FAQs are Frequently Asked Questions that come to us primarily from customers and common issues/questions that have been raised in the past. We hope you find these helpful.

IMPORTANT- Do realize that your decision to take any advice and take your own steps to resolve your issue is done at your own risk. Avoid the risk and open up a support request. AVX is here to help!

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Systems do not state that there is an alarm for no reason. Something happened. The state would not have changed to cause the alarm and then revert back to clear unless something happened. This will help you to understand what can cause an alarm and how to prevent/reduce these alarms from happening. Sometimes we don’t see or understand why an alarm happened but something did happen. Aside from someone actually trying to open a door or windows, or successfully doing so when the system is armed, these are the other the most common reasons for your alarm: The door or window is not properly aligned The door or window is not properly secured The sensor and magnet are not properly aligned The magnet is missing The sensor and/or magnet have been painted A significant change in humidity and/or temperature Gusts of wind or something hitting the door or window Construction/work on your home-related issues There are other reasons, these are the most common. The state of a zone or device can vary by the system but generally is either normal, in alarm, or in trouble. When a door or window is closed, the contact on it is generally in a normal state (closed). The magnet is aligned against a door/window sensor in most cases. If you have an internal contact it may have a push switch instead which can be of one of two types, a roller or a plunger. They both work the same way, much like a doorbell button or a light switch. When a door or window is opened, the state will change to open. If the change happens when it is monitored for a change (i.e. armed), this state change will result in an alarm state and will be noted on the system panel(s) and sound locally. If the system is central station monitored, a signal will be sent to the central station. A trouble condition may be noted when a sensor or magnet is failing. It could be a wiring issue, or if wireless, related to a device failure or simply a low battery condition. For a door or window contact to work reliably and give you many years of protection will depend on many things: Your doors and windows MUST be properly aligned and square. These conditions can/will happen over time. You should either check yourself or have someone check them regularly (We recommend spring and fall) to see if there are issues that need to be addressed. In addition to conditions changing over time, season changes happen as a result of temperature and other conditions, doors and windows can/will experience expansion and/or contraction. This can result in alarms happening due to being at or near the specifications of the contact/magnet such as the gap, range, or sensitivity. A properly aligned and secured door or window with a properly aligned contact/magnet will not have these issues. If your doors or windows have latches or other mechanisms to make them be secured properly, their use is vital. Failure to do so makes them more prone to alignment issues and alarms as a gust of wind or a bird hitting the door or window, even someone knocking can cause an alarm. Over time homes settle and conditions described here can happen that didn’t exist before. Work being performed in the home can also result in issues. We have seen instances where a contractor lost, broke, or damaged a contact or magnet. They may also have had one come loose or have to be put back on and alignment is vital. Another thing that can happen is that the wrong door or window is reinstalled and so the alignment of the contact and magnet are not correct. Equally important to alignment is the gap (distance between the sensor and the magnet). We have also seen contacts and magnets that have been painted. No components in your system is designed to be painted. They MUST not be painted for any reason. When the contact was installed, it was aligned and if there was an issue with the alignment/squareness of a door or windows, it was probably mentioned. It is important that your doors and windows be maintained and if there are any issues that they are promptly addressed. If you are having work done to your home, it is important to let your alarm company know that! Plan ahead and keep them in the loop.
Category: Security

Your security system has at least one battery connected to it. This is a requirement for all systems. That battery is to keep the system operational for 24-hours should there be a prolonged power outage. These batteries are designed to last 3 to 5 years. As many folks learned during Hurricane Sandy when you are without power for several days, the system will become inoperable.

A whole-home generator is a smart idea and one of the things that many people have added to their homes and businesses to be prepared for prolonged outages. If your system is on a generator, it will continue to run and keep the battery charged. If a whole home generator isn’t in the cards, there are many generator options available that cost considerably less and are easy to operate.

As mentioned, the battery/batteries connected to your system, don’t last forever. The batteries last 3-5 years. The more often you have a power outage/event, the sooner they potentially will need to be replaced. We recommend that they are replaced every three years as a precaution.

Annual testing/inspection is highly recommended, and in some instances, required. In addition to batteries, other devices are not designed to operate forever and are mandated to be replaced. More on that in another FAQ about devices and “End Of Life”.

Category: Security

Great question and one thing that is very confusing. Codes also have changed and been updated since your system was installed. The result is that new devices may be mandated. This applies to system devices/detectors and also to the more basic “alarms” that you may purchase yourself at the store.

Those “alarms” may also have been installed in your home during construction or during a renovation by the builder/contractor or electrician. Did you know that all of those devices have a “Replace by” date on them? Newer devices are designed to be replaced by that date and by code now have a 10-year battery in them. That battery is NOT removable. The device needs to be replaced. Removal puts your home and your family at risk! DON’T DO IT!

Older devices have a removable battery in them that generally needed to be replaced every year. I’m sure you have heard or seen the reminders about changing the clocks for daylight savings and to also check your smoke alarms. You may also remember those annoying beeps that happen when you miss one or forget to replace the batteries. That annoyance was for you benefit! Simply replacing ALL the batteries would make the noise go away and keep you and your family protected. Taking down the device or shutting off a circuit breaker to make the beeping stop is NOT what you should do!

The good news is that system “detectors” are not designed with an annoying beep. Instead, annual inspections will help discover device issues/concerns. Additionally, most devices are “supervised”. That means that when they have a trouble of some kind, they notify the central station and alarm company of that issue so it can be addressed timely. Most detectors and all newer detectors similarly send a specific “End of Life” signal. Newer wireless system detectors/devices now also have 10-year batteries in them. IMPORTANT – Unlike “alarms”, system detectors are supervised and interact as part of a system and so a 10-year battery is not required like they are in alarms, which are not tied to a system “panel”.

In short, know what “alarms” you have in your home and realize that they have an End of Life. They may also have batteries that need addressing. Since those are local only devices and not monitored, it is up to you to make sure that you do your part. When you have a “system”, you have “detectors” and as long as you have monitoring, they communicate concerns to the central station and alarm company.

Regardless, annual inspections are a great idea, whether they are mandated or not.

Category: Security

The simple answer is no. There are other technologies that can be used such as cellular and Internet that can replace a phone line. If you have a VOIP or similar non-traditional line, it probably will result in problems communicating. If you switched at some point, you should be making sure that your system does regular tests of communication and that you do your part and test your system at least once a month.

By the way, if you are wondering what POTS stands for, it is Plain Old Telephone Service!

Category: Security

While your existing system may not currently be ready for use with an app, it can be easily upgraded to do so. Not only can it, that same app and add-on can give you home automation and smart home functions. Adding this capability to your system involves a module that also upgrades the way your signals are communicated to the central station. You won’t need a phone line anymore so you will save that cost each month should you choose to eliminate the phone line!

Category: Security