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Hi DIYers. We have a relatively small video recap this time. Our team managed to make four (4) new videos. This includes three (3) from Jorge and one (1) from Jarrett. They are both ready and eager to help you learn your security system. Let's check out the new videos for this week.

Arming a Honeywell Alarm System Using Alexa

Jorge talks about how you can use Amazon Alexa to Arm your Honeywell Security System. This is made possible using Total Connect 2.0. You must open the Alexa App on your Android or iOS device and link your Total Connect 2.0 account. In order to use Total Connect 2.0, you will need an alarm monitoring plan that includes access to the service. You can use Alexa to Arm Away, Arm Stay and activate TC2 smart scenes. You cannot use Alexa to Disarm your system.


Low Battery Supervision On The 2GIG TAKE-345

Jorge explains how if your 2GIG TAKE-345 has a low backup battery, then all the associated zones will show a low-battery trouble condition. The 2GIG TAKE-345 is a wired to wireless converter designed for use with 2GIG Security Panels. Hardwired sensors connect with the TAKE-345. The module then sends a 2GIG 345 MHz Signal to the panel. The system sees these sensors as wireless sensors. If the 2GIG TAKE-345 has a low battery, then the associated wireless zones will show low battery. You cannot use hardwired life-safety sensors with the TAKE-345.


Getting Power To The Lyric Security System

Jarrett teaches users how to power the Resideo Lyric Alarm System. The system receives primary power from a plug-in DC transformer. If the electricity goes out, a backup battery will keep it powered on. There are 4-hour and 24-hour backup battery options available. We recommend using a Honeywell LT-Cable to connect the panel to its transformer. You can also use 18-gauge, 2-conductor wire to complete the connection. The system will power off if it is not receiving plug-in or battery power.


Testing My Alarm Panel Through Alarm Grid

Jorge explains how Alarm Grid customers can test their security systems. We recommend testing your system monthly. You must test your system once per year to receive an updated certificate of alarm (CoA). By receiving a CoA from Alarm Grid, you can save money on your homeowner's insurance. You must always put your system on test mode before testing your system. You can put your system on test mode by contacting us, contacting our central station partner Criticom, or use the MyAlarms.com feature.

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Hi DIYers! It's time for another video update from Alarm Grid. This time we're covering the videos from May 30th and 31st. We have six new videos this time. Joe has four, while Jorge and Jarrett each have one. The Alarm Grid boys are back to help you learn your system. Let's check them out.

Connecting an LTE-XV to a VISTA-21iP

The ever-friendly Joe teaches you how to connect a Honeywell LTE-XV to a Resideo VISTA-21iP Security System. The Honeywell LTE-XV is a Verizon LTE Communicator for VISTA Series Systems. It follows the same setup process as the Honeywell LTE-XA, which is the AT&T LTE Communicator. Please note that by adding an LTE-XV or LTE-XA to a VISTA-21iP, you will disable the integrated IP communicator for the system. If you want to use an external dual-path communicator with a VISTA-21iP, you should add a Honeywell LTE-IV instead.


The ADC-V522IR Audio Features

Joe explains the two-way audio capabilities of the Alarm.com ADC-V522IR Security Camera. If you use this camera with the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, you can livestream the audio and video directly from the panel. You can also get live audio and video from the Alarm.com Mobile App. This app can be conveniently accessed right from your Android or iOS device. You can even speak through your Android or iOS device and have your voice come through the camera. This will allow you to have a live two-way conversation with whoever is at the other end.


Connecting the August Smart Lock Pro to WIFI

Joe helps you connect your August Smart Lock Pro to a WIFI network. To do this, you will need an August Connect WIFI Bridge. Getting your August Smart Lock Pro connected with WIFI is recommended if you want to use the device with Apple HomeKit. However, it is not required. The only other way to use HomeKit with the August Smart Lock Pro is to have your HomeKit Hub within Bluetooth range (10 to 15 feet) of the lock. Your HomeKit Hub can be an iPad, HomePod or AppleTV (4th Generation or higher).


Arm Stay vs. Arm Instant

Fan-favorite Jarrett explains the differences between Arm Stay and Arm Instant. The major difference is that Arm Instant ignores all Entry Delay settings. This means that any Entry/Exit Zones will effectively operate as Perimeter Zones. If you fault an Entry/Exit Zone while the system is Armed Instant, then an immediate alarm will occur. If you want to Disarm the System while it is Armed Instant, you will need to do so without activating an Entry/Exit Zone. We recommend using a Security Key Fob or an interactive service platform like Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0.


Response Types Supported by the SiXPIR

Jorge discusses the Response Types that can be used with the Honeywell SiXPIR Motion Detecting Sensor. The only available Device Type for a SiXPIR Zone is "Motion Sensor". This restricts the Response Types that can be used. You cannot set the Device Type to "Other" to gain access to the full list of Response Types. As a result, the only Response Types you can use with the SiXPIR are Interior Follower, Perimeter, Day/Night, Interior With Delay, Resident Monitor, Resident Response, General Monitor, and General Response.


Using the August Smart Lock Pro with Apple HomeKit

Joe talks about using the August Smart Lock Pro with Apple HomeKit. By including the August Smart Lock Pro with your Apple HomeKit network, you can operate the lock from anywhere using your iOS device. There are two ways to use the lock with HomeKit. The first is to pair the August Smart Lock Pro with the August Connect WIFI Bridge. This will allow the lock to connect with a WIFI network so that you can access it remotely. The other option is to have the lock within Bluetooth range of your HomeKit Hub. This can be an AppleTV (4th Generation or higher), iPad or HomePod.

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Hi DIYers! We're here with another alarm system tip today. This time, we would like to remind everyone tests their systems at least once per year. It is important to make sure that your sensors are working correctly and reporting to the panel. It is very easy to test your system yourself.

Alarm grid inside security stickers

Alarm Grid recommends testing all the sensors on your system. This includes all intrusion sensors, environmental sensors and life-safety sensors. Each sensor will follow a unique testing process, so it's important to refer to your instruction manuals for more information. You might consider testing your life-safety sensors like smoke detectors and carbon monoxide sensors twice per year because of their importance. Always place your system on test mode before testing your equipment.

The reason it is important to test all of your sensors every year is because it's possible that they may have gathered dust or shifted slightly in position. Little things like that may prevent these devices from working properly. Taking the time to perform a complete test will provide you with peace of mind in knowing that all your equipment is working correctly. And if you do find a sensor that isn't working, you will be very glad you performed a test.

Additionally, an annual test is required for Alarm Grid customers who obtain Certificates of Alarms (CoA) to receive homeowner's insurance discounts. Any CoA received from Alarm Grid will only be valid for one year from the testing date. A customer should perform a new test before their current CoA expires in order to maintain any discounts offered by their insurance provider. Alarm Grid will provide CoAs for burglary, fire, carbon monoxide, flood and freeze.

The process for performing a CoA test is very simple. This process involves contacting Criticom Monitoring Services, putting the system on test mode and then testing certain Zone Types. Alarm Grid monitored customers can login to their accounts on our website and press the designated button to receive an email about performing a system test. If you are having trouble finding the button, you can see its location in the picture below:

Alarm Grid customers can also email us at support@alarmgrid.com if they need to put their systems on test mode. Keep in mind that our business hours are 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We will check your email at our earliest convenience and respond as soon as possible. Do not test your equipment until you have received verification that your system is on test mode.

If you have any questions about testing your equipment, the best way to reach us is at the aforementioned email. You may also call us at (888) 818-7728 during normal business hours. We look forward to answering any questions you might have.

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Hi DIYers! We're here with a small video recap, covering May 16 & 17. It was a quiet week for our video team, as we only had five new videos. But we gotta give some credit to Jorge, as he cranked out four videos. Jarrett also came through with one. Let's take a look at the videos.

Adding a Profile Image to a Total Connect 2.0 Account

Jorge shows users how to add a profile image to their Total Connect 2.0 account. Each user on a TC2 account can have their own profile image. This helps to add a nice personalized touch to Total Connect 2.0. Any uploaded image will only be visible from TC2. It will not be visible from the panel. If you have multiple users on the same Total Connect 2.0 account, then each user can have a unique picture.


Adding a Location Image to a Total Connect 2.0 Account

Jorge teaches users how to add a location image to a Total Connect 2.0 account. Each location on a TC2 account can have its own picture. You will have a different location for each system on your Total Connect 2.0 account. This is great for users with multiple homes or businesses. Adding a unique image for each location can be a great way to differentiate them. This way, you can be sure that you are controlling the correct system when you use TC2.


Smart Home Items That are Compatible with the Honeywell Lyric

Jarrett talks about smart home items that are compatible with the Honeywell Lyric Controller. The system has a built-in Z-Wave controller for operating Z-Wave devices. Any Z-Wave device can be operated through Total Connect 2.0. The Lyric is also one of the few systems on the market that is compatible with Apple HomeKit. You can have your HomeKit devices set to respond based on activity that affects your system. It is also possible to control your Lyric through your iOS device.


Changing the Installer Code Using a Tuxedo Touch Keypad

Jorge explains how to change the Installer Code for a Honeywell VISTA Alarm System using a Tuxedo Touch Keypad. The Installer Code is the code used to enter programming and make system changes. We encourage most users to keep the code at its default of 4112. This will prevent users from being locked out of programming later. If you forget the default Installer Code, you can always look it up later. If you change the code and forget it, you will need to use the backdoor method to get back into programming.


Features Added in the 2GIG GC2 1.19 Firmware Upgrade

Jorge discusses Firmware Version 1.19 for a 2GIG Go!Control GC2 System. Upgrading to the latest firmware is very important for getting the most out of your system. Firmware Version 1.19 added support for various cellular communicators. If you want to use an AT&T LTE communicator, then you need Firmware Version 1.19.3. You can have a firmware update pushed down automatically to your panel from Alarm.com for a small fee. If your panel is not connected with Alarm.com, you will need an upgrade cable or an upgrade tool to complete the process.

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Hi DIYers! We're here with another Alarm Grid Tip. We're going to cover the proper technique for mounting your door alarm sensors. Many people have trouble getting a faulted zone to disappear when their sensors are not aligned properly. Mounting your sensors correctly will fix this issue.

Honeywell 5800mini interior wireless door and window sensor

First, It's important to understand how door and window contacts work. There are two (2) parts. These are a sensor and a magnet. The sensor is the larger component and usually represents the listed product dimensions. The magnet is the smaller component. In a proper installation, the sensor (larger) should be mounted on the door frame. The magnet (smaller) should be mounted on the actual door. Ideally, the magnet and the sensor should be in direct contact when the door is closed. The magnet should also be aligned with the metal reed switch inside the sensor. The sensor will most likely have indentations to indicate the location of the reed switch.

The idea is that when the door is closed, the magnet will be in contact with the sensor. This is why these sensors are often called "contacts". When the door is opened, the magnet will become separated from the sensor. This will release its internal metal reed switch. When this happens, the sensor will transmit a signal to the alarm control panel. The system will respond based on the programming settings for the corresponding zone.

When you mount your door contacts, you should make sure that the magnet and the sensor are in proper alignment when the door is closed. If not, then the reed switch inside the sensor will stay open. As a result, the zone will still be shown as faulted on the panel. You want proper alignment so that the zone functions consistently. Whenever the door is opened, the zone should appear as faulted. If it's closed, then you should not see any faults.

Walk testing your contacts is extremely important! This is the best way to make sure that the sensor and magnet are in proper alignment. Sure, it might pass the eyeball test, but does it pass the system test? Always, always, always test your equipment! We don't care if you are a novice DIYer or a seasoned professional installer - your job is not finished until you have completed the walk test.

Again, the ideal door sensor and magnet will be IN DIRECT CONTACT when the door is closed. This will provide the best possible results. We have seen customers stack multiple pieces of double-sided foam tape to make this happen. This is pretty unusual, but it works! It might look funny if you have to do that, but it will get the job done! As long as the sensor and magnet are in correct alignment, then the sensor will work.

If you absolutely must leave the contact and magnet separated, do not do so from more than one-half (0.5) of an inch, unless the manual specifically says that the sensor-magnet gap can be further. And make sure to test extra thoroughly if you decide to try and get these sensors to work with a wider magnet spacing.

Also remember to check sensor for indentations that indicate which side to place the magnet. If you are unsure, then check the device manual. Many answers can be found in the installation instructions. Unfortunately, many end users choose to ignore them. Read the manual!

Keep in mind that some door sensors may be equipped with LED lights that help the installer make sure that the sensor and magnet are indeed in proper alignment. If your sensor has this feature, then definitely use it! This is an easy and convenient way to make sure they are aligned correctly. Check your device manual for more information. An example of a door sensor that is equipped with this feature is the Honeywell 5800MINI.

Below is an example of what a properly installed contact looks like. In this case, it is the 2GIG DW10. Note how the sensor and the magnet are in direct contact and properly aligned. Normally, the battery tab at the bottom of the sensor would be removed, but for this example, it's okay.


We hope this tip has been helpful for anyone setting up their first alarm system. Please email us at support@alarmgrid.com if you have any questions. We look forward to hearing from you!

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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!

Alarm grid inside security stickers

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.

Qolsys iq panel 2 at and t wireless security system with at and

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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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! Last week was interesting for us, as we scrambled to get up some new content by the end of the week. We managed to upload seven new videos. This includes five from Joe, who was this week's MVP. We hope that you enjoy our latest videos and how they help you use your equipment.

Viewing an ADC-SVR122 Remotely

Joe explains how users can view video footage stored on an Alarm.com ADC-SVR122 Stream Video Recorder remotely. The ADC-SVR122 stores footage so that it can be viewed on Alarm.com. The footage can be viewed from Alarm.com, both through the website and through the mobile app. The ADC-SVR122 will need to be integrated with the user's Alarm.com account for this to work. The integration must be done from the Alarm.com website by choosing the option "Add Video Device". Up to eight (8) Alarm.com Cameras can be used with a single ADC-SVR122.


Excluding a Kwikset Z-Wave Lock

Joe teaches users how to exclude a Kwikset Z-Wave Lock from a Z-Wave network. There are a few different instances when you may want to exclude a Z-Wave lock. This step is important to perform before trying to the device to the network. Even if the lock is brand-new, it may have been previously paired with a network for factory testing purposes. You might also try excluding a lock and then re-adding it to the network as a possible troubleshooting step.


Factory Defaulting a Kwikset Z-Wave Lock

Joe demonstrates how to factory default a Kwikset Z-Wave Lock. Performing a factory reset is normally performed when a user inherits the lock from someone else and they want to start fresh with factory default settings. A user may also perform a factory default as a last ditch method for troubleshooting the device. Performing a factory default will clear all programmed user codes and remove all Z-Wave settings. The lock will need to be re-enrolled after performing the default.


Including a Kwikset Z-Wave Lock

Joe covers the process for including a Kwikset Z-Wave Lock into a Z-Wave network. This requires a Z-Wave controller or hub. By pairing a Z-Wave lock, you will be able to control it remotely from an interactive service platform on your smartphone. This is great if you ever need to let someone inside your home while they are away. You can then remotely lock the device after they leave. Z-Wave devices can also be set to activate based on a schedule or with certain predetermined events.


Glass Break Simulators

Joe talks about glass break simulators and how they are used. These devices will produce a sound that is specifically designed to activate glass break detectors. This is great for testing glass break sensors and making sure that they are detecting sounds and working properly. Most security equipment manufacturers have their own glass break simulators that they recommend for use with their equipment. Alarm Grid offers three (3) glass break simulators, which are the Honeywell FG701, the DSC AFT-100 and the Interlogix 5709C-W.


Carbon Monoxide Sensor Notifications from a Lyric via Apple HomeKit

Jorge discusses why a user will not receive specific carbon monoxide sensor notifications from Apple HomeKit when the CO sensor is used with their Lyric Alarm System. When HomeKit is used with the Lyric System, HomeKit will only provide specific notifications for burglary and intrusion zones. HomeKit will not provide specific alerts for life-safety zones. Instead, the user will only receive a General Lyric System Alert. That is why it is important to use Total Connect 2.0 alongside HomeKit. Unlike Apple HomeKit, Total Connect 2.0 will let you know exactly which zone was faulted, regardless of Response Type.


Programming Options Accessible Via Installer Code on the Lyric Alarm

In his triumphant return, Jarrett explains the programming options that can be accessed from the Installer Tools Menu on the Honeywell Lyric Controller. This menu is accessed using the system's Installer Code, which should be kept at its default of 4112. The Installer Tools Menu offers many options that allow the user to make changes to the system settings. This includes adding new sensors and configuring the communication path settings for the panel. You can also access Installer Tools to perform a factory default or to reset the Master Code to 1234.

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