What Are Frequently Asked Questions?
ProTech Security commonly receives the below questions. To provide our customers with capabilities to troubleshoot common, basic issues on their own, we’ve provided answers to these frequent questions.
We’ve also included a series of short instructional videos to help customers better understand and operate their own ProTech Security interface devices.
ProTech Security recommends that problems with security systems be reported to our Service department so that a properly trained service technician can be dispatched to resolve the issues and ensure our customers continue to receive high-quality security and monitoring services that ProTech Security strives to deliver.
NOTE – these questions, answers, and videos are presented as they relate to DMP systems ONLY. Other systems have many of the same problems, with similar solutions, but specifics will vary per the manufacturer.
SAFETY DISCLAIMER: Always refer to your user manual before attempting any troubleshooting efforts.
Why is my system beeping/chirping?
If the beeping / chirping is coming from the keypad, there will be a steady tone indicating some kind of trouble condition (e.g., AC power failure, battery trouble, phone line trouble, keypad locked up, etc.). These conditions can vary depending upon whether it is a residential or commercial system, and how the system is programmed. You can usually silence this tone by pressing one of the four keys under the display, but it may re-occur if the trouble condition still exists.
If the beeping/chirping is coming from a sensor, there are currently only two sensors we install that will chirp:
- Wireless smoke detector indicating low battery
- Carbon monoxide sensor that has reached its end-of-life, usually 5 to 7 years
NOTE – the majority of beeps/chirps that occur are NOT related to the alarm system equipment. They are usually related to:
- Battery operated smoke detector that is separate from the alarm system
- Smoke detector which was installed by the electrician, separate from the alarm, that has a backup battery that needs replaced
- Carbon monoxide detector, separate from the alarm, that has either reached its end-of-life, or it’s backup battery needs replaced
- Cordless phone or cell phone that needs charged
There are many others, but these are the most common. Usually taking the suspected device out of the room or into the garage will change the sound enough to indicate you have located the culprit.
How do I replace my sensor (e.g., door, window, smoke detector, etc.) battery?
Here are several different styles of wireless sensors, including door, window, motion, smoke detection, etc., with each having their own battery requirements. Please refer to the manufacturer’s instructions first. Open the sensor, get a proper replacement battery, replace, and put the sensor back together. When completed, go to keypad follow the steps under Option #1 or Option #2:
- Press and hold the number 2 button for three seconds, until the display shows “sensor reset”
- Release the button, which will tell the system to rescan the sensors and it will see the new battery
- Press the command until the display reads ” menu no yes”
- Press button on keypad under “yes”
- Enter your security code
- When the display reads “sensor reset”, press the top left button under the word “sensor”
NOTE – Sensors have a tamper switch that detects if the cover is in place. If the zone faulted after working on it, it may be that the cover is not seated properly to make contact with the tamper switch. Also, some sensors have a spring that protrudes from the tamper switch, which can “fly off” when removing the sensor cover.
How do I replace my panel battery?
Even though panel batteries are rechargeable, they have an average lifespan of 3 to 5 years. To replace the battery, you must get a replacement battery (MOST panels use a 12 volt, 7AH (amp/hour), sealed, lead acid, battery), disconnect the wires from the old battery, and connect the panel to the new battery (observing polarity +/-).
The low battery signal may not go away immediately. Panels only check the status of the battery occasionally. Also, most rechargeable batteries aren’t fully charged when purchased, so it may take the panel up to a few hours to charge the battery to capacity. If the low battery indication has not cleared by the next day:
- It could be a bad battery
- The panel charging circuit is not working properly, or
- The system may be locked up and need to be powered down and then back up
ProTech Security proudly follows a process of battery recycling. Return your old battery to our office and we will dispose of it for you. Batteries are considered toxic waste and must be disposed of properly.
What should I do in the event of a false fire alarm?
If a smoke detector goes off multiple times for no reason, the majority of the time the reason is due to it becoming dusty or dirty inside. A smoke detector is looking for particles in the air, and cannot distinguish between a smoke particle, a dust particle, a steam/moisture particle, or anything else that would obscure what is normally clear air. To address this issue, clean the smoke detector by vacuuming it or gently blowing air through it using an air compressor.
My alarm went off. How do I reset it?
Enter your security code. The siren will turn off but, in most cases, the system is still armed. When entering the code, in most cases, the display will show the words “cancel” and “verify”. By pressing the button under the word “cancel”, you are canceling the alarm and turning the system off. By pressing the button under the word “verify”, you are verifying that this is an actual alarm and you want the police to be dispatched. On some systems, instead of the cancel/verify option, you may see “is this a false alarm?” to which you respond by either pressing the button under yes or no. Call the Monitoring station and notify them of the false alarm.
My keypad is not responding. What should I do?
The keypads communicate to the main control panel like a computer network. If that communication gets interrupted or distorted from a power surge, power outage, interference from other electrical equipment, etc., the keypad may become unresponsive and needs to be restarted. Follow these steps to restart:
- Most keypads have slots on the bottom where you can insert a flat blade screwdriver and gently twist to release the keypad from its base
- Unplug the wiring harness from the keypad. Be sure not to let the wires go and get lost in the wall
- Leave the keypad powered down for a minimum of 30 seconds
- Plug the wiring harness back in and remount the keypad
If the keypad is still unresponsive, either:
- the main control panel needs rebooted
- there is a wiring problem, or
- there is a problem with the keypad
Call ProTech Security to get this problem serviced.
My system is having communication trouble or autotest failures. How do I fix this issue?
With a dial up panel (which uses a phone line to communicate), this is usually caused by:
- Disconnection of the phone service or at least the line the panel was using
- A change in phone service providers where they either:
- Did not reconnect us correctly
- When using certain providers, such as AT&T Uverse, Vonage, Windstream, etc, the alarm may not be able to communicate properly over the
- phone service that is provided
Contact our Service department to schedule an appointment to resolve these issues.
How do I resolve AC power trouble?
Alarms use a transformer for power – most are plug-ins, some are hardwired. The most common reasons for AC failure, assuming the power is on in the rest of the building, are:
- Transformer is blown due to power surge
- Circuit breaker that controls the outlet needs reset
- Outlet is a GFCI or GFI that has the circuit breaker built into the outlet itself, and needs reset
- Transformer becomes unplugged from the outlet
Video Walkthroughs for Common Issues
In addition to the information above, ProTech Security is proud to offer short video walkthroughs to help users handle a variety of tasks related to their specific keypads. Click on your keypad option below and then select the video that addresses your specific question.
NOTE – these videos are presented as they relate to DMP systems ONLY. Other systems have many of the same problems, with similar solutions, but specifics will vary per the manufacturer.