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How to Properly Manage Your Current Home Security System & Potentially Upgrade Existing Home System During a Remodel 

Have you ever started a remodeling project in your home only to realize that you didn’t consider all of the options or problems that might arise? One of the things to consider is your alarm system. Do you want to upgrade your current home security system? Are there areas of your home to which you have previously considered adding security? A remodeling project offers a variety of possibilities regarding your security system and home automation.  
Upgrade existing home security system
  1. Before starting any kind of home remodeling project, it is imperative to talk with your security provider.  If you have an alarm company, I would recommend that you call them and ask to schedule a time to meet with one of their sales representatives to discuss the project and the potential security needs. This trained professional should be able to give you an idea of what they can offer you in terms of expanding your security system and explain the latest upgraded options for your home in terms of home connectivity and home automation. The sales person should also be able to provide you with a really good idea of what a security system expansion and an upgrade to home connectivity and automation will cost. Once you have that information, you can make an informed decision of what is best for you and your family. Once you have an estimate for approximately how long your project will take to complete, you want to make an arrangement with your security company to put your system “on test” so that the emergency services will not be sent in the event of an false activation of the alarm system because of the remodeling project that is going on.  

  2. If you do not have an alarm company, meaning you have a do-it-yourself alarm system you may want to block off some time to do some online research into what it will take to expand your alarm system and what your options are in terms of home connectivity and home automation. With the oncoming of mainly wireless components and security equipment, most of you are very capable of meeting your security needs yourself. All of the information that you need and the instructions of how to successfully install and program your alarm system, home automation, and home connectivity are available to you at no charge online and especially in videos.  If you have a service that monitors your alarm system, it would probably be a good idea to contact them to let them know that you intend to begin a project in your home. If you have an estimate of how long the project will last, it would be a good idea to have them put your system “on test” for the duration of that time period. Putting the system “on test” does not stop the alarm system from activating on the premises, but it takes the emergency services out of the loop.  In most municipalities, you will receive financial fines if your alarm activates and emergency services are sent out on a false alarm too many times. By putting the system “on test” you are ensuring that no emergency services responses will take place unnecessarily.  

Even if your remodeling project is as simple as replacing an exterior door or replacing drafty windows, there are implications upon the security system. The exterior doors and windows probably have wireless contact switches on them. If you are careful, you should be able to take these devices off of the widow or door frame. You need to be extremely careful when attempting to take these devices off of the windows or doors. You will need a flat-head screw driver. These devices have a slot on the bottom, between the device and the plastic base. You should be able to slide the head of the screw driver into the slot and gently pry the device off of the base. You need to be extremely careful throughout this process because the case of the contact switch and the base for the device are both made of plastic. This plastic will easily break if you exert too much force upon it at any point. Trust me, I have broken the plastic covers for the contact switches and the plastic base several times. If you just take your time, and proceed with caution, you should have no problem at all removing the contact switches. 

Again, please allow me to warn you to contact your alarm company or at least your monitoring service before you begin removing the contact switches from the exterior doors or windows that you are replacing. If you don’t communicate with your alarm company or at least your monitoring service to put your system “on test” before attempting to remove the contact switches, the alarm company or monitoring service will receive signals from your alarm system for which they may contact emergency services. Your alarm system is programmed to send out a “tamper” signal whenever you attempt to remove the cover to a wireless contact or remove a contact from its base in any way. The alarm system thinks that a person with bad intentions is attempting to defeat the alarm system by removing it physically. Once you have contacted your alarm company or monitoring service, then you are good to go to gently and in a not rushed way remove the contact switches from the exterior doors and windows that you intend to replace.  

In terms of larger remodeling projects, the above ideas should serve as a good place to start. If you are opening walls, removing walls, taking up floors to replace them, or building an addition to your home, you have a variety of options and opportunities. Wireless technology is wonderful. It is easy to install and fairly straight forward when it comes to programming it into the alarm system. Some other things to consider, home automation being one.  Would you like to be able to control your thermostat, lights, security cameras, and even wi-fi from your smart device? All of that and more is possible when you consider the options for home automation.  If you have an alarm company, they should be able to give you some direction regarding home automation. If you have a do-it-yourself system, there are plenty of online resources and videos on that can show you the capabilities of your alarm system and home automation.  

If you have an older alarm system, a home remodeling project especially a large one, may provide for you an opportunity to consider upgrading your existing alarm system to something newer, with more technological capabilities. In order to access the smart device connectivity and home automation capabilities you desire, your older system may not be able to accommodate those options. Sometimes they have been retro-fitted by their company, but the upgraded components necessary to give you the capabilities that you want are too expensive or are difficult to install and implement. Consider your options, but sometimes, an upgrade to new technology can be the easiest and most cost effective route to go.

Thanks for reading. We hope this article has helped you understand some important considerations to keep in mind during your next alarm system remodel. 

Would you like to learn more? Contact us today to have your questions about alarm system remodels answered.