You’ve come to the right place! We field questions revolving around existing systems nearly every day, from customers just like you. Most often, someone moves into a home with an existing system or a customer is dissatisfied with their current provider. In either case, we can typically help someone get their system up and running with Independent Alarm as the new provider.
Alarm systems come in all shapes, sizes, and configurations with various capabilities and ages. Manufacturers make many types of systems which can be vastly different from each other.
As a general rule, alarm systems that were installed after 2000 are prime candidates for reuse. Mainly because the average life span of alarm systems is about 15-20 years. With an older system, it would not make good fiscal sense to put “good” money into an antiquated system that will need to be upgraded in the near future. It is a good idea to consider upgrading in the beginning versus later as to not double pay for work on the system.</p.
Panels from pre 2000, in general, are more laborious to program and their capabilities are limited.
Additionally, older systems typically lack modern features including smartphone control, internet / cell communication, home automation and /or text alerts. If you would like to have some modern conveniences added or associated with your alarm system, you would be best served to upgrade your equipment. There are exceptions to some older panels and it is a case by case basis.
Ultimately, it is best to consult a professional at Independent Alarm about your system. We will let you know what your system is capable of doing. You can schedule an estimate here or see how we do business on our estimate process page seen here.
A technician would come to your home and try to “takeover” your existing alarm system and program it to communicate with our central station. The first step is for the technician to attempt to get into the programming side of the alarm system software to reprogram with your account information.
The technician needs to access the back end of the software to change certain fields including your account number, the central station contact information, and system related fields that determine how the panel operates.
By “attempt to get into programming” we are referring to the main roadblock that we could run into working with your existing alarm system. Sometimes previous companies put in proprietary passwords and codes that disallow other companies from using their installed equipment. The password / code is different from the 4-6 digit code that you use to arm / disarm the system. Without this code, we could be blocked from using that panel.
The technician will also perform a full system test and identify any issues with your system. This could include broken wires, window contacts, etc. Necessary repairs will be made to ensure proper operation. If a phone line or internet cable needs to be run, this will also be done. The technician will then confirm your system is communicating with central station. A full system tutorial will then be given for your reconfigured system.
The technician would tell you right away that there is a problem and you would incur no charge for the service call. At that point the sales department would follow up promptly with your options moving forward. Options include upgrading the main panel circuit board or simply upgrading the panel and keypads on the system.
There is a silver lining if your system needs to be upgraded due to a lack of accessibility. Most devices such as door / window contacts, glass break / motion detectors, smoke detectors, etc. can be reused with a new control panel. Only the main control and the keypad(s) need to be replaced.
Consult with a professional at Independent Alarm today to find out if your system is eligible for a takeover. You can schedule an estimate here, read about our estimate process here or simply call us at 800-322-4231.