Wave locks from Yale, August and Kwikset on our site. Let's take a look at some of our favorites from each of the three companies:

Yale

We actually got a first-hand look at many of the Yale Locks at ISC West 2019. Our team was highly impressed with these locks, and we think any of them would make for a great addition to your home. The Yale Assure Locks were particularly exciting for their added reliability, touchscreen control and Z-Wave Plus functionality. These include the Yale YRD226, Yale YRD246 and Yale YRD256 models. The YRD256 receives special recognition for having both a HomeKit Version and a Z-Wave Plus Version available from Alarm Grid.


Alarm Grid has been particularly impressed with the ease-of-use and overall reliability offered from the Yale Locks. They are available in a multitude of designs and styles so that you can find the lock that fits your home. Whether you choose a HomeKit model or a Z-Wave Plus model, we are sure that you will be extremely pleased with the performance and reliability when controlled remotely.

August

August and Yale are actually both manufactured by the same company, Assa Abloy. The name of the game here is the August Smart Lock Pro. This is one of the best and most versatile locks in the industry, and we cannot recommend it enough. The biggest selling point of the August Smart Lock Pro is that it can utilize Z-Wave Plus technology and connectivity with Apple HomeKit at the same time. Usually, a lock is restricted between one or the other. But that is not the case here.

The round design helps the August Smart Lock Pro stand out from other smart locks. It is sleek and smooth, and an LED light helps the user with setup. The entire process is completed through the August Home App to make setup and installation as easy as possible. Users looking for something different with some great advanced features can't go wrong here.

August smart lock pro dark gray z wave deadbolt lock 3rd generat

If you want to use Apple HomeKit with the August Smart Lock Pro, then the August Connect WIFI Bridge must be obtained as well. Alarm Grid actually sells the August Smart Lock Pro and the August Connect Bridge in one convenient package. They can also be purchased separately. The Smart Lock Pro can also communicate with your phone wirelessly through a Bluetooth connection. This is great for automatic unlocking when you arrive home. And users will certainly appreciate the integrations with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Nest, AirBnB and HomeAway.

Kwikset

Not to be outdone, Kwikset offers their own smart locks that we have shown tremendous success in our personal testing. These are simple, yet effective locks that each feature their own timeless design. They use Z-Wave Plus technology for easy pairing with your wireless home security system. You can then control the lock from the panel or through a convenient app like Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. You can even receive notifications from TC2 or ADC whenever the lock is used.


The two Kwikset Locks that stand out the most for us are the Kwikset SmartCode 888 (shown above) and the Kwikset Obsidian. The Kwikset SmartCode 888 is an affordable option for users who want all the great features and functions of a reliable smart lock. It offers a touch-button keypad, with backlit keys for easy operation at nighttime. Meanwhile, the Kwikset Obsidian offers a sleek and futuristic touchscreen keypad for entering codes. The device uses advanced SecureScreen technology to prevent intruders from figuring out codes based on fingerprints. It also offers 128-bit AES encryption for added security.

All of the locks mentioned above are available for purchase from Alarm Grid now. If you need help deciding on a lock, please reach out to us by sending an email to support@alarmgrid.com. We will check the email at our earliest convenience and respond as quickly as possible. We look forward to helping you find the perfect Z-Wave or HomeKit lock for your ever-growing and evolving smart home!

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Hi DIYers! Today, we'd like to cover some of our newest products from 2GIG. These are all fairly unique 2GIG 345 MHz Sensors that can be used with 2GIG GC2, 2GIG GC3 and Honeywell Lyric Alarm Systems. We are sure that many users will take full advantage of these versatile new products!

2gig

We actually very briefly touched on these new sensors during our 2GIG ISC West 2019 Post, but we never had the opportunity to discuss them in-depth. These sensors will also work with the upcoming 2GIG GC2e and 2GIG GC3e Systems that should be arriving later this summer. Remember, these upcoming panels will support a lineup of encrypted sensors from 2GIG, as well as the current 2GIG 345 MHz Sensors and Honeywell 5800 Series Sensors.

As we said before, these are all fairly unique sensors. Some of these options have never truly been offered before. It's a good reason to get on-board with 2GIG and one of their wireless systems. And remember that you can always add a 2GIG RPTR1-345 Wireless Repeater if you need to increase the signal range for any of these wireless devices. Let's take a few moments to discuss each of these new sensors in full detail:

  • 2GIG DW30-345 Outdoor Wireless Door Sensor: This a wireless outdoor contact sensor, much like the existing Honeywell 5816OD. The weather-resistant sensor can have an extended gap of two (2) inches between its magnet. However, it should ideally be less than an inch if possible for best results. It receives power using two (2) AA batteries, which can easily be swapped out when low. The 2GIG DW30-345 is great for outside doors, fences and gates that may be exposed to rain, wind, snow and excessive dust. It can be mounted on a flat or curved surface to meet the needs of the user.



  • 2GIG STVGRL1-345 Stove & Grill Guard: This is a unique sensor that alerts an alarm system when a stove or grill has a burner that is left on. The sensor will remain in a fault condition whenever the burner control is left 20 degrees or more from the usual position. A user can set the associated wireless zone to display a trouble condition whenever the sensor left faulted. This way, they will know to turn the stove or grill off if they accidentally leave it on. It is also great for parents who are worried that their children may be playing with the burner. The device is small and discreet, and it is suitable for indoor and outdoor use.



  • 2GIG F1-345 Safety Pendant With Fall Detection: This is a medical alert sensor that can detect the abrupt and sudden movement that occurs when a person falls down. Just like a conventional medical alert sensor, the user can press and hold a button if they experience a medical emergency or crisis. But the built-in fall detection is great for situations in which the user might be rendered unconscious and unable to press the button themselves. The device comes with a lanyard so that it can be easily worn, and it it is water-resistant with an IPx7 rating. The end user will have no problem using the F1-345 in the bath or shower if necessary.



  • 2GIG GNGRD1-345 Gun Trigger Lock: This a helpful safety device that prevents a user from shooting a gun or firearm unless a 3-digit code is entered first. The sensor will also send an alert to the security system in the event that the weapon is moved or tampered with. This sensor is perfect for families of gun-owners who want to make sure that their children don't get into their weapons or firearms. It is strongly recommended for any gun-owner who wants to ensure that only they can access their weapon. The device is small, discreet and easily to apply. It is powered using a single CR2032 coin cell battery.


All of these sensors are available on the Alarm Grid website now! If you would like to learn more about any of these sensors, we recommend sending an email to support@alarmgrid.com. One of our security system experts will see your email and respond back as soon as possible. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you design the perfect alarm system for your needs!

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