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3. When your system is installed

You have decided on the alarm system to be installed, you have picked your installer and they have installed your system. Now what?

First, make sure the installer trains you on how to operate the system. Make sure the installer gives you a printed instruction manual so that you can train anyone else that will be using the system.

Go over every component of your system with your installer so that you know how each piece is supposed to work and why.

Go over the procedures that are to be followed when an alarm condition happens. Make sure the installer is given a list of names of those people to be contacted if the alarm is tripped. Also decide on a passcode for every person authorized to be on the premise. This can be a word or number and can be the same for everyone or different for everyone. This is extremely important, if the monitoring station calls the premise after an alarm, and someone on site answers without a passcode, that person is automatically judged to be unauthorized on site whether they actually are or not. This can lead very quickly to a false dispatch.

Most installers will put new installations into "test mode" for a period of one to two weeks while the new users are learning the system and getting any "bugs" in the system ironed out. What this generally means is that there will be no authorities dispatched on an alarm for this time period. The premise will be called, and the list of people (called "keyholders") that you have designated, will be notified of the alarm condition.

Don’t expect that your alarm system will be perfect the minute it is installed. There are almost always minor adjustments that have to be made to any good system.

Lastly, you as the owner of the alarm system should test the alarm system every other month or so to make sure it is working properly. (remember to call the monitoring station first though!).

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