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How to test a security system (NOT)

15 years ago

11PM, tremendous lightening & thunderstorm. Power goes out. All phones in house are cordless, so phones are out. Ah - security system is on backup battery power - all is good.

12:08 PM - huge lightening strike. Bird get's spooked and flies at full speed into garage window (sorry - it dies). Beak hitting glass is detected by interior glass break sensor in garage - alarm goes off.

12:08PM (+15 seconds): Alarm company calls the house - no answer. Dispatch police.

12:09PM: DW says I need to do something because alarm went off and police will be called. I am in a stupor, I tell her not to worry - I put in the code and all is good (DW is right!).

12:11PM Cell phone rings. It is 100 feet away. Dogs start to bark. I realize the DW is right so I run to get the phone and just miss the call.

12:12PM: I call alarm company back - they call the police and tell them not to come.

See that was easy. Test complete!

Comments (8)

  • rockmanor
    15 years ago

    Oh my - y'all must be feeling tired and groggy this morning after that. Thanks for posting your story, because although I hate to admit it, I hadn't thought about cordless phones not working during a power outage and the lifespan of our cell phone batteries isn't nearly long enough. We'd love to get a generator for backup, but that will have to wait until we sell our other house.

    Can the security system installer adjust the sensitivity of your glass break sensors? Hope I'm not being dense (again) but the bird just hit the glass and didn't actually crack it, right?

  • sniffdog
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    We were groggy - we crashed all day saturday. it was one thing being woken up in the middle of the night - quite another to think that there was an intruder. We live in a remote area - neighbors are not that close. I can hear the banjo's playing (remember Deliverance). That movie ruined me for life. It is one of the reasons I put in an elaborate security system.

    Yes - the security system installer (me!) can adjust the sensitivity of the glass break sensors. In fact - the installer changed the default setting (medium sensitivity) to high sensitivity just to make sure it would detect even a tiny ding on the glass. I need to re-adjust. The bird did not break the glass.

    The cordless phone thing is a big deal. We luckily kept an old phone that still works on phone company power - and I now have that upstairs in one room just in case. We get spotty cell phone reception and cannot count on the power always being there.

    The power gen is coming later this summer. Supposedly the power company just fixed the lines to improve service! We have lost power 3 times in 3 months. I am tired of it.

  • eventhecatisaboy
    15 years ago

    OH I feel your pain. Every so often we set ours off. In our township, if the police are dispatched more than once in a year for a false alarm, you start off with a bill for $75.00. The amounts are raised by $25 with each additional false alarm dispatch. We've only had to pay once thank goodness!

    We also had to change our motion detectors in certain areas of our house because our cat kept setting those off. The first time he set them off, it took us awhile to figure it out that it was him, but we were scared to death. He just stared us like we were soo stupid and that he would of told us it was him if we would have just asked--LOL! (He's a beautiful, snobby genius! ^oo^)

  • amyks
    15 years ago

    I am ROFLMAO (not to apparently once again offend the poster on the other thread about how not to be an idiot). It is unfortunate that you lost sleep, but hey, now you know it works!! Our children now know the code because we initially had them setting it off so much in the mornings (my *whatever* is in the car and I NEEEEEEED it!! etc.) The big siren has gone off twice, once because the painters hadn't shut the doors tight and the wind was very high and blew my DH's library doors right open. That was 7 a.m. on a Sunday. I'm sure my neighbors are thrilled we are here!!

    About the battery backup. I wanted to run on my treadmill in the basement one day last week, and my boys ages 3 and 5 wanted to ride their scooters. I thought, hey, we have more room in the unfinished portion of the basement than we had in our first house, they can have at it back there. Later that day the alarm was blinking funny lights. Whatever, I don't have time to deal with this, right? I have children to shuffle from school to lacrosse to this and to that, DH can deal with it later. Couldn't set the alarm right away, had to fiddle with it before bed. 1:00 a.m., alarm goes off. It's a very jarring feeling, groggy and thinking someone is in your house.

    Fast forward to the next day, talking with the alarm installer, has me go down to the UNFINISHED PART OF THE BASEMENT, remember that part of the story where my boys were riding their scooters?......the system was unplugged. The 5 year old says the 3 year old did it. Hmmmm......


  • amyks
    15 years ago

    The DW's are almost always right...;-))

  • davidandkasie
    15 years ago

    my stepdad has a HIGH pitched sneeze. it seems like at least a couple times a year he sneezes and sets off the glass breaks at their house!

    i recommend you go buy a 10.00 corded phone and put it somewhere easy to get to. my mom learned this same exact lesson the same way you did. she now has a corded phone in her bedroom.

  • mikie_gw
    15 years ago

    UPS's, computer battery back ups, work on telephones too.

  • ccoombs1
    15 years ago

    Pretty darn good test.....but I have one better than that!!!

    We built our last house about 7 years ago. We had ADT install a security system (which they did a terrible job on and it needed multiple repairs). Their technicial came out and showed us how it all worked, etc. But since the system was so unreliable and we live in a very safe rural area, we decided not to bother activating it or getting it monitored. So now jump ahead 2 years. DH is doing some work upstairs and creating sheetrock dust. All of a sudden, the ADT fire alarm starts blaring. It has a siren and voice "your house is on fire....get out of the house" over and over and over...siren lights and siren on the gable end of my house going....and I can't shut it off!! Phone rings....ADT calling. I had to go outside...the sirens in the house are too loud for me to hear the phone call. Appparently they have been monitoring all this time and I never knew (or paid a bill). Do I know my secret password so they can deactivate the alarm and call off the fire department?? No...of course not....that technician was here two years ago!! So they won't shut off the alarm or tell me how to do it. Fire department is en route to my house. I finally remembered my brother in law used to work for ADT so I called him and he told me how to get into the locked box (thank God the key was taped to the front of it) and to shut off power to the system. Fire department arrives, I assure them there is no fire and send them away. Peace and quite....finally....after about 30 minutes. I never restored power to that system. For all I know, whenever they DO restore power, the sirens will all start up where they left off!! lol!!

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