Adventures in House Alarms

A couple of months ago we got a house alarm… not sure if it was the proper financial decision, but I suppose it can’t hurt as far as protecting my stuff (my precious computers…. my…. preeeecious…). Came home yesterday and didn’t notice the house alarm was on, or maybe it didn’t beep when I opened the door. Anyway, shucked off shoes and jacket and headed up stairs, and seconds later an earsplitting bell starts going off. I realized what I had done quickly enough and ran down to hit the code into the keypad. beepbeep*beep* Didn’t work. Shit, what’t my code again. beepbeep*beep* Shit! beepbeep*beep* No, wait, that’s it. beepbeep*beep*. Nothing. beepbeep*beep* again. Still nothing.

Here “nothing” is defined as “no response from the keypad and a million decible siren going off in my ears.

Ok, somethings up, I’ve done this before. Time to call the company to let them know not to send the marines in. So I hid in the basement where the noise was marginally less and called up the company. Talked to a help person who told me that no alarms had come through to them, and sympathized with me on my lack of ability to turn off the alarm, and sent me over to tech support. Of course, being I was in the basement the cell phone cut off. Before I called them back the alarm timed out and I breathed a sigh of relief, and headed upstairs to rescue the now traumatized cats and bird and get them relaxed again.

Ooops. As soon as I got upstairs I tripped the motion sensor again and the alarm went off. Aiiiiieeee!

Back downstairs, back on the phone (this time with a land line) to the alarm company. Got through to tech support and $dude walked me through some stuff on the keypad, hitting in various codes with no affect, and then disabling the alarm altogether. There’ll be a repair guy coming by soon.

The experience was interesting, with the following things I am a bit disturbed by:

  • Even with the alarm wailing and then timing out twice, no neighbors or passers by came by to see what was going on.
  • The fact that I’ve had the alarm for a couple of months now and it hasn’t been actively monitored is a bit disturbing. I’m not overly paranoid, and got the alarm for just extra piece of mind and all that, but if there wasn’t any actual difference…

We’ll see what happens when the installer/repair guy comes out.

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