We hope you're arming and disarming your system daily but...we hope you've never had to USE it. Even though a burglary occurs in America every 16 seconds, we really hope you haven't been one of them.

You've taken the steps to making sure that you don't become a statistic and, that's great. However, an alarm system is not just a set-it-and-forget-it type of thing. You do need to make sure it's always working. Just like you test your smoke detectors; you need to test your alarm system.

How often do you test your alarms systems communications? How often have you accidentally set it off and someone has called? What kind of programing do you have for testing? If the answer to any of these is "I'm not sure"...you should set a schedule to manually test your system on a regular basis. How often? Well...that depends on you and your system.

Some homes have added fire protection to them. Some of these systems have supervision for those smoke detectors. What does this mean? It means that the smoke detectors are always being watched by the system. They don't need to be tested because they are doing regular checks on themselves called "timer-tests." When it runs this test, it send a signal which, in turn, tests the communication of the alarm system. BUT...not everyone has this type of system. Not everyone added monitored smoke detectors to their system. Which, IMO, is a mistake.

You want to make sure that your system is always working and can call for help when it needs it; and not just an expensive noise maker that you arm and disarm. It is so simple to test your alarm system and doesn't take much out of your time to do. What time is taken could be well worth it.

Simply call your monitoring company and ask them how to run a test on your alarm system. After a few times of doing it, you'll be a PRO. Schedule regular times to do this and make sure that you do. HOLD YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE!!! It really doesn't have to be that often. Some will say that it needs to be done once a week. This can sometimes be overkill and you will get to where you don't want to do it anymore. Once a month perfect. Once every quarter or at "Time-change" might be too far apart.

In the long run, you can see that, not only, is it important to have fire protection on your system but, it makes your system testing much easier and much more HANDS OFF. You need to know what you have and that it's working.

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