What to Do When Your Home Security Alarm Goes Off

Did you know that even after initiating a break-in, about half of burglars discontinue the attempt after they discover an alarm? That’s a key takeaway from a study by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

So there’s no need to panic when you hear that alarm, but do be prepared. Here’s what you need to know.

How to Use Your Home Protection System

If you choose professional monitoring, the system will use cellular and Wi-Fi networks to connect your home security base or panel to the system’s mobile app and the residential security company’s response center. Make sure everyone in your household knows how to use the system, including key codes and passwords.

Home security tailored to you, with 24/7 alarm monitoring and smart-home features make life easier. While you can hope an alarm never happens, professional monitoring allows experts to quickly assess the situation and dispatch emergency personnel.

Don’t Panic

As you hear the alarm, remember that the likelihood of intruders being in your home is low. It’s more likely that they’ve been scared away by the alarm, or that it was just a false alarm. Let’s be honest though – this thought won’t be the first to come to mind. You’ll experience a sudden surge of adrenaline with a big dose of uncertainty, and it’s easy to feel scared, even terrified. Know that if you’re professionally monitored, the security company will contact you within seconds and walk you through the steps to take.

Don’t turn off the alarm unless you’re sure someone in your household or your pet triggered it accidentally. Wait for the home security system’s monitoring station to register the signal.

Listen to the Specialist Carefully and Follow Their Instructions

The monitoring company expert will explain to you what to do. Follow their instructions very carefully. Don’t ask questions because not even a millisecond should be wasted in what could be an emergency situation bordering on disaster. Don’t second-guess; the experts are trained and know what to do. Be as calm and as clear as you can possibly be when you’re talking to the monitoring specialist.

If you’re professionally monitored, there’s no need to contact any first responders. Simply let the professional monitoring team handle the signal and they will communicate directly with first responders. When you sign a contract with a security company, you provide them with a list of emergency contacts. If your alarm goes off, the company’s alarm response centre will start calling the numbers on your list, which can be updated at any time. Some companies even have software that will pull all of your contacts in a group text to assess the situation, which dramatically cuts down response time.

Saving Money from Custom Security Systems

Largerfamilylife.com recently wrote about how much the cost of running a home has risen over the past decade. People nationwide are actively endeavouring to minimise household bills by monitoring their use of electricity, water, and other utilities.

You might choose to save money and monitor your system yourself via smartphone. Those who are not monitored need a clear action plan for what to do if they’re ever notified of an alarm. If you don’t have professional monitoring, you have to be and respond like a security expert. An expert always stays clear and focused. They have their phone within reach and the necessary contacts to call on it, including a non-emergency contact for police. This ensures that the police can be contacted easily from anywhere.

An effective plan that is rehearsed step-by-step on a regular basis can help a homeowner stay calm in an emergency situation. Your partner and children should know the exact plan, as should anyone else living in your household. A good emergency plan has the potential to save lives. There should never be second-guessing.

Use the Home Security System Camera

If you have a self-monitored system at home, use the surveillance camera to find out what triggered the alarm. Many home security systems are equipped with cameras, which have an inbuilt speaker and microphone. Use the camera to check all the doors and windows of your home for forced entry. Listen for unusual sounds. These could help you determine if forced entry actually occurred and if there’s a possibility of an intruder being in your home.

I Think There’s an Intruder in My Home …

If you believe you hear an intruder in your home, don’t go looking and attempt to confront them. Do not try to argue or fight unless it is absolutely unavoidable, which would be the case if a loved one’s life were at risk. It’s always best to escape. Try to get everyone out of the house or flat even if you’re not sure that there’s an intruder. Don’t take any chances. Your family’s safety is of paramount importance.

Accidents Waiting to Happen: Fire and Carbon Monoxide Leaks

The above also applies in the event that your alarm was set off by fire, smoke, or a carbon monoxide leak. These can quickly overwhelm everyone in the home, so it’s best to get people out as soon as possible. A monitoring agent will react swiftly and adequately in a situation like this and help get you to safety.

Stay in Constant Contact

If you’re professionally monitored, stay in constant contact with the agent. The best home security systems have control panels with two-way voice and sensitive microphones so you can communicate through the panel. The agent will keep you constantly informed of the situation and any developments, and help you stay calm.

Investing in a Home Protection System

When you have a family, it can seem like there’s never enough time to get things done, but being negligent of home security can have dire consequences. Professional monitoring will give you some much-needed peace of mind. But whether you choose DIY or professional monitoring, knowing what to do in an emergency can keep it from turning into a disaster.


Heather Cowart has a deep understanding of smart-home technology and thoughtful design as the Brand Manager for Brinks Home Security, currently one of the most recognized brands of home security providers in the U.S. and Canada.  Her passion lies in developing personal customer experiences and educating about home security.


Tags: accidents, alarm, camera, custom, home security, protection, security, system

Author: Maja Markovski

Maja Markovski

A 35-year-old female architect with a passion for innovative, sustainable design. I blend creativity and functionality to transform spaces into beautiful, practical environments.


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