11 Feb 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.
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.
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.