Renovating? Here Are Some Tips to Keep Your Alarm System Running Properly

Renovating? Here Are Some Tips to Keep Your Alarm System Running Properly

Renovating your house can be a challenging experience, both physically and mentally. On top of that, many people inadvertently compromise their alarm system by making some very common mistakes.  

Avoid adding stress to your renovation by following these precautions:

1. Call your alarm installation company before you start!  Almost every issue can be avoided by planning ahead.  It is also worth letting the monitoring station know the dates of your renovations, so they can respond appropriately if they get any unusual signals.

2. Be cognisant of wires.  While many modern alarm systems are primarily wireless, be aware that wires may be hidden behind walls, baseboards, ceilings, and other areas of the house you may be dismantling.  If you or your workmen see a wire you don’t recognize, find out what it is before you cut or damage it!  Failing to do so can be a costly mistake.

3. Be careful what you paint!  Many devices, such as door sensors and motion detectors, can be painted to match the décor of the house to some degree.  However, make sure to check with your alarm professional first.  Painting over the infra-red window on a motion sensor, for example, will render it useless, as will painting over the microphone on an audio glass-break detector.  Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors will also stop working if they are painted.

4. Don’t remove/remount anything you’re not sure about.  We’ve seen painters remove a motion detector to paint behind it, then put it back upside-down.  We’ve seen contractors remove keypads and put the wires back in the wrong order.  In fact, we’ve seen people make just about every mistake possible, all because they didn’t stop to ask questions.  If you or your renovation team are not 100% certain about something, consult an alarm professional first!

5. Replacing door sensors can be a tricky business.  If you’re getting a new door where there once was an alarm sensor, be very careful!  Some sensors are wireless, and can be relocated to a new door with relative ease; however, we’ve seen contractors throw sensors out with the old door, so be aware of what and where they are.  Wired sensors can be very difficult to manipulate in an old door frame, so call your alarm installation company to see if they can assist you.

6. Be aware of powered wires.  Almost everything in an alarm system runs on very low DC voltage, so there is not too much risk to your safety in dealing with alarm wires.  However, touching the wrong two wires together can seriously damage the equipment, leading to costly repairs or replacement parts.

7. When you’re finished, test everything!  No one wants to find out three months after a renovation that the front door sensor wasn’t hooked back up properly.  Open and close every door, walk in front of every motion, and make sure all the alarm zones are registering on your keypad.  Again, if there’s any doubt, call your alarm company.  It’s much easier to fix it before you close up the walls!


Above all, don’t take risks with your personal safety or security!

Incorrect installation of alarm equipment can be very hard to detect, so if there’s any question, make sure to have an alarm system professional come out to verify correct operation before putting your trust back in the system.  That’s what we’re here for.

Reed Security Calgary would love to help you with your home renovation – and it’s the best time to add an alarm system if you don’t already have one.



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