FAQs: Security & Alarm

Do I need a separate phone line for monitoring?

No, a separate phone line is not necessary. In the event of an alarm, the system will seize your phone line for a few seconds to communicate with our monitoring center. You can also choose to go cellular or over internet.

Is there really someone monitoring my system 24/7?

Yes! Our security systems are monitored by a professional team of dispatchers trained in response, alarm verification, and emergency procedures. We are local—all monitoring and support is done right here on Whidbey.

Who will respond if there is an alarm?

In the event of an alarm, the local dispatcher will immediately call the point of contact listed on your Alarm Signal Response Plan, which you can download here and email to [email protected].

The Alarm Signal Response Plan is your roadmap for who and where to reach you or your contacts in the event of an alarm event.  As you update the Alarm Signal Response Plan, Whidbey Telecom and your local emergency responders, recommend the following:

  • Include at least one contact before police to reduce false dispatches.
  • Provide more than one phone number for your emergency contacts if possible.  
  • If there is information an emergency responder will need to access your home please include it in the comments section. This might include the location of a lockbox or gate code.
  • If there are issues emergency personnel should be aware of, please include those as well; for example, if the homeowner is hard of hearing or blind.

How often should I update my call response plan?

Your emergency callout plan should be reviewed and updated every two years for maximum accuracy. We need to make sure we can quickly reach you in the event an alarm triggers. If there are any changes to your personal information, please contact us at [email protected] to inform us of the changes. This includes if you change your mobile number or discontinue your landline.

Also, make sure there is more than one person on the callout list. The more people we can contact, the less likely we have to reach out to emergency personnel.

What kinds of emergencies does your alarm system cover?

Our services include fire and burglary alarms and motion detectors. We also monitor for environmental threats such as dangerous carbon monoxide levels, gas detection, flooding, and cold or severe temperatures.

Do I have to pay a monthly fee to rent the equipment?

No. There is a one-time charge to purchase the security equipment from us; after that it is yours to keep. A yearly commitment may be required. There is a monthly monitoring fee which pays for our local, 24/7 monitoring service. This fee varies depending on your service plan.

Can my pet set off the alarm?

Yes, it is possible. Our security system includes motion sensors that are resistant to pets up to approximately 40 lbs. Our installers do their best to position these sensors so that they secure your home without disruption from pet movement, but it is not fool-proof. We recommend securing your pet in an area with no motion sensors while you are away. If your pet is free roaming, we recommend leaving your alarm system in “Armed Stay” mode.

What should I do if I accidentally set off my alarm?

If you accidentally set off your alarm, please call (360) 321-4442 and let us know it is false and that all is well. Please do not wait for us to call out. Our main concern is your safety, and the sooner we can be assured of that, the better.

Will my alarm still work if there is a low battery alert?

Yes, the system works on the house power, not the battery. The system battery is a back-up should the power go out. It is still advised that you change the battery as soon as possible. Please call us prior to changing the battery; this way we can put your account in “test” to avoid any false signals.

I changed the battery but I am still getting the alert. How do I clear it?

Sometimes the system doesn’t clear automatically after a battery swap. Disarm the system, then immediately arm it again. This will force a restoral.

How do I change the battery in my smoke detector?

Smoke detector batteries are estimated to last 5-10 years. If you need to swap your wireless smoke detector batteries, please “short the leads” before putting in the new batteries. This drains any residual power from the device and resets it. If the leads are not shorted, it may generate a false signal.

To short the leads, take something metallic, like pliers or scissors, and press them against the metal leads on each side of the battery compartment. Hold it there to the count of five.

Some of our systems do not use replaceable batteries; you will need to schedule an appointment for a service call. If you are unsure whether you can change them yourself, or require further assistance, please feel free to give us a call and we would be happy to help.

How do the door and window sensors work?

Door and window sensors are comprised of two parts. One part of the device is installed on the door or window itself, and the other on the door frame or window sill. When the door or window is closed, the two parts of the sensor connect to create a security circuit. If a door or window is suddenly opened and contact is broken, the system will interpret it as a security breach.

We also employ “glassbreak” types which work off of vibrations. In either case, when these sensors are tripped, an alarm is triggered at both the premise and in our monitoring system.

What does the Keyfob do?

The KeyChain Touchpad (keyfob) is an electronic key that puts all your alarm features easily at hand. You can use it to arm or disarm your system, trigger panic alarms in an emergency, operate the garage door opener, and turn lights on and off if they have been programmed in.

How do the fire inspections work and does my business require one?

Any business with an active fire system is required, by law, to have their system inspected annually. One of our customer support representatives will call you when you are due.

Someone associated with the account must be on site during the inspection. If there are multiple entrances or access points, this person must be able to access all of them. Our technician will need to set off the various bells and sirens (which are very loud!) to verify they function properly. If you have any noise concerns during business hours, early morning inspections are possible on a limited basis. This should be discussed prior to scheduling.

If you have any concerns or questions regarding your existing security account, please email customer support at [email protected]. For all new accounts or inquiries, visit the Customer Experience Center in Freeland or call 360-321-1122.

When will my 3G communication module stop working?

Verizon and AT&T have announced that they will retire 3G in 2021.. Set up an appointment with Whidbey Telecom to update your security system.

Can I upgrade an older system to 4G LTE?

Most systems have a cellular communicator built into the panel. Updating the panel is usually the most economic option. Call 360-321-2222 to hear about your options.

Will my Alarm.com app continue to work when I update my security system?

The update does not impact the Alarm.com app, if you choose to not update your security system it will not communicate with the app when the cellular carrier shuts down 3G.

Why are cell carriers shutting down the 3G networks?

Technology changes, the cellular carriers (AT&T and Verizon) plan is to retire 3G and support their 4G LTE networks. These updated networks provide greater coverage and better performance.

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