First you need to re-power the alarm (if its not already) to see what works and what does not.
More than likely it was installed by a local professional security installation company so the coverage may be adequate for your needs. In some cases it could have been set-up as “interior only” meaning just the doors were protected and one or more interior motion detectors were used to cover the windows. When no one is home (or possibly when asleep) this may be enough. The alternative is full perimeter coverage backed up by interior sensors. This allows you to arm the system and protect your family while people are in the house moving about since now all of the windows are protected and the motions off until you will be out of view (away). Expanding the system is possible but not necessary day 1 (see the section above regarding upgrading your system).
Know the Master Code as well as Installer Code for your system.
Usually the homeowner does not know the Installer Code (the installing company would only know this code unless the system was installed as a DIY by the last homeowner. It’s also possible the previous owner did not share the Master Code with you. This happens frequently since they assume their former alarm company will set you up with monitoring and change all of the existing passcodes.
Fear not – there is a back door into ALL security systems. For example on Honeywell Vista panels (which may be an ADT alarm) all you do is power down the panel by unplugging the AC power to the control panel and disconnect the backup battery inside the enclosure. For wired security systems there will be a metal enclosure located somewhere out of sight such as in the basement, closet, garage – but always in a protected space. Alarm panels are low-voltage devices and use plug-in transformers rather than direct 110VAC wiring. The transformer will be close to this panel enclosure and usually screwed to the outlet cover plate so no one unplugs the transformer accidentally disabling the alarm. The backup battery is inside this enclosure and can easily be disconnected rendering the system completely dead. All configuration/programming is stored on nonvolatile memory so there is no danger of losing anything when power is lost.
When powering the alarm backup just go to any keypad and press * & # simultaneously (within 50 seconds of power up) which will put you into “program mode”. Hit *20 and the keypad will show the Installer Code (one digit at a time). Type *99 and you’re back into normal mode.
You can now arm and disarm using the installer code and better yet reset the Master Code which is the normal code to be used (or additional secondary codes). Each brand security system has its own key sequence to get the Code Code but the steps are very similar, and that simple. Look for the user manual on our site or others for your particular manufacturer and model. Hint: the model and brand is shown on the inside door of the alarm enclosure – not the keypad!
If adding self or central station monitoring just give us a call to figure out what type of communicator you may have as part of your existing system (landline, IP broadband, WIFI broadband, cellular) and select what level of monitoring you need. See our Monitoring page for more details regarding service levels – Click Here. Going DIY instead of through your local alarm company will generally be half the cost and without any long-term commitment!