Troubleshooting & Testing

IF YOUR ALARM IS BEEPING OR FLASHING LIGHTS YOU HAVE FOUND THE RIGHT PAGE

 

Security Alarm Systems:

All security and fire systems require periodic testing.  Manufacturers recommend weekly tests.  In reality, the frequency of tests is solely up to the alarm owner.  Our technicians are available for thorough security system testing for $50 minimum (includes first hour.)  Instructions for doing limited testing yourself are here

The instructions here apply to DSC, HONEYWELL, and NAPCO alarms, specifically.  More troubleshooting help can be found in the manuals and the chart (scroll down).

If your system is "acting up" read on:  Most emergency service calls are due to phone line, battery or power interruptions.  In all of these cases, the alarm system will notify you of the problem by beeping and flashing lights.  It is annoying, but it is necessary that you know what is going on.  Here's how to deal with these "trouble" signals.

BEEPING:  To silence beeping (trouble signal): Honeywell: press any key. DSC: hold down reset (9 on Napco/ Magnum Alert) or view trouble on DSC by pressing * then 2.

Keypad says "P" and making noise:  To clear a "P" from your keypad display and silence the tone:  enter your code. (NAPCO)

Keypad FLASHING LIGHTS:  If your keypad is flashing numbers, note which ones.  If it is flashing lights, note which ones.  If it is flashing 3 lights AND numbers at the same time (Napco/Magnum Alert) hold down the 9 button for 5 seconds.  Then look at the list below to troubleshoot.

Trouble indicator light is on or keypad says to "View Trouble":  Press * then press 2 (DSC).  Make a note of the read-out or numbers flashing.  Press # to revert to regular operating mode. 

You can read more about these trouble conditions and what to do about them below.  To speak with a technician: call our office at 816-436-3000 on weekdays.  Call our on-call service technician for help with emergencies at 816-921-9600 after hours.  A technician will call back within 15 minutes.  If you don't hear back promptly, call again in case there has been a failure of the paging system.

MOST COMMON TROUBLE CONDITIONS:

A/C fail:  This means that your system isn't getting power from its normal source, a power outlet.  It could be that:

  • the power to the building is out,
  • an electrical breaker has tripped,
  • a GFI outlet has tripped,
  • the transformer has gone bad,
  • the system took a power surge,
  • or the charging circuit has gone bad
  • (or a number of other possibilities). 

You need to restore power to the system if possible. 

  • Check the circuit breaker/fuse box. Flip circuits that are tripped or replace fuse as needed. 
  • Check GFI outlets and reset them with button in the middle marked reset. 
  • Find the system's transformer and make sure it is plugged in.  If it is and none of the circuits are bad or GFIs* are tripped you can see if another appliance will work in that outlet.  If not, try running an extension cord to power the system transformer temporarily until the outlet gets fixed.

If you can't restore the power, you'll want to silence the trouble and wait for the power to be fixed.  If that won't work, you may want to disconnect power to the system.  To do this you have to unplug the transformer AND open the alarm panel box and disconnect the battery.  You only have to disconnect one wire to the battery to kill it.

*(GFIs/ ground fault interrupt outlets are installed commonly in basements, bathrooms and kitchens.  If ANY GFI in the building trips and your alarm happens to be plugged into another GFI on the same circuit it could cause the A/C fail indicator to show up.  The system will operate for hours, sometimes days, on its back-up battery. 

Low battery:   The battery power is decreasing (not dead).  The battery may recharge in a day or two.  This is a condition to be aware of, but not an emergency. You can still operate your system normally after clearing the trouble by viewing (* then 2) or resetting it by holding down 9 on the Napco MA.  If the battery does not recharge within 2 days, remember to call us to get your battery changed.  Panel batteries are only $35 plus tax from us, installed if you are a monitored customer.

Telco fail/ Communication failure/ loss of connection.  Your system may have tried to send a test signal and it failed, or it may have detected a loss of your landline dial tone.  Check your phones and see if they work.  If not, more troubleshooting is needed.  If you have had recent work done on your phones, or changed phone providers, that may be the cause.  Call to set an appointment.

  This vintage "cheat sheet" might help in a pinch.