Customer Service – FAQ

Can you take over an existing alarm?

Absolutely! In the event that you wish to switch to United Alarm, we will send one of our expert security specialists to your Calgary premises to install a security system that best suits your unique needs. As a new client of United Alarm, you can take advantage of one of fantastic, current deals.

To determine the security solution that will work best for your home or business, please contact our Service Centre at 403-261-8838

What does the keypad memory light signify?

If you return to your premises and discover the keypad memory light is on, this means an alarm has been triggered in your absence. In this case, your security system will also show a memory which will tell you which part of the home an alarm was triggered in. If you see a memory indication on your security system screen, check your answering machine or voice mail to see if the Security Monitoring Centre has left messages. If no messages have been recorded or you do not have an answering machine or voice mail, please telephone the Security Monitoring Centre to confirm whether they were aware of anything. After the reason for the memory has been determined, you will need to clear your alarm systems memory. If you fail to do this, you will be unable to rearm and activate your alarm system.

What is the difference between the Keypad Access Code and Verbal Access Code?

There is a difference between the two terms. The keypad access code is used to arm and disarm your security system, and provides the verification needed so that the system knows you are authorized to set your system. This code is required for you to enter in the event that you need to stop your alarm. Be sure to keep this code to yourself and others authorized to use your security system. The verbal access code is the code you must provide over the telephone to operators in our Service Centre. By providing the operator with this code, you are verifying your identity and can obtain and make changes to your account. Other parties authorized by you can also access your account details, if they have been assigned a verbal access code.

Our basic alarm systems have 33 alarm codes used to arm and disarm the system. Each also has 2 duress codes. Everybody authorized by you within your family and office can have their own codes. If you accidentally set off your alarm, simply enter your keypad access code to turn the siren off. By pressing the right code, this will send a signal to the Monitoring Centre, notifying them that an authorized person has turned off the system. The Monitoring Centre in your area will then telephone you and ask for your verbal access code. If you provide the correct codes, then the police and security officer will not be dispatched. The duress code is only used if somebody follows you or a family member into your secure area. When you enter the duress code into the system, this will set a 911 code to the police, with a priority 1 code. This ensures a fast response because somebody is in danger.

How does fire protection work?

When you enlist United Alarm for your fire protection solution, a trained technician will install a number of smoke alarms in key areas throughout your residential or commercial premises. These devices are extremely sensitive to smoke, and will detect smoke virtually as soon as it is created. The device will signal our Security Monitoring Centre and we will then notify you and the fire department. The smoke detector and your burglar siren will also sound, which will wake even the deepest sleeper, to ensure you and your family escape danger safely. Such devices are ideal if you are away from your children who are at home alone, and by installing such a fire security system, your insurance premium will be reduced.

Fire protection also works best if you and your family/staff practise evacuation procedures. It is also important that you check your smoke detector at least once each month, and ensure that the device is clean and free of dust. A vacuum clean twice per year is ideal.

What do I do when I get a low battery signal?

Most alarm systems use batteries to provide power or back up in case of electrical or power failure in your area. Our alarm systems are programmed that if your back up battery goes low, a signal will be sent to the Monitoring Centre and a yellow light on your keypad will notify you of a low battery. When you receive notification that your battery is low, you will need to check the device to determine if you can change the battery yourself or if you require a technician to come to the premises. Some devices will run on AA or 9-volt batteries, whereas lithium batteries may be used to power newer devices. After changing the batteries, make sure you test your system.

Can your security alarm system services work with VoIP or my internet phone?

Yes it is possible for our security alarm systems to work with VOIP or internet phones, however some VoIP services may expose you to the risk of losing operation of the security system during a power outage. For the purposes of answering this question, there are two types of VoIP regarding security alarm systems: digital phone service and internet phone service. With the digital phone service, instead of using phone lines to make a call, you use a broadband network instead of the internet, and you can make calls even if there is a power outage, because the phone lines generally work under such conditions. On the other hand, internet phone services enable the user to make calls using the internet. This phone line will not work during a power outage if the customer does not have a back up facility.

Some VoIP services may not properly transmit signals from the home security system unless provided by the customer. No back up power typically exists with VoIP and the phone line will not work during a power outage. To get around this problem, you can add a secondary mode of communication through United Alarm – the only company in Canada offering GSM digital Cellular back up. All cellular companies will stop transmitting in analog in 2007, and every system that has installed a cell back up in the past will not work. GSM Digital Cellular Monitoring allows you to have your signal from your security alarm system to transmit to our Monitoring Centre. See Cellular Back Up.

How does Monitoring work?

Enlist any of United Alarm’s monitoring services and you will have an electronic security system installed at your premises. In the event that a possible burglary, fire or carbon monoxide problem occurs at your premises, your security system will send a signal to our Monitoring Centre. The Monitoring Centre will then:

  • attempt to telephone the Calgary premises to confirm the situation;
  • contact yourself or any other authorized persons to advise of the situation;
  • dispatch a security officer to the Calgary premises to investigate; or
  • dispatch the police, fire department or ambulance to the Calgary premises.

Unlike many other security companies, our signals are sent to local Monitoring Centres and not across provincial or international borders. In other words, help is close by.

Our Monitoring Centre is ULC Certified. This certification means Calgary-based United Alarm’ security products and services, security alarm equipment, method of installation, office procedures, installers and monitoring centres are certified by Under Writers Laboratories. Each year our security product and services offerings are tested by Under Writers Laboratories, and they meet and exceed the standards for high level security, installation and procedures. In other words, the certification means everything United Alarm offers to clients is of the highest quality standard, ensuring your ultimate peace of mind.

What are the products you use to secure my home or business?

Our residential and commercial security services are categorized into two categories: Burglary Alarm Products and Environmental Monitoring Products.

The products in the Burglary Alarm category include:

  • Keypads: the control centre of your security system. Use this device to access information on security alarms triggered.
  • Motion Detectors: electronic devices that detect movement. Pet friendly devices available.
  • Door and Window Contacts: protects doors and windows from being forced open.
  • Glass Break Sensors: detect breaking glass caused by an intruder.
  • Panic Buttons: these devices can be mounted anywhere and allow you to request police, fire or ambulance assistance at the push of a button.
  • Lawn and Window Decals: warning signs that state your premises is protected by United Alarm.
  • Electronic Window Bars: protect vulnerable windows from forced entry.
  • Lockbox: a secure box to hide your spare keys. Box mounts to the outside of your home and can only be opened with a 3-digit code.
  • Security Screens: these screens allow you to safely keep windows open and have sensors embedded in them to detect intruders.
  • The products in the Environmental Monitoring category include:
  • Heat Detector: this device detects sudden temperature increases and alerts the Monitoring Centre.
  • Low Temperature Sensor: this device detects temperature drops below your pre-set level and alerts the Monitoring Centre.
  • Carbon Monoxide Detectors: this powerful device detects carbon monoxide in the air and alerts the Monitoring Centre.
  • Sump Pump High Water Detectors: this device monitors water levels in your basement and alerts the Monitoring Centre if water rises.
  • Flood Detection: these devices detect the slightest rise in water level and notify the Monitoring Centre.

What should I do if I go on holidays?

You do not need to notify United Alarm when you go on holidays, provided you adhere to the following:

  • Make sure your keyholder and contact list is up to date; and
  • You arm your security system.

Enjoy your holiday and rest assured knowing that your security system was installed and is monitored by one of Canada’s top security companies.

How do you respond to a security alarm?

We respond to a security alarm as per the following:

  • Your security system sends an alarm signal to the Monitoring Centre;
  • An experienced team member at the Monitoring Centre receives the signal;
  • The operator at the Monitoring Centre has access to a computer system indicating exactly where the alarm was triggered, and the staff member follows the response instructions as per your client file and
  • The operator will contact you to confirm the situation and deal with the issue according to your client file. The necessary response service (a security officer or emergency services) may also be dispatched if the operator deems it to be necessary.

How do I avoid false alarms?

There are a number of simple steps to adhere to in order to avoid false alarms:

  • Be vigilant in securing your premises and locking up;
  • Ensure your security system has a pet detector, so pet movements aren’t seen as possible intruder threats; and
  • Ensure that everybody with access to your property when the security system is armed is familiar with how to use the system.

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