How To Disable Home Security Alarms
Is your home security alarm keeping you up at night?
Usually, the sound of your home alarm going off means that something is wrong. But if you’ve determined that burglary isn’t taking place and your alarm won’t quit, it’s most likely a power issue. Here’s how to turn your home alarm off so you can sleep in peace.
How To Disable Home Security Alarms
Even the most advanced home security system still has false alarms, much like when your smoke alarm won’t stop chirping. We’ve told you how to turn off your smoke alarm, and now, we’re telling you how to disable the alarm for your home security system.
- Make sure it’s safe. First, make sure that you aren’t currently being burgled. If you are, here’s what to do after a home invasion. If not, continue through the steps below.
- Enter your code. If you have an alarm code, entering it should shut the alarm off, unless it’s a power-related issue.
- Change your batteries. A low or dead backup battery may cause the beeping. You can replace or remove it by opening your control panel, identifying the battery, disconnecting it from the circuit board, and reconnecting a replacement battery (red wire then black wire).
- Check your transformer. If your keypad says something like “no AC,” you may have a loss of AC power from a wall outlet. The issue can be in the transformer itself or in the wall outlet. First, check that the plug is connected securely. If it’s not loose, you may need to consult an electrician regarding your outlet or circuit breaker. In the meantime, unplug the transformer so the beeping stops.
- Fix your landline connection. At this point, security systems don’t need landlines; most have either Wi-Fi or cellular backup. But on the off chance that you have a security system with landline backup, the issue could be with your landline. Pick up your phone; if you hear a dial tone, the line is dead and you’ll need to get it fixed.
- Read your user manual. If that doesn’t work, consult your user manual, and contact the alarm company if that doesn’t have the answers.
Do You Need an Alarm Code?
Remember when your parents would rush you out of the house as they frantically entered your alarm code? Many security systems still have old-school alarm codes for arming and disarming.
What Is an Alarm Code?
Alarm codes are typically numerical passwords that users can arm their systems with as they leave the house, and disarm them as they enter again.
Alarm Code Pros
- Unlike voice commands, alarm codes ensure that only the user, not a thief, can disarm the system (unless the thief gets hold of the code somehow).
Alarm Code Cons
- Not only are alarm codes more cumbersome, but if they’re written down somewhere, they can be stolen.
No Alarm Code Pros
- Not having an alarm code allows you to enter and exit the house more quickly.
No Alarm Code Cons
- Without an alarm code, you’ll have to disarm the system through voice commands or its mobile app.
Overall, we’d recommend alarm codes to more traditional customers who aren’t as comfortable with technology. For everyone else, you can use the mobile app or voice commands to arm and disarm your system.
Some apps even have geofencing so that the system arms and disarms based on the user’s location. However, you have to be careful with this, as the distance can vary by system. After all, you don’t want your system to disarm just because you drove past your house on yet another errand.
NOTE: Even with voice commands, sometimes the user needs to speak a numerical code, so they’re not mutually exclusive.
How Thieves Choose Which Homes To Rob
A study from the University of North Carolina’s Department of Criminal Justice & Criminology surveyed 422 convicted burglars across North Carolina, Kentucky, and Ohio, asking them how they chose which homes to rob. The burglars said these were deterrents for them:
- Lack of escape routes
- Alarm signs
- Alarm systems
- Outdoor cameras
- High-traffic areas
- Nearby neighbors
- People home
- Surveillance equipment
Most burglars tried to determine if homes had alarm systems before they robbed them. Specifically, 60 percent of burglars said that if they found a home had an alarm system, they would choose another target, and half would discontinue the burglary if they found an alarm during it.2 So, if you’re wondering if security systems and security cameras deter crime, the answer is a resounding yes.
How Do Burglars Disable and Hack Alarms?
Of course, alarms don’t deter all burglars. The more advanced burglars can:
- Take advantage of power outages. If you have a hardwired security system that depends on your home’s power and doesn’t have any cellular or landline backup, power outages are ideal times for burglars to rob your home. That’s why it’s important to have backup batteries and either cellular or landline backup to keep you connected to your monitoring center at all times.
- Use alarm codes. Whether it’s stored on a hacked phone or written on your fridge that’s visible from your window or door, thieves can take advantage of alarm codes if they figure them out.
- Cut off communication. Some thieves cut phone lines and wires to power off alarm systems that have landline backup.
- Exploit vulnerabilities. Although it’s not common, security systems have been hacked before. Wireless security systems that connect to Wi-Fi are particularly vulnerable to hacking, especially if their apps lack authentication and/or encryption, which makes signal interception easier for hackers.3
TIP: Find out just how safe security systems are in our privacy guide.
How To Prevent Burglaries
As we’ve seen, security systems deter most burglars from robbing houses, but they’re not the only way to prevent home invasions.
- Install a home security system with cameras. Your best defense against burglaries is a security system, ideally one with security cameras. Find out how much security systems cost, whether you need a permit for home security, how much security cameras cost, how to install security cameras, and how to install security cameras outside.
- Use smart locks. Especially if you need to let people in when you’re not home, smart locks are much safer than leaving keys under fake rocks. Smart locks let you open and close your home remotely or, even easier, give guests temporary passcodes. Learn more about the best smart locks on the market.
- Use smart lighting. Burglars are deterred if they think someone is home. Of course, you can’t stay home all the time (unless you’re an agoraphobe or following national stay-at-home orders), but you can make it look like you’re home all the time with smart lights. With away modes, you can have smart lights, or smart light switches, turn on and off when you’re not home to make it seem like you are. That’s way more convincing than leaving your lights on, not to mention more cost-effective. Speaking of price, find out how much smart lights cost.
Hopefully, we helped stop that annoying beeping that’s keeping you up at night, but remember, that beeping probably occurred for a reason. Whether it’s an actual burglary or low battery, be sure to fix the problem so you can have your home alarm system up and running to protect you and your family.
Is your alarm still beeping? Let’s bring in the big dogs with these frequently asked questions.
How do I get my security system to stop beeping?
Follow these steps to get your security system to stop beeping:
- Make sure it’s safe (no break-ins occurring).
- Enter your code.
- Change your batteries.
- Check your transformer.
- Fix your landline connection.
How do you turn off a burglar alarm without the code?
Take these steps to turn off a burglar alarm without the code:
- Make sure that no burglary is taking place.
- The issue might be with your dead or low batteries (for wireless systems). Check and replace them if needed.
- For hardwired systems, you may lose power if your transformer/outlet connection is loose or your outlet or circuit breaker is faulty. Check your transformer and, if necessary, call an electrician.
- For landline systems, see if your line is dead. If it is, that is causing the issue and you’ll need professional help to fix it.
How do I silence my ADT low-battery alarm?
To silence your ADT alarm, press the OFF or # button on your keypad. If your system continues to beep, consult your user manual; you may need to order a replacement battery.
How do I turn off my Protection 1 alarm?
Follow these steps to turn off your Protection 1 alarm:
- Unplug the alarm panel box’s power supply and battery. You can usually find these in a utility closet, basement, or garage. Look for a metal box, usually gray.
- Once your box has powered down, plug back in.
Richmond Alarm. (2020). How to Stop an Old Alarm System from Continuously Beeping.
ResearchGate. (2012). Understanding Decisions to Burglarize from the Offender's Perspective.
El Dorado Insurance. (2018). Can Wireless Alarm Systems Be Hacked?