How Often Should I Test My Alarm System?
You should test your alarm system at least once a month. You can test your system any time. Many of our customers also test when they reapply for a Certificate of Alarm (CoA) annually. While you only need to test a few sensors for a CoA, it makes sense to test the rest of the system as well.
Testing your entire system often is very important. It's possible that some sensors may have shifted out of line and require some minor positioning adjustments to work properly. Perhaps the most important sensors to check out during a routine test are motion sensors. These devices are very dependent upon positioning, and you will want to be sure that the sensor can reliably detect motion, while not being prone to false alarms. Other intrusion sensors that are important for a system test include door and window contacts, glass break sensors with a glass break simulator, and shock sensors. You should also test your sirens.
But system testing isn't just about checking intrusion sensors. Environmental sensors and life-safety sensors are also important to test. These include temperature sensors, flood sensors, smoke and heat detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Some users may want to test life-safety sensors more often due to their importance. We have even heard of some users performing weekly tests for these devices.
Each sensor follows a different testing process, so make sure you check their instruction manuals for more information. You should test every sensor at least once to ensure proper working order. Make sure to always place your system on test mode before testing sensors! If you are monitored with Alarm Grid, the best way to do this is to contact us or our central station partner Criticom Monitoring Services. You can also use the MyAlarms.com feature.
There is also a special process for testing for a Certificate of Alarm. Customers should login to their Alarm Grid accounts on the Alarm Grid website. There will be a button you can press to receive an email with instructions on how to conduct a CoA test. The following picture shows the button you should press:
The CoA testing process involves contacting Criticom Monitoring Services, putting the system on test, and testing certain Zone Types. Alarm Grid awards CoAs for burglary, fire carbon monoxide, flood and freeze. You may also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need to perform a CoA test. Alarm Grid will send a confirmation email with the new CoA after we have confirmed the test results. A Certificate of Alarm is valid for one year upon a successful test. Most homeowner's insurance companies require a valid CoA for insurance discounts.
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