How does ADT Monitoring work?

ADT Monitoring Service Options

How does ADT Monitoring work?

The way that ADT Monitoring works has a short and a longer answer. Which do you want to hear?

The short answer is that when the ADT alarm goes off, the ADT monitoring station immediately contacts the home or business owner at 1-2 phone numbers and then notifies the authorities if they don’t get an answer with the correct password on the account. 

The longer answer has a little more detail to it, so let’s dive in.

ADT Monitoring Station

How are ADT systems monitored?

ADT monitoring takes place over a POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) Landline Phone or over a cellular network. Much like if you wanted to make a phone call, you would either do it by a landline phone or by a cell phone. The popular VOIP phone options unfortunately don’t work to provide a stable communication method. Since most people are getting rid of POTS lines and using cell phones only or VOIP phones, cellular monitoring has become the new industry standard.

What happens when the ADT Alarm goes off?

When the alarm goes off, the siren will sound and ADT will receive a notification telling them what has triggered the alarm. (A door, a window, and a motion detector, etc.) Sometimes ADT will not get this signal for 30 seconds to reduce false alarms. (It’s a setting in every alarm panel – CP01.)

Once ADT receives the signals, the dispatcher will want to figure out if it’s a real alarm or an accident. So they will call at least two numbers usually. For example, if a husband and wife have the alarm, ADT would call both of them first before the police to help prevent false alarms.

Why are false alarms a big deal and what is a false alarm?

A false alarm is when a police officer is dispatched and there is nothing wrong. This can waste valuable city dollars and the officer’s time. Some police departments will fine you for every false alarm you get (most give you around 3-4 in a year). And some police departments won’t even respond and require a third party guard service to verify the alarm is real first.

Check with your local police department to know what policies they have. Many of them require an alarm permit. The alarm permit is usually there to help educate alarm owners.  It also helps the city to keep track of how many false alarms occur so they can improve.

Other features for the ADT system

You can arm the ADT monitoring system remotely, through a provided key fob, a smartphone, or a tablet. In the event of a power outage, the system has a backup battery. We encourage ADT customers to test their security monitoring system and to request a service call in case of a malfunction.

Monitoring cameras

ADT offers a set of cameras that can monitor your home which you can access remotely with a smartphone or a connected computer. Video signals are sent either by WiFi or through a DSL line. You can also sync the cameras up to motion detectors. This causes them to automatically to view and record events that trip the detectors. Events are automatically recorded, which is of great value for law enforcement in identifying burglars after the fact.

Additionally, you can use the cameras to identify people who have access to the house when you are away, such as repair people and package deliverers. Since a timestamp is included, the cameras can catch children who are trying to sneak in after violating curfew. And it’s always nice that you can have a look at the empty house for reassurance when you are away from home.

Other features that ADT offers

ADT offers a number of other features, some related to security and some not.

The company has a fire alarm system that monitors smoke and unusual heat sources and automatically alerts both the homeowner and the fire department.

The company also offers a carbon monoxide monitoring service. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can build up in a home if a malfunction happens in a natural gas heating system. ADT will sound an alarm, alerting people inside the home to the presence of the gas. If no response is forthcoming, the company will then alert emergency services.

ADT also offers a way to remotely control locks, lights, the climate control system, and the garage door. It’s called ADT Command or the older system ADT Pulse. Click here to learn more about ADT Monitoring Packages.

The ability to lock and unlock the front door is useful if you want to admit a repair person or lock up after the kids go off to school. You can turn the lights off and on if you haven’t gotten home before dark to give the illusion that someone’s home. The ability to adjust the climate control system is also a great energy-saving feature. Finally, opening and closing the garage door remotely will close off a means of entry and allow you to park your car without having to stop and leave your vehicle.

For more information, contact us.

  • Tom Brady
    Posted at 20:15h, 23 January Reply

    Will ADT monitor for the presence of a natural gas leak, which is different than monitoring for CO? There are detectors available that will monitor for smoke, CO, and CH4 and I want to monitor for all these using the same hardwired detector(s) which would then send a cellular signal. Ideally, I would simply replace my current smoke detectors. I currently have a Habitec system. Can the same hard wire infrastructure be used for an ADT system? We have 5 furnaces, 2 on either side of the basement and enclosed and 2 separately enclosed in the attic. We also have a huge shop and a 7 car garage with cars and gasoline in the garages. We also have a 3 story 3000 sq ft home with 5 bedrooms and 6 doors to the outside so can you give me a ball park estimate of a monthly cost to do a rather complete security monitoring job? I have Nest cameras I installed myself.

    • Zions Security Alarms
      Posted at 10:29h, 17 April Reply

      Yes we can help with monitoring natural gas

  • Barry Allen
    Posted at 22:11h, 16 May Reply

    If an alarm is triggered at a commercial store will ADT be able to also see the live video feed of my store to determine whether its a thief and
    therefore whether the police should more promptly be contacted? Or do they follow the usual protocol of calling me at my home. and then contact police and the video is more for later to use as evidence? Just curious as to what role video surveillance plays. Thanks.

    • admin2
      Posted at 17:05h, 17 June Reply

      Video is still not used for verification from the central station in most cases, but it is starting to get some attention. For now you would have to check your cameras when you get a text and phone call and then let us know if you want us to dispatch or not.

  • melissa hall
    Posted at 12:37h, 20 July Reply

    I accidentally put my telephone password in rather than the alarm password in last night setting off my alarm. The alarm and the unexpectedness of it unsettled me and it seemed to take forever to put the right password in. Still, nobody ever called me to check and see if it was a real or false alarm? I thought someone was supposed to call and check as stated above.

    • Jacob Menke
      Posted at 08:28h, 30 July Reply

      Thanks for your question Melissa. Usually the monitoring station is watching to make sure the correct password was entered within 30 seconds. If the alarm is cancelled by an authorized user within the first 30 seconds than they will not need to call you to see if you wanted the authorities to be dispatched or not. You can check with them and do a test today though to make sure everything is working correctly.

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