Decommissioning alarm systems

Decommissioning alarm systems, why should you bother?

Can't I just simple disconnect the phone line or remove the plug.

Turn it off or just ignore it.

Of course you can you can do whatever you want, however there are consequences.

Why should you bother.

Well if you are not going to use the alarm system, for whatever reason.
You want it to stop making noises and to stop costing you money.

Firstly it's not just a matter of turning it off, where it that simple then this is what the crooks would do.
If it is a properly designed and installed alarm system, there would be a little more to it.

There are batteries to consider, Phone calls and phone lines, mains power and noise associated with Sirens and alarms.
Also is it to remain functional for future use. You may want to sell your house with a functional alarm system or you may want to actually use it somewhere down the track.

You can do it yourself, but will it be done correctly.
For the cost of a service call and a couple of hours, the peace of mind that a Qualified Security Service Technician can provide may be a small price to pay in the long run.

Let me give you an example.

I recently was called to a house, the owner was selling and his agent suggested that they rent furniture to help with the sale.
His insurance company was not going to cover it unless there was a working alarm system in the premises.

The owner had an alarm installed when he first moved in and never used it, it was a Wireless Alarm system - good quality, good system.

It was never used and it was never properly decommissioned.

First thing I noticed is that the Backup Battery was very flat and the casing of the battery was cracked and beginning to buckle.
So I replaced the Backup Battery.

Next thing were the sensors, none of them seemed to be working. When I opened them up to check the batteries, what a mess.
The batteries where so old that they had started to leak, buckle and corrode. Battery acid had eaten the battery terminal contacts away from the sensor and battery acid had leaked throughout the sensor.
So all the sensors had to be replaced.

Once all this had been done I was able to get the system up and running.

Next came the Remote Control keyfobs, same problem, batteries had corroded and ruined the keyfob's.
Simple, we just removed these from the system.

The programming had to be changed so that the agents could use the code pad to arm and disarm.
Entry delay had to be extended and because the phone line had been disconnected it was now just simply a noise maker to annoy the neighbours.

Of course if it were a hardwired system then there would have only been the Panel Back up Battery and Remote Control keyfob batteries to deal with.

Phone lines and phone calls.

If the alarm panel was connected back to base or even programmed to call the end user, just turning the AC Mains Power off will not stop the system from sending phone calls.
Not straight away anyway, eventually when the backup battery does go completely flat then everything will stop.

In the mean time it will be sending Loss of AC Mains power signals, Low battery signals, tamper signals, etc.
What ever the alarm panel has been programmed to report. Maybe even "Lack of usage" or "No movement".

In addition the system may even go into alarm mode, the siren will start screaming and strobe flashing. As sensor batteries get low these to will report in, often this can be every time they detect movement.

You can unplug the phone line, but it may have been connected using Mode 3, this means the alarm panel is the first device on the phone line. Depending on where you disconnect the phone line it may disable all the other phone devices down line.

So if it was simply a matter of turning it off, then your alarm system was not professionally installed in the first place.

Do yourself a favour and have a Technician do it or at least check it over to see that it has been properly decommissioned, so as to not be a problem or that it remains functional for when it is to be used.

Phillip Marriott, Guardian Gecko Security Services

MB: 0408 264 256
Ph: 1300 95 97 99
email: phillip@guardiangecko.com.au

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