Buying a house or business with an existing security system
Congratulations! You just bought a home or building and it has an existing security system. It may not have been a deciding factor in buying the place, but you’re hoping you can use it. I certainly hope you do. Studies have shown that burglars do determine if there is an alarm system before attempting a burglary.
What you can do
So you just moved in and there’s a touchpad on the wall. Now what? Does it work? What do those buttons do? I don’t recommend pushing all of them. There are some buttons you can hit that will set off the alarm and the only way to shut it off is by disconnecting the power or have the 4-digit code to disarm. But there are some things you can do:
- If this is an option, ask the previous owner about the existing security system
- Maybe they can explain how it works or at least give you the 4-digit code
- They may have a number for the company that you can call
- Does it look like it’s on? Is there anything displaying on the screen?
- If it doesn’t look like it’s powered on, look for the system’s transformer to plug-in. this could be difficult to find depending on how it was installed. Many plug-in transformers look like the one in the picture.
- If sirens don’t go off, keep it plugged in to see if you can get to the next step
- If you are being deafened by sirens, unplug it immediately and call a professional.
- Almost all systems have a Status button feature
- Often, it’s the * button on the touchpad
- Go ahead and hit * or a button that labeled “status”, it should present to you any issues on the touchpad screen
If the system says, “System OK” or something similar, it is likely in good condition. If it says something like “low battery”, you already know it may need a battery. Either way, its best you find a security professional that can help train you on how to properly use the system and be monitored in the event of an intrusion or fire.
Calling the security company on the sign or sticker…
Who could be better help than the company that put the alarm system in the first place? Well, that depends on the security company. Some companies are very helpful and want to gain another satisfied customer. Some will not be so enthused, especially since they don’t get to sell any new equipment. They may charge a high monthly fee just to be sure they make some money off you. Others may try to get you to buy all new equipment. I fully recommend that you at least call a 2nd security professional. That way you can at least compare how well the first company is treating you. Usually a phone call to a 2nd professional will suffice, but sometimes they will ask to see the system. You should not be charged anything for a consultation. You could save a lot of money by getting a 2nd option.
Getting a 2nd security professional’s opinion
Finding a second quote to service/monitor the existing security system may be difficult. There are proprietary brands out there that make it very difficult for other security companies to service/monitor a competitor’s system. If you have an ADT, Simplisafe, or Xfinity/Comcast sign out front, you’ll have a very difficult time getting a 2nd quote. There can be situations where a replacement of the system is in your best interest. This can include taking out a proprietary system that has high monthly/maintenance costs. More often than not, the security systems that are out there can be serviced/monitored by multiple security companies. So don’t be afraid to make the 2nd call, it can definitely be worth it! Make the 2nd call to FoxCrest Security at (240) 422-8369 or Contact Us!